Day 12: A Song From a Band You Hate
This was an easy choice. Years ago when our tastes briefly aligned in a prog-rock sphere, Murray tried to get me into this exciting band he had discovered. That band was Marillion, and my reaction to them was initially indifference. As I tried harder and hard to listen to them, the reaction quickly became overwhelmingly negative. It actually made me feel physical anger. Of course, time has moved on, and I don’t hate Marillion as much as I once did. I still do a little though…
The problem with Marillion for me is that I feel like none of the things they’re trying to do, they’re really capable of. They seem mediocre in a strange middle-aged kind of way. I kind of feel bad saying that now, but the fervour that surrounded them when the fan-funded album Marbles came out was nauseating to me. Marillion fans were really excited about certain specific stuff they were doing that I had heard so many other bands do so much better. As far as post-Fish era Marillion is concerned Radiohead is the obvious immediate comparison – and I don’t really have any interest in Radiohead. Additionally, the band described themselves at the time as “not sounding like you think we sound” and various other things in their arrogant self-penned press-releases that came across more like “okay, look… We know you think Marillion without Fish is an idea you wouldn’t like, but we’re still here, and our new music is totally exciting and innovative! Honest! We’re SO much better than most bands out there!” Yeah, right.
Anyway, using their fans they organised a campaign to get themselves back into the UK charts with You’re Gone and maybe win some new fans. They managed to go to #7. Except that being a song with no particular commercial appeal, and one which would never have gotten that high on its own merits, it quickly dropped to somewhere around #35, then off the charts completely as the campaign ran out of steam.
I don’t know what they thought would happen – perhaps that people would love them if only they gave them the time of day, or that their old fans from the Fish-era would suddenly remember a band they loved as teenagers and re-evaluate them in their middle-age. But the song they chose to do this with, the song I have chosen for today’s entry, just seems so amorphously bland and characterless that it’s no surprise the Marillion fandom remained an insular community.
I shouldn’t hate this band, after all they’re not hurting anyone, and their fans really seem to get a lot out of them. I just feel like they’re a little delusional that’s all. I shouldn’t hate them – but I still kind of do.