MSH SfaJT Fugazi MC CaS SE HiE Brave AoS TSE R10 dotcom ANP Marbles SWE HitR StcbM L=M FEAR WFftO


With special thanks to Andy Wright and Annick Gauthier for their assistance with the explanations for this song.

'I heard Joni Mitchell singin' her poems of isolation'
Joni Mitchell is a critically-lauded Canadian singer-songwriter. She rose to prominence during the 1970s and was primarily known for her use of open tunings, embracing of jazz and her intimate, often confessional lyrics. She is frequently called the most influential singer-songwriter ever. Steve Rothery, Mark Kelly and Steve Hogarth are all known to be fans, as was Fish, who evoked Joni's album The Hissing Of Summer Lawns in Lavender.

'And greeted by the fans who led us to the chilly street onto the bus'
The fans were Andy Wright (who later contributed photography for Montreal in the Sounds inlay booklet and shot the band for their 9:30 to Filimore book), Annick Gauthier and Richard Bruce. It was Richard Bruce's idea to arrange the buses to get band and crew to their hotel in mini-buses before the 2011 Marillion Convention. Sadly, just a week after the convention finished, Richard died. His picture is now on permanent display in the Brutopia pub that serves as the official meeting place for fans before Montreal gigs.

'I'll go shopping for shoes'
In a tweet on 02/11/16, Pete Trewavas wrote, "Interesting fact about Montreal. I have over the years bought several pairs of shoes in Montreal and I know H has. Hence the lyric." 'I hope the vibes are good. I'm behavin' as I should'
Vibes is h's nickname for his youngest son, Emil.

'And in the cafe of the Cirque Soleil'The Cirque Du Soleil is a Canadian theatre production company, the largest in the world. It specialises in large scale circus productions and the company is based in inner city Montreal.

'Down at the sportsbar the icehockey never ends'
h went for lunch with the guys from Weekend support band Sun Domingo on the Friday afternoon of the 2009 convention and there was a hockey tournament on the TV in the bar.

'I discovered Leonard Cohen on TV - Live in London'Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and author. He began performing in the 1960s, but achieved real fame during the 1970s. He is perhaps best known to the general public for being the writer of the oft-covered Hallelujah. Like the aforementioned Mitchell, Cohen's musical output has been critically-praised for the high quality of its lyrics. Steve Hogarth is a known fan, and has performed his Famous Blue Raincoat at solo shows. Live in London is a DVD of Cohen's 2008 show at the O2 Arena.

'the outstretched tender hands, tender hands, tender hands of Montreal'
During the performance of This Strange Engine on the Sunday night of the 2009 convention, both h's midi cricket bat and his keyboard had major technical gremlins, leading the singer to despair, sitting on the drum riser with his head in his hands. The crowd launched into spontaneous applause as though to reassure him everything was OK. H responded by falling into the crowd and allowing himself to be carried to the back of the venue before being returned to the stage to a rapturous reception.

Video footage of the crowd surfing is available below: 

'The fleur de lis was always kind to me’
The fleur de lis is a stylised lily used as a symbol in heraldry. It is particularly associated with French monarchy, but is widely used in other contexts. Montreal's flag is adorned with symbols representing the English and Welsh, the Irish, the Scots and the French. The symbol used for the French is the Fluer de Lis.
Song Listing:

The entire album listing is included for completeness, but only song with a link have explanations.

Click to access album
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  1. The Cohen song H performs is Famous Blue Raincoat not Pale Blue Raincoat

    1. You're absolutely right and I know that's what it's called. Corrected.


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