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FAMILY

Marillion

Neo-Prog


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Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Family captures the third and final show from the 2007 Marillion Weekend. For the previous evening's set, the band had put together a selection of rarities and cover versions, so this time around they went for more familiar territory, throwing together the songs they personally consider to be their favourites to play live.

The end results are actually more surprising than I'd expected. The band ignore the temptation to include any songs from their latest album, Somewhere Else (in fact I don't think any songs from it were played at the 2007 weekend - perhaps the band were holding them back for the official release and subsequent tour), and there's no picks from This Strange Engine because they'd already done a complete runthrough of that album on the Friday night set. But what's really surprising is the albums they skip over - there's absolutely no selections from Radiation, marillion.com, or Anoraknophobia, and the band instead lean heavily on material from Marbles (with Fantastic Place, You're Gone, Neverland and The Invisible Man all present), with some of the proggier cuts from Seasons End, Holidays In Eden, Brave and Afraid of Sunlight rounding things off.

There's also some nice inclusions of Fish-era material to enjoy; there's a cracking runthrough of the opening triptych (Hotel Hobbies/Warm Wet Circles/That Time of the Night) from Clutching at Straws, which perhaps isn't so surprising since that's a Fish selection the H-era band has shown itself to be particularly fond of revisiting. What really surprised me is the inclusion of Lords of the Backstage/Blind Curve from Misplaced Childhood - not an extract of that piece the band usually play on its own, but one of my favourite parts of the album (particularly Rothery's soaring guitar solo for the "Last night you said I was cold..." section), as well as being a piece of music exemplifying precisely the sort of thing the H-era band had spent a fair amount of time trying to distance themselves from.

In short, even though collectors of H-era live material probably already have several live versions of most of the material on here, Family is still an intriguing set not least because it shows the band absolutely at peace with both their past and their present, setting Fish-era tracks alongside cuts from Marbles and making them all seem like they belong together. As an encapsulation of the musical progression of the H era, it's pretty damn good.

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Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Review Permalink

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