by Marcus Chavasse
Marillion fans are a blessed bunch. With their biennial weekend conventions, they regularly play one or two ‘album nights’, during which albums are played through in their entirety – including b-sides! This means that virtually any song from their extensive back catalogue could be played live, something you can’t say about every band going. With the exception of a few songs from the Fish-era, Marillion have played live almost every song they have committed to record. Having said that, there are a few songs that don’t get showcased as often as they should on the stage, and here’s a list of a few of those…
This b-side from the Seasons End album is an exercise in optimism and was last played at a few Christmas shows in 2014. It’s an excuse for all members to let loose and this energy extends into the audience.
Trap the Spark
A deeper cut from the first disc of 2008’s Happiness is the Road, Trap the Spark is a slow-burning introspective song which achieves greater poignancy live, perfectly blending keyboards, guitar and vocals.
A Voice from the Past
One of the stronger tracks from Somewhere Else with a similarly strong message, A Voice from the Past is a sure-fire live tear-jerker and just one of a few underplayed songs from this album.
Holidays in Eden saw Marillion taking a poppier approach to songwriting, but The Party showed they had not strayed completely from Seasons End. Excellent lyrics and a healthy ‘YEEEAH’ make it a great live song, but not one that is often dusted off from the shelf.
Another song from Seasons End, Berlin shows the darker side of Marillion and has not been played for a good few years. It is still thematically relevant and definitely remains one of the hidden gems of the album.
When I Meet God
One of the finer tracks from 2001’s Anoraknophobia and represented a sublime highlight of the album’s night during the last convention.
Alone Again in the Lap of Luxury
A lesser-played song from the brilliant Brave album which is often overshadowed by the more well-played songs from the album such as The Great Escape and Goodbye to all That, Alone Again… is an energetic sing along tune that deserves to be played more often.
Script for a Jester’s Tear
The live album Clocks Already Ticking saw a rare version of Script sung by h, and boy did he pull it off. However, it has only been played 4 times in the last twenty years. The reason for this is unclear, but I’m positive no one would complain if h were to lend his distinctive style to this classic Marillion song a bit more often.
The Sky Above the Rain
Although a more recent release from the band, Marillion have lapsed into playing a select few songs from Sounds That Can’t Be Made, and this isn’t one of the more commonly played ones, despite its simple beauty and emotional lyrics.
Okay, okay. This song is not underplayed per se, but for a song of this quality, not playing it at every concert renders it underplayed. It was followed by a 5 minute ovation at the 2015 convention in Wolverhampton; it is arguably the best song in Marillion’s catalogue.