“Somewhere In London” by Marillion

Artist: Marillion
Title: “Somewhere In London”
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 8/5/2008
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 4/5

It’s almost ancient history for me to say that Marillion became a very different band when singer Fish moved on and was replaced by Steve Hogarth when one takes into consideration that H has been fronting the group since late 1988. That’s over twenty years now and amounts to three times the length in years that Fish was a part of the band. That being said, the direction and the mood in the bands material has continued to morph and change its colors like a chameleon in terms of their sound and have moved on from the term “Prog-Rock” and now are more of an Atmospheric Rock entity that use a lot of today’s Pop hooks. I lost some interest in the albums from a few years ago, but loved them again with “Marbles” which led to high hopes for “Somewhere Else”, the album which was being toured for this DVD film. To be brutally honest I was one of the many people who felt that “Somewhere Else” was a disappointment and found it to be more like a Coldplay recording than a Marillion one. Of course the hard core supporters who follow every change with eager anticipation made my view not matter much so when I learned of the live DVD film for this tour I approached with many levels of hesitation. Fortunately for me and those other “haters” of the “Somewhere Else” material, this is a surprisingly good video and finds the material from that studio album coming off as much stronger in the live sense. The albums own title track “Somewhere Else” is a passionate number while “Thank You Whoever You Are” proves itself to be a song deserving of massive radio rotation. These tunes really did stand out when done in concert and appealed to me a whole lot more than I remember them doing when I spun the CD when I picked it up. That was a good thing because for me it said that “Marillion Is A Band That You Must See Live” as opposed to thinking you will “get it” by simply listening to a recorded piece of music.

The DVD release finds two discs making it up and for the remainder of the live set we find some inclusions from the excellent “Marbles” CD such as “Fantastic Place” where you could hear a pin drop as Hogarth sings and plays the piano. Given the fact that the tour supported “Somewhere Else” I was not surprised at all to find seven of that albums numbers being featured. Marillion seems to be one of those bands who can do a lot of their new stuff and not piss too many people off. Kudos to you all for that. The band is on the money as usual and they have made playing together a science at this stage of the game and this is to be expected since the lineup has not changed in about twenty five years barring the exception of Hogarth being added to their number. The drumming of Mosely is solid while the guitar work of Rothery is outstanding and shows just how good he actually is. “Between You And Me” is one of the amazing highlights of the gig and is probably the most rousing that the band gets. There are balloons flying around and the audience is jumping all around as this very energetic tune brings you into the show. I watched this straight through and didn’t skip around which is saying something. Fortunately after this show completes, the viewing audience at home can pop in DVD2 to see what’s brewing over there.

DVD2: Listed as “Here’s Some We Played Earlier” we find “Ocean Cloud”, “Afraid Of Sunlight”, Beautiful”, “Most Toys”, “Estonia”, “Sugar Mice” and “Easter” being delivered and from the looks of it, these appear to be some of the other songs that the band offered their audience over the course of this tour. I love how “Afraid Of Sunlight” sounds live and “Beautiful” is in my eyes a song that should have been a top ten single but it just never was given the respect that it deserved (welcome to the music business eh?). “Most Toys” was interesting as the entire crowd is singing along with the band, and I don’t think that I have to mention that they are playing to a jam packed theatre that clearly shows us two levels. While “Sugar Mice” is a poignant Fish era number, H sure does do it justice when he delivers it but in this case the audience helps out to such a degree that they sing almost the entire tune and are instead accompanied by Hogarth. Generally I don’t like that sort of thing but it was being done with such a power and passion that I overlooked my issues with this being the one we find on the DVD. “Easter” has remained one of my very favorite first Hogarth numbers but it’s also done mostly by the audience in terms of vocals while the band makes magic with their melodies. The other segment finds the band delivering a very intimate performance in the studio for about a dozen members of their Racket Club. This very close quarters gig is fantastic and presents “The Last 20th Century Man”, Estonia”, “Neverland”, “Faith”, and “See It Like A Baby”. This second DVD closes out with the means to listen to 5.1 audio mixes of four of the “Somewhere Else” album tracks. Since I currently don’t have that kind of a setup it is lost on me, but surely a nice thing to find if you happen to have it.

For the price there is a lot going on with this DVD and it’s a recommendation for anyone who feels that they should give the band a chance. They release albums on a regular basis and while they sometimes take a couple of turns before catching the overall vibe there is generally something good on each of them. The band also released the DVD “Marbles On The Road” which documented that albums touring and since I loved “Marbles”, I can easily recommend that one to you as well. Try to catch Marillion in concert if you should learn of dates in your region. They are very good live.

Track Listing: DVD1
1. Splintering Heart
2. The Other Half
3. You’re Gone
4. No Such Thing
5. Faith
6. Thank You Whoever You Are
7. Fantastic Place
8. The Wound
9. A Voice From The Past
10. Somewhere Else
11. Man Of A Thousand Faces
12. Between You and Me
13. King
14. The Release
15. Neverland

Official Website: http://www.marilllion.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *