Marillion – An Hour before it’s dark, live in Port Zelande 2023 (BluRay)


Marillion has released several very good live recordings on Blu-ray in recent years, with All one Tonight as the absolute highlight for me. The image and sound quality are really of a very high level and the Royal Albert Hall is of course a real music temple and that together results in a top product that I still regularly watch and enjoy.

Given my appreciation for the last album and the fact that I saw them perform this album live in Eindhoven, I already had an idea of what we can expect from the new Blu-ray. The many wildly enthusiastic reviews added to that.

So how good is the new Blu-ray really?

In a word, fantastic! Compared to the concert I saw, this live recording is even better. Of course, the setting is almost ideal, hardcore fans from all corners of the world and a great location on the grounds of Port Zelande. I myself have never attended a Marillion weekend and that has its reasons and as a fan from the very beginning I have regularly struggled with the musical choices of the band.

I have tried to put this into words in my column My Marillion Story so far. (see my columns page) I believe that as a fan you shouldn't blindly follow everything a band does and releases. You are allowed to dislike things without being immediately labeled a traitor.

Anyway, to the point.

Of course it's important what you think of the album An Hour before it's dark because it was performed in its entirety on the Saturday night of the weekend, but if you really like that album, like me, then it's enjoying a band in top form. Even the songs that are not so good for me, Reprograme the Gene and Sierra Leone, gain in power and impression. High-flyers like The Crow and the Nightingale and Care are portrayed so beautifully, the emotion is so intense and sincere that you can't help but have a lot of respect for this band. H's voice is as good as ever and Rothers proves he is still the master of emotion with his melodic solo's. The rest of the band is solid and accept their role. Fortunately, the string quartet In Praise of Folley also participates again and percussionist Luis Jardim does his utmost to remain audible when the band cranks up the volume. The choirs come from a tape and that is actually unavoidable given all the arrangements they have undergone on the actual album. No problems with that.

This version alone would be worth the purchase of the bluray, and of course the CD, for me, but there is more.

The encores are certainly good but not necessarily the songs I would wait for, except of course The Space. Estonia and Afraid of Sunlight also remain beautiful and are perfectly performed. There is absolutely no deterioration and the fun of playing live just splashes off. Go! and Zeparated out are not favourites of mine, but judging by the reactions of those present, they are not bothered by that. All in all, a beautiful end result.

It has been decided to, as extras, include the first part of the concert on Sunday on this, I assume first of two, blurays. There is always a lot to say about the choice of songs, especially when you have such a huge ouvre to draw from. For me, the beginning is really enjoyable because the first part of Brave is played up to and including Runaway. The enthusiasm is great again and the quality is just as good and sharp as Saturday's concert. As the only fish-era song, Sugar Mice is mainly sung by the audience. Okay, we've seen and heard that before, but it's goosebumps every time. Furthermore, four songs are played that don't touch me personally as much, and they are, The Hollow Man, Born to Run, White Paper and Genie. That's not the case for everyone, I know, but that's why this is a personal view on the product that I have in front of me and will watch again in a moment because as a whole it is really another class performance of the band, the audience but certainly also the people who have taken care of the image and sound.


Don't hesitate and buy this Bluray and just live and be happy.