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ConcertsMarillion, Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK, 09/13/2012

Posted on Sunday, September 16 2012 @ 07:04:33 CDT by Dean Pedley
Progressive Rock More than twenty years since Steve Hogarth took over as their vocalist Marillion remain a captivating live attraction. After a hugely successful North American tour earlier in 2012 they are currently making their way around the UK in support of the soon to be released Sounds That Can't Be Made, their first album of original material since 2008's Happiness Is The Road. Such is their enduring global appeal they will tour Mexico, South America and mainland Europe before the end of the year. Dean Pedley reports for Sea of Tranquility from Wolverhampton's Civic Hall, the venue that will play host to their UK Convention across three days in April 2013.

Marillion have never been a band that has been reduced to reluctantly playing the oldies; new material is welcomed with rapturous applause and they open the evening with "Gaza", at seventeen minutes long a truly epic proposition. Hogarth, who during his early tenure gave the impression of being a diffident frontman, appears overwhelmed by the response such is the degree of affection that is shown. Much of the set draws from Marbles and beyond but an exception is the urgent, riff heavy, "This Town" which gives Steve Rothery the opportunity to move through the gears and crank up the tempo. Unusually positioned mid set is the compelling "Neverland" that nevertheless remains one of their most awe-inspiring moments alongside the eggshell fragility that is "Fantastic Place" and emotionally draining "The Great Escape".

There is no denying that Marillion means a great deal to their fans who hold them in the highest regard; with performances such as this it comes as no surprise. They are able to draw a unique emotional response; the feeling that at times they are performing to you and you alone. "Power" and "The Sky Above The Rain" suggest the new album will have been well worth the long wait, forward thinking and very much in keeping with their 21st Century sound, confident and pushing their limits still further. The encore of "A Few Words For The Dead" and "Sugar Mice" rounds off what is yet another extraordinary display from this truly remarkable band.

Set List
Splintering Heart (Intro)
Gaza
This Town / The Rakes Progress / 100 Nights
You're Gone
The Other Half
Sounds That Can't Be Made
Neverland
A Voice From The Past
Power
Fantastic Place
Real Tears For Sale
The Sky Above The Rain
The Great Escape
A Few Words For The Dead
Sugar Mice

Review by Dean Pedley
Images kindly provided by Al Barrow - www.albarrowphotography.com


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