Although they're best known in the U.S. for their mid-sized 1985 hit, "Kayleigh," Marillion continue to maintain a massive cult following -- especially in their native England -- as evidenced by 2005's Marbles Live. Recorded over two nights at London's Astoria in July 2004, the 12-track set faithfully replicates their studio set from the same year, Marbles, song for song (the lone exception being tacked on the end -- "Estonia" from This Strange Engine). Wondering if such a release is necessary is certainly a fair argument, as it's been only a year since the same songs first appeared in studio form, but most of Marillion's rabid fan base are curious to hear just about anything the band has to offer. Expectedly, the sound is crystal clear and the performances flawless, as evidenced by such tracks as the album opening "The Invisible Man" and "Angelina." Interestingly, Marillion circa 2006 reflects little of the prog direction of earlier release (before Steve Hogarth replaced original frontman Fish behind the mic), as the quintet seems to be more in tune with Radiohead and Coldplay nowadays, rather than Asia and Yes.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato