Claus Nygaard - l'histoire de Marillion (1977 - 1987)

La musique de Marillion...
Bruno de Marseille
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Claus Nygaard - l'histoire de Marillion (1977 - 1987)

Message par Bruno de Marseille » 10 octobre 2017, 08:13

Trouvé ici, reproduit ici pour plus de clarté car les débuts de chapitres ne sont pas visibles (chaque début de texte se trouve sous la bannière) ... shades.htm

This book has taken its own turns on long and windy roads through a period of 14 years, and it came about something like this... Back in the good first half of the 80's I happened to meet a guy, Bo Staffe, who had "Script for a Jester's Tear" in his collection of albums. I do not know why he actually played it to me, as at that time I was fooling around with stuff like Men at Work in my Walkman cans. Well "fooling around" probably is not quite the right expression to use, as Men at Work were a damn good band for a night out, just as most of the other hot clubbers around like Madness or Geier Stürtzflug. I loved that scene, even though I also had the "dinosaurs" like Pink Floyd and the adorable Frank Zappa in my albums collection. But the latter were bands for "intellectual nights out in the room", while the clubbers were bands to fool around to, to chase girlfriends or boyfriends to, to rave to... Anyway, my friend played "Script for a Jester's Tear" to me, and there I was - overwhelmed to say the least - overly impressed with that new band's musicianship and none the less with their packed, expressionistic lyrics. Marillion. "Script for a Jester's Tear" did not just come out of the speakers creating a wallpaper of sound which you could enjoy - the music did encapsulate you, the words stretched inside you. I was shocked! To feel such feelings for music is in a way both scaring and redeeming. In the time since I have met many a music lover, who has looked at me with a glazed eye being unable to understand, how I have managed to stick with the same songs for nearly a decade and a half. I can only say that the reason must be that I was introduced to Marillion's music in one of the most important periods of my life - the first teenage years - and out of that grew the interest as new years brought new Marillion albums and to me new experiences, which makes me able to relate every album, and every song on these albums, to experiences and adventures met with in my conversion from a child to a so called "grown up". Well, some will (rightly?) argue that I have not yet fully managed to reach a mental state where I am entitled to label myself with the latter expression. But, although this is a book about the first decade of Marillion's merits, the band is still making great music issuing albums with Steve Hogarth as their frontman, Fish (their former frontman) is still making great music issuing albums in his own name, and Mick Pointer (the founder of Marillion) has re-entered the machine now making great music issuing albums under the name of Arena. And it pleases me, as I have three marvellous bands to further grow up to and to relate my new experiences to. Being a Dane I was lucky to experience Marillion with Fish as they came through in the medias and started gigging in Scandinavia, where they first entered the festival scene in the summer of 1983. During the writing of this book, though, I have to admit that I have often envied the English fans who happened to be in the Aylesbury area when Marillion started gigging on a regular basis, and from the bootlegs I have heard (yes I admit) this sound like a wonderful era of the band which I would have loved to experience. If you feel the same way, I hope this book is going to provide a flavoured touch of atmosphere to add to your imagination of the first ten years of Marillion, emphasising the first years the most. In that way this book is more than just a Marillion biography - more technical and even more detailed in places. I know, because you purchased the book, that you are just as big a fan of the group as I am. Maybe you even helped me gather together information for this book? If not I ought to inform you that the key word in getting this book together has to be "Fanpower". Many friends I have come across in the "Marillion-half-of-my-life" have helped me gathering together, correcting and confirming information about Marillion and Fish as a solo artist. At the first stage of this project (that's the first seven years) this was actually going to be a book on Marillion with Fish, Marillion with Steve Hogarth, and Fish solo, but due to the length of the script (more than 1.000 pages) I decided to cut away the Marillion with Steve Hogarth and the Fish solo parts, and concentrate on the first decade from 1977 till 1988.
The book tells the story of Marillion's career - on a day to day basis as we go through the gigs they have done. In many ways this gig-guide will differ from what you have read in tour catalogues, seen on posters and read in various articles in different magazines and newspapers around the world. Of course I cannot simply state that the information contained herein is free of errors, and that you have therefore just bought the ultimative Marillion with Fish guide, but I can assure you that I have attached more importance to eyewitness reports, to statements from members of the audience at any concert and to ticket stubs, than I have attached to gig-reviews written by, to some extent, green informers from obscure medias.
Knowing the amount of work my collaborating true friends have put into this project during the past 14 years, struggling to inform, verify and cross-check, I am certain that this book has finally reached a stage, where publishing it is a natural consequence. In doing so we all hope to have redeemed your expectations. Finally, I do hope that reading this book will be even half as enjoyable to you as writing is was to me. I am graceful for all the friendships I have made during the writing of this book, and I am forever indebted to all the people who helped me throughout.
