Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Marbles on the Road|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Influential Legends Marillion Live in 2004! Filmed July 10th & 11th, 2004 at the Astoria in London, England, this DVD captures the band on rare form from the Marbles tour at the end of the first leg. This is the first Mar... more »
An outstanding live performance!
x_bruce | 04/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although a longtime fan of progressive rock and it's various sub-genres "Marbles on the Road" is the first purchase of a Marillion CD or DVD and while some argue that Marillion is a shell of it's former self when it was fronted by well-loved Fish I'm happy to report that as a unfamilliar listener this is a powerful band that aquits itself nicely in all ways. As mentioned by another reviewer, the show is entertaining with charming banter with the audience and in general by lead vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Steve Hogarth.
The guitar playing of Steve Rothery is wonderfully understated compared to many of the live performances of other neo-prog bands I've watched within a similar timeframe of 2003 - 2005. Rothery plays assured, moderately slow to fast, mostly melodic guitar and is equally adept at rhythm and lead. His leads are distinctive with strong beginning middle and endings. Whilest live, it is obvious that Rothery knows his instrument, knows how to play it well and most important, has a fine band to work with. It is a pleasure hearing actual endings to solos. This might sound simple and as a guitarist of 35+ years myself, I expect this from any performing artist, yet this is sadly not the case, and frequently not in prog based songs!
Stylestically Rothery is old school melodic. His playing has a refreshing economy of notes, sounds you can hear the first time and enjoy more upon further viewing. Besides his economical sound that often reminds of David Rhodes of Peter Gabriel and studio session fame, the solos serve the music, not the guitarist's myth or ego.
Listen to guitar gods such as Dream Theater's John Petrucci. He has tons of technique, plays at a furious pace and occasionally brings some melodic technique to his guitar parts. What he lacks compared to a guitarist like Rothery is the capability of functioning within the song as opposed to parts that oft sound like Dream Theater wrote the section where Petrucci unleashes to suit his incredible technique. And there is no question, guys like Petrucci have awesome, in many cases nearly impossible to copy speed and accuracy. But as a guitarist he lacks challenge to play with his heart rather than his mind. As a result I crave players like Steve Rothery as I know I'm going to hear smartly played guitar at many speeds and styles appropriate to the music he is involved in at the time he's playing. Listeners should consider things like this. It is a style of playing that is difficult to be taught. It requires a sense of soul, so cheers for the excellent guitar work.
In fact, every instrumentalist, and even lead singer Steve Hogarth demonstrate tasteful choices in their playing besides high capabilities as a musician.
In prog music the bassist is frequently more important than many other rock genres. As I've grown to expect from Pete Trewavas there is tons of style and flair tempered by keeping the rhythm of the song together while using the right places for some excellent fills. While Trewavas isn't a "lead bassist" ala Chris Squire he is an experienced player familiar with prog and traditional song forms within rock. His playing is also ecconomical so that anything extra has meaning. This is such a strong capability that it can't be mentioned enough. Every instrumentalist in Marillion knows their stuff and doesn't waste the audience's time with super fast riffs that might not hit the mark upon finish as many progressive bassists seem to do. If I were to suggest how to learn to play (mostly) picked bass I'd recommend Pete Trawavas. Beside Chris Squire, John Wetton and Tony Levin, there are few bassists that I admire. No wonder prog oriented "super groups like Transatlantic and The Tangent feature Trawavas on bass. He's rock steady and tasteful.
Drummer, Ian Mosley is another near-perfect example of a player at the top of their game. His beats are true, his fills are tasteful even if he doesn't play in a high octane style like Bill Bruford or Steve Portnoy. Again, I'd like to see the latter drummers working within a more song oriented format that doesn't allow the indulgence their other projects and bands afford them. As a musician it is something I've grown to appreciate with other musicians - the ability to play within the music they are working in. Ian Mosley does excellent work in the more song based Marillion than many of the possibly better known progressive drummers. I may be wrong about Mosley's reputation. In fact, I hope I am, he's a hell of a drummer that demonstrates creative grooves within a fairly high structure environment that Marillion is, and that is in some fans unforgiven for daring to change over 25 years.
