The new live album, “Live From Cadogan Hall”, by well-known British prog rock quintet Marillion features almost the complete previous studio album “Less Is More” on the first CD and various other songs on the second CD.
As ‘Less Is More’ features acoustic versions of older Marillion songs, this live album does the same and offers rather quiet and light takes of some of the band’s other songs. But this album’s set isn’t purely acoustic, rather semi-acoustic as certain parts are played with electronic instruments, notably keyboards and electric guitar. It surprises me that the band chose a set list that features many melancholic songs in the first half, especially opening the set with the slow start of ‘Go!’ and the following quite similar songs ‘Interior Lulu’ and ‘Out Of This World’. The certain drive of a usual concert is missing there but this doesn’t make the album boring. It rather seems like a private evening with a quiet, respectful audience in attendance.
The concert really gets going in the second half with ‘You’re Gone’ and by then the full drive is there until the final song ‘Three Minute Boy’. Nevertheless, the songs of the first half, like the fast ‘If My Heart Were A Ball’, have a certain emotional power, too.
Musically, all songs are on the same good level and sound like radio-friendly pop music most of the time but there is a progressive touch, especially due to the use of vibraphone sounds for the rhythms during most of the quiet passages.
In the end “Live From Cadogan Hall” shows a very good performance by Marillion, being a quite intimate and emotionally intense, yet stripped-down concert at the same time.