I would like to thank Bo Staffe for showing me the light. Mark Creasey for encouraging me to start writing this book in the first place. Mike Jackson for serving as a main coordinator and corrector in the first long phase of this project. Dave I. Woodward and Paul Gates for proofreading the script in the final phase, for in-depth discussing of matters of music, and for giving me invaluable inputs to finalising this script - cheers mates! Per Hansson for backup, corrections and staggering amount of work put into the discography. Nyx for having to deal with me during night shifts on runs between the fridge and the word processor (and that during nine solid years of endless scrutinizing and writing!). Thomas Bollwerk for the contact to EMI Deutschland. Stefan Gross at EMI Deutschland for the amount of work put into the discography. Christoph Hentschel for the supply of catalogue numbers, 1991/92 Marillion tour dates and "The Release". Lee Maslin for gig-reports. Knud Kristiansen for the supply of more catalogue numbers. Alex Moseley for the final touch and the inevitably "Flaming Shroud" (which is today highly missed), Jean Manuel Esnault, Eduardo Franco, Jon Rosenberg, Mark Archer, Jean-Marc Esbri and Costas Cormas for useful information. EMI Denmark. Debbie Shore at EMI UK's International Department for supply of contacts and telephone numbers (you are my EMI-hero). The Marillion Management and John Arnison for the supply of telephone numbers. Jeremy Hammond and Meghan Sanregret at Capitol Records in California for the supply of American catalogue numbers and release dates and for putting me in contact with the South American departments. Marina Lenti for the kindness, the support and corrections of Italian venues, and the work put into "Real to Read" and "The Company Italia". Luca Benporath for the supply of Italian catalogue numbers and useful bootleg information. Paul Robson for the ticket stubs, gig reports and support throughout the difficult phases of this project. Jacqueline Chekroun for the information on the French Marillion/Fish scene and all the best with your own book (I'm glad you finally made it). Erik Lindqvist for the insight into the activities of previous Marillion and The Company band members. Ewa Otolinska of the Polish Marillion and Fish fan club for the discography information, tour photos and paper cuttings. John Hyllegaard Pedersen for line-up investigations and various catalogue numbers. Erhard Metz at the ARD-Büro for useful addresses. Volkmar Kramarz at WDR Köln for the best wishes. Anja Caspary at SFB & Radio 4U for the information about broadcasts and the Sympathy-cover. Peter Wolters for the information about "The Company Holland" and the continuous free issues of "The Company Holland". Frank Clauwers for the cooperation and information about "The Company Belgium" and the continuous free issues of "The Haddington Diary". Olivier Dague for the support and run through of all French Marillion and Fish dates. Giorgio Righetti at Radiotelevisione della Svizzera italiana for the moral support. Fredrik Svensson for the Scottish gig-information. Petr Vanek for the information about the Fish-scene in Czechland and the continuous free issues of "The Company Czechland". John Reinholdt Larsen for proofreading and encouraging corrections and positive suggestions. Roy Oppenheim at Swiss Radio International for replying. Suzanne Messerli at Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande for answering my English request in French. David Hughes, VP EMI Communications And External Affairs for the nice reply to my detailed requests. Barrie Coulson from Orlake Records for giving me some details despite all odds. Christopher Coolidge, David W Behrend, Marc Roy, Stephan van den Zalm, TJ Bandla and Ryan Spaight for providing anecdotes and tour stories. Larra for various tour reports and useful bootleg information. Tim from The Company New York for continuous free issues of "FishNet". To the following people who have - in some way - helped me in finishing this book: Isa Dick, Christopher Hester, Scott Meyers, Tino Andersen, Danny Kristiansen, Thomas Højlt, Michael Christensen, Charlie Koustrup, Ole Jansen, Kristian Madman Madsen and Jens-Erik Kjeldsen, Charlotte Olesen. Rikke Andreasen deserves a standing ovation and a multiplicity of warm hugs for just being Rikke Andreasen! And to the ones that I involuntarily may have forgotten: please accept my sincere excuses (I hope to be able to remedy this in a forthcoming edition). And last but at least not least to Marillion (with or without Fish) and to Fish (with or without Marillion) for your musical creations. And to Mick Pointer (with or without Marillion) for your musical creations and your valuable input to my finalising of this script. Without all of you I had never been able to get this far!
Happy reading!
Claus Nygaard
September 1998

In October 1982, Marillion released their debut single "Market Square Heroes". By then they had already gathered a large and loyal following of fans, who had marched with them down well trodden pathways, metropolitan streets and highways as they had spread their reputation across the country. Prior to their debut on vinyl the band had existed for five years. It all started because of a woman in 1977, when the carpenter Michael "Mick" James Pointer auditioned for a free spot in the band Electric Gypsy.
"The way I got the job in Electric Gypsy was, my next door neighbour had a daughter, and she was getting engaged to the drummer of Electric Gypsy, and she knew I played the drums," tells Mick Pointer. "Her boyfriend was getting engaged to her and decided to leave the band, and would I like to audition for it? And that's how I met Doug Irvine, I went along, auditioned it, and got the gig. Literally, it wasn't advertised or anything. He getting engaged to her got me the job, and started my career." (Claus Nygaard, Private interview with Mick Pointer).

