de Montfort hall, Leicester
Three nights of Marillion; three different 2.5 hour sets, including the rarely played “life is the road”, 2000 obsessive fans, (thankfully) only one track from pre-1988, some of the fanciest visuals possible for the progressive band that sings of love, laughs at itself, makes mistakes, and, 30 years into their career, still makes music you want to hear (not something that can be said about many of the original progressive greats who have made a lot out of a very thin creative period, when you think about it). The lead singer gave it loads (actually, they all gave it loads, and they were all apparently delighted by the event and the reception), and the band were mostly tight. When they weren’t, it was endearing, as there was a lot of music to play, and this was busy stuff. Each night was a delight, with enough variation to not be bored at any point.
Marillion muthas, proudly uncool (a t-shirt for sale even says “Marillion: Uncool as Fuck”), mostly of a certain age and bigger boned. More women and children than you might think, I think because this was a family event. Also, a surprisingly high number of women in sensible shoes and mens haircuts along with Marillion t-shirts: are they big with older lesbians? Whoever it was, people were friendly, with a lot of socially-inclusive strategies – muu-muus and finger lights handed out, weddings celebrated there, strangers making small talk. Don’t think I’ve ever been to a gig that was so much like a party of friends you hadn’t met before, and i’ve been gig-going 45 years.
It made me think..
We don’t need any more cool and edgy: the world is dark enough already, thank you very much. Like what you like and accept others. Marillion make a living by the patronage of their fans, but have more Independence than having to please a market which really doesn’t care. Hope the next album is as good as the last one.