Listen: Marillion – Buffalo, July 1983

For years, the ‘Recital of The Script’ VHS was only available document of Marillion’s earliest live shows. Recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in 1983, the gig was drummer Mick Pointer’s last public appearance with the band. Although visually brilliant, the performance is rather slow in retrospect, not always doing full justice to some great material.

Luckily in more recent times, fans have been able to revisit several stages of the ‘Market Square Heroes’ and ‘Script’ tours thanks to some great archive releases, including sets from the Marquee with Pointer occupying the drum stool and the legendary Reading Festival set with John Marter and Andy Ward supplying all percussive duties.

Here’s something pretty special. Recorded just a month prior to that massive festival show, Marillion were on a brief US tour. Their stop in Buffalo was captured by a fan. The source, supposedly taken straight off the mixing desk, is in mono but it’s incredibly clear. It allows a great insight into another part of a transitional era, and is one of only a few existing shows with Ward on drums. The recording allows a few old favourites to be heard with fresh ears in the small club setting, but most importantly, the set includes an early rendition of ‘Assassing’ with extra backing vocals and other differences, showing how Marillion were working out new material amid an insanely busy schedule.

The full show can be heard below.