Actually this was not Mick's first job as a drummer, he had been playing with the local band Stockade for a short period the previous year. "I actually started playing with a couple of friends of mine. What started this was a couple of guys, brothers, Martin and Clive Butler. And they were playing guitar, both of them were playing guitar, in their living room, you know, that's what most people tend to, and I think they had been playing a couple of years, until they then decided to get a drummer involved in what they were doing. And they just knew a guy that had a drum kit, in just the village that I come from, and I went along and I thought - this looks like fun, I would like to have a go at that. And I borrowed the hi-hat stand and a cymbal from him, and got home and started playing with that, and about three weeks later I bought a better drum kit than he had, so I got the gig. So that's how my musical career started. Before I was a huge fan, I was a great consumer of music, I'd listen to so much music, generally rock and progressive rock, and all that sort of stuff, but generally more on the rock side. Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, I was far more interested in that sort of stuff rather than Genesis and that style. It took me many years before I actually got into that sound, I was more of a rock fan that anything else." (Claus Nygaard, Private interview with Mick Pointer).

To make a long story short, Stockade didn't last long. Clive Butler met a Dutch girl and left the band, and although it reformed with a guitarist who was a friend of Martin Butler and a bass player who was a friend of Mick's, they never got so far as to do a gig. So when Mick got the offer to audition for Electric Gypsy he agreed, and Stockade split up. However, they didn't part their ways as enemies. Fifteen years later, when Mick had left Marillion too and got a career going in the interior design business, Martin Butler would phone up Mick and ask him to join his current band. Although immediately refusing to leave his own business and start playing drums in a band again, Mick was talked into meeting Clive Nolan the keyboard player of Pendragon and Shadowland. Their meeting got him back into the music business, as he formed the band Arena together with Clive Nolan. But that was 1992, now is 1977 and Mick has just passed his audition for Electric Gypsy. At the time when Electric Gypsy took Mick on as their drummer, the band consisted of bassist Doug Irvine, guitarist Andy Glass and vocalist Alan King. After several months of rehearsals Mick and Doug decided that the musical direction, in which Electric Gypsy was heading, did not suit them well. They were both interested in more experimental pieces of music. Furthermore Andy and Alan were not determined to get a full time career in music, so Doug and Mick quit the band to form another unit from scratch. Mick himself was a huge admirer of the Canadian trio Rush and as a drummer he saw Neil Peart as his major influence: "I was incredible upset when I first heard Rush, because as soon as I heard them I thought, "my God, that's the band I want to be in, they're doing the music I always imagined" and I thought to myself, cause I had always had an idea what a band should be like, the style of music, this cross of rock music but integrate in places also, you know, they would be playing, they would just write great songs too, it doesn't have to be heavy all the time or complex, but they also do, as you know, complex stuff. And I'd never heard a band, who was able to combine all those elements before, and then I think it was probably about 1979 I heard Rush for the first time, and then to discover they'd been going five years before that upset me, but of course I went out and bought all the material, and I thought - My God, this is incredible. And I've been a huge fan, In fact I've never heard anybody touch them, in reality. 1979 was when I first heard them." (Claus Nygaard, Private interview with Mick Pointer).

