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h: Naked In The Chapel (DVD)

In 2006, Marillion front man Steve Hogarth began a series of concerts under the pseudonym h, with just his voice accompanied by piano. Naked In The Chapel was recorded live at the Union Chapel in London, which looks like a beautiful venue to stage a show like this. The setting is as intimate as one can get and Hogarth does a great job interacting with the audience and shows his sense of humour on numerous occasions. The stage is just Hogarth and his grand piano. Hogarth sings and plays with true emotion. I never tired of listening to this performance, even though no other instruments were involved. This was a special evening indeed. I got the sense that this is the 'real' Hogarth which is refreshing to see in this age of mass produced, synthetic, music for the masses mentality.

The songs performed include stripped down versions of Marillion, some well done covers and songs from his pre-Marillion bands The Europeans and How We Live. If you are a fan of Hogarth's voice and appreciate piano music there should be plenty to sink your teeth into. Whether it is the emotionally charged Bowie classic "Life On Mars" where Hogarth sings and plays with true feeling and really gets into the tune or the beautiful rendition of "Afraid of Sunlight" which for some strange reason reminded me of Simon and Garfunkel. Perhaps the most heartfelt performance belongs to Elvis Presley's "In The Ghetto" which I am sure will bring a tear to many an eye.

Also included are a set of readings from Hogarth's diary that he has kept over the years. He has some interesting travel stories to tell and his personal insight into these tales makes the performance that much more intimate.

Hogarth is not reinventing the wheel with this release, but that was not his intention. This music is from his heart and soul and in the end that is what matters most. This earns a solid recommendation for fans of Hogarth-era Marillion, and those who like emotion laden piano based music. Oh, and by the way, it looks and sounds excellent.

Track Listing:
1. The Hollow Man
2. Three Minute Boy
3. House
4. Life on Mars
5. Beyond You
6. Afraid Of Sunlight
7. A Collection
8. Cage
9. The Party
10. When I Meet God
11. No One Can
12. War Baby
13. Man of the World
14. Maybe I'm Amazed
15. In the Ghetto
16. Famous Blue Raincoat
17. Cover My Eyes
18. Fantastic Place

Bonus Material:
God Bless America
Air Rage
One Hot Ohio Night
The Prisoner of Poznan

Added: June 26th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 2933
Language: english

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