Last but far from least, Ian Mosley follows the trend within Marillion and delivers nicely paced, high quality playing in, from what I've heard, the least derivative neo-prog band out there. But that's something that might go unnoticed. After all, Marillion were the next wave of progressive and only by a few years difference from bands like Genesis, Gentle Giant and Yes. Mosley doesn't have a section of this concert dedicated to his keyboard playing, nor do any of the other Marillion players. They play their part in a greater whole and make compelling music that, to this somewhat jaded listener, brings a nice degree of relief.
I'm a fan of The Flower Kings. I admire their ability to remind me of the past while keeping themselves rooted in the now. I see Marillion as a near polar opposite to TFK. They show up to play, seem to have fun playing and make really well written music soung fresh and highly entertaining. Everyone in the band has a place, understands it and seems to revel in their art as a whole, something I don't feel from many prog or prog flavored bands of the day. Mostly, I hear bands with moderately good songwriting...and lets face it, no matter how great an instrumentalist one is, they're going nowhere if they aren't songwriters or part of a band adept at good songwriting. It's not a nice thing to have, in a technically adept form of music such as progressive you must be a fully rounded artist. And while some may disagree, I find myself playing "Marbles on the Road" frequently, especially because it is so well performed and because the band seem to be having a great time live. You can tell as the various cameras, 15 in all, pan around the band showing smiles and the joy of playing music among these artists.
The stage personna of Steve Hogarth is warm and friendly. Genuinely pleased to talk and joke with the audience and the other band members, his performance seems enhanced by the interaction, particularly later in the night as he delights in playing, literally, to a camera projecting across a overhead monitor his pleasure of playing to and with the audience.
Shots I usually don't enjoy, audience participation, impress as this audience not only mouths along the words to almost all the songs, but can sing the parts Hogarth implores them to help out with. And quite often, this aspect of the concert soon becomes a mess, but thanks to the folks that designed the shoot and set up sound, the audience participation drops the level of sound quality a bit, it is made up for in their adept perfomance of Marillion's catalog!
In all this is an energetic show that I would have hoped for as a kid and expected to see in a band of younger players. Keeping in mind that they youngest player had to be at minimum 40 years old, and probably older, the performance is energetic and charming.
As all these songs were new to me I consider myself a typical first time listener. Perhaps that isn't true completely. I tend to be kind to musicians having been in that set of shoes to some degree. But without doubt, other than "The Invisible Man" the music seemed organic yet strongly structured with wonderful moments of ensemble playing just begging, and frequently enough, being given the opportunity of launching into structural segments and areas nicely set up for soloing which often enough break into the segments expecte, yet also playing with the listener in a pleasant way by means of good songwriting and arrangements so that there are more than a few peasantly unexpected moments.
Besides wonderful performances the high number of "Marbles" based tracks work well against the background of what must be "classic" Marillion songs, or at the least, well known songs.
The singing is well performed with tasteful harmonies, more so by Trewavas and sometimes keyboardist Mark Kelly. Quite honestly there is nothing I can fault other than a series of defects of the DVD.
I like the performance so much that in my return info I made it clear I'd keep the defective disc rather than take money back. Then again, the defects are minor. Annoying but not worth losinig the performance. I'm a stickler for details and defects bother me, but this is a quite nice DVD that I'd prefer not doing without.
There are extras including somewhat edited videos assembled for the tour. There's also a stylized interview montage. Montages are nice but tiring, even if informative, after 3 minutes. Still, it's free and worth watching, more to the involvement you have with the band.
The camera work ranges from good to excellent, maintaining a fantastic audience's perspective. Sound-wise there are a few segnebts were the mix collapses, always when the audience sings along. I'm nit picking as this was a entertaining experience of a band playing to an appreciative home crowd and giving a hell of a good performance in return, much to the fortunate concert goers and those of us who bought this likeable video.
Marble-lous! This is Truly a DVD Prog-Masterpiece
GALLI | San Juan, PR | 06/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD "On The Road" highlights this excellent progressive band week-end performance at the Astoria in London, a place were I have seen live performances by legendary bands like Wishbone Ash and Caravan. But this tops them all, as the band was very carefull with its DVD production at this small venue, using 15 different cameras and a 5:1 surround sound, whichh I understand was greatly financed thanks to the help of its strong worldwide fan base.
Now to the music. Lead singer Steve Hogarth just outshines that night with his singing and stage presence, sometimes reminding you of Peter Gabriel of Genesis fame. The feeling is there were you see the fan audience singing "Angelica" in conjuntion with Steve. And influential guitar maestro Steve Rothery masters his craft to the bone throughout the evening. It is simply a tight tight show that delivers. And for those who enjoy having at home a true Dolby surround system, you are here in for a superb treat, as it is extremely well balanced and mixed, particularly the low-end bass portions. So true, that you feel like you are inside the Astoria.
