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Marillion - Marbles On The Road CD (album) cover





3.81 | 66 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars They have clearly lost their marbles

It is inevitable to compare this live concert DVD with the From Stoke Row To Ipanema DVD featuring a concert with the very same line up recorded approximately 15 years earlier. The overlap between the two set lists is minimal with only one song being present on both shows. Back then this song, The Uninvited Guest, was among their most recent ones; here it is the uniquely oldest one and the only song from the 80's, the Fish-era of the band being completely ignored.

While From Stoke Row To Ipanema offered the perfect cross-section between Fish-era and Hogarth-era material, Marbles On The Road primarily offers material from the band's 2004 album Marbles plus an encore with a few songs from Holidays In Eden, Brave and one each from Anoraknophobia and Season's End. While Seasons End is actually my favourite Marillion album, none of the other albums represented here are among my favourites. Indeed, some of these are rather weak albums in my opinion.

The show opens with no less than 11 songs from the Marbles album and this makes up the main part of the show. I do not think that Marbles was a strong enough album to be so heavily focused on and the show tends to drag in the middle of the Marbles presentation. The best moment of this part of the show is Neverland, which is also the best track on the studio album. Some of the rest just feels like transportation and all the Marbles material sounds basically the same. I hoped that they would have performed these songs with more of a Rock edge compared to the studio version, and they do, slightly. However, this is not enough to save these very contemporary Pop songs from ordinariness and blandness. The band tries so hard to fit into the current British Pop climate with bands like Coldplay, Radiohead, etc. Prog is something they abandoned many years ago and there is barely a trace of it left here.

The encore begins with The Bridge/Living With The Big Lie and this is a highlight of the DVD. A good performance of these songs from Brave. The weak and commercial Holidays In Eden gets no less than two representatives in the set list with The Party and Cover My Eyes.

Marbles On The Road presents a by no means a bad performance and fans of the band's recent albums will certainly like it. The average Prog fan, however, is bound to be disappointed with this DVD (and the recent output of the band overall). I like parts of it, but overall I feel that this is a product for fans and collectors only. From Stoke Row To Ipanema offers a much better set and loads of extra material. Here the only bonus features are two music videos and an electronic press kit (I have the single disc edition on which my rating is based).

Two (and a half) stars is as far as I can go with this.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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