Marillion singer Steve Hogarth has hailed the 2015 Marillion Weekends as their best yet. Taking place this year in the Netherlands, the U.K. and Canada, the conventions offered Marillion fans three days of music and more and saw the band perform special themed sets over the course of the weekend.
Speaking exclusively to Gigs And Festivals on the red carpet at the Classic Rock Awards, which took place in London on the 11th Nov 2015, Hogarth said that the events had been a lot of work, but that it had ultimately paid off. The vocalist said: “I think they were the best ones yet, and that’s incredible because I didn’t think we could beat the last one in terms of the atmosphere, but we did”.
“I think we pulled it up another gear because the pressure was on to try and do something extraordinary”.
As well as performing Hogarth-era albums ‘Anoraknophobia’ and ‘Marbles’ in full during the weekends, the band took fans on a trip through their history, with a singles set that featured some of their earliest work. Although once reluctant to focus heavily on material from a time before he was in the band, Hogarth admitted that he had no problems doing so these days. He confessed: “I think there was a time when I kind of felt a bit threatened by all the old stuff in a way, but I’ve been in the band so long now that a little nostalgia trip and a nod at the early stuff is great”.
Meanwhile, the singer singled out 2001 release ‘Marbles’ – which formed the centrepiece of the weekends – as the band’s defining moment. He stated: “I think we’ve created albums of a calibre that has eclipsed all the early music, in my humble opinion”. Going on to single out opener ‘The Invisible Man’ as its high point, Steve said that ‘Marbles’ marked Marillion at the peak of their powers.
“I think it’s our best song; the point where the band’s music married perfectly with my lyrics, from one end of it to the other”. He added: “The journey of that song – I can’t think of anything I’d change about that, and it’s very rare that I have to say that”.
Finally, when asked what material his perfect Marillion Weekend would feature, the amiable frontman was initially hesitant; “oh my god, that’s a tough one!” he exclaimed, before reasoning; “well, we’ve probably done them all [at some point]”. After some thought, he concluded; “I’d probably play ‘Marbles’ again, and then play ‘Afraid Of Sunlight’ and then I’d play ‘Brave’”, before tempering his choices adding; “ask me again tomorrow, I’ll give you another answer!”.
The 2015 Marillion Weekend is the subject of a new documentary, which is available for pre-order from the band’s website.
Titled ‘Unconventional’, the film, which is due for release in December, focuses on the Port Zélande leg which saw three thousand fans from fifty-two countries attend. The band, meanwhile, have been added to the line-up for the inaugural Stone Free Festival, which takes place at London’s O2 Arena on 18th and 19th June 2016.
First published on gigsandfestivals.com, 24 November 2015.