What will win you over with Mariam is not so much the songs, but the voice. It's one of those unique ones that hit on several others without mimicking anyone. For the first half of the gig I couldn't relax as my brain was struggling to make those links, that who-does-she-sound-like neat little comparison to make. I couldn't make a satisfactory one, but I could let go of my thoughts once I'd come up with "Shakira doing an Antony Hegarty impression". Something about her timbre for the former, and delivery in the latter (though nothing as shaky).
There's a po-faced seriousness that threatens to make you want to run away wailing yourself, but you only have to scratch the surface to see that it's a very thin facade. During the most intense moment of ululation, the crowd was utterly silent. Apart from the radio mic of the security guard who interupted, as did the smoke machine one song later, and Mariam's reaction was to simply laugh and let the laugh bleed into her vocals - rather than succumb to anything so British as embarrassment.
Not all the songs were immediate, but there was one that I could've listen to for hours more; an all-too-short interlude, introduction or half song that had lyrical content along the lines of "nothing and nobody stays the same". It was just Mariam and one of the many synth/organs playing a dark, funeral march. She does melancholy very well.
Final aside and to counter the stunning gig photography witnessed above, I was pretty jealous of Mariam's gold and silver combo outfit, glittery and ornate. Kind of like a one colour version of the decorative tissue boxes I've been eyeing up in poundshops in Dalston.