Mick Pointer's Marillion

The Christmas Show

December 19, 2009
De Boerderij, Zoetermeer (NL)

For me this was the third time I was going to see Mick Pointer & friends. They now call themselves Mick Pointerís Marillion. I thought it was a joke, but I guess Mick is very serious about it. It sounded a little weird to me. Before I didnít associate this band with Marillion, only with Fish and† the album Script for a Jesters Tear. Because thatís all they play, apart from some B-sides. It was going be the same thing tonight.

It promised to be a party though, since some Marillion-fans gathered together. Unfortunately we didnít meet up before the show, due to work and also because Zoetermeer doesnít have the right ambiance. Instead we assembled in front of guitarist Nick Barrett, in the hall. We all had high expectations, but particularly itís the nostalgia we love so much. Some of my friends hadnít seen this show before. They were extremely excited. In the days before the show I was more into Ďthe newí Marillion and therefore couldnít get myself in the right mood. Only solution then is beer, lots of beerÖ

A big applause when the guys appeared on stage. It was great seeing Nick Barrett again after he played in this venue with Pendragon only two weeks ago. They started with the Script.† At first it sounded a little fake, but after a while I got into the mood, and didnít mind anymore that itís not the real thing. I never forget the first time I saw this show. I really was captured then by Brian Cummins, he was so convincing in the role of Fish. Now I was more focussed on Nick Barrett and forgot about the old days. This was now and it is great to hear these songs again, which will never be played again by Fish,† thatís† for sure. After the last Fish Convention I gave up on that hope. I didnít care whether Mick Pointerís Marillion looked or sounded the same, although Brian was trying to imitate Fish. It just didnít matter.

As Brian Cummins, he gave his very best. He is an amazing entertainer, with lots of energy. The dialogue between him and Nick Barrett also struck me more this time than others. I guess experience served them well. The whole performance was carried by projections, which also gave us the chance to see Mick Pointer behind the drumkit. Normally we donít† see the drummer, but Mick, after all, is the man who made this band see the light of day, and moreover, founded Ďthe oldí† Marillion.† This point was made strongly by Brian, which was sweet, because thereís a lot of controversy about this project.

The show itself was no surprise, except for one song they added to their collection, She Chameleon. I got goosebumps when Brian announced they were going to play that. But in the end, it didnít make such an impression to me. This song is special only because of the voice from Fish. He uses his voice as an instrument. I didnít feel that in Brianís version. Actually, it was also a version which only appeared on Marillionís Early Stages, a collection of live recordings from their formative years. I hardly recognized the song, which later appeared on the album Fugazi. Brian got more and more into his role and asked the audience if there were any groupies. ďWho wants to sleep with Nick Barrett? Or† Mick PointerĒ?† The song apparently is about groupies. The rest of the setlist was great as ever, like I wrote before, it didnít matter.† Three Boats down from the Candy, Charting the Single, Market Square Heroes and of course Grendel, songs which donít need any introduction.† They left us with a long version of Margaret, a rather Ďradicalí reinterpretation of a traditional, Scottish folk song. The roof went off.

After the show was over I saw Nick Barrett autographing a womenís breast. I hadnít seen that in de Boerderij for a long time! Maybe we should just blame it on the beer. But it has to be said, highlight to me was also Nick Barrett, specially in the solo of Chelsea Monday. Special credits also to Mike Varty, who plays the keyboard very well.† According to Arie from de Boerderij - next year, same place, same show. And I will be there again. Mick Pointer has no rights to perform† anything other than these songs. She Chameleon is added because he played that† in the early days with Marillion.† After the show, Mick stressed† strongly that they are not a coverband.† Well, decide for yourself, next time you see them.

Janke Rijpkema†


Script For A Jester's Tear
He Knows You Know
The Web
Three Boats Down From The Candy
Charting The Single
She Chameleon
Garden Party
Chelsea Monday
Forgotten Sons
Market Square Heroes

Pictures by Miranda Bril

Click on the picture to enlarge.

With special thanks to "De Boerderij" Zoetermeer for the permission to publish.

Line up:

Mick Pointer:
Mike Varty:
Keyboards &
background vocals
Ian Salmon:
Brian Cummins (left):
Lead vocals
Nick Barrett (right):
Guitars & background vocals

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