Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Samaritans Annual Conference - York University

Central Hall
Themed as 'Space to talk' this is the 59th Annual Conference. The long weekend promised the opportunity to hear thought provoking plenaries and seminars along with the chance to mingle with around 1,000 fellow volunteers.
Terry Waite CBE
Chief Exec Catherine Johnstone * Stephen Hoddel Chairman
Our keynote speaker on the Friday evening was Terry Waite CBE. In January 1987 Terry was captured in Beirut whilst attempting to secure the release of hostages. He was kept in solitary confinement for 4 years and 5 years in total or 1,763 days if you prefer.
Attended some really interesting seminars relating to Self Harm, Borderline Personality Disorder and Suicide in the media and how Samaritans advise. Some lovely grounds at the University and some very tame birds in the beautiful lakes.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Marillion - Wolverhampton Civic

It's always good to discover a new band who you immediately strike a chord with. No, not Marillion of course who I have been following since 1983 but the support band Dee Expus.
The long trip down from Sunderland was a journey worth making as they went down well with the crowd. In fact Mark Kelly of Marillion  played keyboards on the latest album. Very much 'Porcupine Tree' influenced they are a solid and talented band.
Andy Ditchfield - Dee Expus Guitars & Vocals


A brand new Marillion album 'Sounds that can't be made' to celebrate although I have to confess to only the briefest of listens. As always a packed house full of the loyal army of followers however unfashionable the perception may be. It never ceases to amaze me the first question that always accompanies the mention of Marillion - 'Is Fish still in the band? Resisting the urge to apply physical damage I politely point out that he left the band in 1988. Some 13 albums later Marillion have gone from strength to strength flying  below the radar except to those of us who kept the faith and have reaped the richest of rewards along the way.

Steve 'H' Hogarth - Neverland

Guitar Maestro Steve Rothery
 . The Marillion set opened with the 17 plus minute long 'Gaza' from the new album. It is a very complex song but was played to perfection and went down well. In total there were 4 tracks from STCBM - including the title track, Power and The Sky above the Rain.

Pete Trevawas on Bass Guitar
Half way through the set we were treated to the classic 'Neverland' a real crowd favourite. This is where 'H' is at his most emotional and puts heart and soul into it. As always a fantastic and storming rendition. Marillion fans know every word to every song and no concert is complete without 'H' holding the microphone to the audience for them to make a contribution. It was pure adulation from the audience as 'H' put it something that few other bands command from their followers.

 Full Set List 
  • Splintering Heart (except)
  • Gaza
  • This Town
  • The Rakes Progress
  • 100 Nights
  • You're Gone
  • The Other Half
  • Sounds That Can't Be Made
  • Neverland
  • A Voice From The Past
  • Power
  • Fantastic Place
  • Real Tears For Sale
  • The Sky Above The Rain
  • The Great Escape
  •  A Few Words For The Dead
  • Sugar Mice