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Marillion - Live from Loreley CD (album) cover





4.46 | 150 ratings

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5 stars Though I did get to see Fish live on the "Sunsets" tour and have pretty much all the Marillion albums save from a few recent clunkers, my trusted "shoulder parrot-muse" has been whispering in my ear, coercing me to witness what Marillion was like on stage back in the Fishy days. The good ship Opportunity landed nicely when I ordered both this DVD as well as The Recital from the Script (which has not yet arrived) and got to see what the concert buzz was about. First immediate comment: guitarist Steve Rothery went from lean here to obese now, strangely the opposite route taken by the bold Scotsman, who was outright pudgy in 1987 but terrifically fit when I saw him in 2000. I guess divorce affects different people in different ways! While the sound is, as previously mentioned OK, the crowd's buzzing raw energy is plainly evident from the get-go, fists pumping, swaying to the rhythm and immediately under the magic spell of equally vibrant musicians. Marillion's slithering invasion of "the Flock of Seagulls hairdo new wave market" was the spark of prog's eventual resuscitation and one can see where quality musicianship simply ruled the waves and converted the jaded synth-pop masses. These Brits began assassinating the Luft Ballons with descriptive lyrics delivered with unique passion and instrumental flourish, Mark Kelly's synths preferring sizzling solos to programmed Kraftwerkian klang, Rothery reinventing the poignant guitar solo , while Trewavas (a revelation here) and Mosley combining to deliver real rhythmic propulsion without any sequencer interface! What makes this performance so interesting historically is the still obvious pleasure the band had with Fish's voice and undeniable stage persona which would soon within months devolve into deep bitterness and outright hate, causing the Exile into the Wilderness for the emotive frontman. Perhaps the unshakable feel that the band was becoming Fish and his support band began to rub the others the wrong way and the possible bruised egos that go with such a concept. I doubt it had anything to do with the eternal Scot/English rivalry, as playgrounds were still the ideal battlegrounds to settle those issues as well as the silver Braveheart screen. Anyone who has seen Fish live will know that the man is a commanding presence, at times intimidating (he asked the record execs in the Montreal crowd to stand and then acknowledge their lack of support for his career! Ballsy move!) or ragingly hilarious, a man noted for his spontaneous in between song anecdotes. These at times dictatorial command over the crowd (just like Peter Gabriel by the way) may have soiled the unity and provoked the bitter schism, a period where the band was commercially and artistically successful with 4 massive recordings that still stand the test of time , a series of singles "Kayleigh" and "Lavender" and tours all over the world. This DVD is far from perfection but retains the distinctive magical veneer of witnessing a pioneering band at its creative zenith and personal abyss. Almost as if were a documentary as well as just a concert performance. There are many in the progressive world who view Fish as a somewhat troubled soul (yes he is!), a spellbinding performer (laughter track) and an iconic persona (a foolish romantic dreamer, really), we are all correct as per evidence of the visuals here. His impassioned delivery is breathtaking, paralleled by Rothery's blistering solos ("Sugar Mice") and an audience caressed by the thrill of it all (to quote the Roxy Music tune). As per most of my DVD reviews, the whole is worthier of praise that any descriptive of each track which should be the mainstay of any audio studio/live review. Here the focus is more on the sights than the sounds and thus, watching this is truly like having been there witnessing the "magic". I am including this together with Steve Hackett's Tokyo Tapes DVD, as testimonial documents of progressive music at its epic finest, especially when introducing the genre to the uninitiated and unsuspecting. There are poignant moments here for me, from Sugar Mice to Kayleigh via the Warm Wet Circles and The Short Straw, a mindblowing ride full of unabashed bravado and skilled playing , musical storytelling at its finest.

This is a must have DVD only because it explains clearly what happened since and why. Dead on finnforest ! 5 Warm Wet Circles with Zoom

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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