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Marillion - Recital Of The Script  CD (album) cover

RECITAL OF THE SCRIPT

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.35 | 124 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars It must have been very rare at the time to release a video from a concert when only one album of a band was released (one month prior to this concert). But Marillion did it. And a full house at the Hammersmith Odeon !

Of course they were already touring for quite a while in the UK before this (my first non- official recording is dated form May 1981). Most of the songs have already a long live career : "He Knows You Know", "Garden Party", "The Web", "Forgotten Sons" and "Grendel" of course (I have even a live recording of "I Know What I Like" recorded on Christmas eve 1981). Fish sounding really as ... you know who I am talking about.

Each number have been played lots of times before this recording. Actually, it was the last one of their UK tour. Fish seems awkward during a couple of songs but will evacute his stress during the concert. The audience participation is rather good : shouting loud during "The Party" (you know : I'm fuc king) and clapping their hand heavily during "The Web".

Fish's intro for "He Knows..." is very much Gabrielesque (you know these little stories...) in his tone of voice. So, when I read that Fish does not sound as Gabriel I am rather suspicious. I have seen PG with Genesis and I can tell you that several attitudes or intonations clearly indicates a filiation. But there is nothing wrong with this. Just that not recognizing this is not really fair. If you would listen to the version I have mentioned of "I Know..." you'll be convinced. It even feautres a short excerpts of "The Knife" and "Dusk". A rarity, I guess.

Marillion will be EXTREMELY violent in their wordings during the intro for "Forgotten Sons". Let's put things into perspective for a moment : we are in 1983. In London (Fish being Scottish). He will say that they did not intend to make this song a political one, but boy !

During these Thatcherian years telling the audience that "This is song about your children and it's called Forgotten sons". He will depict the Irish "invasion" as an act of war (which it is IMO). The lyrics are very strong, to say the least : "And so as I patrol in the valley of the shadow of the tricolour. I must fear evil, For I am but mortal and mortals can only die. Asking questions, pleading answers from the nameless faceless watchers. That parade the carpeted corridors of Whitehall, Who orders desecration, mutilation, verbal masturbation in the guarded bureaucratic wombs, Minister, Minister care for your children.

Order them not into damnation, To eliminate those who would trespass against you For whose is the kingdom, the power, the glory for ever and ever, Amen... Peace on earth and mercy mild, mother brown has lost her child Just another forgotten son" !

Fish will wear a military uniform and shoot at the audience using his microphone as a weapon. He will also simulate a hand to hand fight and while showing the audience with his hand he will say "Your children are falling down" referring to the British soliders killed in this butchery. At the end of the song, as a soldier, he will pretend to commit suicide.

A very strong and emotional moment and an hymn to peace. Hats off Mr. Fish ! Marillion will strike again with "White Russian" a few years later. I guess, that dear Margaret was not in the audience !

The atmosphere was rather electric that night. People dancing and clapping furiously during "Market Square Heroes" (the first encore). At this point of the DVD, the sound which was rather good so far has a tendancy to lower in quality.

Then "Grendel". The fame of this track was based on their live shows and according bootlegs. It will be only released as a B-side for their first EP and listed on some compilation efforts or on the bonus CD of their remastered "Script". It will also soon disappear from their live sets (my last version dates from August, 26 at the Reading festival in 1983).

But, at least, we have one official version of it while played live (Marillion had also released a video EP featuring "The Web" and "Grendel" in 1984). These were the missing tracks from the traditional video of this Hammersmith concert.

It has always been a fave of mine (actually it might well be my all time favorite Marillion song). At times of course, it will remind us another great epic, but I don't care about the similarity. I'm just greateful to Marillion to have give birth again to a dying genre in those difficult days for prog music.

"Grendel" is just a great song, and I like it a lot. Give it a try (why not with this live DVD), you won't be disappointed. Of course, Fish is using make-up and masks (you know like...) but he has a personality on his own as well. He is a born great performer and has not lost an inch of his humour and great communication skills after all these years (I saw him in 2006 for the twentiest anniversary of the "Misplaced" release).

IMO, it is a great piece of rock music. What a souvenir for the young kid that Fish took out of the crowd in front of the stage and who was hold face to face with him for about thirty second ! He is passed to posterity. It was the last concert of Mick Pointer with Marillion. He was sacked after this one but will rebound a few years later with "Arena".

Some bonus moments on this DVD version recorded at the legendary "Marquee" in December 1982. It is amazing to see all the kids singing Marillion songs so acurately. Remember, they have produced only one EP at that time (it saw the light in October 1982). But their fans really followed them faithfully and spread out their fame.

I wonder why there are no more footage of this concert since cameras were there to film why the hell didn't we get more ? I have no clue. So, only an emasculated version of "Market Square Heroes" and the full and emblematic "He Knows, You Know", their first single released in January 1983.

There will be a short moment in the catacombs of the Marquee in which we can see the band before an encore. The Fish interview is interesting. He talks about their fear while playing their first Marquee gig. All depended on that one (contracts, fame...). So it was like do or die. And they did it. Brilliantly.

If we except some sound problems during the encores at the Hammersmith and the bonus tracks, I have no problem with the sound quality of this DVD. All the numbers from "Script" are featured here and we'll get "Grendel" as a nice present. I can only rate this work with five stars.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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