May 29th, 1997
Tivoli, Utrecht, The Netherlands
By Bart Jan van der Vorst

"This Strange Fan Club gig"

This gig was absolutely brilliant!!!!
Setlistwise it must have been one of the worst ever, especially because they must have mixed up the PLAY and DON'T PLAY lists from the latest Freaks-poll. They played *5* songs of the top 10 dontplays (incl. no's 1&2) and exactly *none* of the top 10 playlist. However, there was so much magic and romance in the air that nobody seemed to care. I think this was actually the set they would also play the night after that at the festival in Denmark, for the set itself only had one encore and lasted not longer than an hour and 45 minutes.

H told us he was as horse as a (cricket?) bat after the Eindhoven gig, so he couldn't sing as much as he normally did, if we could be so kind to take over for him. This resulted in a karaoke version of Kayleigh, which is in my opinion much, much more fun. After the first "Do you remember" he stopped singing and didn't start until the second chorus of Lavender. This has definitely been the best version of Kayleigh he ever sang and it also seemed as if he was really enjoying himself during this song for the first time :-)

Towards the end of the show a girl at the front row (standing next to me) fainted. She was pregnant and just couldn't handle the heat anymore. Without hesitating Pete went backstage to fetch a glass of water for her and H immediately ordered a roadie and the photographer, who had been in the crowd during the show, to drag her up the stage (Despite a second roadie telling Steve *not* to lift her himself but to leave it to him, Steve got up the front of the stage and the three of them lifted her up) and they took her backstage. Now how many bands or artists would do that? 'Normally' when something like this happens some roadie would pick up the person and drag her out, through the crowd, rather than bringing her up the stage to the backstage area - the shortest way... This proves that Marillion is a band of real "people". Not some bunch of arrogant jerks who care about nothing but money.

Like I said before, the main set didn't contain many surprises. The only surprise was that this would be the first live performance ever (as far as I know) *without* Easter in the (main) set. The first encore, King, was played directly after the main set and it gave me the impression that the band was in a hurry.

When they came back for their 'real' encore (which was not on the setlist) Steve asked the crowd: "Well, what do you want to hear?" Nobody dared shouting for Grendel, however some shouted for Fish songs (Garden Party, Sugar Mice) but most people shouted for The Space. Steve simply said: "noooo..." and then they played a song I would never have expected: Accidental Man. Not my favourite on the album though, but it was very special to hear it being played live for the first time.

After that Steve nodded to Mark as if he wanted to say: "Oh, the hell with it, go ahead" and Mark started The Space. Right before the "Everybody in the whole" part Steve made an "I'm gonna kill myself"-gesture towards the guy behind the mixing desk and drank a couple glasses of water to clear his throat. It took him a while to get his voice ready to sing the part, but both the band and the crowd waited patiently. "Take it easy Steve" was shouted from the back and Steve looked with a *very* appreciating face to the crowd. Then he started to sing! Shivers down my spine and not *once* out of tune! despite all the problems with his voice he sang every word brilliantly!!

After that another surprise: No One Can. This must have been the most romantic and overwhelming version they have ever played. 1200 people singing "No one can take you away from me now" leaving Steve just standing there, with his arms wide as if he wanted to embrace us all. During the second verse he could hardly keep his voice in control, but this had nothing to do with his voice-problems, it was pure emotion!

They 'finished' with Garden Party which made the circus complete. A crowd going mad, a singer jumping around all over the stage, nearly colliding with a bass-player who was doing the same and a guitar player who made it nearly to the other end of the stage this time... :-)

The band left and Steve stayed to thank the audience for the tremendous evening. Then Mark sneaked up on him and whispered something in his ear. Steve nodded yes and Mark started some keyboard tones... It sounded just like the first tone they usually play before the guitar-intro to Kayleigh. But the guitarline Rothers played didn't sound like Kayleigh at all... no Mark started a *very* familiar keyboard-riff: F R E A K S ! ! ! ! "You're gonna have to sing this with me, because I don't think I can remember the words".

After Freaks, the band left again, except for Steve. "I usually don't talk very much at gigs, like the Scottish bloke used to do (Pete:"that's Scotsman for you pal") But tonight I really feel like it." And he continued a while about that version of No one Can being *very* special to him. When someone in the back shouted *SING* he asked:"Well what do you want then?" "EASTER!!!!" 1200 voices cried, and so he did. He sat down behind his keyboard and started to play Easter while the band came back on stage again and fell in at the first chorus.

And just when we all thought it was really over the whole band came back again. "Do you wanna hear one fine day?" "We really need to stop playing now, for we have to catch a flight to Denmark at 7.30 tomorrow morning.... oh wel... Fuck 'em!!" and they played the song that described the evening perfectly: One Fine Day!

And then it was really over :-/ However Pete promised us they would come back in October, for one more gig in Tivoli again (during the German tour I guess) Hopefully this will be a fanclub-gig again, or even better: A fanclub day! <> Setlistwise last year's Made Again concerts were maybe better, but atmospherewise this has been the best ever performance by Marillion in Holland. (or the rest of the world I'd say!)


Man Of A Thousand Faces
Alone Again In The Lap Of Luxury
Afraid Of Sunlight
80 Days
This Strange Engine
Hooks In You
Cover My Eyes
Slàinte Mhath
Cricket-bat Jam
The Uninvited Guest
An Accidental Man
The Space...
No One Can
Garden Party
One Fine Day



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