Reviewed by Nuno on 23 Oct 2002
After the hauntingly beautiful acoustic Unplugged at the Walls, Marillion's fans were sure that the non-electrical versions of this band's port-folio can sound as good or even better than the original "full power" versions. That makes evident that another semi-acoustic live set with a few different songs would always be a success as well.
Christmas 2000 - A piss-up at a Brewery is the logical step and a very wonderful gesture from Marillion. This is a recording only available (free of charge) for the official Fan Club of this historic band.
Even if having in its track list some songs that were already recorded in the aforementioned unplugged album, the truth is that some versions have a completely new face (ex: (Alone again in the) Lap of Luxury). And then there are tracks that undoubtedly sound better when played acoustic (just remember Cannibal Surf Babe for one).
The music is Marillion, only with different clothes in different colours. It is beautiful, introspective and dreamlike. The quiet aura that surrounds it is able to hold captive the listener in its meadows and proportionate real shivering moments (ex: the outmost incredible The Space).
Marillion is accompanied in this record by Cello player Stephanie Sobey-Jones
, which playing adds even more depth to the already fantastic songs. These are the cases of Sympathy and Number One.
Overall, the resulting musicality is candid and relaxing, completely ear-candy and sure to please all the fans.
This appraisable initiative by Marillion makes sense to the idea that "Christmas is when a man wants"...at least for The Web Fan Club Members.
If you have the chance to get it, don't even blink!