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Marillion - Recital Of The Script  CD (album) cover

RECITAL OF THE SCRIPT

Marillion

 

Neo-Prog

4.34 | 131 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Great Show at Wrong Time. But, it's a Masterpiece!!!

I remember when the first VHS of this live video released in 1984, we - the prog lovers - in Bandung (I was still doing my undergraduate engineering study) we received a package containing this video. The sender was our friend in Netherland and we were disappointed when we knew that the format was VHS while Beta was a common format in my country. We struggled to find those who had VHS player and finally after days of seraching. we got it! Yeeeaaahhh!!!! By the time we only knew the band from "Script" album and "Market Square" EP and had no idea about the faces of band members. We were curios how the guy named Fish looked like, how Rothery and Kelly looked like etc. etc.

And here we go .. in front of 21 inch television set in the home of our friend's relative, the cast at the tv started with a signage of Marillion (but not in the form of band's logo) and there was a sound: "So here I am once more! In a playground of a brokenheart .". WOWWWWWWWWW!!! What a great opening from a damn memorable passage that sets the overall mood of their debut album "Script". We were stunned with all new faces that we never knew before. The guy named Fish was in fact a tall guy with a beggar's costume and painted face. The cute bass player Pete Trewavas, so calm and quiet guitar player Steve Rothery, the tension face of Mark Kelly - the keyboard player and shy guy named Mick Pointer. Yup! Finally we could see their faces! Here the guys who, in almost a year, their music has been played repeatedly every days and nights in my rented small room around Kubangsari village, Bandung. The first tune they played was kind of making us dissatisfied as it was performed slower than the original version. But we understood that it was the first band's show captured by a camera - they might probably nervous. What I could was that in their opening track they were so nervous and I could see from the tension that grew among the band members on stage. Only Fish and Trewavas that did not project any nervousness on stage.

Well, that's my old story owning the VHS of this liveshow. Luckily, in 2003, EMI released the live video in DVD format and incorporating videos that was sold under different title with two songs: The Web and Grendel. (which I owned the laser disc version but never played it because the format was PAL while NTSC was the common format. Nevermind, I still keep it as collector's item because I like the large cover).

The Performance

After the opening track "Script for a Jester's Tear" performed slower (especially at the intro part) than original version the band moves to next uplifting song "Garden Party". Through this tune the band has regained their full potentials and delivers the music in its best. I consider this is a quick recovery from the first loosen tempo. "Garden Party" has an unconventional rhythm with sort of dazzling drum sounds and guitar rhythm combined with power bassline. I can see the poet moves on with Fish singing style and body language. This track was a hit and has a great composition; became audience favorite for the band's live acts. Fish style is so theatrical with good face expression and body language. Steve Rothery does not move its feet any inch, he just stays close to the amps while playing his guitar stunningly. Trewavas moves dynamically around stage following the rhythm sedction. It's a superb performance!

"The Web" starts off with an atmospheric and firm beats with quieter passage at opening and it flows through a continuous stream of music combined with the entrance of Fish' singing "The rain auditions at my window, its symphony echoes in my womb ." excellently. (I like this part. It has a nice melody and excellent musical impacts). By design, this track is having minimum technical complexities but its musical textures are really magnificent. This song is very special for Fish as this represented his first career with the band as he was given the lyrical parts of this whole song. Of course, while watching this DVD I keep singing most lyrics of this song especially the part that I like most :"I realise I hold the key to freedom / Oh .. I cannot let my life be ruled by threads / The time has come to make decisions / The changes have to be made ." - what an uplifting words man! (It's a good lyrics to sing when you quit a job!).

