Prog rock giants Marillion makes a rare appearance in the North East of England, whilst performing in front of a full house at the Sage Gateshead.

With a career spanning almost 40 years, Marillion has had a glittering career that includes 19 Top 30 singles, four of which made the Top 10. The band’s current UK run follows quickly on the back of their recent performance at the Royal Albert Hall, which sold out in an astonishing four minutes. The aforementioned show has subsequently been released on DVD earlier this month.

Marillion’s incredible latest album, F E A R (Fuck Everyone and Run) was released back in 2016 where it peaked at No. 4 in the UK album charts and reached an impressive No. 1 in the rock chart. As the group hits the Sage Gateshead stage they kick off the proceedings with a seamless performance of the 16-minute progressive rock masterpiece “El Dorado” from their current release, which in turn sets the tone for the night ahead.

Steve Hogarth declares that during this evening’s show the group are going to perform a broad sweep of the band’s material from the last 30 years. Classic cuts from throughout Hogarth’s tenure with the group sit perfectly side by side their new material. This includes a funky airing of “Quartz” and a crowd-pleasing rendition of old favourite “Seasons End”. The latter of which being the title track of Hogarth’s debut album with Marillion back in 1989.

All night long Marillion harmoniously comes together like a wall of sound. From Steve Rothery’s emotive guitar riffs and magnificent Fender Stratocaster tones, Mark Kelly’s atmospheric Keyboard work, through to the heavy rhythm patterns laid down by Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosley on bass and drums respectively. Hogarth delivers an astonishing vocal performance which showcases his soaring range. 

With F E A R the legendary five-piece are back to their very best and tonight the group’s gargantuan performances of both “The Leavers” and “Living In Fear” are a testament to this. The crowd continues to sing the chorus to the latter long after the number comes to its conclusion creating somewhat of a special atmosphere inside of the room, which the band, in turn, feed off.

Marillion delivers a beautifully poetic and heartfelt performance of “Out Of This World” dedicated to Bill Smith. The song depicts the tale of British speed breaker Donald Campbell’s final journey on Coniston Water back in 1967. Throughout the course of the show, each track in the set is accompanied by complimentary visuals at the rear of the stage and during this song in particular black and white news footage illustrate the events of that tragic day in Cumbria.

As the band hurtle towards the finish line, they include a pair of tracks from their 1994 Top 10 album Brave in the shape of “Wave” and “Mad” before the main set is brought to it’s close with “The Great Escape”, which has the crowd hanging on every word.

Following an ambitious request from the audience, Marillion’s marathon two-hour performance is daringly brought to a close with an unplanned and somewhat up-tempo airing of “Garden Party” that has the whole room is up on their feet.

On the strength of tonight’s performance and their latest studio album, it’s fair to say that Marillion continues to go from strength to strength and after almost forty years in the business the British neo-progressive rockers are showing no signs of slowing down.

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Event Date: 11-April-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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