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





3.69 | 62 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Putting the Fish away

This superb double DVD set dates from 1990, and as such acts as Steve Hogarth's video debut with the band. Given Hogarth's subsequent longevity as lead singer of Marillion, it is easy to forget that at the time of these recordings he was still the new boy, the set being a hybrid of Fish era songs and all the tracks from "Season's end".

The centrepiece of the presentation is a complete concert recorded in Leicester, UK. The excitement of both band and audience is palpable, Hogarth's enthusiasm and energy giving a firm indication that the future of the band was once again secure. While Hogarth seems quite at ease singing songs such as "Lavender" and "Market square heroes", both his and the rest of the band's best performances are on the material they recorded together. For me, the title track from "Season's end" is the highlight of the set, the song offering a good indication of the general direction the band would subsequently adopt.

The disc containing the concert is completed by a handful of "Directors cuts" of songs included in the gig. These appear superfluous, indeed it is difficult to spot any difference between these and those already enjoyed.

The other disc (actually disc 1) is styled as a year in the life of Marillion beginning with the auditioning and commissioning of a replacement singer for the departed Fish. The interviews with all five band members are now of historical rather than current interest, but they do offer an intriguing insight into Hogarth's arrival and the renewed enthusiasm the band enjoyed at that time. Archive footage includes the band's first gig in a local pub, where they had to leave by a window and could not get back in to do an encore. There's also very early live performances including a huge gig in Brazil and one in Paris which was clearly an emotional high for all the band members. One of the more bizarre moments is a complete numpty in the audience in London waving a huge fish in the air right in front of Hogarth. Fortunately, Hogarth simply tells him to "put that Fish away" and carries on.

The main (but minor) criticism I have is that the sound and video are of television rather than cinematic quality, 5.1 sound being unavailable. That said, the quality is certainly tolerable, and does not detract from the performance.

While this DVD is now some 17 years old, it remains a worthwhile acquisition for anyone with an interest in this great band.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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