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Just witnessed your best live gig?..send us a review!

Forum,London 12 September 2004

Bit of a late entry onto my gig schedule as I was only asked to go at the last minute - glad I did though! The last time I saw Marillion was back in 1988 at the Victoria Hall, Hanley in what would turn out to be Fish’s last tour with the band. Quiet why I have never seen the Steve Hogarth fronted Marillion is a mystery to me! I actually like both eras of the band although the Marillion output after ‘Afraid of Sunlight’ bar the excellent 'Anoraknophobia’ is not often played by myself.

Anyway, the gig had a reasonable crowd and the band had played the same venue the night before (plus played the Astoria earlier in the summer) and the crowd was well up for the night. Don’t forget that Marillion are a chart band again having had two UK top 40 singles earlier this year.

The first half was their new album, ‘Marbles’ that to my shame I hadn’t heard before tonight but have since bought this morning on the strength of last night’s gig. Highlights included the radio friendly ‘Angelina’, a superb mellow number ‘Fantastic Place’ and the uptempo ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’.

The band are tighter than a gnat’s chuff and sound wise at times they remind you of post-Waters Pink Floyd and other times you can see where Coldplay or Keane get their ideas from! Guitarist Steve Rothery plays effortlessly and never drowns the sound out like some guitarists in a live environment. Vocalist Steve Hogarth works the crowd well dealing with the hecklers from the audience (sixteen years since I have seen them live and a few fans still ask for ‘Grendel’!).

After a brief interval they turn their attention to other albums playing amongst others ‘Waiting To Happen’ and ‘Between You and Me’. The crowd laps it up, especially ‘Waiting To Happen’. Encore time finds a rousing version of ‘The Damage’ and the only song played from the first two Hogarth fronted albums, ‘Cover My Eyes’. What a superb way to close a great night of music.

Finally got to see Steve Hogarth in the live arena and he doesn’t disappoint and not a single track from the days when certain large Scotsman fronted the band -just shows how well the band have adapted and moved on, taking the fans with them.

Review: Jason Ritchie

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