March 5, 2023 - 't Blok, Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)
Since March 2016 the Dutch progressive rock audience is no longer a stranger to the Marillion tribute band Mr. Punch. Their first performance on a stage in the Netherlands was at 't Blok in Nieuwerkerk aan de IJssel (see review). This was the start of an impressive list of tribute shows. During those shows they brought us back to the Fish era of Marillion, complete with make-up and theatrics as the original band used to do. Everyone who adores the neo progressive rock of the 80s could relive the fantastic music the band released on their first four albums.
As always they gave their concert tour a special name. For this occasion they named their show "...a Flower? for a Jester" to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Marillion's debut album Script For A Jester's Tear. But this time around they had included some special musical surprises as well. Anybody who is familiar with the music of Genesis from the seventies knows what to expect when they come up with a title such as "...a Flower? for a Jester". Indeed progressive rock from one of the bands that ruled during the progressive rock waves of the 70s. Therefore it came as no surprise that songs from that era were included on the setlist. Also it is probably not so strange that a Marillion tribute band performs the music from this band. After all Marillion copied in many ways the musical style and theatrics of this band at the start of their career. They relived the magical years of Genesis so to speak. Complete with make-up and costumes as well.
The second set continued with another two tracks taken from Script For A Jester's Tear. Namely The Web and Forgotten Sons. The first title of course featured the great guitar and synthesizer solos. Only too bad that the soldier act was not included during the second title. Instead they came with the first musical surprise at the end of this piece of music. It was the start of a kind of early Genesis medley. First the amazing ending of Supper's Ready. Included was the amazing organ solo done by Daniele Fuligni during Apocalypse In 9/8 and the majestic ending performance of Vincini during As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs. To make it even better strong versions of Watcher Of The Skies and The Return Of The Giant Hogweed could be enjoyed as well. I guess the icing on the cake came when it was followed by Grendel. Probably the ultimate Genesis tribute from Fish and co. The helmet act was of course included and as always great to watch. A strong version of Fugazi finally ended the second set. Of course the crowd wanted more. Much more!
They got it during the encore. An encore which can be described as a real party encore. The usual songs could be enjoyed again. Garden Party and Market Square Heroes were massively anticipated by the audience. Someone managed to climb on stage during Market Square Heroes and danced with the bands lead singer. Officially another encore was written on the paper that was in front of the musicians. Unfortunately Assassing could not be enjoyed. Why? Probably two reasons. The music at the venue started too early and the people in front of the stage didnīt make enough noise to bring the musicians back on stage. But I think it was OK to end it this way.
Looking back at this great performance, I can only conclude that the mix of early Marillion and early Genesis compositions worked perfectly. Therefore the idea of combining the music of both bands is worth repeating if you should ask me. I had the time of my life thatīs for sure. And I think I wasnīt the only one. Thanks again Mr. Punch for the wonderful music and the amazing ProgFrog team for giving them a chance to play in the Netherlands again. Probably not the last time...
Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
Setlist Mr.Punch:Set 1
Heart Of Lothian
Script For A Jester Tear
He Knows You Know
Forgotten Sons/ Apocalypse In 9/8 / As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs
Watcher Of The Skies
The Return Of The Giant Hogweed
Market Square Heroes
Mr.Punch by Arthur Haggenburg
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Line up Mr.Punch:(left to right)
bass, bass pedals, guitar and backing vocals
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