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Marillion Recital of the Script album cover
4.38 | 186 ratings | 21 reviews | 69% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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DVD/Video, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

'Hammersmith Odeon, London, England, April 18th 1983'
1. Script for a Jester's Tear (8:45)
2. Garden Party (7:00)
3. The Web (10:06)
4. Chelsea Monday (7:45)
5. He Knows You Know (6:23)
6. Forgotten Sons (13:58)
7. Market Square Heroes (8:27)
8. Grendel (18:02)
9. Credits (1:04)

Total Time 81:30

Bonus Material:
'Live at The Marquee, London, England, 1982'
10. He Knows You Know (5:27)
11. Backstage (1:03)
12. Market Square Heroes (excerpt) (1:32)
13. Fish Interview (3:05)

Total Time 11:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Fish / vocals
- Mark Kelly / keyboards
- Mik Pointer / drums, percussion
- Steve Rothery / acoustic & electric guitars
- Pete Trewavas / basses

Releases information

DVD EMI Catalogue #: 490 6259 Reissued on DVD July 2003

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy MARILLION Recital of the Script Music

MARILLION Recital of the Script ratings distribution

(186 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(69%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (4%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MARILLION Recital of the Script reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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)

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars I beg to differ with the five stars ratings above and below. Had this release a correc t sound , than for sure that 5 * would apply entirely. However , the sound is still as crappy as it was on the old VHS release.

I am not a great Marillion fan , but I love their debut album and this concert is really a must for Fish-era Marillion . The images are fine , cameras are numerous , and the track list superb and essential. Pleasure to see that Marillion attracted such big crowds (a packed Hammermith) in those years. Just amazing how poor the sound recording was. The slow/calmer passages are fine but as soon as the bands kicked in , the system over- saturated. I think I did better with a Walkman in those years.

All in all , a must for Marillion fans but that sound is sometimes just atrocious.

Review by lor68
4 stars Well as you know I don't love such a "New (in its own way) Progressive Wave" of the early eighties too much, you could think that it's strange I give it a 4 stars rating;but actually it deserves an inferior score if you regard of the bad production, especially the mixing and the sound quality as well: "3 stars and an half" is righter, but naturally during this performance Marillion performed all their best stuff, even though by paying their tribute to the early Genesis, with echoes from the Floydian Era in the I really believe in the importance of this DVD, for me essential from the historical point of view: that was represented by means of this kind of "Restoration of Progressive Era" in 1983, during the famous performance at Reading Festival (featuring Marillion,IQ, Pallas, Pendragon, Twelfth Night and so on), and the gig of Marillion at Hammersmith Odeon was another example of their great interest (not from Fish&C only) in the whole "music box" concerning the "Classic Prog music genre".OK the output is not always the same, in comparison to the production regarding the masters of our favourite music genre, but anyway you can appreciate their efforts to make it emerge from the burning ashes, in a short time during the early eighties. In fact, especially if you consider the rapid rise and decline (often emphasized by means of various hyperboles) concerning the Progressive Rock Genre in general, you can not be astounded about it!!

But coming back to the present DVD, for instance the great crescendo and the powerful approach concerning the final section of "Grendel" , passing through the political protest (actually well hidden) contained within "Forgotten Sons" (without forgetting naturally the simple but effective interplay between the keyboards and the guitar inside "Garden Party"),are the best features, making this live well worth checking out at least!!

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Following the release of the successful Script for a Jester's Tear, Marillion toured relentlessly in 1983. They released a video in 1984 of their concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, in front of a packed crowd. Magnificent reproductions of the songs from Script and the Market Square Heroes are shown here. Fish's voice is spot on, and he certainly has a commanding stage presence. The band plays flawlessly throughout the songs, and the extended jam sessions are nothing short of breathtaking. Rothery combines his fascinating cleans with his Gilmour-Esque leads, Pointer plays precise and flawless drum beats and combines seamlessly with Pete Trewavas. Mark Kelly combines his keyboard talents with finesse and skill as he plays the complicated keys with precision and ease.

