Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
There are places on the planet in which Time and tradition suggests with a firm but pleasing hand that you should be on any given date. Marillion had already perhaps and with wonderful particular mischief, performed in the United States of America during the run up to the 2016 American Presidential election and their new album F.E.A.R. being an almost perfect backdrop to the constant drip feeding of reports and special analysis of what was happening across the water, across the great divide.
Thankfully happier circumstance dictates that Marillion made their way to the ABC in Glasgow on St. Andrew’s Day, the inside mood reflecting this happy occurrence, a mood of such magnanimous hearty cheer that F.E.A.R. was greeted arguably with sheer bliss, there was no need on a night such as this to Fuck Everybody And Run as the acronym drives home.
The night, as has been during the tour so far, opened with the new and breathtaking visual for the epic track The Invisible Man; a poignancy arguably to many that their voice and ever increasing fears are becoming completely unheard, that they are becoming ignored in the race to planetary and commercial genocide, in the end F.E.A.R. stems from not being seen and it was perfect start to Marillion’s Marbles album that the night strode towards its heroic and impressive conclusion.
With songs such as Power, the superb but terrifying The New Kings, the majestic Easter, always a moving moment when ex-pat Scousers and people from Liverpool make up the crowd, Sugar Mice, King, the heart stopping Neverland, the impressive El Dorado and This Strange Engine all making the night hot home with such a profound sense of possibilities in a world running low on hope, F.E.A.R. was allowed to be sung and celebrated but not to be seen as anything other than spectacular.
With the band on the very best of form, the guitar playing of Steven Rothery once more taking the senses of the audience on a trip into another realm, especially on the song Sugar Mice which always manages to hit the raw and tender nerve and the sheer delight of the five musicians playing to a packed out ABC, this was a night of high class, of emotion and the strange feeling nagging away at the back of the mind that this year is still to show a surprise or two; F.E.A.R after all never knows when to stop, it is contagious.
Ian D. Hall