I am not a fanboy.
Let’s get this out of the way right now. I would say Marillion are far and away my favorite band. I buy all their albums, I follow up on their goings on, I get out to see them when they’re able to get to the East Coast of the US. Yes, I am very much a Marillion fan.
I do not buy every single thing they put out, which is an immense catalog of live discs, making of albums, remixes, even Christmas CDs for fan club members only. I do not spend every single moment of my life following every single moment of theirs. And I don’t travel the world, following them Grateful Dead/Phish-style. I am not a fanboy, despite saying, er, this.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that if you enjoy that sort of thing. There might be something wrong when you’re trying to offer an impartial review for, say, Colours and Sound, Marillion’s latest release, a documentary chronicling their 2004 European leg of their world tour in support of Marbles, their most recent LP.
I am utterly floored by how much stuff THE boom boom BOYS, the producers of this documentary, have been able to fit on here. Here’s the short list: a nearly two-hour documentary featuring band interviews, crew interviews, even the bus driver talking about the tour, how the album was put together, how it was marketed and what it’s like to be Marillion circa 2004 (which apparently includes 3am coffee stops with Mark Kelly wrapped in a toilet paper mask). On top of that, you get an extra audio commentary from everyone in the band, which was probably recorded sometime within the last couple of months, offering often very humorous asides about things that happened during filming (like, when an old woman in Sweden or somewhere approaches Steve Rothery for change and Steve Hogarth compares her slow but determined approach far in the distance to “an unsteady galleon”).
Continuing on disc one, you also get additional sub documentaries “the art of Marbles,” a 22 minute piece with Carl Glover, the graphic designer for the amazing 128-page “campaign edition” of Marbles, and “The Music of Marbles,” which discusses the creation of the massive two-disc release in greater detail than found on the documentary proper. Disc two has even more, including individual crew commentaries and “h at the piano,” an awesome half-hour look inside the mind and inspirations of one of the most talented singers and lyricists in music today.
This DVD set is very much for fanboys and fangirls. I would dare say it’s a fanperson’s wet dream. It’s immense. It’s incredibly well put together. It does not offer much information pre-Marbles, which was the intention, so anyone with no prior knowledge of the band might not be able to get into it. There’s music throughout but there’s no videos or complete songs, just stripped down versions of songs as background music, clips from various shows on the tour, that sort of thing. But, if you’ve caught the Marillion bug, even just a little bit, you’ll want to check this out, if for the band interviews alone. Like Dw. said when we reviewed Marbles in 2004, this is serious fan service. Marillion once again shows they know how to treat their audience damn well.
So, I will repeat: I am not a fanboy… I just can’t afford to fly to England to camp outside the Racket Club. Maybe next year.