May 24th, 1997
at the Vredenburg venue, Utrecht, The Netherlands
This was supposed to have been a fan club concert but thanks to
some screw up
half of the tickets were sold to non-fan club members.
The support act was a band from Dublin. I didn't quite catch
their name but
I think it was something with 'Tetra' in it. They were quite nice
the crowd going with their REM-like acoustic music. I rarely saw
supporting Marillion who was received this well.
After a 35 minute set of those guys from Dublin the stage was
Marillion. At center stage a plant-like thing was used to hang
and decorative faces/masks on. The black backdrop sheet was
'those strange drawings' which can also be found in the CD
booklet. Some of
these were made with fluorescending paint which made them glow in
when the stage lights were turned of.
In the upper left and right corner of the backdrop two small
be lowered to project slides on.
At 9.15 hours Steve Hogarth walked on stage and started singing
Man of a Thousand Faces. The two projection sheets showed
of faces and ancient masks during this song. I was wondering how
handle the choir at the end of the song. As far as I could
did not use any tapes. Unfortunately that made the closing
section of the
song much less impressive than on the album.
It struck me how flat Steve was singing, like he didn't really
feel like performing tonight. Fortunately this changed for the
during the evening.
Hard as Love was the second song, the first song in which
would use his pink guitar, which matched his clothes quite well.
to see how the appearance of the band is developing. Steve's
getting more hippy-like with each performance. Bass player Peter
has cut off his pony tail, keyboardist Mark Kelly had slipped
into a tight
shirt with psychedelic design while master guitarist Steve
Rothery can now
compete with BB King for the title of 'best belly player', if you
what I mean. The only one who seems to be uninfected by time is
Hard as Love didn't sound that well. As a matter of fact,
Marillion concerts where the sound was twice as good. During the
part of the show Kelly and Rothery would often be too low in the
Hogarth was omnipresent.
With a improvised intermezzo Hard as Love went straight
Gazpacho which was missing the moody closing section. After
Afraid of Sunlight the first confrontation with the rather
audience occured. Steve started telling the audience (in his
half-asleep monotonous speaking voice) about the time he joined
At that point someone in the audience found it necessary to shout
First Hogarth was rather irritated and asked if anybody else felt
to shout out for Fish. Then he started joking about it and asked
in question to come on stage to fight it out, which the guy did!
he was taken away by roadies Hogarth said:'Hey! It's his
which he told the audience that they would settle it outside
show;'I've got 10 blokes with me'.
It's incredible that pathetic people like these still need to
Fish. If you don't like Steve's vocals don't come to the concert!
a great fan of Steve's personality but I adore his singing
I respect the man for that. Anyway, Hogarth handled the whole
in the perfect, hilarious way. The story he was going to tell was
After playing 80 Days Hogarth told the audience about his
with a survivor of the Estonia disaster. A beautiful version of
followed. I actually liked the live version better than the album
because it had much more emotion put into it. I did miss the
During one of the choruses the stage bathed in green light, which
a certain 'undersea' feeling. The whole song was quite moving for
recently I also lost someone without even having the chance to
get to know
her .... but that's a completely different story.
The next couple of songs were Lap of Luxury during which
having a great time, the great-as-ever Easter and, to my
Brave. The two small projection sheets were used to show
the CD and movie artwork. At the end of the song two slides of
were projected but one of them was upside down, resulting in
the audience. Unfortunately that wasn't the only incident that
the special mood of the song; during the first part constant
from the audience and even someone who felt the need to shout a
translation of part of the lyrics annoyed the hell our of me.
After a nice performance of The Great Escape Hogarth
introduced the band and by some way Pete Trawavas ended up
great bass solo while the others left the stage!
After a couple of minutes Hogarth sneaked up to him with a
which later proved to be A Stange Instrument. Peter went into the
of This Strange Engine and the rest followed shortly
after. During the
first couple of minutes the live version sounded even better than
on the album until the part with the sax solo came. It became
the band had serious technical difficulties; except for a couple
the whole sax solo was missing and there also seemed to be
problems with the
keyboards. It had something to do with that weird bat which
hung around his neck and turned out to be an instrument that did
quite work as it should (at earlier stages in the show Mark had
talked to the roadies several times).
In spite of these few problems the performance of the 15+ minute
was still quite impressive.
The first encore section started with Cover My Eyes after
Hogarth explained the cricket bat instrument to the audience and
the man who developed and fixed it. The bat seemed to replace the
gloves Steve had used to play midi equipment during earlier
After a strange improvisation with the thing the band went into
Uninvited Guest while moving patterns were projected on the
Once again something went wrong, although it wasn't quite obvious
Hogarth handled the situation quite well by using a samba stick
keep the song going. The audience joined in and before long the
picked it up again.
The final encore started with an improvisation which turned into
for the Future. As soon as the tune became recognisable about
bananas were trown on stage by the audience in the arena. Very
roadies started cleaning up the mess Mark walked to the front of
to try one of the bananas. I'm not sure if the whole band
The band finished the song and I noticed that one of the crew
using a drum computer to play some of the percussion, hidden
The two hour show ended with the orgasmatic King which
flashing lights and bright searching beams on the audience.
This certainly wasn't the best Marillion gig I've been to. It was
spoiled by technical problems and some anti-socials in the
even when these are considered an evening with live Marillion
very entertaining and to be prefered to sitting at home on the
Man of a 1000 Faces
Hard as Love/Gazpacho
Afraid of Sunlight
Alone Again in the Lap of Luxury
The Great Escape/Last of You/Fallin' from the Moon
- bass solo -
This Strange Engine
Cover My Eyes
The Uninvited Guest
Hope for the Future