Steve Hogarth and us
An Avengers eccentric

- What is the reason for using the first verse of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" as a segue into Seasons End?

(h) - When I was a boy I sang in a choir up in Doncaster. It was directed by an old guy called William Appleby who bore a passing resemblance to Jeremy, the Nowhere Man, in the Yellow Submarine movie. He used to do a music education show on the BBC called Singing Together. He had an amazing train set in this house which went out through holes in his walls and round his garden - a great British eccentric! He introduced us to "O Come, O come Emmanuel" back in the days when you could use the word 'come' without anyone thinking of orgasms. I thought then, as I still do, that It's a magical and haunting melody evoking mystery and a real sens of another age - an age when the Bible was being written. It sounds mystical too, to me. Sometimes you just feel an idea, from a different part of your brain to the intellectual or logical area. I just 'felt' Emmanuel as an intro for Seasons End."

Studio Time

Is it December already?
Einstein may have been a genius but he failed to notice the phenomena of "Studio Time" - the strange acceleration of the clock (and consequent shortening of the hours, days and weeks) as soon as one enters the control room of a recording studio.
The process of plugging in a microphone or guitar which would take only a few short minutes in the kitchen, will easily use up an hour as soon as the control room is closed and "studio time" is entered. 14-hour working days are needed to accomplish what would only take an hour in the outside world. An egg, when boiled steadily in a studio, will still be runny after four hours! It is for this reason alone that our album still isn't finished.
Dave is working like a dog, and (after a number of days overdubbing on "Pacific Rower", (Atlantic Rower, Ocean Rower, Sweet Ocean Cloud, or whatever we eventually call it) the first signs of scurvy have set in, causing loosening of the teeth, stunted growth and skin disease. We've added limes to his diet and he's improving steadily.
I'm still paying the occasional visit to listen to old and new vocal takes, and then running off with my hard-drive full of voices to select my favourite tunes and moments. Each time I return, everything sounds better. I wonder what you'll all make of it..
The festive season is upon us and we'll take a short break to do the thing. By January I'll be trying bits of backing vocal along with Pete (the BV meister) and perhaps we'll even persuade Mark to join in. He really has a nice voice if you can coax it out of him.
And so the tale of the lost and remembered marbles is almost told.. They'll be rattling around in YOUR head soon enough.
We hope Santa brings you happiness, rude health, whatever else you deserve, and that 2004 brings us all closer together.
And love.

h, Ian, Mark, Pete, Steve #

marbles might be TOO intense!


"marbles is a little like Brave in as much as it's a "trip" as well as a collection of songs.

We played 4 or 5 songs at the marillion Weekend 2003 back in March, and the feedback from the fans afterwards (in person and on the net) was unanimously very positive. At that stage, the songs were only sketches and everything has grown and matured since then. We will have spent 2 years working on this CD before it's even mixed, so it's one of the most finely crafted albums we've ever made. But "Angelina" for example, is a product of pure "in the moment" chemistry between the five of us, jamming late at night, and much of that performance will remain untouched by the recording process.

Musically and lyrically this double-CD posesses a depth and intensity to rival Brave. My only worry is that, overall, it might be TOO intense. It's emotionally pretty-damned heavy, and I know that a lot of people have enough weight in their lives already, and look to music to be uplifted. Having said that, the individual songs are full of good tunes and stand up well in isolation, and "Drilling Holes" and "The Damage" provide light relief (in a disturbed sort of way..). If you're willing to give this one time to get as deep beneath your skin as the lyrics came from under mine, then I imagine this one'll rattle you in a very good way."

h #

This French Engine: a death threat

The french marillion web site is in danger. We need your help: #

Living with the Big Lie

As the chimerical guffaws are surrounding her, loneliness takes its place. Now that everybody talks to her, she has become one of those brave pathetic hollow girls. The truth about her life is so translucent now that even the decor is revealing the sadness of whole of it. And the fall is especially unbearable for those who thought that they could support her for the rest of their lives. But sometimes you just have to let people you love fade away. It's not a desertion, merely a question of saving oneself. #

After the parties

From (oct. 21st), h is in a 'thank you' mood:

"Well. That was a blast, wasn't it? Thanks to all - band, crew and audience - who made the magic possible. Thanks to the audience in Zaandam for enduring our first-night iffyness. Thanks to Hellendoorn for being great hosts and putting up with the Saturday night drunks at the bar (I don't mean me!). Thanks to Köln for treating us like princes, and being in such great voice. Thanks to Milan for singing Estonia for me when my voice was broken. And last but not at all least thankyou London for a magical last night. Sorry I never came out afterwards - I had to rush off home. Happiness. h

Oh bugger! Forgot to mention Barcelona! What a fantastic gig. Definitely the most relaxed I can remember the h band ever being on a stage. Big thanks to our Spanish family for putting us at such ease. Thanks also to everyone who left messages on the guestbook. It's good to know you enjoyed the gigs as much as the band.
Soon, amics!"

h #

A Grain of Rice

A faithful presence when time creeps over my too long patience. A one o'clock crescent moon bathing the English countryside. Ascending misty shadows under the late morning rain of an evergreen landscape.
The untouched smell of the moistly fresh air slowly sliding down my cells, I welcome autumn. Nowhere does this feeling stop. But to me a beloved unknown Dreamkeeper.

