Filmed at the London Forum over the final two nights of the group’s 2007 tour in support of their most recent album, Somewhere Else, this two-DVD concert release shines a light on one of the United Kingdom’s better-kept secrets — former prog-rock peddlers Marillion, whose blistering live shows leave an audience full of appreciative, beer-swilling blue-collar-types chanting along for more.
I confess to not knowing a great deal about the band prior to this DVD, but one needn’t consult their AllMusic.com entry to divine the Tolkien-esque roots of their name (Silmarillion), or the fact that their deft touch with lush balladry is originally born not of strict compositional discipline, but rather a jam-inspired love of noodling and experimentation. At once brooding and cathartic, many of their tunes blend symphonic flourishes with straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll — a bit like Pink Floyd or U2, without the high-confessional aspect or grand-scale gestures. This release captures the group in fine form. The track listing from the “main” portion of the concert is as follows: “Splintering Heart,” “The Other Half,” “You’re Gone,” “No Such Thing,” “Faith,” “Thankyou [sic] Whoever You Are,” “Fantastic Place,” “The Wound,” “A Voice From the Past,” “Somewhere Else,” “Man of a Thousand Faces,” “Between You and Me,” “King,” “The Release” and “Neverland.”
Hearteningly, there are plenty of bonus materials in the form of extra performances. First up are four surround-sound mixes of Somewhere Else album tracks — “The Wound,” “A Voice From the Past,” “No Such Thing” and the title tune. Next up is a 38-minute special sit-down performance in Buckinghamshire, where the band was originally formed. Winners of a special competition are picked up at the local train station, and driven to see the band work through an intimate rehearsal at the Racket Club; the tunes featured here include “The Last Century for Man,” “Estonia,” “Faith,” “Neverland” and “See It Like a Baby.” Finally, there’s an entire handful of other tunes performed in concert at the Forum, including “Ocean Cloud,” “Afraid of Sunlight,” “Beautiful,” “Most Toys,” “Estonia,” “Easter” and the poignant “Sugar Mice,” on which the crowd does most of the heavy lifting with respect to the singing.
Housed in a clear, plastic Amray case with inset trays on each side, this region-free, widescreen release has a slipcover featuring a shot of the London Tube, with song credits printed on the inside, along with a smattering of photos. The audio comes in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound, and the production is top-notch, with a variety of fades and overlays creating a nice, artistic tapestry. For more information, click here. B (Concert) B+ (Disc)