Mr H here. Greetings from Chicago! We have so far played three shows in the US - in San Francisco, L.A. and Denver. We hit the ground roaring in SF and had a terrific show. Los Angeles and Denver were similarly fabulous - the new songs are sounding and feeling great, and the audiences have been enthusiastic, respectful and supportive.
We’d like to thank everyone who has attended, or is attending the US and Canadian Marillion shows. We’re having a great time here. It’s even stopped raining in Chicago this morning!
While I’m at it, I’d like to announce a few extra-curricular h projects currently forthcoming:
First of all, I’ll be making an appearance for another collaboration with Swedish chamber-rock band Isildurs Bane at their annual IB Expo on November 26 in Halmstad on the West Coast of Sweden. (Yes, that’s Nov 26 THIS year!)
I did this one two years ago with Richard Barbieri and David Torn, and previous live collaborators have included Tony Levin, David Rhodes (long term-members of Peter Gabriel’s core band) and Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music, David Gilmour) so there’s an illustrious pedigree. IB (and me) will be performing their forthcoming album “Off the Radar” much of which I have co-written and sung lead-vocals on.
It’s an exciting and interesting record and so a debut live performance complete with their chamber orchestra, will be quite an event.
More details of “Off the Radar” released early 2017, to follow.
Lastly, (while I’m hawking) I’d like to mention my traditional Christmas h-Natural concerts - this year in Oxford, Liverpool and DUBLIN (Hooray!) on Dec 16, 17 and 18. They’re small and intimate affairs and usually sell-out quite quickly, so don’t mess about :o]
Matt GouletThank you for the update, Steve! So glad to hear you're doing so many projects and still able to keep going with Marillion full steam. Looking forward to seeing you again! If not LA, I'll have to do my part and fly somewhere. The tough life of a fan. sigh. ;-)44 minutes ago
Nick SciarabbaCleveland tomorrow. Really looking forward. You guys were here in 2004 for marbles. Couldn't be happier you're playing the Rocksino, it's an awesome venue and only like 20 minutes from my condo.😁7 minutes ago
Jeff ElbelJust back from Marillion's first night in Chicago. Wow, that was a stunner - an amazing and inspiring show. Tomorrow's a big night in the neighborhood, with the Cubs' first World Series game at home since 1945 just five blocks up the street. It's stiff competition for Marillion, but anyone who takes singer Steve "h" Hogarth's winking jab to heart ("Don't watch that s***. It's just guys smacking a ball with a stick, come on! You need to be here with us.") will ignore local history being made while basking in the *greatest* night of music and performance. Bassist Pete Trewavas, by the way, arrived for the encore in a Cubs shirt as h was cracking wise.
The set list was gorgeous, with lots of new album FEAR (currently my pick for album of the year) and treats like "Quartz" from Anoraknophobia and "Easter" from Seasons End. But h's improv at the piano leading into "Three Minute Boy" was worth any penny spent on tickets. He had the band and crowd in stitches. As guitarist Steve Rothery shrugged his shoulders at the ongoing stream-of-consciousness and grabbed a beer, one telling verse went something like this: "There he goes. It finally happened. I've driven Steven Rothery to drink. I knew it would happen ... eventually." Ian Mosley stepped off his drum riser to light a contraband cigarette during all of this. It was one of the most charming and funny unscripted moments I've witnessed in any rock show. Perhaps in the "you had to be there" category, but still.
So was seeing the band finish "Living in FEAR," only to launch back into it, following the crowd who were still singing the coda. There was an unlikely joy and catharsis in singing the exasperated line, "What a waste of time - yeah, yeah!" There was an uncommon and beautiful bond between band and fans, throughout the night.
I got to say a quick hello afterward, and passed along last Friday's Chicago Sun-Times, loaded with Cubs coverage and my Marillion preview/interview, to h. He gave me a great big hug, the sweet guy.
Also, he insulted my tie. You're probably not aware of my philosophy on ties, so I'll explain why this was intensely gratifying. I'll wear ties and often do, whether out of professional necessity or not. But I refuse to wear a tie that is dignified or respectable. A tie must be ugly, goofy, tacky, nerdy, off-kilter or some combination thereof. Tonight's choice was pure tacky - it was my very loud green tie with daisies on it. Why it was ever made and marketed, I'll never know. But h's sharp eye spotted it and recognized it for what it was. "THAT is a really ugly tie, I have to say," said h. I was well chuffed.4 hours ago · 7
James EspinosaThe band were incredible tonight. We are so lucky to have them for two nights!9 hours ago · 5
Josh MainkaH rocking the "FEAR-D" glasses.."You can't see inside my head" (unless you add that as an option at the merch stand) 😎8 hours ago · 2