March 6, 2016 – ‘t Blok, Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)
In 1984 the British progressive rock band Marillion released their album Fugazi. It was the second album to feature the lead vocals of their Scottish singer Fish. A tour shortly followed to promote the album. During this tour the band performed material taken from their at the time brand new album. Furthermore a selection of songs taken from their debut Script For A Jester’s Tear, released one year earlier, could be enjoyed as well. After a short break in their touring schedule the band continued doing live shows by doing a second leg of the Fugazi tour. During this period the band was already working on a follow up release (Misplaced Childhood). To figure out if the recently written compositions could be enjoyed by their fans, they gave them a sneak preview by performing new material during this second leg of the Fugazi tour.
The music of this period in the history of the band is hardly played by the band themselves nowadays. Anybody who wants to relive the bands early days with Fish as their lead singer, has to see one of their tribute bands. One of them, Mr. Punch, gave three concerts recently in the Netherlands. As a fan of Marillion I couldn’t afford to miss one of them and therefore chose to see them at a Sunday afternoon show organised by the people of Progfrog. This was of course held at the most cosy venue in the Netherlands-namely ‘t Blok in Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel.
Those who do know the present Italian progressive rock scene will discover some well know faces in the line up of this Italian Marillion tribute band. The rhythm section comprises of two musicians who were both once members of The Watch-drummerRoberto Leoni and bassist Guglielmo Mariotti. Strangely enough they never played together in this band which can be seen as an excellent Genesis tribute band. The man who has probably the most difficult job in the band is lead singer Alesandro Corvaglia. He has the task of copying Fish during his golden years. But I guess when you are one of the best singers in Italy and have worked with acts such as Delirium, Höstsonaten and La Maschera Di Cera it must be a piece of cake. On keyboards is a man who did shine on albums made byCoscienza Di Zeno and Höstsonaten and goes by the name of Luca Scherani. Finally on guitar can be found Marcella Araganese who has made one album with Ubi Maior. I was of course very curious if they could to do a faithful rendition of the Fugazi tour of 1984. The show I was going to witness would contain the music Marillion performed during the second leg of the tour. One of the concerts on this tour I saw myself and therefore, I was able to compare this performance with the one I saw more than thirty years ago.
|Alessandro Corvaglia @ Forgotten Sons|
Just like Marillion in 1984, Mr. Punch opened their concert with the opening tune of the Fugazi album. However, Fish originally stood behind a screen when he started to sing the first lines of Assassing. Followed by punching through this screen and moving around the stage wearing make-up on his face. This could also be seen on Alesandro’s face. Even the moves and gestures Fish made in those days were really well copied by Mr. Corvaglia. This he continued doing during the entire concert. Also his introductions done in perfect English came close to the way Derek W. Dick did this long ago. As for his fellow musicians on stage it has to be said they did an excellent job as well by reproducing the amazing music that Marillion made in the early to mid-eighties. According to the reactions of the people in front of the stage I wasn’t the only person who noticed this. They even did sing-a-long with songs such as Kayleigh, Lavender, Script For A Jester’s Tear and the encores Garden Party and
Market Square Heroes. The song which had the best visuals was of course the final encore of the almost two hours long show. During Forgotten Sons Alesandro wore a soldier’s outfit and used his microphone stand as a weapon shooting at the crowd before he committed suicide during the final part of the song.
Seeing this band copying a show perfectly that was done originally in 1984, certainly brought back a lot of good memories from a time when the second wave of progressive rock brought us a lot of excellent new bands which were labelled as neo progressive rock acts-a type of progressive rock which is still today one of my favourite musical styles. Hopefully the band will come more often to our country to copy more of the original Marillion tours done at the start of their career because I certainly liked what they did during their first tour in the Netherlands with their faithful rendition of the Fugazi tour of 1984.
Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)