Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Bristol Party - Marillion - Colston Hall, Bristol - 17th April 2018

Marillion's loyal fans were in party mood at the end of a great gig in Bristol.  The band showcased music from the last 35 years, including songs from their latest studio album F.E.A.R. and their biggest 1985 hit, Kayleigh.  Steve Hogarth, the bands charismatic front-man, made the point at the start of the Show, "Don't get excited, I've only been with the band for 30 years!".

The evening begins with Mark Kelly (keyboards) introducing his nephew's Cheltenham based band, Watercolours.  The band play a 25 minute set of catchy songs, warmly greeted by an appreciative audience.  The band describe their music as "Smooth cruising vocals and shimmering synths create a laid back dreamy vibe of bubbliness".  Conal Kelly, tells the audience before their last song, that he first saw Marillion when he was 5 years old, and subsequently wanted to be like his Uncle Mark, and "have that passion with performer and audience".  This young band have a bright future.

After a short break, Marillion open their Show with El Dorado, from their latest album F.E.A.R., a collection of songs played with power and grace against a back drop of stunning cinematic visuals.  The Gold is one of the highlights.  Living in FEAR and The Leavers are also included in the set list.

Steve Hogarth, the master of musical theatre, delivers songs throughout the Show, with passion and emotion, telling stories with expressive hand and facial gestures.

The band plays a wide range of songs from their back catalogue, including the groovy song, Quartz (Anoraknophobia), which showcases Peter Trewavas on bass and Steve Hogarth has a cricket bat which he tells the audience "I turned it on and it made a noise".  The talented lead guitarist, Steve Rothery, plays some stunning solos during the evening, including his part in Seasons End, which receives massive applause from the audience.

There is a nice moment during the Show, when Steve Hogarth gives Tommy, one of the band's roadies, a candle lit birthday cake in celebration of his 30th birthday.  It's great fun as the audience sing along to a rendition of Happy Birthday.

The Show ends with The Great Escape (Brave), with its Bristol connection, bringing an excited audience to their feet.  As the band leaves the stage there are cries for more echoing around the hall.

After a noisy few minutes the band return for their encore. The audience is in party mood, and the atmosphere is electric.  The band reward their loyal fans with the all time classic, Kayleigh (Misplaced Childhood), which is dedicated to the band's Catering Assistant, who goes by the same name.  Followed by Easter (Seasons End) accompanied by ceiling projections.  With lots of encouragement from the audience, the band return for a second encore, greeted with a "You asked for it" from Steve Hogarth.  A great evening draws to a close with the crowd favourite, The Release (Seasons End) and finally, the 1983 classic, Garden Party (Script for a Jester's Tear), which brings the house down.  Top musicianship from a great band, who have built a long and established relationship with their loyal fans.  A night to remember in Bristol.

Clive Hickman

The Friday Prog Rock Show (Presenter)

Bradley Stoke Radio

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