Together Mick and Doug formed their new band in early 1978 and they named it Silmarillion, just to put behind the unsuccessful past and mark the beginning of a new era. "Silmarillion" is the name of a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, who is probably more known for his trilogy "Lord of the Rings" and the novel "The Hobbit". The story goes that Mick, when looking for a new name for the band, just happened to have a copy of "Silmarillion" on his bookshelf, which he hadn't read, and thought it was a proper name for the "new" band. So when critics, writers and music journalists emphasise the name Silmarillion and refer to its deliberate connection with the band's style of music and their lyrics, it does not quite justify the band's choice of name. No, they did not seem to be into Tolkien or Dungeon and Dragons, and they certainly did not sit down and compose soundtracks to J.R.R. Tolkien's novels. After breaking up Electric Gypsy, Mick and Doug took on a keyboardist named Neil Cuttle and a guitarist named Martin whose surname no one seems to remember today.
Wayback Machine
Hippies, loonies, obscurities, plagiarists - there is no doubt that the reinvention of Marillion in 1981, and the replacement of Aylesbury on the English music map, became one of the most debated aspects on British rock and pop music scene throughout the 1980's. Many may have been the dreams of Mick Pointer, Steve Rothery, Brian Jelliman, Diz Minnitt and Fish when they finally got their act together properly, but that they were to lay the foundation for maybe the biggest cult phenomenon out of England in that decade? I think none of them had ever imagined that. Playing a crossover of symphonic- and progressive rock, fighting against the strong punk-rock waves, which had risen at the end of the 1970's, they gave themselves the most difficult of all starts. But in their first year of existence as a quintet they were to succeed breaking into first the pub scene then the club scene around London. With each band member bringing with them different bags of musical influences into the band, musical wise Marillion's creations would span wide. During 1981 they would introduce the following material:
"Grendel" (premièred 14th March 1981);
"The Web" (premièred 14th March 1981);
"Garden Party" (premièred 14th March 1981);
"Time for Sale" (probably premièred 14th March 1981);
"Snow Angel" (probably premièred 14th March 1981);
"Skyline Drifter" (probably premièred 14th March 1981);
"Herne the Hunter" (probably premièred 14th March 1981);
"He Knows You Know" (probably premièred 24th April 1981);
"Charting the Single" (probably premièred 22nd May 1981);
"Forgotten Sons" (probably premièred 26th June 1981);
"Margaret" (probably premièred 4th September 1981);
"The Institution Waltz" (premièred 24th December 1981);
"Three Boats Down from the Candy" (premièred 24th December 1981).
"Madcap's Embrace" (probably premièred 14th March 1981 and soon withdrawn from the set. Indeed, its first night of revival in a different arrangement was 24th December 1981).

2nd, Gawcott, Leyland Hill Farm Studios
Bootlegs: "Another Chelsea Evening" (LP, yellow version, outtake); "First Service" (LP, outtake); "Fish Out of Water" (LP, outtakes); "Fish Out of Water, Part 1" (LP, outtakes); "Fish Out of Water, Rarities Part 2" (LP, outtake); "Haunter's Having Lots of Fun" (CD, outtakes); "Long Songs", (LP, outtake); "Second Service" (LP, outtakes).
As it appears from the bootleg information above, Marillion did not succeed in keeping their private demo recordings to themselves. In the years to come, as the band was widely recognized, these early recordings gradually appeared in vinyl-format on the murky bootleg market. That is also the case with older Silmarillion material from the years before 1981, which is also included on some of the aforementioned bootlegs. Years later, when Fish had left Marillion and established his own career in music, he talked about the very first Marillion material to which he contributed: "Some I'm not interested in playing [as a solo artist] and others never made it onto record, particularly "Institution Waltz", "Madcap's Embrace", "Herne the Hunter", "Skyline Drifter", "Alice" and "Snow Angel". Some of these were incorporated into other songs, eg "Snow Angel" and "Alice" were one and the same, the latter being Doug Irvine the original bassist's title for the track. The musical piece eventually became the end section of "Forgotten Sons". Another example was "Close" (Yes I Know!) became "The Web" and "Gill House" or "The Tower" became "Grendel" (I can't remember which!). You can find these tracks amongst others on various bootlegs available at record fairs. Some are dreadful quality and are many generation copies away from the master. Check before you buy and avoid market stall cassette copies, they're usually the worst. Most of the sessions are from 1981/82 and were taken from houses during parties or copied by people who had them on loan. Some were bona fide recording sessions but most came from a 2 track tape recorder set up in the rehearsal room corner during writing sessions. They're all interesting but not essential listening." (The Company Scotland, issue#8, July 1992.)