With an entire of performance consisting the of the entire Script for a Jester's Tear album plus two songs from Market Square Heroes, who could ask for more? The only problem is less than magnificent video quality, and that the camera focuses mainly on Fish even during the instrumental sections. But these flaws are covered up with incredible musicianship and craft. The entire set is superb from the emotional opener of Script for a Jester's Tear, to the closing of Grendel.

Overall, any fan of the first Marillion album should definately pick this up, it is something not worth missing. It is so close to perfection, although minor flaws mar the perfect 5. I give it a 4.5/5.

Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars The DVD release is superior to the original video, not only due to the better quality but also the very interesting bonus footage. We can witness why Marillion is considered as the most pivotal neo-progressive rock band, what an outstanding music and what a mindblowing visuals! On stage Fish knew how to play with his mesmerized audience, both lingering for attention. I have seen them many times between the Fugazi and Clutching At Straws albums and for sure in those days Marillion was my #1 band and Fish was my hero: he translated all my ardent adolescent emotions into his emotional singing, lyrics and especially stage antics. We can witness some absolute highlights in progrock history: ripping a plant into pieces in the emotional The Web, wearing militairy clothes, shooting with his mike standard and acting suicide with a pistol in his mouth in the compelling anti-war song Forgotten Sons, wearing a knight helmet and beating up a typical young Marillion Freak in the epic Grendel and sweeping up the crowd in the stage favorite Market Square Heroes, what a warm and enthousiastic interaction between Fish and his audience, unforgettable! But Marillion was not only Fish, this DVD prooves that early Marillion was build upon tight and dedicated musicans although drummer Mike 'ET' Pointer is a bit controversial. But especially Steve Rothery (playing on the Yamaha SG guitar, the same as his hero Carlos Santana) lifts every song to an extra dimension with his sensitive, powerful and very melodic guitar work, loaded with wonderful and moving soli. Also keyboard player Mark Kelly delivers a great job with his quick synthesizers runs and his tasteful layers of several keyboards. While watching this DVD, as a Marillion freak from the very first hour, I got quickly into the distinctive 'Marillion euphoria', caused by a harmless virus! What a wonderful time, Marillion gave us back our beloved progrock that was almost extinguished because of the minimalistic punk and commercial pop music. The DVD contains not only the original video images but also the epic Grendel plus 20 minutes from a Marquee 1982 concert: nice to see the huge Fish with his head almost touching the roof in He Knows You Know along a short backstage impression, an excerpt from Market Square Heroes and a Fish interview from an enthousiastic giant with his face almost into the camera eye!


Review by Prog-jester
5 stars To my shame,I have only VHS version.On the other hand,there's no disgrace:I own a rare thing!!! ;-) Music and its perfomance is wonderful,but for the first time I was concentrated on the less important stuff.I guess it usually happens when you have a chance to SEE a band that you use to HEAR only before.Fish I say "fat"? ;-) ) bigger than I expected.Mike,Steve and Mark looked like shy teenagers and only Pete behaved himself as if he had at least 10 years of major-touring experience.Definetely Fish was the main character there(despite his confusion with "Garden Party"'s lyrics ;-) )..."Gabrielesque theatrical style"?HELL NO! Fish's "jestering" perfomance!!!What a guy!I had my eyes glued to the TV-screen for an hour - and it was one of the most beautiful hours in my whole life!!!And these young fans,singing with tears in their eyes "can you still say you love me"(I use to cry hearing these words too)...And this atmosphere of everlasting brotherhood,when everyone performs "Market Square Heroes" along with the band...

Young boys in glasses and dreamy tiny girls...Where are you now,folks?Who are you now?Do you remember this fascination,do you still have at least a CD-R compilation of Marillion's songs hidden somewhere in your stuff?...Don't betray your past,folks ;,otherwise you'll not get along with your future!!!

Review by ZowieZiggy
5 stars It must have been very rare at the time to release a video from a concert when only one album of a band was released (one month prior to this concert). But Marillion did it. And a full house at the Hammersmith Odeon !

