Situated right in the heart of the city is a new venue for me 'The Corn Exchange'. The building was opened in 1875. A quarter of a million local bricks were used in various colours. Today the venue can hold a capacity of 1849 attendees. In fact it has been over 20 years since Marillion last played at the venue.
I didn't venture in for the support band for once as I caught up with a few old friends beforehand in the bar. How time flies when you are reminiscing and drinking beer! I will mention at this stage the distinct lack of photos.. Yes I had another run in with an over officious steward and it got a little heated. I wouldn't have minded so much but I did check on entering that it was acceptable to take a few pics for the blog. No problem as long as I didn't record. However as soon as I tried to take a photo the aforementioned steward appeared like a bald genie out of a lamp shining his bloody torch at me. He then spent the rest of the night glaring in my direction and frowning a lot..... So to clarify the pictures you will see are not great but better than nothing . I did rather well to get anything at all really.
The set list was going to be a chunk of the new album F.E.A.R which was played in it's entirety at The Royal Albert Hall last year. Along with a selection of songs from what 'H' (Hogarth) describes as 'the broad sweep of what we've been doing over the last 30 years'. He had already remarked that looking into the crowd he could immediately see that the IQ level was raised compared to most other venues.
Hogarth enjoys bantering with the audience 'This is a deeper song' he announces. 'That doesn’t make it better. Just deeper.' Also his nine-year-old son is in the crowd so is banned from using the 'F' word as it will embarrass him. 'It's only fair really as I feel the same when he uses it'.
Two of my favourite songs made the setlist 'Afraid of Sunlight' and 'Real Tears for Sale'.
As always seeing Marillion live you are unlikely to see anything from the 'Fish era' of the band. However for the second encore and the final song of the night we got a rousing rendition fitting for the location 'Garden Party'. With it's references to 'Punting on the Cam' Couples loitering in the cloisters and champagne corks firing at the sun it is a perfect ending for a band that really don't know any other way.
Full Set List
- El Dorado I Long Shadowed Sun
- El Dorado II The Gold
- El Dorado III Demolished Lives
- El Dorado IV FEAR
- El Dorado V The Grandchildren of Apes
- The Party
- Seasons End
- Living in FEAR
- Cover my Eyes (Acoustic excerpt)
- Real Tears for Sale
- The Leavers I Wake up in Music
- The Leavers II The Remainers
- The Leavers III Vapour Trails in the Sky
- The Leavers IV The Jumble of Days
- The Leaders V One Tonight
- Afraid of Sunlight
- The Great Escape
- The Release