Peter Mann chats to North-East singer-songwriter Marie Marx and discovers this is one performer determined to show that a rise comes can follow a fall

IT’S been a tough eighteen months for local singer-songwriter, Marie Marx, tough but enjoyable at the same time as she finally gets to tour her debut album, This is the Thing.

Released with a launch party at Saltburn Theatre in September 2016 the self-taught musician, who only picked up the guitar and started writing/playing the previous year, was ready to take on the next step with her band-mates, best friend Dave Brittle (cajon) and husband Rob Huckins (guitar), then she fell.

The fall, which saw Marie suffer two slipped discs in her back, didn’t hold her back, no, she carried on as best she could with help from the support network she has around her, so much so that rehearsals were done in-house, gigs were still performed “with a back brace, medication and plenty of Budweiser,” she giggled, and the tour was planned – not too shabby for a mother of three.

“The band got together what, a week before the album launch and it’s just moved on from there,” began Marie.

“It’s called ‘This is the Thing’ and it’s been out around eighteen months, I just never got around to promoting it and I needed to tour it before I could move onto anything else.

“What stopped me? Health issues really, I slipped in the bathroom and yes, they all laughed about it when it happened, but a few days later we realised the serious nature and I was suddenly bed-bound with two slipped discs, it was agony.”

Not resting on her laurels, and pushing her own health at times, Marie carried on best she could to ensure the dream continued, and carry on she did.

She picked up the guitar from her bed, carried on playing, and started to plan the upcoming ‘This is the Micro Tour,’ which starts on March 2 and lasts for ten weeks, taking in thirteen different venues across the North-East and Yorkshire – and she’s bringing some friends along for the ride.

“Although I was forced to stop, it did become a blessing really,” Marie continued.

“It made me plan the tour, gave me something to do whilst I was laid up.

“I wanted to do more, push a UK tour, but I had to keep it simple really otherwise it would be a big micro tour.”

With dates in venues across Teesside and Tyneside Marie and her band also head to York, Hull, Driffield and Scarborough, friends joining them on specific nights include Andy Brewster and Lisa Kilcar, Andi Grainger and Charlea B, among others.

Other than the Toft House appearance in Middlesbrough on March 31 with Nobody Girl, the rest are free entry with the album, already proving a good seller, showing that This is the Thing.

“To go from pretty much nothing, to this, in three years, I can’t believe it, it’s amazing,” added Marie.

“I moved to Darlington last year from my hometown of Marske-by-the-Sea as it’s more central and easier to get to places but I’ve chosen the smaller, quirkier venues for the tour because I love them and that’s where I started out, on the open mic circuit.

“I was totally blind back then as well, I just picked up the guitar and started writing and playing but I’ve never looked back, went for it, and took to it like duck to water.”

  • Beginning on March 2 at The Lumpy Pumpkin, Stockton and finishes on May 12 at the Golden Smog, also in Stockton; more information can be found on the Marie Marx – Singer/Songwriter Facebook page (