For some unexplained reason this is the first time that I have seen Marillion live, and I really didn’t know what to expect from this gig.
Obviously, I have heard their more common songs but that’s about it, nevertheless it’s a rock band so I was excited and really looking forward to it.
The band came out to huge cheers and applause, they started the evening by performing the new album* An Hour Before It’s Dark* in it’s entirity.Starting with Be Hard On Yourself, Reprogram The Gene, the crowd were really loving this album, next up It’s Only A Kiss, Murder Machines, the songs continued in the same sequence as on the album The Crow And The Nightingale, Hogarth did make a bit of a booboo and had to restart *Sierra Leone *but it didn’t phase him at all, and the crowd were forgiving. The final song from the album was Care a truly blissful song performed faultlessly, it was atmospheric, mesmerising and got a well deserved standing ovation.
The night continued with a selection of songs from some of their older albums, including Somewhere Else, Mad, Afraid of Sunlight, Great Escape, When I Meet God, *Power from Sounds That Can’t Be Made *and finally Sugar Mice, which was the only Fish song. The crowd loved every minute and you could clearly see the band were touched by the crowds admiration.
Steve Hogarth, who has fronted the band since 1989, after Fish left, a true showman he had great banter with crowd, chatting after almost every song.He told the story of seeing Deep Purple in the City Hall and realised that’s what he wanted to do and he does it very well.
He amused the crowd by trying to talk in a Yorkshire accent, which was hilarious! Now I’m not saying he was drinking but he was getting progressively tipsy as the show went on, but good on him, he was enjoying himself and it didn’t interfere with his performance and quite possibly made it even better!
Steve Rothery’s lead guitar was sublime. He stood, almost motionless, in his usual stage place and was quite obviously lost in the sound. The Keyboard and the rhythm section were equally sublime.
The lighting and sound engineers were true heroes, putting on a stunning and perfectly engineered light show and the sound was just perfection.
The show, although two hours long came to an end too quickly, there was a long standing ovation before the obligatory encore which they didn’t even bother leaving the stage, Hogarth, witty as ever, said “we usually leave the stage and faff about then come back on but what’s the fucking point” they gave us two more incredible songs A almost full house of Marillion fans left the venue looking happy and content, it had been a spectacular show.
The Tour continues around the UK before heading to Europe. If you can get to a show, you really should go, and if you don’t have their new album yet, it really is a belter! What a really amazing night to remember.
Review & Photography by Jan Blackwell for MPM