Mr. Punch
Do You Realize?

April 28, 2024 - 't Blok, Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)


Having played five times at 't Blok in Nieuwerkerk aan de IJssel, this is the last show of the excellent Marillion cover band Mr. Punch at this cosy venue in the Netherlands, because prior to this sold out Sunday afternoon performance the host of the show told the audience that there will be no more concerts organised at this venue next year.
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Luca, Marco and Marcella (►more pics)
Only 5 concerts left until the end of the year. Sad but true. After that he gave people tissues to hold back their tears. So, one final time the musicians of Mr. Punch climbed the small but comfortable stage to show the crowd how good they are performing the music of Marillion with Fish as their lead singer. However, this time around the line up has again changed compared to the last time they were at this venue. The always present bass player Guglielmo Mariotti decided to call it a day. After being in the band from the beginning the touring has taken its toll and therefore he is now replaced by Luca Cristofaro. So only one founding member left nowadays. So, the question comes to mind if the excellent female guitarist Marcella Arganese can keep the band together. Can she keep the flame burning and bring back the early days of Marillion. Well according to the show audience saw there is no doubt about that.
 

Being the 40th anniversary this year of Fugazi it was obvious that a large part of the set was dedicated to Marillion's second studio album. And therefore, the first set started with the opening piece of the album, Assassing, followed by almost the rest of the album tracks. Only the title track was missing and kept for the second set.
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Grendel (►more pics)
Instead, Cinderella Search, the b-side of Assassing could be enjoyed. Sugar Mice, the only piece taken from Clutching At Straws ended the excellent first set. Leaving the crowd again speechless as usual.

As soon as Marcella started to play the opening part of Grendel most of the people in front of her knew that the second set would start with a very special song. A song that is in the hearts of many fans of Marillion because it is from the start of their career. A time when the band came with many spectacular live shows to impress the audience in those days. This song, with Fish wearing the special Grendel helmet, is always very well copied by Mr. Punch. Because the bands lead singers, nowadays Marco Vincini, always come up with the same theatrical performance of killing his fellow band members on stage while wearing the old helmet. However today it was a bit different because Marco forgot to "kill" Marcella. Instead, he twice took the life of Luca and also the German blond girl in front of the audience was one of his victims. Funny enough Marcella started the same intro from Grendel when the band performed the next two couple of songs. Namely Script For A Jester's Tear and Chelsea Monday. Of course, it was as a joke and made everybody laugh. After the earlier mentioned Fugazi the band played the three well-known tunes taken from Misplaced Childhood.
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Victim in the audience (►more pics)
However, if you looked at the setlist, which was on the floor, it didn't read Kayleigh, Lavender and Heart Of Lothian. Instead, there was written Pip. To end the second set one of my favourites was done in the original way Marillion also did it. Meaning that Vincini was wearing his soldier outfit during Forgotten Sons. Of course, his cigarette lighter was used as well. After the splendid second set the crowd was of course not willing to let them get back home to Italy without an encore.

I guess it wasn't a surprise that Garden Party and Market Square Heroes were played as the final songs for the encore. Marillion also ended their set with those two audience favourites which you can sing-a-long with. Which the crowd of course did, just like on many other songs on which Marco didn't have to sing the lyrics because the people in front of him already started singing them. Songs such as Script For A Jester's Tear, Kayleigh and Lavender. During Market Square Heroes Marco always reaches out to the audience
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Forgotten Sons (►more pics)
with his arm to give his golden handshake. This time around again the same German blond girl in front of the audience was his victim. I guess he really like blond girls.

However, this concert is of course not about German blond girls. But about telling you how great this Marillion Tribute band is. Once again, each musician played at the top of his or her game to give a real copy of the original band. Most of all it is great to see how every new member in the band takes over the part of the musician he has replaced. I had a special look at new bass player Luca Cristofaro and it really surprised me how good he was on stage. After the show I asked him if he knew the original band. He told me that he was a fan of the band since he was a young boy in the eighties. I guess the music of this wonderful band has to be in your blood to play their music in front of a crowd that goes totally crazy when they relive the music of the early Marillion years! Mr. Punch, thanks for giving everybody a wonderful time again!

Also, thanks to the amazing people of ProgFrog for bringing this excellent band to their stage. Too bad it was for the last time. Maybe one day they will return. You never know do you?

Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)


Live video
recordings

Henri, Eden & Roel Strik

Clips will be published later


Setlist Mr. Punch:


Set 1
Assassing
Punch And Judy
Cinderella Search
Jigsaw
Emerald Lies
She Chameleon
Incubus
Sugar Mice
Set 2
Grendel
Script For A Jester's Tear
Chelsea Monday
Fugazi
Kayleigh
Lavender
Heart Of Lothian
Forgotten Sons
Encore:
Garden Party
Market Square Heroes



Pictures Mr. Punch by Arthur Haggenburg

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Line up Mr. Punch:

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