Friday, December 3, 2021

Marillion, London Hammersmith: The Light was Saved!

Marillion, Hammersmith, London
Confetti... Marillion, Hammersmith, London

And so the tour came to a glorious end: the Eventim Apollo, or as so many still call it, the Hammersmith Odeon or Hammy O, filled with a snowstorm of falling confetti. Crowded with fans - many travelling from afar from the event, travel rules permitting - and watched by many more around the world through a livestream event, Marillion completed their Light At The End Of The Tunnel UK tour.

Steve Rothery, guitar, Marillion
Mark Kelly and Steve Rothery, Marillion, Hammersmith

 With a setlist that spanned the band's repertoire (you'll find all the setlists on including the one for Saturday at the Hammy O), you could see the happiness in the band members faces at being back on stage, back on the road. Happiness is the road, right? A wonderful light show complements the music and delights the audience. The livestream captured the show in a way that I haven't seen any other livestream do - and I've watched and listened to a few since Covid broke our world. Saturday was a superb evening.

Steve Hogarth, vocals, Marillion
Steve Hogarth (Mr H), Marillion, Hammersmith

 As bands start touring again, there are still risks that Covid will get in the way. It's nigh on impossible to obtain tour insurance in the UK right now: so many tours have had to be cancelled due to a member testing positive for Covid, or dates rescheduled. Marillion got around this in a very creative way: they launched a campaign called Lightsavers where the tour was underwritten by fans who contributed various amounts of money to help pay the costs if anything happened to stop the tour. The money wasn't needed: Saturday night proved that it can happen, with the band in a tight bubble throughout. It can't have been easy - but it did work. (The pledged money from Lightsavers has already been returned to the donors!) Is this the way to insure tours for the future, without the big-money insurance companies and bankers? That's yet to be seen.

Pete Trewavas, bass, Marillion
Pete Trewavas, Marillion, Hammersmith

 So what's next? The new album, An Hour Before It's Dark, is scheduled for release early next year (one song played live for the first time during this tour, Be Hard On Yourself - click to listen to it). (The album is already recorded - just waiting for the manufacturing world to get its supply chain act together again.) Then there are the Marillion Weekends in Lodz, Poland; Stockholm, Sweden; Leicester, England; Lisbon, Portugal; Montreal, Canada next year, and then Port Zelande, the Netherlands, in 2023. Videos are available through The Space, Marillion's official video-on-demand service. And if you haven't done so yet, catch up on their entire musical portfolio. There's even a crash course for newbies!

Ian Mosley, drums, Marillion
Ian Mosley, Marillion, Hammersmith

 I was lucky enough to see and photograph four events on this tour: at Hull City Hall, Cambridge Corn Exchange, and both Friday and Saturday nights at the Hammersmith Odeon. Can't wait till the next time.

Marillion, Hammersmith, London
Marillion and the pretty lights, Hammersmith, London

 All Alison Toon Photographer photos from Marillion's Light At The End Of The Tunnel tour: Hull, Cambridge, London.

 All Marillion photos: Marillion photo galleries.

 Prints and downloads are available by permission of the band.

Marillion, Hammersmith, London
Marillion, Hammersmith, London, 2021


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