"Chelsea Monday" is really a treat for me. Yeah .. it reminds me to the old Genesis even though there has never been any song of Marillion that sounds or sings like Genesis. Marillion was inspired by Genesis but Marillion was not a clone of Genesis! What I always wait for in this song is the interlude part where Rothery performs his Hackett-like guitar style. Oh man . Rothery guitar style is superb! When the performance flows into "He Knows You Know" I can see Fish's deep emotional involvement with the content of the song while delivers his flawless singing, theatrically! Pointer in my opinion does a good job here; I don't see any problems with his drumming, actually. At least he performs as what the music requires him to do. Of course, he is not the kind of Bruford or Collins but he is okay with this performance.

When it reaches the quiet passage after "He Knows You Know", Fish starts to communicate intensely with the crowd in an effort to explain about the next song. It's an interesting voice with excellent accentuation. I cannot grab fully his words as he has a very strong Scottish accent but at least he says :" . This is about your children! It's simply called Forgotten Sons!!!" and the music blasts off with unconventional rhythm characterized by dynamic drum sound and powerful bass line. It brings a nuance of a group of soldiers that marches into their destination, war field! I love the part in the middle when Fish sings like reading a "political" poet .."Your mother sits on the edge of the world when the camera starts to roll .. etc.". The guitar rhythm as a background is stunning! The interlude part is now performed longer and Fish has changed gear in an army style and use the mike stand as his weapon in war. It's damn great show, my friend! The interesting shot is when the camera rolls to a teenage boy with spectacles that moves his head following the drum beats. Great shot! Yeeaaaahh .... This is the best song of Marillion for my personal taste.

After the powerful show of "Forgotten Sons" the crowd shout and asked for more - and the band came back on stage with an energetic "Market Square Heroes" that stimulates all the crowd sing and dance together. It's an uplifting rhythm and melody suitable to serve as an "encore" for the show. The interlude is made longer and let Mark Kelly performs longer solo and Fish does his percussion work. The heat is really ON!

I love "Grendel" because it's simple but it serves like an epic as well. In here I can see another theatrical scene of Fish in its extreme, probably. He sing with his full heart, I think - as I can see from his facial expression. "Midnight suns bid moors farewell, retreats from charging dusk" is performed with a powerful voice and expression. "Wooden figures, pagan gods, stare blindly cross the sea .." is another great passage. After this passage: "His claws will drip with mortal blood as moonbeams haunt the sky", Steve Rothery does an excellent solo and it stimulates the video watchers emulate his style while watching him on stage. At the ending part of Grendel when the music turns slower, Fish lifts a boy from the crowd at front of the stage and he acts like slapping this boy following the rhythm of the music. It's an excellent act here. Wow! What a great show, my friend .!!!!

The Bonus materials

This DVD has extras: He Knows you Know - Backstage - Market Square Heroes (Excerpt) - Fish Interview. "He Know You Know" performed live at the Marquee. This version is much lively compared to the main show as the audience was crazier and Pointer drumming is much dynamic. "Market Square Heroes" also better but with not a good quality of sound and was not performed in full. The last content is a backstage interview with Fish.

The Package and Sound Quality

The DVD is packaged in a single disc casing with sleeve note cover of the video EP "The Web" - a mask; with original notes of the video 1983 release by Keith Goodwin and notes from video 1984 release. Since it was recorded before the DTS technology was invented, the sound of DVD is not as digital as we know it nowadays. But for me, it's still okay and I can enjoy the show excellently.

Overall: Highly Recommended!

For those of you who want to see how the pioneer of neo prog performed their compositions at the wrong time (the time when bands like "Mo", "B 52s" "The Human League", "The Police", "Duran Duran" were the music industry norms) but with wonderful live acts - this is for you. For me personally, I was so happy with this video because I was disappointed with the facts that many prog bands were dying or "contaminated" by the vein of new wave and punk. Even Genesis went "abacab" and YES went "90125". Marillion stood up and carried the torch of true progressive vein .. Keep on progging!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia

I realise I hold the key to freedom

I cannot let my life be ruled by threads

The time has come to make decisions

The changes have to be made .

(The WEB)

Gatot | 5/5 |

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