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Marillion - Live at the Borderline  CD (album) cover





2.33 | 29 ratings

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1 stars This album belongs to the "Front Row" serie from Marillion (which is quite an expensive story : almost 50 UK , or 75 ? or 100 US $ per year to get four releases). The original recording was done during a 1992 fan convention at The Borderline (London). It was printed in limited quantities, and was sold out by 95, re-issued in 97 (again sold out by 99). The CD was re-issued in 2002 as part of the Front Row Club and therefore can only be obtained upon membership.

As far as the sound quality is concerned, the band rates it 5 out of ten (each release for this collection gets a value from the band so that the potential buyer knows what he will get - at least as far as the sound is concerned. Most of the times, you'll get the impression to be amongst the crowd (which is not too bad) but the hand clapping as well as the wonderful singing of the crowd is at times annoying.

By this time, Marillion Mark II, has already recorded two albums, but they will play some older songs (guess why) during this show (five in total). Their own numbers sound harder than on the studio albums, except the great cover "Sympathy". A song full of lightness and emotions.

Now, how will Hogarth cope with the Fish repertoire ? Of course, we won't get their great prog anthems from their debut album. It was not in the mood any longer. Most of them (except "Slainte Mhath" and "Garden Party") will come out of "Misplaced".

When introducing the first of those ones, Hogarth will say : "People ask to me sometimes if I have a problem with signing the old songs. And this is usually what I say, which is what I think : You have to feel songs, and they are either brilliant and they do move you or they are crap and they don't. There is also a grey area for the don't move no crap. Anyway this is a completely brilliant song : this is "Kaleigh".

All this intro has been said on a very, very low tone. You'll almost have to put on your volume to the max to be able to hear it as if Hogarth was too shy to talk about this frankly.

My opinion is that if you have never heard the other Marillion's frontman singing it, you could say : hey, that's a pleasant song. Good guitar, nice melody. Average singer. Because even when he flirts with the poppish Marillion songs, he has a tough work. Fortunately, the crowd will help Steve (throughout all these older songs actually).

"Heart Of Lothian" even if it is shortened here and leaves very little place for Hogarth to show his vocal skills (?), is rather pityful. Again, the crowd will half sing it. At this time, I can think of nothing better to start "The Crying" from Arena and get the crowd "helping" the band (which they do here). Very poor (not the crowd).

Unfortunately, "Slainte Mhath" (awful) and "Garden Party" won't change my feelings about Hogarth's capabilities of interpreting genuine Marillion songs. He is not trying to sound as Fish of course (which is impossible for him) but his interpretations just doesn't work.

There will be apparently a rare live version of "The Release", a B-side single song featured on the "Season's End" bonus CD. Nothing to be remembered, really.

So, the proof is not really positive, I'm afraid. This attempt to please the fans is rather a karaokee exercise than anything else ("Uninvited Guest" is another example). This album is of course for completionists only. One star.

ZowieZiggy | 1/5 |


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