Of course they were already touring for quite a while in the UK before this (my first non- official recording is dated form May 1981). Most of the songs have already a long live career : "He Knows You Know", "Garden Party", "The Web", "Forgotten Sons" and "Grendel" of course (I have even a live recording of "I Know What I Like" recorded on Christmas eve 1981). Fish sounding really as ... you know who I am talking about.

Each number have been played lots of times before this recording. Actually, it was the last one of their UK tour. Fish seems awkward during a couple of songs but will evacute his stress during the concert. The audience participation is rather good : shouting loud during "The Party" (you know : I'm fuc king) and clapping their hand heavily during "The Web".

Fish's intro for "He Knows..." is very much Gabrielesque (you know these little stories...) in his tone of voice. So, when I read that Fish does not sound as Gabriel I am rather suspicious. I have seen PG with Genesis and I can tell you that several attitudes or intonations clearly indicates a filiation. But there is nothing wrong with this. Just that not recognizing this is not really fair. If you would listen to the version I have mentioned of "I Know..." you'll be convinced. It even feautres a short excerpts of "The Knife" and "Dusk". A rarity, I guess.

Marillion will be EXTREMELY violent in their wordings during the intro for "Forgotten Sons". Let's put things into perspective for a moment : we are in 1983. In London (Fish being Scottish). He will say that they did not intend to make this song a political one, but boy !

During these Thatcherian years telling the audience that "This is song about your children and it's called Forgotten sons". He will depict the Irish "invasion" as an act of war (which it is IMO). The lyrics are very strong, to say the least : "And so as I patrol in the valley of the shadow of the tricolour. I must fear evil, For I am but mortal and mortals can only die. Asking questions, pleading answers from the nameless faceless watchers. That parade the carpeted corridors of Whitehall, Who orders desecration, mutilation, verbal masturbation in the guarded bureaucratic wombs, Minister, Minister care for your children.

Order them not into damnation, To eliminate those who would trespass against you For whose is the kingdom, the power, the glory for ever and ever, Amen... Peace on earth and mercy mild, mother brown has lost her child Just another forgotten son" !

Fish will wear a military uniform and shoot at the audience using his microphone as a weapon. He will also simulate a hand to hand fight and while showing the audience with his hand he will say "Your children are falling down" referring to the British soliders killed in this butchery. At the end of the song, as a soldier, he will pretend to commit suicide.

A very strong and emotional moment and an hymn to peace. Hats off Mr. Fish ! Marillion will strike again with "White Russian" a few years later. I guess, that dear Margaret was not in the audience !

The atmosphere was rather electric that night. People dancing and clapping furiously during "Market Square Heroes" (the first encore). At this point of the DVD, the sound which was rather good so far has a tendancy to lower in quality.

Then "Grendel". The fame of this track was based on their live shows and according bootlegs. It will be only released as a B-side for their first EP and listed on some compilation efforts or on the bonus CD of their remastered "Script". It will also soon disappear from their live sets (my last version dates from August, 26 at the Reading festival in 1983).

But, at least, we have one official version of it while played live (Marillion had also released a video EP featuring "The Web" and "Grendel" in 1984). These were the missing tracks from the traditional video of this Hammersmith concert.

It has always been a fave of mine (actually it might well be my all time favorite Marillion song). At times of course, it will remind us another great epic, but I don't care about the similarity. I'm just greateful to Marillion to have give birth again to a dying genre in those difficult days for prog music.

"Grendel" is just a great song, and I like it a lot. Give it a try (why not with this live DVD), you won't be disappointed. Of course, Fish is using make-up and masks (you know like...) but he has a personality on his own as well. He is a born great performer and has not lost an inch of his humour and great communication skills after all these years (I saw him in 2006 for the twentiest anniversary of the "Misplaced" release).

IMO, it is a great piece of rock music. What a souvenir for the young kid that Fish took out of the crowd in front of the stage and who was hold face to face with him for about thirty second ! He is passed to posterity. It was the last concert of Mick Pointer with Marillion. He was sacked after this one but will rebound a few years later with "Arena".

Some bonus moments on this DVD version recorded at the legendary "Marquee" in December 1982. It is amazing to see all the kids singing Marillion songs so acurately. Remember, they have produced only one EP at that time (it saw the light in October 1982). But their fans really followed them faithfully and spread out their fame.

