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Marillion - From Stoke Row To Ipanema  - A Year In The Life (DVD) CD (album) cover





3.68 | 61 ratings

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5 stars Fish is out, the Hogarth era begins. Hot on the heels of their first release with the new singer, the band records their show in Wales and introduces the Hogarth era to those who may have missed their Seasons End tour. In actuality, the overall performance is far superior to that of the previously released Live At Loreley, their last with lead singer Fish.

Disc 1 mainly consists of interviews, live shots, videos from the Seasons End album, and a behind the scenes look at them recording Holidays In Eden. Pretty uneventful, but some points of interest(s) here. Primarily H's explanation of the Midi Gloves, in which he plays keyboard sections with the use of gloves with sensors or triggers placed at the fingertips (since replaced by H's bionic cricket bat). Also, the footage of them playing their very first live gig at a small pub in the English countryside that was barely big enough to fit Mosley's massive kit. The only way to leave was to leap out of the back window. Basically, the disc serves as a look inside the world of the new (at the time) Marillion.

Disc 2 is the live show in Wales and it's good to see them play to an enthusiastic band. The DVD comes with a few director's cuts, which more or less mirror the performances that made it. One pathetic part is a fan unable to move on waving a stuffed fish prior to "Easter". Instead of flying off the handle, a calm Hogarth flashes that grin of his and respectfully says, "Put that fish away." He handled it with good humor.

The show kicks off with a brilliant performance of "King Of Sunset Town". Everyone but H are on stage blazing through that memorable introduction. Only when the music slows do we see Hogarth arrive on stage wearing all white, while the rest are in black. An obvious attempt to show everyone that THIS is our new lead singer. For me, the white symbolizes a rebirth or renewal. Hogarth handles this moment brilliantly, with a larger than life performance and showing off his superior range to that of the old lead singer.

After the final notes of "King Of Sunset Town" are over, the familiar piano intro to "Slainte Mhath" chime in, which instantly gets a seal of approval from the fans. I've never had problems with H doing Fish material, but "Slange" isn't my favorite tune. Later on with songs like "Warm Wet Circles/That Time Of The Night" does H put his stamp on these old favorites. Personally, I think he does a better job than Fish did.

Essentially, the Stoke Row performance showcases all of Seasons End, Hogarth's debut effort with Marillion. Nothing is more passionate or heart wrenching than H singing "Easter" live on stage. Arguably one of Marillion's greatest songs. Period. And the other thing Hogarth brings to Marillion is another musician in the band, as he handles the keys on "Easter" flawlessly--a very underrated keyboardist. Additional highlights from the new material are "The Univinvited Guest", which is the closest thing to a Fish sounding song that they've ever done with Hogarth. It is here that we really see the Midi Gloves at work, as he plays the keys on a clear screen suspended from the rigging.

"Holloway Girl" is one of the moments that really cause my arm hairs to stand on end. Beautiful range exhibited by Hogarth on the chorus, it has some beautiful lyics (I include a portion of the song's lyrics at the end of all of my posts). "Seasons End" is another show stopper. Beautiful song and exquisite guitar work from Rothery, backed by the duel keys of Kelly and Hogarth. "Berlin" is especially powerful and Hogarth really leaves it all out on the stage. Just one of the more magical moments on the disc.

This was the very first DVD I bought when I first got into Marillion. I like both eras of Marillion, but am inevitably drawn to the Hogarth era. It's great to see the band carrying on and enduring to this very day. H doesn't quite have that same range, but today he's got a more wise and raspy tone to his voice. The Fish era was great; however, I think the new kid came in and just took everything up a notch and made this band a powerful unit with which to be reckoned. The band just wasn't happy with Fish any longer. Here you can see that they're having fun again. That joy is given to their fans, which still exists to this day.

E-Dub | 5/5 |


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