Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Review: Marillion Live at the London Hard Rock Cafe: 22/05/08

I had gone to the Childline Rocks gig at the Indigo 02. Hosted by "whispering" Bob Harris, it was woefully under attended. So when Marillion announced a benefit acoustic gig at the London Hard Rock Cafe, I was up for that, too.

I prefer a full on electric gig, normally, but Marillion acoustic gigs are always something special. In fact most things they do are. I'm still kicking myself for not going to see H Natural.

As much as I was looking forward to meeting up with the usual suspects, I wasn't sold on the meeting place, Ye Grapes. In the area of Shepherds Market, Ye Grapes is a traditional pub that has a few decent Ales on tap including Doom Bar. Trouble was, the write ups on a few websites weren't painting a good picture of the place. There's one thing I can't stand when visiting pubs or bars; crap bar staff. You might have come across the types; serves anyone within the narrow vision they have in front of them; ignore customers who have been waiting for ages in favour of someone that hasn't. The Royal George near The Borderline is like that. I won't drink there, as I just get into a rage.

ye Grapes

Finding the pub wasn't easy as I had stupidly left my map at the office. However, a phone call to my friend Chris (who directed me using multimap online) meant that I got there eventually. Thankfully, the experience was nothing like the reviews. The staff were not "surly" as some reviewers had described. The staff also made it clear that they knew I was waiting and would get to me. I tried Fuller's Chiswick and it is comparable to Maldon Gold (served in my local; The Endeavour).

John and Vicki had already arrived and secured a table. It wasn't long before Craig turned up, and the rest of the "usual suspects". Barnes had a suitable "nuclear" shirt on and was with his father-in-law, "SuperJohn". I'm not sure why he's called that. Barnes was fixated with the view that I looked like Charlie Brooker. He's from BBC4 and described as "The most vicious pen in TV criticism ". I'll leave my friends to answer that one. I can see some resemblance, but not a great deal.

Me? Nah!

Barnes and Chris

We left at a suitable time, to get to the gig. Whilst standing in the queue, we saw the band go for a walk somewhere, which was a little worrying. (we didn't know there would be a support).
When we got into the venue, we met some more people. I saw Jim and forgot to wish him a happy birthday! :O I recitified that on myspace when I got home. The beer in the place was bland; Becks Vier on tap. I asked for a slice of lemon and a wedge of lime to plonk in it, much to the amusement of those with me. (they do it in the states all the time). I stood with Craig and Chris, after seeing Mark Cambell. We stood and watched the support which was okay, but sounded similar to most artists of his type.

We saw Pete Trewavas walk by and we said hello. He was in a hurry (he normally is). Which was just aswell, as I was close to asking if he thought they'd be any chance of a future second Kino album. I'm not sure what the reaction would have been. Maybe I should ask the question on the appropriate forum thread.

I joined up with John and Vicki, who were in a group. I knew one guy, but forgot his name. This was when I realised that I'd had a bit too drink. An attractive woman stood with them and I introduced myself, only to find it was this guy's wife. Like an admission of guilt I said; "Sorry, I wasn't hitting on you". Oh boy! They seemed to see the funny side of it. We saw Ian Mosley and Mark Kelly arrive.

You can just make out Ian and Mark in the background

H eventually made an entrance right by us. That was pretty much all I saw of him as the venue isn't geared up for an audience. Had I known how tight the venue was I still wouldn't have queued up early. The social side of these gigs is as important as the music.
Marillion began and played the following set, according to Barnes' post on the Marillion OnLine Forum (MOLF). I thorughly enjoyed it, a perfect collection of songs almost as good as the historic "Walls" gig. Hearing "Go" from the .com album was a real treat. I do hope that Marillion release a live album for the childline cause. Or, at least include some tracks on the Web UK CD later this year.

Hollow man - h
Cover my eyes - h

Bell of the sea - h & p

Enlightened h & p & r
You're gone - h & p & r
Go -h & p & r
21st century - h & p & r
See it like a baby - h & p & r
Answering machine - h & p & r
Marbles 1 - h & p & r
Don't Hurt your yourself - h & p & r
Uninvited guest - h & p & r

Faith Mad jack and el pres join the throng!

the space
Man of 1000
Made again


The view didn't get better than this, it got far worse

Again, on the MOLF, there was an outcry against those that talk during gigs. I have to wonder how much of that was me. I felt that I was mostly discreet and didn't hold full conversations. I'm usually considerate of those around me. No one thought to put Mad Jack's name in the frame, who was chatting by the bar. Not that he was loud. The thing is, most of us felt excluded. But, as I could still hear the music, wasn't quite so bothered by the obscured view.

Although I could have got the train, Craig gave me a lift and we had a good chance to catch up, without our conversations getting in the way of the music or offending others.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Nice review mate! Summed it up nicely but that pic doesn't do full justice to Barnes' nuclear shirt.