Song of the Month: Lavender by Marillion from Misplaced Childhood

Misplaced Childhood is, I think, the best of the neo-prog albums that came out after the first wave of prog, with a great mix of accessibility and extravagance. And somehow, with all of that, and the fact that the album is essentially a single long song (split in two in the original release but performed without break on CD version of the live album The Thieving Magpie) somehow didn’t keep them from producing a couple charting singles in the midst of the 1980s when even Genesis and Yes had become more pop than prog.

The BBC’s Top of the Pops, from which the above performance is taken, is an interesting bird. The performances are mimed to pre-recorded tracks (eagle-eyed viewers will notice there are no cables plugged into Steve Kelly’s keyboards) and for this performance, lead singer Fish had lost his voice and even though he was miming the performance decided to use a big pad of paper to present the lyrics he was “singing” to the audience. It’s a brilliant piece of stagecraft and should I ever perform with a band again, it’s something that I fully intend to shamelessly steal.






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