Following the release of their eighteenth studio album ‘FEAR’, Marillion found themselves somewhere near the top of their game. The recording had gained them a vast amount of praise, and the subsequent tour saw the band sell out London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Not a bad result for a band that some quarters of the press had previously written off. Although a rather dense listen, ‘FEAR’ covered a lot of musical ground, and had plenty of moments that suggested the band were in a more creative space than they’d been for some time. Between some dark arrangements, politically charged lyrics and a desire to make their listeners think, it felt like Marillion’s most complete sounding work for some time. Not necessarily their “best”, but arguably their most coherent.
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.
In September 2021, Marillion will continue their reissue programme with a multi-disc version of 1984’s ‘Fugazi’. Something of a fan favourite, this second album saw a huge leap in musical confidence – something certainly helped by the arrival of drummer Ian Mosley – and take a much darker lyrical slant. Despite not having much commercial potential, at least on the face of things, the album became a top ten smash in the UK and even scored the band two top 40 singles and their first appearance on Top of The Pops.
On 10th September 2021, Marillion will release a super deluxe edition of their second album, ‘Fugazi’. Originally released in 1984, ‘Fugazi’ saw the band take a much darker turn, both musically and lyrically, but it also scored them two hit singles in ‘Assassing’ and ‘Punch & Judy’, with the latter promoted with their first “in person” appearance on Top of The Pops.
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It captures Camel drummer Andy Ward’s brief time occupying the drum stool, making this a vital historical document.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.