I wonder why there are no more footage of this concert since cameras were there to film why the hell didn't we get more ? I have no clue. So, only an emasculated version of "Market Square Heroes" and the full and emblematic "He Knows, You Know", their first single released in January 1983.

There will be a short moment in the catacombs of the Marquee in which we can see the band before an encore. The Fish interview is interesting. He talks about their fear while playing their first Marquee gig. All depended on that one (contracts, fame...). So it was like do or die. And they did it. Brilliantly.

If we except some sound problems during the encores at the Hammersmith and the bonus tracks, I have no problem with the sound quality of this DVD. All the numbers from "Script" are featured here and we'll get "Grendel" as a nice present. I can only rate this work with five stars.

Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars First, let me state that I approach this concert DVD as someone who has only recently (past 6 months) come to enjoy Marillion's music. I had bought Fugazi second hand back in late '84, but it didn't catch my ear at the time. Anyway ... back to to the show ... If you love the album Script, you'll love this concert DVD. Fish fills the same role that Gabriel had in his Genesis days. That of visual focal point, and singer. The band, apart from the bassist are static. So Angus Young fans will not find much to get excited here when it comes to stage presence. However, taking into consideration that the band did not yet have the financial means to put on the big visual fest that can be easily abused, I must say, that even on a 32 TV, and basic stereo set-up (2 speakers, and the TV as the center speaker) the music's enjoyabililty and Fish's stage presence make for a very entertaining time. As any good concert recording should do, it draws you in and makes you want to have been there in person, while at the same time leaving you having enjoyed the film as if you had been there. Crank it good and loud. As for the comments re : sound quality, it does show its' age a bit, but not to a point where it is distracting. For curiosity's sake, it would have been interesting to see what Marillion was able to put on once they had more financial leeway for more elaborate shows.
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I was interested to see this concert again after so many years. Having seen Marillion live twice during the Fish era I have some pretty good memories of the band and of watching their succession. It was easy to like their music at a time when Yes and Genesis were such a disappointment, especially Yes. So I was pretty surprised to watch this again and find that it didn't hold up particularly well for me. This was the show where the band is performing the entire "Script" album along with the old singles, notably Grendel. It is also important being the last show for Mick Pointer who would exit shortly thereafter. Fish gives the vocal performance his all and Rothery delivers some occasionally soaring lead guitar but it is not enough to rescue the show. The poor sound of this recording didn't help my viewing, there seemed to be an awful high-pitched noise present in the keys (or else I had a defective disc) and the tapestry of the keys/guitar together seemed especially thin. Only Fish and Pointer were coming through with good clarity. But my feelings for the music are best described by a section of Russellk's review of the studio album (if I may quote you Russ!): "Everything is so obvious, nothing has any hidden depths, nothing invites me back for a second listen. I give it a spin every year or so, and I've yet to discover anything of interest." That's where I've arrived after all these years of hearing so many better bands both pre and post "Script." It always was a little oversold for what you really get when you listen closely. Some nice melodies, some nice solos, and a vocalist who tries hard but is a shadow of the singer he emulates. I gave the studio album 3 stars and with the richer sound I'll let that rating remain, but with the weak sound here and some luke warm chemistry between the musicians this one gets a "for fans" tag. I do believe their live chemistry got better on the later Fish tours as I recall the "Clutching" show being much more interesting. Like Russellk I acknowledge that so many more reviewers find this essential listening but I have be honest. Despite the enthralling video of Fish ripping a plant to shreds on stage and rubbing the leaves on his body, I was less than captivated by the actual musical content. I'll leave it at that.
Review by progrules
4 stars On the forum I revealed some personal things about Marillion to another member and those things were not exactly positive to say the least. But the thing that impressed me most about the band, I stated, was the live performances in their early days. Because somewhere back in my mind I knew I had a video of Marillion hidden somewhere in my house. I used to play it a lot in the eighties. Lately after a big search through a pile of old videos I found it. I must admit I got enthusiastic again all over sudden and had to see it mainly to find out if I could get into that same old groove again and enjoy it like I used to.

