Album review: MARILLION – A Sunday Night Above The Rain

Marillion - A Sunday Night Above The Rain

earMUSIC [Release date 30.06.14]

Available in 2-CD, 2 DVD and Bluray formats, A Sunday Night Above The Rain finds our intrepid heroes at a love fest.  That is, at one of the band’s bi-annual Marillion Weekends.  On this occasion, during the Sounds That Can’t Me Made tour at Center Parcs in Port Zelande, The Netherlands in March 2013.  At such mutual appreciation events you can guarantee the band will be pumped (but to be fair I’ve never seen them put on a poor show) and the audience hyper and in full voice.

For the first time the band performed the whole of Sounds That Can’t Me Made, plus a selection of favourites – ‘Waiting To Happen’ from Holidays In Eden, ‘This Strange Engine’, ‘Neverland’ (Marbles), ‘The King Of Sunset Town’ from Season’s End, and ‘Garden Party’ (it’s quite remarkable how Fish-era numbers are still welcomed with such gusto – always an excuse for a lung busting and sky punching sing along that would put most football crowds to shame).

And whilst we haven’t had the benefit of seeing the DVD or bluray set, the performance is up there with the best, and (naturally) rapturously received.  Whether you’re going to want to indulge depends.  If you were there, then it’s a must.  If you thought Sounds That Can’t Be Made was one of the band’s better offerings, then again it’s a no brainer but personally, I’d be inclined to go for the (unseen) DVD.

But what of the casual observer?   Well, A Sunday Night is indisputably atmospheric, and while H might not be the clearest of enunciators, there’s no denying he gets more emotion into his delivery than just about any other of his peers.

Add to that Rothery’s distinctive guitar lines (again, a dying art?), Mark Kelly’s charismatic keyboard work, and Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosley’s flawless engine and you’ve got something special.

Personally, Sounds… isn’t my favourite Marillion album – it’s more ‘full on’ than many, and often “less is more” (by the way, a quite marvellous ‘unplugged’ offering in 2009), but in these strange days Marillion are one of an increasingly rare breed – a band that play ‘real’ music on their own terms, and you simply have to admire them.  More power to their elbow.  ****

Review by Pete Whalley

Album review (Sounds That Can’t Be Made)
Gig review (2013 UK tour)

December Tour Dates (2014)

Sunday 7th December Leamington, Assembly
Monday 8th December Glasgow, 02ABC
Wednesday 10th December Manchester, Academy
Thursday 11th December London, Forum
Saturday 13th December France, Venue TBC
Monday 15th December Utrecht, MusicCentrum
Tuesday 16th December Eindhoven, MusicCentrum
Wednesday 17th December Germany, Venue TBC

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