Meltdown: Marika Hackman talks elbows, knees and maracas ahead of Guy Garvey’s Meltdown

She’s playing the specially curated Southbank fest with long-time pal Laura Marling on Saturday.

This year’s Meltdown (taking place at London’s Southbank Centre) is being curated by Mancunian hero and Elbow frontman Guy Garvey. On Saturday night (18th June) Marika Hackman will take to the fest, playing on the very same night as her long-time pal Laura Marling.

Ahead of the pair’s reunion, we gave Marika a bell in the studio to chat all things Meltdown. We also got a bit of scoop on her currently in progress second record; expect a heavier, more live album.

How stoked were you when Guy Garvey asked you to come and play Meltdown?

Super stoked, definitely. It’s a real honour to be asked to play a festival like that, when someone you admire is curating the whole thing. And to be playing with Laura again is lovely, that’s going to be fun

Talking of Laura Marling, obviously you two are good pals, and you’re playing the same night as her at Meltdown. Is there going to be another ‘Animal Fear’ moment where you turn into a werewolf and eat her mid-set? Or does it depend on the quality of the backstage rider?

It depends if she says something to me! I may have a fiery temper and pounce! Who knows. I’m really chilled actually. She’s probably more likely to turn into a werewolf than me.

“Picture an elbow-sized knee. That’s just dumb.”

— Marika Hackman

Chilled you may be, Marika, but what’s the worst meltdown you’ve ever had? (see what we did there?!)

When have I hit the roof? Hmm, it’s more in my dreams, actually. I have very stressful dreams, and they always involve performing and being completely underprepared. There was one time in real life, though. Me and my friend wrote a small opera, and put it on at her house. Loads of people came to watch it, and travelled quite far. It was this ten minute Dadaist, surreal opera. It was a bit of a failure, and it was all self-inflicted.

Guy Garvey’s well known for being in Elbow, so naturally we need to ask; would you rather have elbows for knees, or knees for elbows?

I feel like I have quite pointy knees anyway. I think my legs might fail if I had elbows for knees. If I had knees for elbows, I’d have very strong arms. And I’d still be able to walk. Picture an elbow-sized knee. That’s just dumb.

And you don’t think it would hinder your guitar playing, having big clunky elbows?

Nah. It might make me more strong. As long as I can sort of get my arms in first. It’s hard to know if I’m honest.

“My new album has a completely different sound, and it’s much more live and heavy.”

— Marika Hackman

So, you’re currently making your second album – as in, you’re actually in the studio right now, as you’re chatting on the phone today. How is it all going?

Oh, really well. I’m very excited. I can’t say too much about it but it’s very different. It’s a completely different sound, and it’s much more live and heavy. It’s been a lot of fun so far, and hopefully that’s going to keep on going.

Are you going to be playing any of the new songs at Meltdown?

I’ll play a couple of the more stripped back ones – I’m playing on my own so it’ll be more of an acoustic set. I will throw in a few new ones, though, yeah, for good measure. It’s really exciting, because the songs are still fresh for me, and I’m usually a bit nervous to play them in case I fuck them up royally. Which I usually do! But it’s nice to get some sort of response to it, and it’s more exciting to me to play something that feels relevant to my life at the moment.

You’re staying schtum about your new album for now - fair enough, really - but there is one really important question we absolutely need to ask you. Is Maraca Hackman* making an appearance? Basically, will there be maracas on the record?

I think there already are! I know there’s definitely a cabasa on there. I don’t know about maracas yet, but I’ll definitely get one on there for you guys.

A video posted by DIY (@diymagazine) on

* Last year at Latitude, DIY cornered Marika Hackman in the woods, and forced her to perform various songs on a single maraca. She played along politely with our dreadful attempts at punning, and thus, Marika’s alter-ago, Maraca Hackman, was born. A truly special day.

Marika Hackman plays Guy Garvey’s Meltdown on 18th June, where DIY is an official media partner. Tickets are on sale now. Visit for more information.

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