The result is an experience with mixed feelings. On one hand I have to say it was great to see it once again and it brought back quite some memories. On the other hand it all looked pretty outdated as well and that spoiled some of the fun. It was a real eighties thing I feel right now and I just do the review for old times sake you could say. If I see the going into raptures review by Gatot I must say it worked in a different way on me no doubt but another significant aspect could be that he is reviewing the DVD of 81 minutes and all I have is a genuine old video of some 50 minutes. And probably Gatot is a much bigger fan as well so that explains. And a third thing that prevents me from going out of my roof (as we say in Holland) over this vid is the absence of The Web, the only song on A Script .. that is not on the video. And The Web happens to be my favourite song of the album. There is good compensation thanks to an impeccable performance of Forgotten Sons preceded by an impressive lecture of Fish about the war in Northern Ireland. In the live execution of the song Fish changes clothes (military jacket and helmet) and uses his microphone as a gun in the instrumental part of the song firing his gun on the drumbeats by Mick Pointer in the direction of the audience both reaching the absolute trance state. This is by far the most impressive song of the video and the lecture by Fish proved that he was a great stage personality in those days.

In the end the rating is not as hard as I feared it would be. Initially I had doubts between a 4 and 5 star rating but after the discovered flaws it is not so hard anymore. This is a clear 4 star effort for me but then realize that I'm talking about the short video and not about the extended DVD. Still a monument in prog history, this is where I fully agree with Gatot.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Marillion was one of the first prog bands to understand (and use for their own good) video as a valid medium to promote the bands music. Still I was surprised this group released a full length concert VHS with such a limited discography (an album and an EP). I always though it came a little too soon, but now Im glad they did it, because it capture the band in its early stages with professional filming standards.

The performance is absolute stunning, showing the band in great form (well, almost: Id rather have Ian Mosley on drums but again, for historical reasons, it was nice to see original drummer Mick Pointer playing). And you have to give just one look to understand why Marillion became so big: Fish was the consumate frontman, leading the audience with ease (hes got em at the palm of his hand all the time). Steve Rothery guitar playing is brilliant and fluid, a true follower of masters like David Gilmour and Andy Latimer. Pete Treawavas is from the Chris Squire school of bass virtuosity and Mark Kelly reminds me a lot of another keys genius, Tony Banks. All that in the dark ages of prog (the early 80s!). For a lonely 70s prog fan like me it was pure joy!

I used to watch this VHS as much as I could (it was only available for rent in one store in my hometown for years). I loved it but I resented it did not have one of my favourite tracks, The Web. So I was thirilled when I heard about its re-release in the DVD format. For it included not only The Web, but also the fantastic Grendel (until then only available in a EP VHS, but recorded at the same concert). So what was excellent in its original form became absolute essential for any prog fan. Sound and image are a little better too. The extra material is very interesting also, showing excerpts of Market Square Heroes and He Knows You Know at the Marquee even earlier (and giving a glimpse of their energy in a smaller, closer to the public, environment), plus short interview with Fish at the time.

Conclusion: a masterpiece of progressive music.

Review by Menswear
5 stars So here I am once more...

When I heard those words, I got all excited, especially while watching a nice intro featuring the work cover by Wilkinson. I realised soon that the image is from another era, to say the least. It's filmed with the same grain that Opus used in their video 'Life is Life' (la la la la la), but I didn't care for long because the rest is awesome!

The sound has been obviously retouched to give the listener a real treat. And frankly, it convinced me that Marillion is a 'Legend' band, deeply resoonsable for lots of stuff we hear today. The band was young, but the spirits were high (and the minds too probably...). For such youngsters, they're showing a lot of maturity, and strangely, despite the lack of movement of the musicians, we are not bored.

Then again, Fish is a grand maestro of theatrical shennanigans, mimicking everything he sings and showing some appreicable cardio stamina along the concert. Fish is tall, Fish is strong, Fish sings super well, Fish shows character, Fish is the crying jester and Fish is holding the whole crowd in the palm of his hand. We all love Fish and the crowd loves him too. Fish is showing a lot of balls in Grendel by grabbing a kid by the collar and well, incorporating the poor fellow into his act! WOW!

