Top positive review
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How do they keep on doing it?
on 18 September 2012
Twenty three years ago I was 19 years old. I was doing a job i enjoyed in retail and was interested in football, computer games, and that was about it. Fast forward 23 years I bare no resemblance to that person, much older, hopefully wiser and the interests I had then are nothing like what I have now. I am now much more socially aware, better travelled and more mature - I had evolved.
Why am I telling you this? 23 years ago Steve Hogarth joined Marillion. And like me, they have grown. They started off with Seasons End which still had some hallmarks of the 'old' Marillion. It even had the jesters hat on the cover! Like me, they had to find their new identity, struggled a bit, toying with commerciality of Holidays in Eden. Then the return to prog type with (the wonderful) Brave and through a fight against themselves with (the equally brilliant in a different way)Radiation. Then, just like me, they started to feel happy in their own skin and ignored pretty much everything else, the record company, the charts, the urge to 'be big' and began to evolve into the majestic beast of a band their loyal fanbase respect so much, with the release of a series of sublime material, Afraid of Sunlight, This Strange Engine, Marbles, being the highlights, at least for me.
So where are we now? Well I'm thinning on top, thickening around the waist a bit yet still wait expectantly for the next installment of the Marillion journey. On release days, I feel like a kid again, the waiting for Amazon to deliver akin to days of yore waiting for your parents to let you into the front room to see if Santa has been on Christmas morning.
Many people have described each track so I wont bother. I will just give my opinions and hope you feel the same way. With Sounds that cant be made, Marillion have delivered (yet another) set of highly emotional, evocative, beautiful pieces of music. The highlights for me? The sprawling 17 minute Gaza, a clash of ideology, religions, set against a beautiful backdrop in violent times.
Sounds that cant be made - the song, insistant beat awash with soundscapes and melody that Marillion turn out in their sleep, and thats not an insult, the ability to create tidal waves of emotion seem so natural to the band.
Montreal, the journal of the band on tour miles from home yet so connected by the love of the fans, and the bond of home, that sprawls across 14 minutes of pure bliss.
And then the cherry on this most best of cakes The Sky above the Rain - a stark and candid view of a stalling stale relationship that hits very hard, very low, and brought a genuine tear to the eye of this world weary 42 year old.
Marillion have been with me since my teens, I was a kid when Market Square Heroes jolted me from teenage angst. I was there when Fish and Co blasted out Kayleigh to 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in the 80's. I too felt the unease at Fish's departure and then the relief around the time of Brave when I realised that the band had chosen so wisely in H and that we were in safe hands. I too marvelled at King, supported the band as they used the internet to establish a viable alternative to the traditional press. I too sent my money in to buy an album they hadnt even written yet.
We've been there through thick and thin, and how are we rewarded? With music of the utmost quality, that will travel with me the next 23 years. My only hope is that Marillion are there to provide the soundtrack.
Thanks guys, I really mean it...