DVD: Recital of the Script
This is a wondrous document for anyone who is a fan of Fish-era Marillion. You get a complete rendition of the prog clasic Script For A Jester's Tear at a time when Marillion was still a (relatively) underground phenomenon in England. You see a band that is just starting on its path to glory and a singer bent on proving he's at LEAST as good as Peter Gabriel.
The strength of this show is the music. Script is absolute genius from beginning-to-end. Featuring sprawling epics like the title song, The Web and Chelsea Monday, the band unapologetically embraces all the indlugences of classic prog: long songs with complex arrangements, extended solos, unusual time-changes. At the center of it all is Fish's poetic lyrics that in my opinion are as rich and vivid as any ever written. The show's highpoint is the emotional climax of the heart-wrenching Forgotten Sons.
Yes, Fish is a bit of a wanker on stage, so full of himself you half expect him to literally explode on stage. Unfortunately the cameramen seem to think he's the only thing worth watching so you don't get too many shots of the band, even when they're engaged in a long instrumental section. Thankfully, Fish isn't the fat, bloated, bald embarrassment he later became and makes for an interesting showman.
The band itself is, as expected, spot-on throughout. All exhibit the mastery of their instruments so readily evident on their early material. A major bonus is that in addition to the Script songs you get a complete rendition of Marillion's earliest epic The Grendel (one of their most unappreciated masterpieces).
For a show shot almost 30 years ago the visuals are quite good, as is the sound. Camerawork is about the only complaint as there are some odd choices. Still, if you're a fan of early Marillion this is an absolute must-have and if you enjoy 80's ear prog it's also a must-have.