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    Monday, February 26, 2007

    The New York City Visit / Marillion Listening Party Recaplet

    The New York roadtrip was a lot of fun, overall. Granted, I did suffer an OCD moment when I couldn't remember whether I had locked the door on the way out of the house. I overcame the urge to turn around to check by phoning back to have someone stop by and check the door.

    It was Gina's first trip to the city, and so on Friday night, I gave her the walking tour -- Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Waldorf-Astoria, Grand Central Station, Bloomingdale's, Diesel and more. We stopped by my mother's office on Third Avenue, and from there went to John's Pizzeria -- where we were met up with by James. We had Brooklyn lager and some of the best pizza in the world.

    On Saturday, we wandered around Chinatown and Little Italy -- we saw people lining up for a parade, but being hungry, we sought a nice little Italian place for lunch and found that in Grotta Azzurra on Mulberry Street, where we nearly ate ourselves to a divine death: A prix fixe two course meal (pasta then a main course), plus garlic bread, wine, and cappucchinos. We walked it off around Battery Park and the Financial District, a stroll past the conspiracy theorists on permanent display at Ground Zero, a trip to JR Music World for some CDs, and a hike around Soho.

    We met up with some of my Rushtour friends at the Bleecker Street Bar, and from there went to Kenny's Castaways for the Marillion Listening Party. VT had made arrangements to get a group of his buddies into the venue. As it turned out, there was no real policing of it. All the talk of being on the list and so on was not enforced that I could see. We all just walked up to Kenny's doorman, told them why we were in, and we were in.

    There was a poetry reading going on, and some of the poet's friends were sitting at the two frontmost tables. As the poetry reading finished, they got up, and we scurried to the front and took the two newly opened tables right in front of the tiny stage. Pete Trewavas and Steve Rothery were soon setting up and doing a sound check. Pete complained about his jet lag and about how he and Rothers had to fly all the way here while Ian, Mark and H were in Spain, and about getting the short end of the stick on the travel, and then remembering where he was, tried to salvage it by saying "but I love New York." Nice try. He did look like shit though, very tired, and his body language was clear -- he did not want to be there. And Rothery looked tired as well, but if he was pissed off, he was hiding it much better.

    Now, the invitation the band's management sent said that the doors would open at 6:30 and the new album, Somewhere Else, would be played at 7:30. Instead, we got into the venue around 6:10, managed to score the best seats in the house, and then they started the album an hour early, at 6:30! Which surprised me more than a little bit. And surprised a lot of other people too, given that they arrived between 630 and 730 to find the album already in progress.

    After they played the album, Pete and Rothers took the stage, Pete on bass, Rothers on 12 string, and David Levine on drums. And Pete sang. Pete's singing was what it was. The crowd was into it, and singing along, and very forgiving as Pete tended to go flat on the high notes. They played just four songs, 80 Days, Easter, Sugar Mice, and The Answering Machine. Interestingly, Pete said right in the beginning that they were going to play four songs, and when they were done, he said, "that's all we know."

    Pete said they weren't sure as of yet whether they'd be in the US on tour to support the new album, and that maybe they'd come as "Los Trios Marillos" again -- which was the three piece acoustic version of the five piece full band that Haves and George and I went to see in June 2005. That is disappointing. The three piece tour was fun that one time, and that came after they'd been here once on the Marbles tour as the full band. I don't see how you can support a new album here without touring on it here as the full band.

    They announced they'd play the album again for the people who missed part of it the first time. The music started, and Pete and Rothers began tearing down, while being interrupted for photos and autographs. Pete was looking increasingly more annoyed by the whole situation. And we blew out of there halfway through the second playing of the album to get some Thai. I don't think it was even 8:30 yet.

    The album itself ... it may have been the sound system at the venue, but I thought the vocals were too low in the mix, and were overwhelmed by the instrumentation, which was edgier than it had been on Marbles. There were a couple of more uptempo songs. And the album ends with a new recording of "Faith" -- a live version of it having been a B-Side to one of the Marbles singles. The new Faith is really good, and might be the best song on the album. It remains sparse and Blackbird-like in the beginning, and the full band come in later, and there is a flugelhorn bit. Outta time ... so more on that later.

    Comments on "The New York City Visit / Marillion Listening Party Recaplet"

     

    Blogger James said ... (8:59 AM, February 26, 2007) : 

    had a great time audient!

     

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