Mr. Punch

April 24, 2022 - 't Blok, Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)


Sometimes there is a thin line between politics and all the other things in our life. Take for example Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The fighting has caused over nine hundred civilian deaths and pushed millions of Ukrainians to flee to neighbouring countries. It made the Marillion tribute band Mr. Punch decide to skip a
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Mr. Punch ready to climb the stage (►more pics)
part out of Forgotten Sons. Originally an anti-war song. During Forgotten Sons Marillion's original lead singer Fish used to wear a soldier's outfit and used his microphone stand as a weapon shooting at the crowd before he committed suicide during the final part of the song. But this was not included when, for the third time, Mr. Punch climbed the stage at 't Blok in Nieuwerkerk aan de IJssel. Lead singer Marco Vincini told me after their fabulous show, that this part of the song was not appropriate to do given the circumstances in Ukraine. I guess they made the right choice. Of course this review is not about the war in Ukraine but all about the best Marillion tribute band on the planet and the amazing performance they did on a rather sunny Sunday afternoon as a part of their So Here We Are Once Again concerts.

This time around the band did not begin with their usual opening tune. The classical piece La Gazza Ladra was left out and instead Assassing was played. One by one the musicians entered the stage, before the
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Marco Vincini
excellent earlier mentioned Marco Vincini grabbed the microphone and put the audience into a spell. Only bringing them back to reality after the extended Market Square Heroes encore was done. A great version could be enjoyed on which keyboard player Daniele Fuligni and guitarist Marcella Arganese were fighting for the limelight during a brilliant musical battle. In between the mentioned opening tune and ending piece a lot of classical Marillion gems could be enjoyed. This was done during two sets of the finest progressive rock music possible. I will not mention each song performed. But I can tell you each of them was real a must to hear. For example a great version could be enjoyed of He Knows You Know. On which lead singer Vincini made the same moves as the original singer did with his right arm. Playing the role of a drugs addict. The three Marillion singles taken from their most successful album were included as well. I guess everybody knows what the songs are. Kayleigh, Lavender and Heart Of Lothian from Misplaced Childhood that grew their fanbase. A Mr. Punch concert isn't complete without a stunning version of title track of Marillion's debut album. Therefore the audience could once again sing-a-along with the lyrics of Script For A Jester Tear.

Of course the first real Marillion epic couldn't be left out either. It was a real pleasure to see the band perform Grendel in a perfect way once again. As usual for me the ultimate highlight of the show! Vincini even wore the famous Grendel helmet again and surprised me when he showed up in the audience just next to me. Tapping me on the shoulder as if to say: 'I am here, watch me killing all my fellow band members on stage'.
Chelsea Monday is of course the perfect song for Arganese to show how brilliant she is on her electric guitar. Once again the crowd could see her stepping out of the shadow of here hero Mr. Steve Rothery. Even new member Luca Marini got a solo spot in between the earlier mentioned Forgotten Sons and Incubus. Showing that he is the right person behind the drum kit. Finally worth mentioning is the song Fugazi. Which was introduced by Marco with the words: 'Our world is still not yet fucked up and totally fugazi'. Revering to the pandemic and the years they could not perform on stage in front of their audience.

During the bands two hours long performance it was of course again a celebration of recognition. The crowd was singing-a-long with the classic songs many times. Something which was not done for a very long time, because of the two years pandemic as Marco Vincini also mentioned. Thanks again to the amazing ProgFrog team for bringing the best Marillion tribute band to the Netherlands once again. Hopefully they come back soon to play for example the entire Clutching At Straws album. This was promised for 2020 but put on hold due to the afore mentioned pandemic.

Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)



Live video
recordings

Henri, Eden & Roel Strik

Clips will be published later



Setlist Mr. Punch:


Set 1
Assassing
He Knows You Know
Cinderella Search
Keyleigh
Lavander
Heart Of Lothian
Sugar Mice
Script For A Jester Tear
Set 2
Grendel
Chelsea Monday
Forgotten Sons
Incubus
Fugazi
The Last Straw
Encore:
Market Square Heroes



Pictures Mr. Punch by Arthur Haggenburg

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Line up Mr. Punch:

(left to right)
Guglielmo Mariotti:
bass, bass pedals and backing vocals
Marco Vincini:
lead vocals
Marcella Arganese:
guitar
Daniele Fuligni:
keyboard
Luca Marini:
drums
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