Marillion, Royal Albert Hall, 18th November 2019. Bums and Pointing.

I think that we have established that I have been to a fair few concerts in my time but last nights Marillion gig at the RAH must have been the strangest of the lot.

The Royal Albert Hall is a beautiful venue and the acoustics are just amazing. It really is one of the best places in London to go and hear live music. If you are looking for a tip as to where not to go then avoid Wembley Arena which is like an echoy bucket!

Marillion are my latest obsession. I first saw them live in 1984 on the Fugazi tour with Fish and then they drifted out of my consciousness until a couple of years ago with the FEAR album. They are currently touring “with friends from the orchestra” a six piece string, horn and flute combo.

I have to admit that I don’t really get the touring with an orchestra as the amped instruments seem to dwarf and drown out the strings. That said there were a few good moments that worked well and it was good to see an (mini) orchestra rocking out!

But none of that made the gig as odd as it turned out to be. I was sat in the arena which is flat but still with a good view of the stage. Unfortunately it was the view immediately in front of me that mostly caught my attention.

In the row in front was a large gentleman who whenever he rose from his seat treated those seated behind to a view of his rather generous bum crack. I was glad that I’d eaten some time before.

However, that was nothing compared to the tableau that was playing out two rows ahead. Arriving fashionably late were a couple who had clearly decided to get in a couple of additional drinks in at the bar before gracing us with their presence.

Once seated the man started to sway and generally point at the stage as if he was the star at some right wing rally. Then, when the music reached a crescendo, he would leap to his feet and scream the lyrics at the top of his voice.

This behaviour began to piss off those all around him. Those to his right were fed up of his arm wandering into their view, those in front wanted him to shut up and those behind to sit down.

For a while everyone was terribly British about it all and just grimaced but as time went on the fight back began. At one point I thought that this might be literally but in the end that wasn’t necessary due to the sterling act of one individual hero. This guy was seated immediately ahead of Mr Pointy and determined that he could confuse the drunk idiot by standing every time the idiot stood. Mr Pointy then remonstrated with our hero as he couldn’t see the stage whereupon the hero would explain that neither could the people behind and so Mr Pointy would sit down again.

The alcohol had clearly addled Mr Pointy’s brain as this stand-sit routine continue right up until the very end of the encore.

Thankfully I was largely unaffected by this only looking on in amusement but to be honest I could have done without the distraction.

So music good, audience not so but I still had a good time!