Marillion is a band I want to see play live some day. They do not come around that often to venues that are a reasonable distance away from where I live so I will continue to wait for that day to arrive. In the meantime, I have the next the best thing to being there, the Marbles On The Road DVD. I mean this in a literal sense-if a band produces a DVD properly it does give you a front row seat to an event.
I think Marbles won a lot of old Marillion fans back from the fallout of Anoraknophobia. I think it was a good album but a definite departure from what their fans were accustomed to hearing. I have heard references to the Easter era before when discussions arise regarding Marbles. I pre-ordered the special two disc set right from the band's site prior to its release and consider it a good decision and a worthy purchase. It is a great album.
If you have the album and have not seen the band perform it live, wait until you watch this DVD. This is fantastic entertainment. After all these years, Marillon sounds like a band in their prime. Lead vocalist Steve Hogarth is a real actor on stage, portraying his parts in each song, making it believable with facial expressions and body language. What can you say about the rest of the band except they are all outstanding musicians that click when they perform in the studio or on stage? For the great bands with longevity, it does not seem to matter as they always shine in either setting. Steve Rothery is an incredible guitar player, Ian Mosley a superb drummer, Peter Trewavas a one of a kind bass player, and Mark Kelly is that special factor on keyboards that helps to push their music to the realms of progressive rock and beyond.
During the production of this event an astounding 15 different cameras took their place around the stage for filming, and the sound is in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound. The special features include videos of the standout tracks "Don't Hurt Yourself" and "You're Gone." This was indeed a special and magical experience for this Marillon fan. I credit this band for putting me head over heals in love with progressive rock, I never looked back after covering the EMI remasters in the summer of 2000.
The only misgiving is that I feel there could have been more bonus features and interviews with the band members. Perhaps that will be available on the next DVD that comes out. There is a special extended version 2 DVD set offered on the band's website if you want to have your cake and eat it too. This was good enough for me and I truly enjoyed finally getting to see one of my favorite bands perform live.
Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
is a veteran syndicated music critic, his reviews appear in over 35 publications
world-wide. To read more of Keith's work visit muzikreviews.com