16 Dec 2007

Marillion - Manchester Academy 30th Nov

Time to return to the Academy (the new building this time which judging from the entrance and the porta cabin bathrooms is not quite finished) to catch Marillion for the second time this year.

“We’re not really a festive band. Most of our songs are about death and water”, joked Hogarth early in the gig. After opening the first set with a selection pulled from Brave I had to smile and agree. The band ended the first set with a sing a long favourite, Seasons End, quite apt for the Christmas show. The second set showcased the impressive back catalogue of Hogarth-era produced music. There were epics, such as Hooks In You and Genie, and then there were foot-tapping rocky numbers like Cannibal Surf Babe and Most Toys which admittedly are fun and work better live than on the album.

The band closed the second set with This Strange Engine - returning to perform a joyful cover of Let It Snow - complete with fake snow, inflatable Santa and Steve Hogarth dressed as Father Christmas.

To be honest I much preferred the focus and energy of the earlier tour when the band seemed fired up promoting the new album. I though there was to much from Brave in the first set which perhaps left me feeling a bit melancholy. Having said all that musicianship was as usual at its highest, the crowd were in top voice and H once again effortlessly held everyone in the palm of his hand with his abundance of charisma.

I'll leave you with the title track from the most recent album Somewhere Else performed live at the forum earlier this year and a link to more pictures from the gig

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