Carved in twinkles, forged in deep loving smiles and fed with constantly growing nakedness, how can this bond between us be both so natural and so uncharted. How can I feel so confident and so safe. My beloved friend ?

In and out, all the same.
So beloved you.

Isabelle Ballester


At That Time of the Day

The shadow of a night dawns over my journey home. The perfect rhythm of the train goes for ever on, mirroring my vaporous thoughts. Nothing left to focus on but the canvas I’m stitching. And the mechanical precise act, my guarantee of existence, is promoted to a world safe-conduct.
The windows by now all blackened, the jewelry of railroad world is reduced to itself, heading towards an hypothetical dot. An endless corridor, all-types passengers involved in their own never-ending blind journey. Where are we all from? What are we all getting at? Dead metaphors, life pregnancies. Even that is a lie.

So if you ask me
How do I feel inside
I can honestly tell you
We've been taken on a very long ride

The city came out of nowhere. Relief as I stepped out. The crowd's aggression felt almost like welcome. Easier to be anonymous. Easier to have the right to stay lost.
Too old to know why, too young to know how.

We'll get on our knees and prey
I'll show you salvation
We'll take the alternative way
Clutching the short straw

Only movement counts.

Isabelle Ballester

The colour of our marbles

From, h is speaking:

Hello boys, girls and grown-ups.

What a summer! The best I can remember since 1976.. Yes - I am that old.. Personally it's been a bit of a thumb-twiddling summer. Dave Meegan is STILL editing the backing tracks, which sound better every time I pop into the studio to check he's still alive. The process was halted by a technical set-back a couple of weeks ago when one of our hard-drives containing some very important master recordings, suddenly stopped functioning and we thought we'd lost the lot! It had to be sent to a company in Portsmouth who specialize in retrieving data from dead hard-drives and, fortunately we got it all back! It's caused a degree of nervousness down at the Racket Club though, and much time has been spent creating back-up copies.

Meanwhile, I've been at home working on a piano part and lyrics for a new song called "Fantastic Place". I've also been working on the live soundtrack for the forthcoming DVD of the Union Chapel gig which Marillion played last Christmas. Dave just had a two week holiday in the South of France (it was either that or therapy!) so Roderick and I took advantage of an empty control-room to finish mixing the Union Chapel soundtrack. It's looking and sounding great and, I suspect, is going to be a live DVD to be proud of.

I'm less than two weeks from the forthcoming h gigs, so I'm increasingly turning my attention to the many musical and practical preparations for this. Set lists, rehearsals, buses, hotels, crew etc... It'll be great to get out on the road and sing live again with my bunch of Eastern mystics, not-to-mention the lovely Pete Trewavas! I hope you can make it, the London show's almost sold out.

Well, as you may or may not know, THE TIME HAS COME. It's now possible to preorder the forthcoming marillion double-album marbles. Big thanks to the thousands of you who ordered in the first week of September. We'll be thanking you by name in the sleeve, of course. Carl Glover is designing the special package book which is set to become an award-winner in itself! Lucy's working hard on the marketing and a WORLD tour, and we should be able to announce tour dates in the near future.

Next year's going to be a busy one... Can't wait to get back in the studio and finish recording... Phew...


P.S. Thanks again to everyone who has filled in our online poll, please keep those replies coming in - we want to know what makes you tick, we want to know the colour of your marbles. #

I love Lucy!

"Now we all know that major record companies have a tendency to do as little as possible to earn as much money as they can for themselves, particularly when it comes to reissues. But Lucy (Lucy Jordache, marillion's fan-turned-manager) was determined that the marillion catalogue would offer more than than just running a dodgy copy of the master tapes through a compressor. She went on a pilgrimage to find demos, alternative mixes and writing tapes for bonus tracks. One of them was the title track for the album Afraid Of Sunlight. The version she dug up featured Steve Hogarth alone in the studio late one night actually composing the song on the piano, going over different bits again and again for about 20 minutes. She took the tape into Abbey Road and, with Peter Mew, spent six hours editing together a version that didn't actually exist, but was the birth of the song."

(from Sound to Sound/marillion: doing business with their fans) #

marbles can already be yours!

marbles is now available for pre-order through Racket Records. Buy it before first light and tell everyone to do the same! #

Secrets of the 21st Century

The sun rises on an burnt out dawn. The earth, filled up with fertile red, exhales multitudinous scents of sap. Echoing crystal, the running water rejoices itself upon being chosen to dismiss the night's feline moistness. The mists, yesterday still untarnished, raise up and float back to the sea.

