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THE WISHING TREE
Bush Hall, London 20 December 2009
Tree is the side project of Marillion's guitarist Steve Rothery who
released their first output back in 1996 with 'Carnival Of Souls'.
Fast forward 13 years and Steve has taken time out from his day job and
released the second offering 'Ostara' with the delightful Hannah Stobart
taking on the vocal duties. A marriage made in progressive folk rock
freezing cold winter's night, a few days before Christmas, the Shepherds
Bush Hall is the perfect setting for this time of year, looking like a
place where you would come to watch the local pantomime (''Oh! no it
isn't.''), the only thing missing is some warm mulled wine (''Oh! yes it
On a night
like this you need a warm up act so to speak, and I was surprised to see
Steve Rothery and fellow Marillion bassist Pete Trewavas walk on stage and
break into a few cover versions. I actually enjoyed the pub rock
standards of 'White Room', 'Come Together', ' Mustang Sally' and 'Make Me
Smile (Come Up And See Me)' with some great vocals from friend Gary
Palmer, but there was trouble brewing (''Behind You!'').
Beaumont was tapping away on the drum case. At the end of this short
four song set, Rothery took to the microphone and explained that the
electronic drum set had malfunctioned and had been awaiting a new set from
the local hire shop and had just arrived. So with a little interval
whilst they set up the drums, it was time to pay a visit to the bar and
chat to a couple of fans.
Stobart who wrote the lyrics for the new tracks looked beautiful and
elegant with the sound of an English rose.
evergreen er...'Evergreen' was the only track from 'Carnival Of Souls'.
Songs from the new release 'Ostara' had a lot more depth to them in the
live setting compared to the polished CD.
You', a cover of the 90's hit by Mazzy Star, was a welcome addition to the
set making the song their own. Rothery's daughter Jennifer joined in on
This was a
surprisingly enjoyable set and after the curtain call the band returned to
live out some fantasies of songs they must have performed in front of the
mirror a thousand times in their youth.
Stobart living the Stevie Nicks 'Dreams' with the Fleetwood Mac cover
followed by a chance for Pete Trewavas to do his best Roger Waters
impersonation with the bass and vocals on the Pink Floyd roasted chestnut
It's a shame
that this is only a side project, because with full time commitment this
could turn into something bigger, but with more big plans for Marillion in
2010 as well as the forthcoming Transatlantic dates for Trewavas, it looks
like Wishing Tree will have to go back in the loft with the Christmas
decorations in the new year. Let's hope they will still have that
glitter at the end of next year.
Set list : Seventh Sign/Fly/Evergreen/Kingfisher/Falling/ Fade Into You/
Hollow Hills/Ostara...Encores: Dreams/ Comfortably Numb
Andy Rawll and Andrew Lock
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