Now, with reservations, the information of dates and track titles included on the afore mentioned bootlegs is far from certain - just as the accounts of the movements in the very early period of almost any band always tend to be. Such information tend to be of no interest to anyone - besides the people involved in running the band, who is seldom librarian back-cataloguers themselves, so very little is put on public record. When Marillion set out to conquer the Aylesbury arena, hardly anyone outside the band seemed to keep an account of their movements and musical creations. Not until the release of their first album, which made it to the top 10 in England, people outside their own ranks began to keep records of their career.
Having completed their first year of touring, in so far as we can name sporadic jobs around the Buckinghamshire area touring, Marillion were now ready to try to conquer London. Having reached The Marquee Club in October as support act for the band Girl and with the much more talented Mark Kelly having replaced Brian Jelliman as their new keyboard player in November, they were now even more optimistic than they had ever been before. The fact that, their continuous performances at places like Aylesbury, Chadwell Heath and the stronghold Milton Keynes had given them a regular and faithful following, gave them a good reason to be so. With Fish, as a mix between their promoter and mysterious frontman, continuously following every tiny lead to establish a gig in and around here, there and everywhere, there seemed to be only one way for the band to go - forward and upward! Even though the demo tape, they had recorded in the summer of 1981, had been neglected by every record label it had been passed on to. In the music trade nobody really believed in Marillion, and in the press only a few people did so. But in the public it seemed that every time the band appeared gigging they gained dozens of new and loyal fans, which can only be due to a mix between Fish's lyrics, his spellbinding performances and the strong and original musical backup delivered by the band, which at the start of 1982 consisted of Pointer, Rothery, Minnitt, Fish and the new man Kelly. Indeed his talented keyboard playing had quickly put a new edge to the band's musical performance. As Marillion set out to gain much of the Metropolitan terrain at the start of 1982, they had a regular and well rehearsed set. Track wise short, but time wise long, as they were by no means a singles band. At that time, the set for a Marillion gig would probably consist of "He Knows You Know", "The Web", "Garden Party" and "Forgotten Sons" from the first album to be. Further tracks to be included would be "Charting the Single", "Margaret", "Grendel" plus the newly written tracks "Three Boats Down from the Candy" and "The Institution Waltz". With that repertoire, Marillion had blown away most of the audiences they had played to, and they were not at all considering themselves to be left-overs from the 1970's Genesis and Floyd era.
Mark Kelly: "If you take our individual songs and break them down, they're quite '80s-sounding. They have accessible themes. They're not like the things some of the bands used to write ten or fifteen years ago, about other worlds and all the rest of it. We feel that melody is more important than anything else in a song, whereas a lot of that older music would start with the rhythm, then build some- thing that might sound really impressive but actually isn't worth listening to. There are a few complicated things in our music, in terms of time signatures and stuff like that. But the tune always comes first." (Ted Greenwald and Bob Doerschuk interview with Mark Kelly, Keyboard, July 1986.)
The fans did not categorize the band that way either, even though one would think so of the band, if reading the various statements in the music press in the early years. There were a lot of smart journalists riding a tide of neglect then, being convinced that it was just a matter of time before their "Genesis labelling" would help the masses to see and hear what sort of band Marillion were - dragged in by the cat... For the audience, Marillion were something completely new. If labelled progressive then indeed progressively progressive! Maybe inspired by British art rock from the early 1970s, but to even think the word "plagiarism" was far out. Marillion had a 1980s sound and feel - planted in the middle of a punk wave - that appealed to the part of the audience that, thank God, still praised real musicianship and meaningful expressions. Who was on the scene in 1982? Who was there besides Marillion one could pick out and identify oneself with? Ideals in music were indeed hard to find for a lot of people. The old school was falling apart as was brilliantly demonstrated by bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Supertramp and Jethro Tull (to subjectively state a few examples), and the new school was divided between pure anarchistic punk, pure techno or pure pop. In between came Marillion, urgently needed and quickly highly praised and broadly taken to the heart! I am not saying this to sound as if they were the only outfit going about in that sphere of music we could label as Progressive Rock or Art Rock, because bands like Pallas, Solstice, Pendragon, Twelfth Night and Guizerjal were there too - but Marillion were, as we shall see, the ones to draw the longest straw. They had a storyline; they demonstrated rare musical talent with their unique compositions; they played with craftmanship rather than machines; and they allowed the listener more than 12 straight bars. Here was finally a band to sit down to; a band to listen to; a band to drink to; a band to think to; a band to cry to - simply a band to experience and develop yourself along with. These were combinations that made Marillion a true success. A new, up and coming band even in the early days of 1982!
