Marillion, it seems, are always either filming, recording, touring or all three at once. Somewhere In London is a twin-DVD package showcasing the band doing what it does best, playing live to an overjoyed audience.
Disc 1 captures the band live during the final nights of Marillion’s 2007 Somewhere Else tour, at The Forum in Kentish Town, London. As usual, lead singer Steve Hogarth delivers passionate performances, and we’re reminded why this group has such a devoted following. The musicianship is tremendous, and each band member’s personality shines throughout the show. Additionally, the sound and video footage is awesome and truly gives the viewer a sense of being there. And that’s important, because the audience members are totally into it.
This is a solid (often mesmerizing) set of mostly newer songs taken from Marbles and Somewhere Else. Tunes such as “Fantastic Place,” “The Other Half,” “Neverland,” and “You’re Gone” are mixed with some real surprises – Marillion pull out “The Release,” a bonus track from Seasons End, and on the second disc, we’re treated to the amazing “Ocean Cloud,” which runs for more than 15 glorious minutes.
Along with additional concert footage, Disc 2 provides a peek into the band’s rehearsal and a handful of songs in 5.1 surround mixes. The rehearsal footage is interesting. Not only do we get to be a fly on the wall while the band members run through a set of five songs; as well, several lucky fans were chosen to sit in with Marillion for the rehearsal. In a very intimate setting, Marillion play to a group in rapt attention. The whole thing is a bit surreal, though, as those watching and listening seem unsure how to react and remain mostly silent through the event. Still, I enjoyed watching the band in this setting, particularly when they run through the lovely “Faith,” with bassist Pete Trewavas taking acoustic guitar duties.
Few bands make the effort to connect with fans like Marillion, and few fans are as loyal as Marillion fans. The interplay is fully revealed on Disc 2 when several crowd members call out for Marillion to play “Sugar Mice,” a classic track from the Fish-era. The ever-generous Hogarth shrugs and nods to guitarist Steve Rothery, who then changes guitars to play the track. Hogarth sings the first line of the song, and then the crowd takes over, belting out the lyrics note for note at an incredible volume. It’s a concert moment for the ages. Marillion then follow with “Easter,” a vintage track from Hogarth’s tenure. As the camera pans through the crowd, we see young and old, male and female – everyone singing like it’s their last day on earth. Remarkable.
Somewhere In London once again shows Marillion setting the concert bar so incredibly high that one wonders how (if?) they can top themselves. Something tells me they will. And soon.