A Marillion Festival

What gives radio stations, Grammy selectors and anyone else who is responsible for turning music into money – the right to label and deprive listeners from great music so they can sit around their pools and discuss things that really do not matter?

Let’s get one thing straight.

Marillion matters …

The band, consisting of Steve Hogarth ( known simply to his fans as ‘H” ), Steve Rothery, Mark Kelly, Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosley – are quite aware of just whom they matter to …

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Photos courtesy of Richard Tremblay

” Oh ya …” Says guitarist Steve Rothery following Saturday night’s show. A day which saw the band perform their entire Brave album – twice!

” We definitely feel the love that our fan base delivers. We have a following, so we see a lot of our fans every time we go on tour and in these conventions.  It’s not simply adoration, it is love we feel on stage. This has been a long day but well worth it !”

“We did the whole album in sound check this afternoon.” Explains ‘H’. ” It was a good run through and prepared us for tonight. I am tired now! This album of the three that we do, drains me more emotionally. I’ll have a drink and be fine …” He laughs.

Singer Hogarth, parlayed the ‘love’  message to a ‘standing – room – only’ crowd near the end of Saturday’s show at  L’Olympia in Montreal.

” We know …” Stated Hogarth on stage. His hand making more than one journey to his heart. “We feel it, we know the love. I am not saying that in a politician kind of way. It’s about truth. It’s not about lies …”

7The crowd responded as a crowd of folks seeking ‘truth’ would. With enthusiasm and more love …

” We came from Florida.” Says Sandra. A original New Yorker who has followed the band since the beginning. ” I turned my husband into a fan  and now we traveled all the way here to see and hopefully meet them afterwards. ” ( A dream that turned into a reality as the band members come out and greet their fans following shows).

Marillion weekends – are a three day event, a convention. An opportunity for fans to get together for a trio of music sharing days.

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Photos by Richard Tremblay

Friday night saw the band perform the entirety of their album Radiation. In the daytime, Marillion tribute bands performed for the fans.

Before their weekend shows, on Thursday, the group also reserved the second floor of the popular Brutopia Pub on Crescent Street to ‘meet and greet ‘ their fans.

Saturday it was the album ‘Brave’s ‘ turn and Sunday, following a ‘Swap the Band’ event in the afternoon and a quick Q and A –  their new album; Sounds ‘That Can’t be Made’ took center stage.

“Swap the band …” Says drummer Mosley. ” Is the opportunity for a fan who can play an instrument, to come and sit in with us on one song. The players are chosen by video. They send them in and if they prove they can play and know our songs – they come and play with us. It’s fun for everyone.”

One guy who was having fun, was the son of astronaut Neil Armstrong. Eric – along with his younger brother Mark, are two huge Marillion fans. 

“My brother was at the Holland convention with me but unfortunately could not make the trip to Montreal. ” I think we will both be at the final one in England.”

Eric Armstrong started to follow the band with the Misplaced Childhood 6album in 1985. An album that contained the band’s biggest commercial hit; a song by the name of Kayleigh. Lavender, also from that album –  is  one of the all time fan favorites as well.

” We wont be playing Kayleigh. ” Says Hogarth. “It is what it is and we are not about playing hits necessarily. It was before my time and a long time ago. We are focused on playing these songs from these albums.

The band did play Lavender on Friday along with  a song from their new album which hit close to home for many Montreal – ers in attendance. The song; ‘ Montreal’  started the whole weekend off with smiles all around.

“What do you want to drink?” Asks Rothery backstage. ” I enjoy this part. I love making drinks for everyone!” He smiles.

“Careful”. Says Armstrong. ” He makes his concotions and they can be lethal. Which color do you want? Green ? Blue …?”

That is the beauty of a Marillion convention. It’s about a group of musicians9 having fun. It is about a group of musicians who have played together for  thirty years. It’s about a bunch of guys sticking to their beliefs of a style of music. ‘Progressive Rock‘.

It’s also about a bunch of fans, some dressed in red suits and holding stuffed animals –  who get ‘it’. Followers who come from all over in all shapes, sizes and age …

“My son is nine.” Says Brian from Philadelphia, pointing to a young boy by his side. ” My son has listened to this music since he was in diapers. Now that he is older, he chooses what he listens to and he loves it more than ever.”

Brian Jr. nods approval as he ‘hides’ behind Dad’s leg.

“Ten years ago …” Explains Montrealer Luc. ” I was suicidal. I listened to Marillion. I felt the lyrics and music in my heart. These guys saved my life! Now – I work in a place that helps other suicidal people. Marillion, in my opinion has saved many, many lives because their music saved me.”

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Photos Richard Tremblay

What gives radio stations, Grammy selectors and anyone else who is responsible for turning music into money – the right to label and deprive listeners from great music so they can sit around their pools and discuss things that really do not matter?

What gives them the right to stop guys like Luc from listening …?

** Montreal band Mystery opened up On Friday night.

*** Band member Pete Trewavas did an acoustic set on Saturday along with Jacob Moon

**** Sunday it was Lucie Lynch and Sound of Contact

www.lucieslighthouse.com

http://www.jacobmoon.com/

www.unicorndigital.com/mystery

http://www.soundofcontact.com

Rick Keene can be heard on k103.7fm every Friday at 5:15pm discussing his week’s events.

Ian Mosley: Walk This Way! (keenemusic.wordpress.com)

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