Artist: Steve Hogarth
Title: “Naked In The Chapel”
Label: MVD Entertainment
Release Date: 5/19/2009
Genre: Progressive/Acoustic Rock
Recorded during the tail end of the summer of 2007, Marillion’s front man Steve Hogarth did some solo touring and used the very simple title of “h”. These were acoustic shows that found the singer at a piano in very casual settings and for this particular video we are able to get a front row seat as he does this at the Union Chapel at Islington, London England. I love this kind of stuff when it’s done properly and in this case they exceeded my expectations. For starters the venue is a beautiful chapel from what we can see in the minimal lighting around the stage and Hogarth’s voice is in perfect register from beginning to end. The singer brings no other musicians with him as I have stated and just sits on his own with the company of his Mac book and headphones as he sings his heart out on stripped down to the bare bones Marillion tunes and cover songs along with a couple of numbers from bands he was a part of prior to joining Marillion. It’s an interesting show and one that will keep your attention from the moment it starts out and he begins the journey for our ears with “The Hollow Man” from “Brave”. Hogarth doesn’t focus his time by segmenting the covers to one part of the show and then the Marillion and instead mixes it all up quite nicely. The first cover he does is a wonderful version of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” and I am sure that the Thin White Duke would tip his hat for the work on this version. Of course Bowie was in his Ziggy persona at the time that he originally did the song but that doesn’t matter for my approval.
Continue reading “Naked In The Chapel” by Steve Hogarth
Artist: G.G. Allin
Title: “Hated” – Special Edition
Label: MVD Entertainment
Release Date: 8/7/2007
“Hated” is a documentary about the legendary Punk Rock singer G.G. Allin who was perhaps the most extreme personality that the genre would ever know. He was born Jesus Christ Allin but was soon nicknamed G.G. by his older Brother who could never pronounce the name properly. To say G.G. was unique would be the understatement of the century as the singer was known more for his on and offstage antics than for his actual singing voice and overall talents in this form of music. His shows were not for the timid or fearful as it seemed as though G.G. could smell those senses from the audience. He would often mutilate himself on the stage and we see him doing it during one song as he begins by smashing the microphone into his head. He would even cut himself with razors until he was a bloody mess. We see him antagonize the audience into fighting with him during the shows and often he would find the biggest member in the crowd to do this with. He would invite them to throw things at him or hit him back and he would respond by either urinating or defecating on the stage and did I mention he was always naked when this was happening? Yes, I know, this is pretty intense to envision but it all did happen and it is very vividly captured on this film. The documentary was actually the first film by director Todd Phillips and it was intended to be his senior project for New York University. During the film we are treated to G.G. performing in front of some straight laced students who are very visibly shocked by the actions of the singer. He begins the set by rubbing a banana on his ass, throwing it at them and then when they refuse to get a little naked as well he decides to toss the furniture at them. Shows like this often had the police involved and needless to say the NYPD and other law enforcement members are seen around the film quite a bit. During his life Allin performed with dozens of bands but the film focuses on his last group the Murder Junkies; a group that also featured his brother Merle, drummer Dino Sexx and guitarist Chicken John. The music they delivered was pretty much the standard Punk fare of the day but the lyrics were definitely as volatile as the person who was singing them. To some people Allin was a raving lunatic that belonged in a padded cell more than he belonged on stage and to others he was a musical prophet who was the living example of everything that Hardcore Punk had stood for in terms of defiance, rage and destruction. The singer was always proclaiming that he would kill himself on stage and this made every appearance one that had the audience wondering if it would be the show where it all ended before their very eyes. He never did live up to his words and instead died of a heroin overdose on June 28, 1993.
Continue reading “Hated” (Special Edition) by G.G. Allin
I have kept Marillion and their music in a special place in my musical mind based on the impact that “Misplaced Childhood” had on me as an album, and how from this band a number of long lasting friendships had been established from their shows. With this in mind, it made perfect sense to be a part of the bands fan and media CD listening for their forthcoming album “Somewhere Else”. It was held at Kenny’s Castaways in Greenwich Village NYC and would find guitarist Steve Rothery and bassist Pete Trewavas present and playing the new album a few times before taking the stage themselves. I attended with my good friend Peter Pardo who guides the website called the Sea Of Tranquillity along with my buddy Abe and Pete’s comrade in arms Steve. The night’s activity is delivered in full on the article that you can read on below the logo.
Venue: Kenny’s Castaways (New York, NY)
Event: “Somewhere Else” Album Listening Party
Label: MVD Entertainment
I have been listening to Marillion on and off for a number of years. It began for me with “Misplaced Childhood” when they were fronted by their former singer Fish (Derek Dick). During this time the Progressive Rock group delivered some of the most inspired “epic poetry” placed to music that I had ever heard. When Fish left, I was skeptical about the bands future until I heard their new singer Steve Hogarth. He was a man who had a different range and register from Fish as well as his own ideas which would transform the style and sound of the group going forward. It’s been almost twenty years since he joined and quite a few recordings and special edition releases. Tonight I would be able to take part in an official album listening party for the bands newest album and the scene would be New York City’s own Kenny’s Castaways in Greenwich Village. Here are some thoughts on the overall evening.
Continue reading Marillion “Somewhere Else” CD Listening & Performance (2/24/2007)