I prefer this one over Live at Loreley: it's a sober show, but it's much more dynamic!

Historical performance and must be seen by any fan of the early years.

Review by friso
4 stars This dvd offers precisely what fans of early period Marillion fans would want to see. A live gig in the Hammersmith Odeon with a set-list made-up of all tracks from the debut, their epic 'Grendel' and modest hit 'Market Squire Heroes'. The footage has that nice grainy look and the band is filmed in a way that focuses on the live experience of standing the audience. The audio and the performance by the band are great, though at first listen you probably will notice the lack of thick twin-guitar layers on a song like 'Script For A Jester's Tear'. Marillion's frontman Fish is of course one of the most legendary performers of progressive rock genre and he does not disappoint; especially the expression in his voice is quite spot on. Not my favorite type of prog, but one just has to acknowledge Marillion had something going on here.
Review by progkidjoel
5 stars One of the truly iconic performances in prog!

Marillion's RECITAL OF THE SCRIPT is, far and wide, considered to be a true masterpiece of 80's prog. This is not far from the truth; it features a brilliant performance of what is the archetypal neo-prog album, a great atmosphere and some awesome playing. The concert can also be looked at from a historical perspective, capturing the last concert on the band's first tour, and also the last concert they ever played with their current drummer, and one of the founding members of Marillion, Mick Pointer. Many complain about the sonic qualities of the DVD - Its currently still only available as a stereo concert, but it still sounds and looks fantastic for a 26 year old concert.

The setlist is rather simple; The band's first album, their first single (Market Square Heroes) and its B-side, Grendel. Its not really fair to criticize the setlist - This was literally all the material, bar one track (Charting The Single) which the band had at the time, and seeing a truly epic performance of a band's first two releases is a real treat.

The songs are all played perfectly, and in most cases, more entusiastically than the studio versions. The songs are brought to life with this new found energy, and the crowd responds in kind. Fish acts out the lyrics mello-dramatically, and the rest of the band play perfectly more in the background. The performance is smooth, other than Fish forgetting some of the lyrics to Garden Party. My only complaint about this concert is rather petty, although definitely worth a mention - The camera nearly always centers around Fish's acting on stage. This isn't outright bad, although it would have been nice to see emphasis on the band more than the lead singer. This is a little dissapointing, mainly because it makes it seem more like a solo performance at times, although it never really ruins my enjoyment of the disc.

A true masterful performance, and a must-have for any self confessed prog lover.


Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Marillion and Fish are as iconic as the 80s decade itself. 'Recital of the Script' is a concert DVD that shows Fish in his heyday as the enigmatic frontman for neo-prog maestros Marillion. Filmed live at the Hammersmith Odeon in England in 1983, it promises to be a classic performance of the classic Marillion lineup. Fish, clad in white Jester gear, complete with all seeing eye and elongated sleeve, and that eclectic weird silver makeup, is a joy to watch and steals the show with theatrical aplomb. His dramatis personae, composure and self assuredness holds the show together, but as far as any lighting effects or colourful effects, there are very little on offer.

It seems that the show rests solely on the music and Fish's performance which is mesmirising and the audience is always with him, even singing certain words on cue. This is not that bad a thing in some way, but I was expecting at least some spectacle for such an iconic band. The music is very good and has quality sound, hailing mainly from the album 'Script for a Jester's Tear'.

There are a few surprises such as the last live performance of 'The Web' and the epic 'Grendel' raises her ugly head, though not as lengthy as the studio version. Some of the classic gems are here such as 'Garden Party', 'Chelsea Monday', and 'Market Square Heroes'.

Trewavas is excellent on bass and the guitar work throughout is exceptional. It is great to see the band live in their glory days but due to the low key approach to editing and lighting, it can be rather dull on repeated viewing, still this is the band as most fans love to remember before the intrusion of other members and the sound became less progressive.

It is interesting to note as this is an early performance and only one album was available at the time, that there are no songs from 'Misplaced Childhood' not even 'Kayleigh' which would have been welcome. But of course that is impossible but this debut album is definitely not my favourite from Marillion. This concert promoted 'Script' of course so it leaves fans like me who love other albums more such as 'Misplaced Childhood', wanting more.

