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Marillion - Popular Music CD (album) cover





3.50 | 35 ratings

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3 stars Marillion's live albums hailing from the Marillion Weekends are always something special, since the band always make each of their gigs at those evenings a unique event rather than running through the same old setlist. For one of the 2003 Weekend's gigs, the band actually took a vote amongst convention attendees, and played the winning songs on the vote for the set. The end result is an intriguing mixture of live favourites and songs which the band had very rarely played live and people were desperate to hear.

There's no songs from Afraid of Sunlight, presumably because the entire album was performed on the Friday Night Live set from the 2003 Weekend and there was no point repeating the same songs during the weekend, and interestingly there's nothing from Brave either - perhaps the attendees felt that that material was best experienced as a whole. But aside from those two, the album is an intriguing cross-section of the band's entire career.

A Few Words For the Dead is rescued from the rather middling Radiation album and really shown up for what a top-notch composition it is, there's great performances of Estonia and This Stranger Engine, and there's a bunch of Fish era material too - no less than four songs from Clutching At Straws, plus a rendition of Script For a Jester's Tear where for half the song H essentially only sings an occasional guide vocal as the fans sing most of the lyrics for him

What's particularly interesting is that the setlist as a whole skews towards more progressive material, and finds it in more or less every phase of the band's career. I can't help but wonder whether seeing the entire convention give a vote of confidence in their progressive side helped prompt the band's full-fledged return to unabashed progginess on Marbles. It's a bit overlong, but it's an interesting artifact of the Marillion weekends.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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