I think a lot of us die-hard fans experienced Marillion in our early teens and grew up with them, so in a way they hit a part of a generation right on the spot, and these young persons would follow the band over the years to come. Well, back to the gig guide. With 1982 lurking right around the corner they were ready to prove for sure that the punk waves were only temporary and that they were more than a bunch of discarded hippies themselves - even if they did wear weary costumes and had a barefooted, longhaired, face-painted frontman crooning well thought out and meaningful end-of-the-bar style lyrics in a falsetto voice. Call it psychedelic, experimental or progressive rock revival. What meant something for Marillion was the fact that they composed and performed from their hearts and not with the charts in mind. During the year to come this would prove to be exactly the right thing to do. As Mark Kelly explains, their success in breaking into the club circuit was much to the benefit of having Fish stubbornly doing the promotion, trying to push the band into every possible pub or club: "Nobody wanted to book us. If you didn't play dance music, punk, or new wave, forget it; you couldn't get a gig anywhere. But Fish, our singer, can talk anybody into anything. He would spend all day on the phone, ringing up different clubs. Eventually we were doing three or four gigs a week, which was pretty good for a band that nobody wanted to book." (Ted Greenwald and Bob Doerschuk interview with Mark Kelly, Keyboard, July 1986).
Speaking of songs 1982 was going to be the year where the following gems were written and first performed live:
"Chelsea Monday" (premièred 6th or 7th March 1982);
"Market Square Heroes" (premièred 2nd April 1982);
"She Chameleon" (premièred 19th June 1982);
"The Institution Waltz" (first night of revival in a different arrangement 12th August 1982);
"Script for a Jester's Tear" (premièred 28th December 1982).
Now it is time to see what the band was up to on a day to day basis.
With a well written record contract in the drawer and a well written album in the pipeline, Marillion experienced their 5th New Year with Mick Pointer in the drummers chair. Although not well seated, Mick was nevertheless still seated. With the exchange of Diz Minnitt with "Pete True" Trewavas in the spring of 1982, Marillion had taken a tremendous musically step forward. Every new member joining hithero had been able to kick a lot of inspiration and personal touch into Marillion's music, which were to show on their debut album soon to be released.
Here, on the verge of 1983, none of the Marillo's did imagine, least of all Mick, that "the then drummer" would be maybe the most commonly recited expression during the year to come. This was to be the year when the founding member of Marillion was assassinated by the band. Firing Mick Pointer was indeed a hard decision to take, cause when it all comes down to basics Mick was responsible for the band's existence! If he had not teamed up with Electric Gypsy in 1977, which he used as his platform when he created Silmarillion, the current band had been non-existent, really. Anyway, skipping the subject of theoretical existentialism, it will become clear over the next pages, that the act of finding a drummer to replace Mick in the band proved very hard.
Privet Hedge, front-og-house sound engineer and the longest lasting person in the ranks of the band, not counting Mick Pointer, would later sum up Marillion's career upto the entrance of Ian Mosley in 1983: "I first encountered Silmarillion in the Queen's Head in Long Marston. At that time none of the present members were involved. To be frank (who is this Frank?) their music wasn't earth-moving and they weren't doing any live work. Then came (fanfare) Steve Rothery. At first I made pyro systems, operated lights and generally helped out until, (cue:- hand of fate) the then sound "chappie", who owned the P.A., went on holiday and it was suggested that I should do the sound. I've engineered every Marillion gig since, for richer, for poorer... Then (pause for a breath) Doug left, Fish & Diz joined, Brian went, Mark came, Diz departed, "Hi" Pete, "Ta Ta" Mick, loads of drummers popped in and out again, until, (phew) Ian joined. So much for the history..." (The Web, Autumn 1988.)
Short, but concrete and entertaining. And to sum up Marillion's merits of 1983 they too were entertaining, despite the then drummer saga.
Skipping the personnel talk and speaking of touring, composing, medias, festivals, fame and glory, 1983 was going to be the year for Marillion. With the giant EMI in the back, that seemed to be able to print money at the same pace as they pressed records, not much was regarded as being to costly for an act that all of a sudden had shown their worth. And so in 1983 Marillion would head for their biggest UK tour so far, they would move to the huge festival scenes on the European Continent, they would again appear at the Reading festival in England, and they would also visit America twice. Lots of sails were set for a promising year that was indeed going to bring Marillion forward when speaking of musical terms, but repeatedly seemed to crack and fall apart when speaking of the band as a unit.
Nevertheless, Marillion carried through in shifting formations and did bring a lot to their musical side, partly influenced by the various drummers in the band. This was going to be the year where they brought to light new creations in the form of these tracks:
"Assassing" (premièred in a pre-album version 16th June 1983 - evolved on tours troughout the remaining of the year);
"Punch and Judy" (premièred in a pre-album version 27th October 1983 - first night of revival in its album-arrangement 27th December 1984);
"Emerald ies" (premièred in a pre-album version 27th October 1983 - first night of revival in its album-arrangement 27th December 1984);
"Incubus" (premièred in a pre-album version 27th October 1983);
"She Chameleon" (first night of revival in a different but still pre-album version 27th October 1983);