The onstage antics are the only special effect, the lighting is bland, but Fish stalks the stage demolishing a plant in its pot, bayonetting and shooting audience members with a microphone stand, and wearing a medieval Grendel mask during that song. It is all about Fish, the other band members virtually disappear.

The extra features are quite good including added songs live at the Marquee where fans go nuts and we see adolescents bouncing up and down screaming 'I'm a Market Square Hero'. There is some amusing backstage footage outside the Marquee where Fish rubs his face makeup off to go out to the encore, and an interview with Fish after the show offers some incite including his feelings of playing to large audiences, "our music delves into the grey side of life, the lyrics tend to look on as an exorcism, you're explaining to people where your life has gone wrong, and everyone goes, yeah yeah yeah, we love it. Its the best confession box".

Overall, the DVD is worth a look if nothing more than to see the compelling manic performance of Fish.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars Time passes. And this is very clear with this concert video which shows MARILLION playing a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in April 1983, with the members of the band being in their early or mid twenties, playing to a mostly very young audience (to teenagers and to twenty- somethings). Their first album "Script for a Jester`s Tear" was just released in March 1983. Fish announces in the video that it was the last concert of their tour (a brief one, I think; maybe it was just the U.K. part of the tour, because they later carried on with an U.S tour and an European tour in 1983, before recording their second album in late 1983). This concert in London was also Mick Pointer`s last concert with the band, as it says in the final credits of this video. And while I did not like very much his drums playing and sound in their first album, in this concert video I could see that it was a bit unfair that he was fired at that time, because in this concert he played better and that his drums sounded better than in the album, and maybe with the passing of time he could have improved a lot, as his work with ARENA years later has proved. Anyway, that kind politics exist in every band, unfortunately. But fortunately, Pointer has found his right place in ARENA recording a lot of albums since 1995.

The influences from GENESIS with Peter Gabriel are very clear in this early concert video from MARILLION. Dramatic vocals, the use of costumes, make-ups and theatrical gestures by Fish are the main ingredients of these influences from GENESIS with Peter Gabriel. (This is more clear in the song "Grendel" which has some influences from GENESIS`s "Supper`s Ready" long song, as some of the members of MARILLION have recognized since then). Anyway, Fish had his own approach, and MARILLION musically also had their own style since the beginning. I think that MARILLION was a very good band since then even if in this concert video they still look and sound a bit nervous. But with the passing of time they obviously became a better band. And maybe this concert video was a bit premature to be released with only one album recorded then. But it is a very good document of their early years.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I will preface this review by saying I am not a big one for concert videos. There is a huge gap between the video and a live performance - the energy and excitement of the crowd cannot be captured, nor can the tension of the band as they pour themselves out on stage in front of their fans. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#292354) | Posted by Progosopher | Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Great! I bought this DVD not so long ago, and what I found was what I was waiting: Marillion captured live at their best moment. In addition the DVD has a great image and a great sound. The set list includes the complete album Script for a Jester`s tear, the b side Marquet Square Heroes and the sup ... (read more)

Report this review (#289848) | Posted by genbanks | Saturday, July 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Marillion = Pionners of neo prog - No ,, It's not true about Marillion ( perfect album at wrong timing ) Why ????????? By carying the torch of prog in 1983 , Marillion & few other bands from the 70's was able to give some ... (read more)

Report this review (#164772) | Posted by trackstoni | Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In the past, I thought that this show was just in VHS version. So, I was surprised when I found it in DVD version in Singapore 6 months ago. So was my father. Well, without any problem at all, we decided to buy it with high hope. What's the result? My father was dissapointed and he said that ... (read more)

Report this review (#60540) | Posted by Fernandi | Friday, December 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Phenomenal!!! If you really have a prog heart and do not have this DVD yet, get out and get it, and you can read this later. One of the best concerts available out there in my opinion. Everything is perfect. Starting with a special fogy atmosphere, where you can see so many face and body expres ... (read more)

Report this review (#38797) | Posted by | Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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