They are still sleeping. Tightly entwined, they enjoy the full grace which follows corporeal exhaustion. They relish lying in the very heart and yet far beyond the concept of intimacy.

He is the first one to open his eyes. Hardly. Just enough to wrap his lover, his friend, his almost sister with his tenderness, his sweetness and his entireness. With his love too. Overloaded by an atavistic flux of intense emotions, his body starts to shake. Unconcealed last outburst of an unconditional firework.

It's her turn to wake up. Emerging from her deep feminine inner ocean, she raises her glowing eyes towards him. And hugging him tightly, she lets him cry over what will never be, over what has never been, over what is lost.

The last dawn was white : she knows what has been won.

El condor pasa.

Isabelle Ballester

Serene Siren

The white shade has but all vanished. The paths are now divided, each of them glittering in their own colours. A mere and infinite spot in time, radiating morning rays. Circle, full stop, ascending spiral : who knows? None of us has been able to make it real, none of us seems willing to cancel the never-ending flow.

And even though we've all changed, even though I've become empathically blind towards you, even though we're gratefully waving good-bye, I cannot help feeling a divine smile gently creeping in my veins. Even now, everything might well not be exactly as it seems.

Our inner lakes fated to glimmer, the past has been fertilized. It's now covered with joy, love and forgiveness. An afternoon's blessed music wiped us clean. A marillion catharsis of course.

The present is all that was ever meant to be. Ironically, you won't know for a long time how pleased we are with it. Cheerfully, you'll realize one day what a glee it has all been. And most humorously, you will end up understanding that we've only been loving you.

In the meantime, I'm standing somewhere between the High Priestess and the Watery Queen, I have been finally set free.
Future lies ahead.

Isabelle Ballester

'all about h' turns into english

Because we wanted all about h to have a much larger audience (and also, to be honest, because we ardently hope that h himself will read us 'one fine day'), we decided that all about h has to be a shakespearian stuff.

Translations of former texts are already on line and new ones will quickly follow...

Stay with us dear h-addicts, the best is to come! #

h news: Ice Cream gigs to celebrate the end of the summer


Ahaaaaaaarghghghghgh! My long-missed shiverin hearties,
Good news!

The HMS Saucy Sue will set sail from London bound for the low countries and due to arrive on September 19th. Oh but she contains the rarest of cargo.. including, this time, my friend and yours, Pete Trewavas on bass. The rest of the band is unchanged (apart from in the brain of course..)
I'm proud, delighted and relieved to announce another chance to experience the dark and beautiful magic which is my band of eight like-minded sorcerers, committed to the summoning up of spirits and the stirring up of souls. This time - if you're in the right frame of spirit - you might just see them..
We can do it without you. But imagine if you missed it.. You only live once.. this time.


Hello Hepcats,

Well, as you've no doubt heard, backing tracks for Los Marillos new album (marbles) are recorded and, while Dave Meegan spends his days staring at a computer screen, editing between the "takes", the rest of us are working at home on our own contributions to the next phase of the album - planning the flesh that goes on the bones...

Soon Dave will be ready and we'll be into the overdub stages of the album. We tend to take it in turns - arriving and leaving the studio at different times of the day. As there's LOADS for the band yet to do - I have time to run off and take the h band out for a spin! Hooray!

It is therefore with great pleasure, pride, and relief that I can invite you out to a gig! If you haven't seen the h band, I can promise something
extraordinary, spiritual and mind-blowing from some of the finest musicians in the country who have left a trail of internationally-known successful bands in their wake including XTC, Massive Attack, The Stone Roses, Japan AND I GET TO SING ON IT!! If you have seen the h band then I don't really have to say anything except "See you there.." and to let you know we'll be planning a different set list to previous outings. The line up remains the
same apart from a little-known bass player from Aylesbury..

Drums - Andy Gangadeen
Bass - Pete Trewavas
Guitar - Dave Gregory
Guitar - Aziz Ibrahim
Synthesizers -Richard Barbieri
Cello - Stephanie Sobey Jones
Tabla - Dalbir Singh

We will be weaving our magic at the following venues...
(Complete ticket information is on )

19 September - De Kade, Zandaam, Netherlands
20 September - Odeon Schouwberg, Zwolle, Netherlands
21 September - Alter Wartesaal, Cologne, Germany
22 September - Thunder Road, Codevilla (PV), Italy
24 September - Sala Bikini, Barcelona, Spain
26 September - Union Chapel, Islington, London, UK


At last, don't forget to express taste and views by going there: marillion online users poll.


marbles cover t-shirt and mug

h on tv

marbles sound clips

marbles street-teams

marbles tour 2004 (fully confirmed dates)

marillion/episode XIII: marbles campaign

christmas in the chapel DVD now on sale

steve hogarth/official site

the rainbow room - europeans and how we live pages

this french engine

french clique de marillion

marillion/explanations of songs elements

marillion week-end 2002/bingo set

h interview - october 2002

h interview by mark bayross (2002)

the other h band

pop up mag

Powered by Blogger