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Stillmarillion: Clutching At Bilston

The Robin 2 19/11/17: Words by David Sansoni | Edited by Jayson Burns | Photos by David Sansoni

Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17 Bilston The Robin 2 19/11/17


Tonight, Bilston’s premier live concert venue plays host to Scottish Marillion tribute band Stillmarillion for a slice of Sunday night nostalgia. The band are performing the progressive rock legends Clutching At Straws album in its entirety to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its release.


Judging by the faded t-shirts amongst the far larger than usual Sunday night crowd these are aficionados of the eighties prog-rockers and the pressure is on Martin (vocals), Mark (guitars), Stephen (keys), Mark B (drums) and Barrie on bass to provide a faithful facsimile

The band walks out to a rapturous welcome and open with SlainteMhath from the aforementioned ‘Straws’. All eyes are on Martin Jakubski and how well he can fill the shoes of Fish, the charismatic Scotsman who led the band through their halcyon days. From the first note it is clear that Jakubski possesses the full sound and vocal range of eighties Fish.

Punch and Judy followed by Warm Wet Circles have the middle-aged Midlanders stretching their vocal chords and the anthemic Incubus, White Russian and Script For A Jester’s Tear move the gig towards its halfway point. Stillmarillion, who have long since won the crowd over, are about to take it up a notch as the opening chords of Kayleigh sends the faithful into paroxysms of delight. The ubiquitous mobile phones are pointed towards the stage as they execute the band’s breakthrough track to perfection.

There is no time to catch your breath as Kayleigh morphs into Lavender and, to complete a Misplaced trio, Heart Of Lothian. This is a show of the very highest quality with amazing attention to detail from the whole band. The evening’s tempo is about to take a change, though as Martin takes a moment to mention the passing of Malcolm Young, rhythm guitarist and driving force behind Aussie rockers AC/DC and the messages from fans who last saw the band with loved ones that have sadly passed away since the last gig. “We want to dedicate the next track (Sugar Mice) to all those loved ones lost." With its gentle melodic guitar opening, you can hear every word sung by a couple of hundred snugly-fitting tour shirts. The final tracks of the set include a searing Fugazi, a hip swaying Incommunicado and a surprise snippet of Anglo-Saxon epic, Grendel. An encore of Garden Party and Market Square Heroes joyfully brings their final show of 2017 to a close.

Stillmarillion, to put it simply, are five hugely talented musicians right at the top of their game faithfully recreating the sounds of the Fish era Marillion and it is clear, from the appreciative smiles on the faces of the crowd, that they will be back for more.

Set list: Slàinte Mhath / Punch and Judy / Hotel Hobbies / Warm Wet Circles / That Time of the Night (The Short Straw) / Cinderella Search / White Russian / Tux On / Incubus / Going Under / Just for the Record / Script for a Jester's Tear / Torch Song / Kayleigh / Lavender / Blue Angel / Heart of Lothian / Sugar Mice / The Last Straw / Fugazi / Incommunicado / Grendel's End. Encore: Garden Party / Market Square Heroes
With thanks to Scribbling Sounds for allowing us to reproduce their review. To check them out on Facebook click here. All photo © 2017 Scribbling Sounds



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