Marillion – Real to reel (1984)

Third time’s the charm

Marillion is one of my favourite bands all time. They are one of those bands that are great live. Even though the studio albums have high production value they still add energy and interesting stuff to the songs when they perform them live. Not all artists I follow are successful in doing that.

The first time I didn’t see Marillion live was at Frölundaborg in Gothenburg, October 12th, 1985. My friend saw them there but he didn’t call me. I lived in a small town a long way away and I think my friend actually got invited to the concert by some other friends so maybe it was not that strange that he didn’t call...

However, the second time I didn’t see Marillion live was at Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg, June 11th, 1986 and this time I was very disappointed with my friend. There were no reasons not to call me. Even though it was summer I was still back in the old home town, but could easily have jumped in the car and driven down to the concert. Incredibly enough my kid sister was among the guys that went, but she didn’t call either. Ahh, lost opportunities. Back then it was not as easy as today to keep track of favourite bands, to know about when bands went on the road. No internet you know. One needed to keep track via fanzines and local advertisement.

The third time was the charm! I finally went to see them. It was in the nick of time, actually on their last tour. I saw them at Isstadion in Stockholm, November 14th, 1987. Got to see them live at least once! LOL. However, I never got to see them perform “Misplaced childhood” in full. As they performed on both those other shows. Argh.

This live album is rather damned good. A number of great album tracks from the first two studio albums as well as two non-album tracks from singles. The first side of the LP is recorded in Montreal in June 1984 and the second side is recorded in Leicester in March 1984. Same tour at least.

“Incubus” with the glorious guitar solo by Steve is a highlight on the first side together with the non-album track “Cinderella search”. Nice to hear that one in a live version.

All tracks on the second side are stellar. “Forgotten sons” is one of their anthems, it is tough, cruel and wonderful. Always leaves me with dust in my eyes. Finally as they often did we get a medley of the party song “Garden party” with their debut single “Market square heroes”. The latter is a very good extra number song. It includes the presentation of the band members as they often did in that song back then. 

Overall a good representation of Marillion live in 1984. I am expecting “Fugazi” to get the super deluxe edition treatment, maybe next year, and that we’ll get a full unreleased show from the 1984 tour to enjoy.

My rating: 7.5/10

Side A:

  1. Assassing
  2. Incubus
  3. Cinderella search
  4. Emerald lies

Side B:

  1. Forgotten sons
  2. Garden party
  3. Market square heroes

Best songs: “Incubus”, “Cinderella search”, “Forgotten sons”, “Garden party” and “Market square heroes”

Released in November 1984

Media: Vinyl, 1984, Reissue

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