MARILLION – Live @ Roskilde Festival 1983

For many years, Marillion fans had to make do with the ‘Recital of The Script’ and ‘Grendel/Web’ VHS tapes for their fix of early Marillion live footage.  Thanks to the internet, further footage promoting ‘Script For A Jester’s Tear’ later surfaced, including a brief clip from The Marquee, but this footage from the Danish Roskilde Festival might just be the most exciting yet.

It captures Camel drummer Andy Ward’s brief time occupying the drum stool, making this a vital historical document.  Ward automatically gives the performance(s) a little more energy than Mick Pointer was able (though still not quite enough if Steve Rothery’s expressions are anything to go by on occasion), but anything lacking musically is more than made up for by a ridiculously boisterous audience being tackled by Fish in a fearless mood.

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MARILLION: Chippenham Goldiggers – 12th March 1984

A lot of great Marillion shows have been made available on video, DVD and blu ray over the years.  Dozens of shows from the 90s onward have been issued via the band’s official website, but fans of Marillion’s formative years have had to make do with just two shows – neither of which show the band at their best.

‘Recital of The Script’, filmed at Hammersmith Odeon in 1983, remains the definitive document of early Marillion despite being hampered by some painfully slow drumming.  At the other end of the “Fish Years”, the 1987 festival set ‘Live at Loreley’ shows Marillion seeming rather tired and in need of a little re-invention.

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In Appreciation: Martin Birch

Every so often, a record producer comes along whose mastery of the studio takes on a legendary status.  The early years of pop showed off the technical talents of George Martin and Phil Spector; the world of disco gave a platform to Quincy Jones and Geogio Moroder (Quincy’s hand in making Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’ a global success cannot be understated – it’s a stunning sounding record) and the rock scene gave Martin Birch plenty to apply a distinctive style.

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The Nine Lives of Metallica

With Metallica having announced ‘S&M Volume II’ in July 2020, we revisited the first recording from 1999 and it was just about as terrible as we remembered. A second volume of Metallica tunes bolstered by a symphony orchestra isn’t necessarily going to appeal to an audience beyond the die hard fans, but then, it’s those die hards who’ve helped keep the band afloat through good and bad over several decades.

On the eve of a new album that’s bound to split opinion, Real Gone takes a look back at the times Metallica missed the mark.

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