Sunday, 28 June 2015

Parkpop 1983: Marillion

Today it is Parkpop day in The Hague. This free festival has known some huge names and even bigger crowds. In 1992 the peak was reached with more than 500,000 passing the Zuiderpark. Nowadays it has shrunk again and I don't really follow numbers any longer, but still over 150,000  people visit The Hague even on the rainy days. Today I won't go there, as an act of protest. Reason is the organization is brutally ignoring any international metal, hard rock or prog rock bands in the line-up. Ok originally local hard rock band Rosie were scheduled, who might have made me get the bicycle out and see them. After they had to cancel and were replaced by a guitar band there is nothing left worth going really. In order to show how good it was in the past I shall dig in my memory to review 1983's opening band of the day.

Marillion on their first tour outside the UK passed Germany, Roskilde and Parkpop! Being still unknown to the masses they were the opening band on the main stage. Due to many reviews in Kerrang those days I had discovered them before and bought both the debut album Script. as well as their EP Market Square Heroes. Those were the days when Marillion opened a new market for me in Progressive Rock coming in through the Hard Rock / NWOBHM door. Only hereafter I would learn about Classic works of Pink Floyd, Genesis, King Crimson, VDGG and all them dinosaurs. Marillion at Parkpop meant that I was standing in front of the stage with Magchiel in antecipation of things to come. As they played on the Main stage in the park, the stage was wide. With only a few people actually coming to see them there was plenty of space in front to have this show in full power coming over you. What do I remember really? well that Fish's stage presence was already very impressive and Forgotten Sons turned out to become a highlight. Also some memories of a fast growing crowd jumping up and down to Market Square Heroes vaguely comes back. Speaking about growing crowds I was with Magchiel waiting up front for things to get started, while Hans and Marcel went to see a dutch (hard) rock band at the second stage who played earlier. Coming back to Marillion they also admitted this was a pretty good live band. Thanks to the internet I coud find the setlist of that day.
1/ He Knows You Know 2/Garden Party 3/ Script For a Jester's Tear 4/ Caharting the Single 5/ Assassing 6/ Forgotten Sons 7/ Market Square Heroes.

So I did not see Grendel after all, as I don't recall any later shows where Grendel still would be played. A Year later they already were one step higher on the line-up at Hollands most famous festival at the time Pinkop, supporting their Fugazi album. The group of friends who considered Marillion among their favorites grew fast and we would have many returns of them. When Fish left friends got divided, but we still manage to fill up a 12 person house at Marillion Weekends. The quality remains, but as they say the first time is there to never forget and Parkpop 1983 was a special one. After Marillion made many new fans that day, they left the stage victorious. This only to make place for another British band makning their outside UK debut: Diamond Head. The band that brought me the Borrowed Time patch I would have as a stand alone on my jeans jacket for years to come.
So Parkpop gave me great memories and just looking again at today's line-up makes me sad.

1 comment:

  1. Well if this is a rock blog I think this is the best place to talk about a rock boss! Erik you have not been only a boss but a friend along all these years, since back in Brazil and later in Amsterdam. We went together through bad moments and good moments and we always celebrate the victories with rock! As we definitively did in Qatar. I move now for a new challenge in my life but knowing that you did the best you could, in all of your decisions, always with your direct and defined (and unique…) Dutch way! For sure, we shall keep this friendship for the years to come, no matter if in Brazil or wherever live will take us. Let’s always keep the rock!