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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Marillion - Live From Cadogan Hall'
(Marillion / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2011 / Eagle Records)

Overview: Eagle Rock Entertainment have just-released the two-disc DVD, 'Marillion: Live from Cadogan Hall', featuring the popular neo-progressive rock outfit in concert. Recorded on the final night of Marillion’s 2009 “Less Is More” tour it is divided into two sets: The first is the Less Is More (2009) album deconstructed and reinvented, the second features alternative acoustic versions from their back catalogue.

DVD Verdict: Filmed as a double DVD (and, if interested, recorded as a double CD set too), 'Live from Cadogan Hall' was taped on the final night of their 2009 Less Is More tour.

Divided into two sets (hence the 2 discs), the first set is dedicated to the Less Is More album. Choosing to deconstruct and reinvent chosen songs from their back catalogue into alternate acoustic versions, they spend their time on the second set revisiting ten other classic Marillion tracks - albeit (still) with no nod back to the Fish glory days, sadly.

With a very well put together, and symbolic to the December night outside that this was filmed within, the lead in b/w shots are a genius touch. And, given the up close and personal attitude to this live show, as the band take to the stage the HD (filmed) DVD opens to some sedate handclapping, before Steve Hogarth's vocals come forth on the beautifully-lit-by-two-dusty-spots only, 'Go!'

Hogarth further explians, whilst sitting centerstage behind his own set of keyboards that tonights performance is all about deconstructing 20 years of Marillion music. He goes on to say they had changed all the chords, all the melodies, even - where possible - had used only acoustic instruments, but that the words were all the same! [Hmmmm, sorry, but I was still hoping for some broken down 'Kayleigh,' ' Lavender' or even a little 'Sugar Mice.'] The hauntingly-arranged 'Interior Lulu' is next, before the inspired-by and dedicated-to Donald Campbell song, 'Out Of This World.'

'Wrapped Up In Time,' as explained by Hogarth (much like in a VH-1 special) is about living the past for various reasons - whether we do it to relive comfort or to willingly torture ourselves, before introducing Mark Kelly on piano for 'The Space.' Before 'Hard As Love', Hogarth reveals: "This song was once an angry little song, but not tonight. We've changed the chords and such, but don't worry, we've kept the same words."

The slow 'Quartz' is next, and boy does it get the loudest bout of applause thus far, and it is followed by the "autobiographical" (Hogarth announces), and highly upbeat, 'If My Heart Were A Ball'. The next song, a lullabye for grown-ups, 'It's Not Your Fault' is quietly sung, before 'Memory Of Water' and 'This Is The 21st Century' round out the first disc.

Once welcomed back to the stage, the second disc (a selection of specially arranged Marillion classics - and yet still no 'Market Square Heroes,' 'Garden Party' or 'He Knows You Know'!) begins with 'No One Can,' a song introduced and dedicated to Emma and Gavin, before running into both 'Beautiful' and 'This Train Is My Life.' Introducing Vic Juris on guitar, we next get an upbeat 'You're Gone,' before the free flowing '80 Days.'

"We're gonna leave you with this ... it's 'Gazpacho' ... Happy Christmas, goodnight," are words spoken, but as the bathed-in-red light song plays out the band don't leave the stage. Instead, they flow straight into (the beautifully in-tune) 'The Answering Machine.' "Well, that was bloody fast," Hogarth admits. "I almost got all the words in!"

The haunting 'Estonia' is next, then comes the encore break, before the piano-fused 'Easter' is brought forth. With the luscious double CD wrapping with audience-participated 'Three Minute Boy,' Hogarth thanks London, tells them they'll see them next year, and the fade out is upon us. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.