Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home


All One Tonight - Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Review by Greg Olma

Marillion embarked on a tour promoting their then latest record F.E.A.R. and during that time, they made a stop at the historic Royal Albert Hall.  This event was historic not only because of the venue but also because this was the band’s first time playing this prestigious hall.  Marillion took full advantage of performing there but, in true Marillion fashion, they presented their latest release in full and in order (except for one minor deviation which will be addressed later in the review).  Adding to this historic occasion, the band also brought out a string quartet for the latter part of the show and performed fan favorites with this new orchestration.  There is a DVD available of this performance but I feel that the CD version is just as good.  Sure, you don’t get the visually stunning venue or the accompanying light show, but to me that is a distraction from the fantastic performance of the band.  Throughout the years, Marillion have released many live albums but I feel that this one stands out as the production really captures the magic from that performance.  This is certainly a must buy for Marillion fans.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Disc One:
El Dorado

The concert starts just like the record F.E.A.R. with this long track that clocks in at over 18 minutes.  There are many themes throughout that give a bleak outlook of the future with regard to climate change, weapons and walls.  There are a number of “suites” to this track, and each one moves seamlessly to the next yet still contains its own identity.  I give Marillion credit for starting a performance with such a long track that can put forth a very somber message.

Living In F E A R
Steve Hogarth starts this track which quickly turns into a prog rock number that contains one of the few choruses on the F.E.A.R. album.  While not as political as the first tune (or others during this performance), it does touch on “melting our guns” which seems to be a very topical subject matter for these times).  The track ends, and the audience continues a cappella singing the last line of the tune “what a waste of time." It just points out how into the music the fans were on that historic night.
The Leavers

On the studio release, this song is made up of five parts but during this performance, they not only perform the whole track, but they reprise the last part V  "One Tonight" again towards the end of the concert.  Like the first song, it weaves between parts, yet seems to a fit a framework that is apparent after listening to the whole thing.  It is prog rock at its best as it certainly has the lighter moments but also rocks hard during many of the sections.  Lyrically, it delves into the relationship between artist (Leavers) and fans (Remainers) and the difficulty the road brings to the two.

White Pape
This is another track that starts off with just Hogarth and piano.  It builds into a fairly simple track that evokes a very sad feeling.  You can sense that the track may be autobiographical as Hogarth’s vocal performance is very passionate during this concert.
The New Kings

There is a sense of foreboding in this track and this performance.  The band sticks close to the original studio version but somehow the rawness of the live setting adds a little bleakness to the song.  This contains a number of parts that flow from somber moments to more prog rock fare.  Steve Rothery puts in a particularly great performance throughout with some stunning guitar soloing.  Lyrically, we are presented material that is just as important today as it was in 2016 when the original was released.  Subjects like “greed is good” and “I don't know if I can believe the news” are still topical, which shows that the band can write about life in a way that continues to be important and does not fall into a specific timeframe.

Tomorrow's New Country
Hogarth finished this part of the show (just like the record) with a short piano piece that sounds hopeful.  It’s a great way to finish off that section of the show as it almost has an uplifting vibe to it.
Disc Two:
The Space...

For the second part of the show, the band brings out a string quartet to accompany them on some fan favorites.  This is similar to the studio version, but the orchestration is better suited to the live setting.  The band released a studio version with the string quartet, but here the strings are more pronounced and add a lot to the track. It is somehow fitting that this song is performed at the start of second “act” as this where it all started for Hogarth and Marillion with Seasons End.

Afraid Of Sunlight
This title track still contains all the bombast of the original but in a different way.  In some ways it is a little smoother than the more familiar version.  The string quartet is definitely present but they are a little further back in the mix in certain parts.  In other sections, they are in the forefront.
The Great Escape

Brave is an album that has aged extremely well, and this tune benefitted from the additional orchestration.  There is a real cinematic feel to the whole Brave album (the subject matter helps that along greatly), and this track especially gets that treatment with the string quartet.  Hogarth’s vocal performance remains very passionate throughout but in particular during this song.  At the end of this performance, Hogarth takes a moment to introduce the additional musician that are part of the string quartet.

The flute really stands out and gives this piece a Celtic feel.  The additional orchestration fills out this track and gives it a much more “full” sound than the original.  Rothery continues to effortlessly come up beautiful guitar solos which almost tell a story of their own.
I have to admit that I don’t often go back to the disc so I like that the band continue to play material that isn’t often part of their usual repertoire.  After hearing this performance, I feel confident in stating that I like this version better.  There is something a bit more “grand” and interesting that the studio version lacks.
Man Of A Thousand Faces

This Strange Engine is another often overlooked record, so it was nice to hear this song get a little reworking.  Often “Estonia” is the song that is played off the disc, so I was glad they chose something else for a change.  It starts off with that acoustic guitar strumming, but this time we get the added hand clapping from the audience which lends a bit of excitement to the whole proceeding.

Waiting To Happen
Holidays in Eden is sometimes looked at as a divisive album by the band, but I feel that many of us have warmed up to it over the years.  This track is one of the finer moments on that disc, and they certainly do it justice here.  The orchestration doesn’t really add anything to the track but you can hear it in spots.

Some of the songs on offer here already have a very orchestral feel in their original studio version that when they are performed with a string quartet, they sound very much like the original.  This Marbles track is a prime example of the string quartet needed to recreate what the band accomplished in the studio.

The Leavers V. "One Tonight"
The performance ends with a reprise of the fifth part of “The Leavers” that is slightly extended.  With the track dealing with the relationship between artist and fan, this is a perfect way to close both the show and this second disc.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
Return to the
Marillion Artist Page
Artists Directory

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./