Marillion And Their Friends From The Orchestra performing at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Sunday 3rd November 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Marillion and their Friends From The Orchestra, played to a packed Royal Concert Hall last night to celebrate thirty years of front man Steve Hogarth joining the band following the departure of former vocalist Fish in late 1988, and what a celebration it was.

Swaggering on to the stage to rapturous cheers, Hogarth is an epitome of confidence as he immediately sat at the front to deliver the epic seventeen minute long Gaza, which was simply awesome.

Along with band members, Pete Trewares, Steve Rothery, Mark Kelly and Ian Mosely, Hogarth was joined on stage by the Praise Of Folly String Quartet, flutist Emma Halnan and keeping it all together, Sam Morris on French horn.

Estonia saw Kelly excel on keyboards whilst Rothery was in top form with his evocative and lyrical guitar. And for The New Kings from their last album FEAR, Hogarth was a charismatic force of nature, engaging, theatrical, passionate and always dramatic, and right in the face of the audience whilst the rest of the band were content to let him perform that role.

Songs such as A Collection, Ocean Cloud and Hollow Man showcased Hogarth’s vocal prowess and his eccentricities that saw him posturing and playing a modified cricket bat as an instrument together with numerous wardrobe changes that saw him wearing something resembling a dress.

Season’s End gave Rothery another chance to shine with his unique and atmospheric playing whilst Trewaras, undoubtedly Marillion’s live wire was excellent throughout but none more so than on the main set closer, The Sky Above the Rain.

For the second encore there was a sublime version of This Strange Engine which saw the band and their friends deliver a concert that had been filled with emotion and passion, showing that Marillion are still definitely a band to be reckoned with.