The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

Marillion Biography


Gigs at the Marquee club: 22
Period of performances: 1981/1988
Formed in: Aylesbury, Bucks, UK, 1978
Members who played at the Marquee:
Fish -Derek William Dick- (vocals)
Steve Rothery (guitar)
Mick Pointer (drums)
Diz Minnit (bass)
Mark Kelly (keyboards)
Pete Trewavas (bass)
Andy Ward (drums)
Jonathan Mover (drums)

Marillion is without a doubt one of the most related bands to the Marquee Club during the early 80's. Between 1981 and 1983, the band became the most acclaimed act from the neo-progressive London scene, which was mainly hosted at the Marquee Club featuring other bands such as IQ, Pendragon, Solstice and Pallas.

He was replaced by Diz Minnitt and Scotish singer Derek William Dick -alias Fish-, who had been involved together in a short lived experimental band (Stone Dome Band) , prior to seeking like minded souls, first in the Cambridge scene and later the Scottish Borders.

The creation of this new line up led to a burst of creativity and Marillion recorded their first professional demo tape in July, produced by Les Payne and featuring the tracks "He Knows You Know", "Garden Party" and "Charting the Single".

Taking the name from J.R.R. Tolkien's book "The Silmarillion", the band was originally formed in Aylesbury, Bucks, UK, in December 1978, featuring Mick Pointer on drums, Steve Rothery on guitars, Doug Irvine on bass and vocals, and Brian Jelliman on keyboards. By early 1981, the band's line-up changed with the departure of Doug Irvine. He was replaced by Diz Minnitt and Scotish singer Derek William Dick (alias Fish), who had been involved together in a short lived experimental band called Stone Dome Band, prior to seeking like minded souls, first in the Cambridge scene and later the Scottish Borders. At this stage, the creation of this new line up led to a burst of creativity and the band change it's name to Marillion and recorded their first professional demo tape in July, produced by Les Payne and featuring the tracks "He Knows You Know", "Garden Party" and "Charting the Single".

In October the 20th 1981, Marillion played their first show at the Marquee Club, supporting the female rock band Girl, and including Fish's distinctive make-up and stage presence. Journalist Xavier Russell from Sounds magazine described his appearance as "a rather tall and mysterious Scot, stalks around the stage in jerky movements at times reminded me of Gene Simmons (Kiss), although Fish's make-up coulda been more outrageous".

Marillion Ad

In January 1982, Marillion returned to the Marquee for a couple of shows on the 3rd and 25th. Their following show at the club, on the 7th of March, was followed two weeks later by the departure of bassist Diz Minnitt, who left the band due to musical differences. He was soon replaced by Peter Trewavas, who had just disbanded The Metros. A month later, Marillion started a UK tour and on the 19th of May the new lineup played for the first time at the Marquee Club. In July, the band started a residency at the club, which was announced as "Return by Public Demand". This coincided with their successful appearance at Reading Rock festival on the 29th of August. This show was followed by an extensive September residency at the Marquee that featured five consecutive shows, which sandwitched the legendary unadvertised comeback of Genesis at the Marquee Club on the 27th of September 1982. Marillion's show on the 25th was announced as "?A Garden Party for Forgotten Sons? (An Special Party With Marillion).


Fish at the Reading Rock, 1982.

On the 27th and 28th of October 1982, Marillion played at the Marquee as the start of a promotional tour for their first release, the single "Market Square Heroes". Two months later, on the 6th of December, the band entered the Marquee Studios to start the recordings of their first album that would take about 12 weeks. Fish spoke later about the haunting atmosphere at the studios during the recordings: "There was a dark power trapped in the song that visited us again while recording the track for the album in the Marquee Studios. As we multi-tracked the voices giving us the immense monk like chant, the booth which was buried in the cellars of the Marquee offices went icy cold and a tangible presence entered the room. Everyone freaked and something happened to the tape which now contained noises other than those recorded. The Marquee Studios are built on top of an old plague pit where hundreds of bodies are supposedly buried. It took me a while to go back into the booth."


Coinciding with the Christmas holidays at the studios and to follow the tradition of starting their tours at the Marquee Club, the band played three consecutive nights on the 28th, 29th and 30th of December to say goodbye to the year coinciding with the live debut their first album "Script For A Jester's Tear", which was filmed and later released on video as "Recital Of the Script". On these shows, Marillion were supported by three of the most reputed progressive bands of the British scene: Pendragon, Solstice and Daga Band.


Marillion at the Marquee Club, December 1982

At his stage, Marillion was one of the most representative bands of the Marquee Club, who were labeled as the leaders of the new neo-progressive rock scene. Recovering the lyricism, fusion of style of artists such as Genesis, and the theatrical stage presence and expressionism of vocalist like Peter Hammill and Peter Gabriel, Marillion casted a personal sound full of contrast and nuances, protagonist by the ever-present stage presence and distinctive vocals of Fish. "Script For A Jester's Tear" was a gothic portrait of London's social life full of caricatures and grotesque snapshots that had a lot to do to the Soho's life on those days.

