Steve Rothery Band The Junction, Cambridge 29th July 2022

Words and photographs by Mark Stimpson

Steve Rothery’s solo album The Ghosts of Pripyat is in my opinion one of the finest records produced in the last 20 years. If you’ve not heard it, then you are missing a real treat. So, when I noticed that Steve was doing a short tour, I decided to go see him at Cambridge.

The evening kicked off with a short set from Italian guitarist Riccardo Romano Land. I’ve not heard them before but am impressed. Joining them on stage for one song is Martin Jakubski (lead singer with Fish era Marillion tribute band Stillmarillion). Riccardo then welcomes Jennifer Rothery aka Sylf to the stage. Her songs are dark, haunting almost beguiling. It’s awesome stuff and I love it. Steve Rothery then joins his daughter on stage for a couple of songs After a short break, The Steve Rothery Band consisting of Dave Foster (guitar), Yatim Halimi (bass), Leon Parr (drums), Riccardo Romano (keys) walk on stage to cheers and applause. They launch straight into Morpheus, the opening track from The Ghosts of Pripyat. Unshackled from the strait jacket of Marillion we see a different Steve Rothery. His playing is effortless and confident. The music that he weaves from his guitar leaves me spellbound and enthralled. The magic continues with Old Man of the Sea and Summers End.

Martin Jakubski returns to the stage for the second part of the set which focuses on early Marillion material. Before kicking of with He Knows You Know, Steve tells the audience that he doesn’t get the chance to play these songs very often, some of which he’s hasn’t played for 35 years. This is the Marillion era I grew up with so it’s nice to hear the songs played live again. When we get to Incubus, Steve tells us the song is a song where he finally found his voice with his guitar. Watching him play the song it becomes easy to see why he should feel this.
“It’s just a bleeding tribute band”, I hear someone mutter beside me. While Martin Jakubski is no Fish, his voice is still strong enough to deliver the songs. The band are tight and come together like a well oiled cog.

Overall, it was, an excellent performance from both Steve and the band. Clearly the early Marillion era is still very close to Steve’s heart and something he wants to hang on to. I really like Steve’s illuminating comments between songs. Both chatty and engaging he sets the scene. However, I was a little disappointed that there was no new material given a new solo album is on the horizon.

Perhaps next time?



Old Man Of The Sea
Summer’s End
He Knows You know
Three Boats Down From The Candy
Script for a Jesters Tear
Sugar Mice
Afraid of Sunlight
Kayleigh/Lavender/Heart of Lothian
Garden Party/Market Street Hero


Philip Goddard

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