"Jigsaw"(premiered in a pre-album version 27th October 1983);

As 1984 came to a start Marillion had now been continuously working with Ian Mosley for nearly three months, first in Monmouth, Wales then in Kidlington, England. And they had been "touring" with him in two periods, in so far as we can label a total of nine gigs "touring". It seemed like a new record in the drum stool! It had become obvious to other guys that Ian really did fit within the band, so his annexation in Marillion were made public. The drum-saga of 1983 had finally come to an end! Through and up with Mick Pointer; Andy Ward; John Marter and Jonathan Mover in just six months, Marillion had shown that no cut-and-dried solution had proved to be handy when it came down to filling a vacant spot in a unit as tight as a rock band. The socialization process had indeed been harder than the musical process, but with Ian both sides fit perfectly well. They all regarded him as a great drummer and a great guy.
With Ian as a full member, Marillion then continued recording the album, which by the way was originally intended to be entitled "Afterthoughts Glow Afterwards" but had now been renamed "Fugazi". While writing the album Fish had come across the word "Fugazi" in Mark Baker's book "Nam", a shortening of "Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In", sort of the final experience some troopers got while fighting in the Vietnam War. In the everyday language the word, deliberately expressing a feeling in the same regions as "All Fucked Up" - became sort of a call word within the band, so it was decided to be kept as the album title.

As January went and February emerged with the recording of the album dragging on, the band may have felt rather "Fugazi" themselves. Nevertheless, they had their first "Punch and Judy" single ready for a release on Monday 30st January 1984, and even though the year itself started hectic in regards to finishing the "Fugazi" album - and the word "panic" now and them may have described their feelings - 1984 would turn out to be a strong and forward-moving year for Marillion. A successive sold out British tour in the spring, a mixed festival and indoor summer tour through Europe, a dip into America and yet another European tour in the Winter indicates that.

"Script for a Jester's Tear" had opened many doors for the band, as it had made its way to the British top-10. Seldom had a band playing Marillion's style of music experience that, and this fact caused the interest of the medias. Journalists continued to pick up the Tolkien-reference and out of the jesters, harlequins and large use of symbolism in album covers and lyrics grew the categorization of Marillion as a heavy metal band. A label that sticks to them even today, as many music shops file them in that category. Maybe the "Fugazi" album partly lead to that, as it was indeed more sharp, more polished and more metallic than "Script for a Jester's Tear" had been. If the debut album was melodic, the second album was metallically melodic, and musically it cut to the bone like a machete.

Musically 1984 would be the year where Marillion finished not only their second studio-album, but wrote most of their third album as well, the album that in one and a half years to come would bring them to the peek of their career so far, as they were to step into the ranks of conceptual art-rockers (whoops, there I fell in the categorization trap myself). They were to compose most of side one of "Misplaced Childhood" this autumn, and therefore had the ability to preview sections of it live during their winter tour to come.

Première dates throughout 1984 were as follows:
"Fugazi" (premièred 11th February 1984);
"Incubus" (first night of revival in its album-arrangement 11th February 1984);
"Assassing" (first night of revival in its album-arrangement 11th February 1984);
"Jigsaw" (first night of revival in its album-arrangement 11th February 1984);
"Cinderella Search" (premièred 1st May 1984);
"Pseudo Silk Kimono" (premièred 3rd November 1984);
"Kayleigh" (premièred in a pre-album version 3rd November 1984);
"Bitter Suite" (premièred in a pre-album version 3rd November 1984);
"Heart of Lothian" (premièred 3rd November 1984).