After this, Marillion gained international success and became one of the most popular rock bands from the 80's and toured UK. O the 12th of May 1983, following a successful appearance at London's Hammersmith Odeon, they had a secret comeback to the Marquee under the anonymous name of Skyline Drifters to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the club. This show showcased the first public appearance of the band's new drummer Andy Ward, after the recent departure of Mick Pointer. Andy Ward was a reputed drummer in England, who was especially known for his long involvement with the famous progressive rock band Camel. In fact, this was not the first time Andy Ward played at the Marquee since he did so with Camel in numerous occasions between 1972 and 1974. Ward was forced to leave Camel in 1981 after having injured his hand. He had gone through constant problems with alcohol and drug abuse provoked by a bipolar disorder, that even drove him to attempt suicide. Andy Ward joined Marillion but he only played in the band for three months due to differences with the band. He was replaced by John Martyr and later by Jonathan Mover.


Lufthansa Airport Terminal
at the Marquee Club, October 1983

In September 1983, Marillion started a successful USA tour supporting Rush. One month later, on the 30th of October, the band played their last gig at the Marquee, under the name of Lufthansa Airport Terminal.

In January 1984, drummer Ian Mosley joined the band on drums, and soon later the band released of their second album "Fugazi", which was followed by a world tour.

The Marquee Club was also the place chosen by the band's fan club (The Web) to celebrate two fan conventions featuring Marillion live, one in December 1985 and another in April 1988. Also, part of their performed at the club on the 10th of December,1985 was broadcasted at the reputed BBC TV show "The Old Grey Whistle Test".

After two successful albums, "Misplaced Chidhood" (1985) and "Clutching at Straws" (1987), Marillion released the EP "Incommunicado", which cover featured an image of the entrance of The Marquee Club at 90 Wardour Street as a tribute to the club. The promo video of this song was actually shot at the Marquee club in April 1987.


Marillion "Incommunicado"

In September 1988, Fish decided to leave the band for musical differences and started a solo career as he explained on a letter to the fan club: "During the process of writing the new album it became apparent that differences, both musically and lyrically, between Fish and the rest of the band were irreconcilable". Fish debuted as a solo artist in 1990 with the album "Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors" and was replaced in February 1989 by vocalist Steve Hogarth, who had been playing at the Marquee Club on several occasions with the bands The Europeans' and How We Live. During the following years the sound of Marillion took a new direction, with an orientation to American rock, and the band has remained as one of the most popular rock bands since, releasing the albums "Holidays In Eden" (1991), "Brave" (1994), "Afraid Of Sunlight" (1995), "This Strange Engine" (1997), "Radiation" (1998), "" (1999), "Anoraknophobia" (2001), and "Marbles" (2004).

Since his departure from Marillion, Fish has developed a successful solo career experimenting with different music styles and releasing the albums "Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors" (1990), "Internal Exile" (1991), "Songs from the Mirror" (1993), "Suits" (1994), "Sunsets on Empire" (1997), "Raingods with Zippos" (1999), "Fellini Days" (2001), and "Field of Crows" (2004). Fish is considered one of the most personal and unique vocalists and lyricists in rock music.

After leaving Marillion, Andy Ward played on several projects of Richard Sinclair's Caravan and has played with numerous bands, including Skaboosh, FF, Yukio Yung and Bevis Frond. Recovered from his illness, he was forced to quit the hard life of touring in order to take care of himself. In early 2003 Andy Ward took part in a project along with Andy Latimer and Doug Ferguson from Camel. He is considered as one of the most personal and outstanding drummers from the 70's progressive rock and Canterbury scenes.

After a long break in the music business, in 1994 Mick pointer went to form the successful rock band Arena along with Clive Nolan of Pendragon, releasing the studio albums "Songs from the Lion's Cage" (1995), "Pride" (1996), " The Cry" (1997), "The Visitor" (1998), "Immortal?" (2000), and "Contagion" (2003).

Jonathan Mover is one of the most skilled American rock drummers. After his involvement with Marillion he worked with numerous reputed artists such as Steve Howe, Joe Satriani, Steve Hackett, Steve Vai, Alice Cooper, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Peter Frampton, Frank Gambale, and Joe Lynn Turner. He formed the progressive rock trio Einstein.

starDiz Minnitt interviewed at
starMore info on Marillion
starMore info on Fish
starMore info on Andy Ward
starMore info on Jonathan Mover
starA wonderful resource website on Marillion

Marillion gigs at the Marquee club


Skyline Drifters gigs at the Marquee club


Lufthansa Airport Terminal gigs at the Marquee club


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