And for a bit of humor, Steve Hogarth kids around with the audience that evening, as the Astoria in London sometimes on the week-ends changes its venues managed by the Mean-Fiddler Management, and converts the place into a real Leather Gay Disco Night! And sometimes, combined venues on the same evening!
Now... for Marillion and progressive music fans, this DVD is a must. It really demostrates that the progressive music flag is alive and truly well maintained by the likes of Marillion, a band that has aged as good Rivera Del Duero Spanish red wine and musically sparkles like a Brut Moet. Buy it in confidence, as you deserve to enjoy this short journey we are all travelling! Just play it loud!"
PLEASE - Some honest reviews of this DVD
John H. Mildren | Clovelly, New South Wales Australia | 03/31/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVE this band - but I just wanted to warn anyone else who was sucked in by these glowing reviews - the vision quality - AND the quality of the shooting itself - is EXTREMELY dissapointing - so bad I could not get passed the third song. I'm 43 and and bought a ton of DVD's - but this would be in my Top 10 of the most dissapointing. BE WARNED. Sorry to the band - still love ya."
Marbles ARE Addictive!
Jeffrey G. Stevenson | F.W.B.,FL | 06/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This release is quickly becoming one of my favorites from this band. Although maybe not as poinant or dark (two characteristics this group is very effective at)as 'Brave','AoS' or 'Clutching...', it is equally moving and effective for me. I'd only recently started listening to Marbles and before I had given it time to "sink-in", I did something I regret...I wrote a 3-star review and shelved this CD. Well I recently recieved the DVD(2 disc set) and it has drastically changed my opinion of this wonderful album. These guys are great at producing mood-inducing music and arrangements, as well as super "catchy" vocals,rhythms and melodies that still remain meaningful to the listener. As for the DVD, after viewing the incredible opening of 'Invisible Man', I knew this was going to be time (and money) well spent. The songs on Marbles works quite well live and the whole show kind of "melds" together to make a very enjoyable watch. Songs like 'You're Gone' and 'Don't Hurt Yourself' are very much upbeat crowd pleasers, while the Marbles theme songs and 'Angelina' are very 'Vibe' type of songs/soundscapes. But my personal favorite has got to be 'Fantastic Place'. Apparently this is a song that people like and can relate with---as evidenced by the random concert-goers singing along. And WOW! what an ending to that song...keep your eye on Steve H. as the song ends---he is either "acting" or very overcome with emotion (or maybe just out of breath). While I'm on the vocalist, here's a couple other things I picked up on. First, and foremost, he does a great job. Not only on the Marbles portion of the show, but also on the 'classics' the band does as encores. There are, however, some parts where his voice seems to no longer be able to modulate to...most notably in 'Don't Hurt Yourself', 'Cover My Eyes' and 'Invisible Man'...but this hardly takes away from this fantastic show. I've actually really taken a liking to his vocal style. He's like a 'palatable' mix of Peter Gabriel, Roy Orbison, Chris Isacc, John Lennon and that guy who sang 'Lady in Red'(Chris DeBarge?). As for the band, they are all top-notch and very adept musicians capable of producing/reproducing many styles and moods of music. After personally going through 'stages' where individual 'virtouses' caught my ear, I can really respect and appreciate a band with no "Hot Dogs"...A band that works together towards the whole sum of the music...yet ready to "cut-up" if the music calls for it. Being a musician myself, I can definitely hear the bands influences---Pink Floyd and The Beatles (especially on the Marbles material), some U2 and, of course, Genesis (though they have stepped more and more out of that shadow with each new album they have released). Well enough opinions and rambling, this concert is played with plenty of conviction, passion and musical technicality to satisfy anyone out there who is "searching" for meaningful music. And other than some annoying lighting effects, the production of the audio and video is of the DVD quality we've come to expect (after all, This IS the 21st Century). Last, but not least, make sure you get the 'Extended' version with the 'Lost Marbles' portion of the show as it includes inspiring versions of 'Bridge','Living with the Big Lie','Afraid of Sunlight' and 'King' among others...Strongly recommended!
So get into Angelina...and get into Marbles!"