It is difficult to describe Marillion's 1985 in a few words. Compared to the just gone 1984, during which they had strenghtened their position especially on the European Continent with their "Fugazi" tour and "Real to Reel" tour, they could be certain that 1985 would turn out to be an okay year, and that even if they were going to be backed by their current pool of fans only.
Fish used to wear a t-shirt with the text "Stay Alive in '85" in those days. With Ian more than well established in the band and a positive musical development having taken place since his arrival in the drummer's seat. "Staying Alive" was exactly what Marillion could be sure of doing, no matter in which direction they would head next... that even if they would stick to their conceptual thoughts - the direction in which the record company was not at first happy to see Marillion go.
Today we do of cause all know that it was the right direction in which to go. And it was partly known in the autumn of 1984 as well, as Marillion inhabited the Barwell Court studio in Chessington, writing the first 15 minutes of the "Misplaced Childhood" piece. What was not known then, was the incredible successive result they were to end up with in May 1985, when they would leave the studio in Germany with their 3rd studio album and amounts of hope.
If you think back to these days and try to remember the predictions in the press when Marillion took their stands and declared that they were going to record a concept-album, the inscription on Fish's t-shirt suddenly got a new meaning - going in this direction would be like shooting a Genesis-marked bullet through their heads.
Well, a bullet was exactly what Marillion were going to shoot in 1985, but that through the charts! Exit Kay and enter "Kayleigh" - coverage in papers like the "Daily Mirror" - exit Top 40 and enter Top 5 and "Top of the Pops". On the following pages we will endulge in the succes that Marillion earned on behalf of "a dream girl who inspired a hit" to stay in that department and quote the "Daily Mirror". What can be said about the succes of the "Kayleigh" single, actually says more about the power of the medias, as I doubt if Marillion would have been the same after 1985, in so far they had not got that hit-single.
In terms of chart positions; minutes and millimetres in the medias; single and album sales; 1985 was to be the year. On the contrary it was also a sad year when you think of touring, as Marillion had to cancel 20 dates on their British autumn tour. Not because of a lack in ticket sales - the tour was more than sold out and the gigs were moved to bigger halls - but because of Fish being hit by a severe throat virus. In that connection 1985 was they year in which Marillion would play less gigs - out of every year since their start in 1981! But it was also to be the year where they would visit new venues in new cities in new countries on new continents.
But let us leave that for a while and turn to the musical performances of 1985, where the following tracks were going to be premièred:
"Pseudo Silk Kimono" (first night of revival in connection to the final "Misplaced"-section 26-05-1985);
"Kayleigh" (première of the album version 26-05-1985);
"Lavender" (premièred 26-05-1985);
"Bitter Suite" (première of the album version 26-05-1985);
"Heart of Lothian" (first night of revival in connection to the final "Misplaced"-section 26-05-1985);
"Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)" (premièred 17-08-1985);
"Lords of the Backstage" (premièred 17-08-1985);
"Blind Curve i) Vocal Under a Bloodlight" (part I premièred out of context with parts II-V 17-08-1985);
"Script for a Jester's Tear" (first night of revival in the "Emerald Lies (intro)"-version 17-08-1985);
"The Web" (first night of revival in a different arrangement 04-09-1985);
"Blind Curve" (première of the full album version 04-09-1985);
"Childhoods End?" (premièred 04-09-1985);
"White Feather" (premièred 04-09-1985).
And with that well overwith it is time for us to dig into the calendar..

Halfway up the mountain of success Marillion entered 1986 with their confidence booster "Misplaced Childhood" in the backsack. It was now 8 years since the band had been formed and none of the founding members had reached but the foot of the mountain, while it for Steve Rothery, the longest serving of the current band members, had taken a little more than six years to become a world known rock star - "a multi media personality" to express it in Fish's words. Fish who had been five years on his way with Marillion and together with Steve had a great share in Marillion reaching this point, as they from the word go had taken "their" band seriously as they had worked around it full time, living and breathing Marillion. Not to doubt Mark's musical influence that for his four years and a bit had been a driving force of creativity that in interplay with Steve's unique guitar sound and playing technique's had created the characteristic Marillion sound. So to say the harmonic and melodic sounding board for Fish to weave his charismatic, spellbound and deep thought lyrics upon. And all that within the concept of a musical structure that would not be possible without a handy and intuitive bass player as Pete, who during his nearly four years in Marillion had developed a unique figure-skating-technique, sometimes as a part of the steady rhythm-section and other times being a dig into harmonies and melody lines as well. Always backed by the flourishing drum patterns from Ian, who had really tightened the musical structures during his little more than two years in the band, with his particular laid-back-and-roll-along amalgamation-style balancing between jazz and rock. With three studio albums and a live album all in the British Top-10 and a string of successful singles with "Kayleigh" as the single and a "world tour" just over with Marillion were indeed halfway up the mountain, and I doubt if anybody especially in countries like England, Scotland, Holland and Germany, were unaware of their doings... As the coming year would turn out, on the basis of the popularity gained by "Kayleigh" in particular and "Misplaced Childhood", Marillion finally got a stand to clean up. During the first half of the year they were to earn more money that they had earned in their entire career, which was due to both general sales, appearances in big arenas with Rush and especially the huge festivals they were to do in Europe with Queen. For a period of time busses were replaced with jets and tiny bunks with huge hotel beds. Now the central parts of Europe were conquered territory, and a suitable question to ask is whether to try and climb to the top of the mountain or be pleased with the distance already travelled and enjoy the view from there? For Marillion there was no doubt and left was "only" two major steps for them to take during 1986. To have a proper go at America and to write a follow up to "Misplaced Childhood"!
But first of all they had an old score to settle with Britain, their rescheduled "Misplaced" tour. Before we dig our way into the tours of the year, let us have a look at the notable dates during 1986 in connection to première tracks:
"Shadow on the Wall" (cover version performed for the first time by Marillion with friends 6th February 1986);
"Freaks" (premièred 11th June 1986);
"White Russian" (premièred in a pre-album version 27th December 1986);
"Warm Wet Circles" (premièred in a pre-album version 27th December 1986);
"Incommunicado" (premièred in a pre-album version 27th December 1986).