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Marillion - Liverpool Philharmonic 01/11/19 Review

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DominicS View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 04 2019 at 08:22
Last week I was privileged enough to witness Marillion begin their ‘With Friends From the Orchestra’ tour in celebration of the release of their new orchestral album which reimagines a collection (excuse the pun) of Marillion’s finest songs with the fresh addition of an orchestra. With such a musically expansive back catalogue, it only seems right to give listeners a different interpretation of their favourite songs, with a different flavour that promises not to ruin the integral taste that makes the original sound so incredible. After seeing most of the songs from this new album played live, I can say with confidence that this new album promises to do just that.

 

So, there I was sat in the rear circle of the beautiful (and also sold out) Liverpool Philharmonic with my Brave T-shirt on, eagerly anticipating the start of the show. And what a way to open the show, with ‘Gaza’ from Sounds That Can’t Be Made which I always call a ‘heavy’ Marillion song; those crunching guitar chords certainly set the energy high in the venue. With the addition of the orchestra doubling Rothery’s guitar part, the overall sound was huge; they were made an integral part of, not only the music, but also of the aesthetic. I hadn’t thought about where the orchestra would be positioned before the gig, but it was nice to see that they were placed at the rear centre of the stage with the band. I’d say one of the most powerful moments from the orchestra came at the end of the gorgeous ‘The Sky Above the Rain’ in which the dynamic at the end was completely altered. Instead of the band entering full throttle on the line ‘Maybe they’ll talk’, the entire band kept this last section quiet and reflective as the orchestra outlined the lushest chords underneath. Instead of sounding intense and angry, the orchestra made this section into a rich soundscape of emotion - it certainly had an effect on me. My other favourite moment was the performance of ‘Ocean Cloud’ from Marbles, a song that I’m glad I got to see played live especially by one of my favourite guitarists who blew me away with his guitar tone on this song - t’s something I wish I could imitate in my own guitar solos. All the songs I have mentioned so far have been the Marillion epics, usually around the 10-minute mark. It was interesting to observe that most of the songs were of this length with the exception of ‘A Collection’ and ‘Hollow Man’. Therefore, the setlist featured less songs than typically expected which at the end left me yearning for more (more so than usual) - This truly was a very progressive gig in that respect.

 

As mentioned, the inclusion of ‘Hollow Man’ from Brave was a nice breather in between the longer songs and I was certainly glad that a song from my favourite Marillion album was played. However, I was a little disappointed that Brave made no other appearance as my wish in life is to see ‘The Great Escape’ live or better still, the whole album live! In all fairness, this tour is to promote their new album and therefore it wasn’t a surprise to notice that nearly all the songs played were from the new album with the exception of a couple. One exception was the first encore, ‘Separated out’ from Anoraknophobia which is another headbanger. The band cheekily slotted in an excerpt of ‘Kashmir’ by Led Zepplin but who wouldn’t do that when you’ve got an orchestra at your fingertips - it sounded awesome. For the final encore, the audience were treated to a performance of ‘This Strange Engine’ - a sublime way to end an awesome gig. If I had to find any negatives, it wouldn’t be with the band but it would be with the audience who couldn’t stay in their seats for some reason. At times it felt like a museum exhibit, people walking in and out as they please, disturbing my view and experience of a band I’ve never seen live before - I wonder what was so important for people to have to keep leaving? Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to let the audience ruin my experience of a band that played such complex music effortlessly; Rothery for example, I’ve never seen a man as composed as him. And of course, I was in awe of the challenging vocal parts that Hogarth conquered on every song - I love his unique voice. All in all, this is a real spectacle not to be missed and especially with the unique addition of the orchestra for this tour. If you haven’t got a ticket yet for the remaining dates of the tour, do the obvious thing and buy one - you’ll thank me later!

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Catcher10 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2019 at 09:01
That's excellent review and thoughts! I have been watching the video promo of TSE and wishing I could see it. I have yet to see Marillion live being in the US. We were very close to going to Marillion Weekend in Lisbon but all tickets sold rather quickly, it may have to be Montreal we do.
Anyhow, I can only imagine this live show with the support of an orchestra, their music lends itself well to strings and brass.
I think Michael Hunter is an excellent engineer and does highlevel work on Marillion albums.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2019 at 09:51
great review, Dominic, thanks. Glad you enjoyed.

I am taking Lazland Junior a week on Saturday to the Cardiff show. Both of us are really looking forward to it Big smile


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2019 at 10:20
No thanks. This band + orchestra thing bores me more often than not...I'll pass on the studio album, the show and the forthcoming live album.

Edited by Barbu - November 05 2019 at 12:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2019 at 14:27
Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:

great review, Dominic, thanks. Glad you enjoyed.

I am taking Lazland Junior a week on Saturday to the Cardiff show. Both of us are really looking forward to it Big smile

I'm really hating u right now Steve.....LOLClapCry


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2019 at 00:37
Originally posted by Barbu Barbu wrote:

No thanks. This band + orchestra thing bores me more often than not...I'll pass on the studio album, the show and the forthcoming live album.
 

I'm totally the opposite. Bring it on!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terra Australis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2019 at 05:14
Would love to see it live. Unfortunately they don't some to Australia... :-(
The versions on youtube are awesome. Love 'The Space'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2019 at 07:01
Originally posted by Barbu Barbu wrote:

No thanks. This band + orchestra thing bores me more often than not...I'll pass on the studio album, the show and the forthcoming live album.

Wow ... I guess there's always Elton John for you?  Wink

I'm not sure it would be super great, but even without seeing it, or hearing it, I would just about rank this alongside Dream Theater with an orchestra ... the immediate thought is ... what the heck? what for? ... but they made it work, because their (DT's) musicianship is superior to most rock bands today, even if a few folks might find that they have lost their feel for music, for a redo and redo and redo ... the same thing over and over.

Marillion, is a good band, and they have survived the wars, from the record companies to the fan base, and in fact, it was the Internet that helped them when they needed it the most ... and in many ways, I would imagine that has some value, and it would be considered such, because of their quality of work ... it is NOT just another song ... and that makes it a good candidate for an orchestra, provided that someone is helpful and willing to create bits and pieces that make the original material even better ... and that is not an easy thing.

Reminds me of CARAVAN, a beloved "progressive" band, and the album that shows their musicianship and their talent the most, is the album with an orchestra ... but all the fans here, just about don't like it ... it's crazy, even the original music added for it was excellent, and it made for a very memorable evening. But nooooooo, some fans don't like orchestras (and sometimes classical music!), to see why a band would even give a damn about considering a huge project like this ... 


Edited by moshkito - November 09 2019 at 20:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2019 at 09:00
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Originally posted by Barbu Barbu wrote:

No thanks. This band + orchestra thing bores me more often than not...I'll pass on the studio album, the show and the forthcoming live album.


Wow ... I guess there's always Elton John for you?  Wink



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