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Marillion - Live At Cadogan Hall CD (album) cover





4.12 | 49 ratings

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4 stars Less Is More is the thesis here. This 2-disc concert from London's atmospheric Cadogan Hall shows Marillion performing their songs with completely new arrangements. By the way, all material is from the Hogarth era, if you were wondering. It can be also said straight away that Steve Hiogarth is very central figure here, not only as a singer but as a player too, to a surprising level even. He handles additional keyboards and a dulcimer. He also tends to speak a lot between the songs. So, in short, if you like mr. 'H' - and the calmer, ethereal side of Marillion - you'll have no trouble liking this DVD.

How each viewer/listener reacts to the difference compared to the studio versions is of course very subjective. I noticed I enjoyed some songs much more than I have enjoyed them from the albums. But those were songs that never were among my favourites, such as 'Beautiful', '80 Days' or 'Estonia'. Not to speak of Brave's 'Hard As Love' which is the most radical change, from an edgy rocker to a fragile heartbreaking performance. Tougher is to get strongly moved by a ripped-down version of e.g. 'Out Of This World' which is one of my faves from the Hogarth era.

Probably the emphasis is on their later output (from the late 90's - or This Strange Engine - onwards), which I haven't collected that completely, and therefor there were surprisingly many tracks that were not familiar to me, or which I may have sometimes listened to without getting interested. Sad to say, for example Brave is not much covered. From Seasons End there's 'The Space' (wow!) and 'Easter'. A casual fan may feel disappointed with the set list, but the more likely it is that this concert turns out to be more enjoyable than you expected.

Electric guitar is almost entirely missing. Actually the music very seldom rocks even if the original studio version does so. Sonically it's often close to Post-Rock bands like Tortoise (the use of mallet instruments) or even Sigur Ros. The DVD's don't have bonus materials - I'm not missing at all those dead-boring, overlong documentaries or interviews. The lights design during the whole concert is really beautiful; the most common colour is the red seen on the DVD cover too. It has a Christmas-like warm atmosphere. I recommend this to friends of Hogarth era Marillion with an open mind towards different arrangements.

Matti | 4/5 |


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