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Marillion: Recital Of The Script (DVD)

Marillion: a name that instantly polarizes fans of progressive rock all over the world. Some love them, some hate them; but rarely is anyone left indifferent by them. This band has always held a special place in my heart because I had the chance to see them on numerous occasions during the Fish reign. However, I only had a chance to see them when they started embarking on world tours following the release of Fugazi in 1984. Therefore, discovering that the band had released a full length show on DVD of their 1983 concert at London's prestigious Hammersmith Odeon was indeed a treat. The real treat however, was sitting down with a cold pint and experiencing this show " from the safety of my living room chair " ( and I only remained seated until the end of the opening Script For A Jester's Tear).

Marillion present the entire Script For A Jester's Tear , in it's originally recorded order in front of a very enthusiastic crowd which never fails to croon along on queue.Donning a greasepaint mask, a thinner, less folically-challenged Fish, rips through the tracks with the voice we originally fell in love with. Although he seemed to take himself much more seriously in his younger days, he stills takes the time to relate a comical anecdote about the release of " He Knows, You Know" as a single and his family impatiently awaiting to see the band perform on TV on a popular music show of the day. The other band members also flawlessly run through the set; playing it much closer to the vest than in the live shows I've seen. The tracks almost sound as if they were lifted directly from the album.

As a bonus, we are treated , as an encore, to the crowd pleasing "Market Square Heroes" as well as the epic ( and rarely if ever performed live after this tour) "Grendel". Add these tracks to the already fantastic versions of "Forgotten Sons" and "The Web" and you get a killer set of Prime Time Marillion.

The extras on the DVD, although short, are still worth checking out. We're served up a snippet from a 1982 show at London's famous Marquee . "He Knows You Know" is performed in it's entirety before we're whisked backstage with the band ( in one of the grungiest looking rooms I've ever seen) while the crowd screams for an encore. The band then reemerges on stage and we get to see only a segment of "Market Square Heroes". Then, as the band is celebrating in that same dingy room, Fish sits outside and gives a brief interview where he relates the band's first serious steps to stardom and the adrenaline rush which accompanies the realization that their little club band was making some serious ripples in the musical ocean .

I guess the only drawback ( for you audiophiles) may be in the fact that there's only 1 audio option : 2.0 stereo. I would not let that deter you from picking this one up as the camera work is superb ( if only a little too Fish oriented). Truly a no-brainer for every Marillion fan out there. Cheers !

Added: February 26th 2005
Reviewer: Yves Dube
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Marillion: Recital Of The Script (DVD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-02-26 07:50:44
My Score:

Several years ago a close Friend of mine loaned me the Misplaced Childhood CD from Marillion. It soon became one of my very favorite pieces of music. The richly textured songs combined with the poetic lyrical arrangements made this the case. I would find myself looking for one particular song to enjoy and end up listening to the entire CD again and again. Marillion was one of those groups that you either liked immediately or did not even care about. It is a shame that some fine acts always fall into this mode with people. When I first heard them, I was totally into them. Over the past two decades of its existence Marillion has gone through lead singer changes (Fish left to be replaced by Steve Hogarth) and somewhat of a musical direction change. Albums had more "single" type songs than previous albums had. This DVD showcases the talents of the first lead Singer Derek Dick a.k.a. "Fish".

The DVD is from a show performed at The Hammersmith Odeon in 1983 so the material included comes from the groups 1st two albums (Script For A Jesters Tear and Fugazi). As a matter of fact the DVD features the entire "Script" CD. The latter two tracks were released as B-Sides. It is another strictly performance DVD and not videos that the band has released to support the albums. One can see Marillion had sparse stage decor with the exception of the band name banner above them. An interesting aspect of early Marillion is the fact that Fish often appeared in face paint, as he also does on this DVD. He had a very Peter Gabriel type of voice and similar stage persona. It would not be far off the mark to compare this stage of Marillion as a band to that of the Peter Gabriel era for Genesis.

With the exception of Ian Mosley (the drummer who came on board around Misplaced Childhood), every member of Marillion has remained the same. Pete Trewavas, Mark Kelly, and Steve Rothery still comprise the guitar, bass and keyboard duties of the band to this time of writing.

Song Listing:
1. Script For A Jesters Tear
2. Garden Party
3. The Web
4. Chelsea Monday
5. He Knows You Know
6. Forgotten Sons
7. Market Square Heroes
8. Grendel

The Extras on the DVD are on the limited side, but in one sense are a nice touch. One feature is a short interview with Fish backstage after a Marquee Gig in 1982 and also has some excerpt footage from this same show. Also additional backstage footage and the song "He Knows You Know" from the Marquee. Folks that own the VHS version of this DVD that came out some years ago will find this footage an added bonus as it was not included on that release.

Marillion with Steve Hogarth on vocals have released more albums than they did than with Fish and it is entirely possible that there are fans who have never gotten the proper exposure to the Fish material. I recommend that they give this a try as it is worth having both sides of the story on this truly excellent progressive band.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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