Market Square Heroes - Intro

Introduction:  Market Square Heroes was the first official release from Marillion. With the monster-length (ha ha...) Grendel on its b-side, the 12" was certainly an EP rather than a normal 12" single. The single suffers from a rather murky production; Market Square Heroes sounds muddy and hopelessly dated. Rothery's guitar is buried in the mix rather than cutting as it would become on the remix on the Punch and Judy B-sides. 3 Boats and Grendel also have poor productions which mar the whole effect but nevertheless, the single served as a harbinger of what was to follow. 

Three Boats Down From The Candy

‘Crying Wolf’
Brewer’s: "To give a false alarm. The allusion is to the fable of the shepherd lad, who so often called “Wolf!” merely to make fun of the neighbours, that when at last the wolf came, no one would believe him. This fable occurs in nearly every nation the world over."

‘The Candy’
This is the name of a boat on Brighton beach. According to Fish's onstage intros, the story is about a couple who have a tryst under a boat that has no name, just a number. The nearest one with a name is The Candy.

‘Rollers coast’
I was listening to the 'Between You and Me - from Fish to h' podcast when I had a moment of mundane enlightenment - when you have a sudden insight into something that's not that impressive. It had never occurred to me that the expression 'rollers coast' might imply the presence of an actual roller coaster - I'd always just thought that while a play on the word 'roller-coaster', it just referred to the waves breaking on the shoreline, but listening, I suddenly realised that it might be a bit more literal.

On Brighton's Palace Pier there is a roller-coaster - two in fact - however, back in the late 1970s/early 80s, there wouldn't have been. The first roller-coaster on Brighton Pier didn't open until the 1990s; prior to that there had been fairground style attractions, though seaside roller-coasters were by no means unusual at that time, so it might just be poetic licence.

Where to get this song:

Market Square Heroes

Introduction: Fish wrote: "Originally titled UB 2,000,001 as reference to the unemployment statistics at the time. The lyric was about a would-be revolutionary with all the necessary charisma and presence of a leader without direction or goals, just a sense of frustration and anger. It was heavily influenced by the riots taking place all over England in the summer of '81.The lyric was written in St Mary's graveyard in Aylesbury on the comedown from an acid trip and was completed as dawn came up and a ring of policemen moved in on my girlfriend and I who were acting 'suspiciously'. Weirdness incarnate."


Introduction: Fish wrote: 'At the time of joining the band I was asked to provide lyrics for a long track the band had written with bits that had originally been in a song called The Tower etc. I was obsessed with a book called Grendel by John Gardner and the way that it points out that anything ugly is instantly scorned upon and seen as wrong.' Hence a classic was born! The lovely thing about the piece is the way the music conjures up exactly the right mood; 'ocean fogs' with its echoey vocals and yawning guitars, and forest quagmires with its bubbling keyboards (especially when it was done live).