Review & photos by Rich Ward
While he’s still putting the finishing touches to what looks to be a mighty fine album, Fish has decided to head out on a 12 date mini UK tour. A while back on his website, he wrote a lengthy piece on the costs and profits of touring, and it makes fascinating reading. With that in mind, you can appreciate that without a new album to promote, it’s certainly a risky business. It then makes it an even riskier prospect when the Midlands date at the Robin coincides with Rush playing at the LG Arena. During the set Fish alludes to this, but thankfully, the attendance does not seemed to have suffered and must be at near capacity.
These dates are obviously an opportunity to air tracks from the forthcoming album, Feast Of Consequences, and they waste no time setting about this with ‘Perfume River’, and then the title track itself. This is followed by a real step back in time to ‘Script For A Jester’s Tear’. Infact, there are a fair number of older Marillion songs which are revisited during the evening. It is on these that it’s clear that Fish’s voice is not quite what it used to be, with him struggling with the higher notes. What is not lost, however, is his delivery and passion which still remain second to none.
‘Goldfish & Clowns’ features some excellent guitar from Robin Boult, and the song remains one of the finest moments of Fish’s solo career. ‘He Know’s You Know’ is superb and is as supremely dark as it ever was, and also leads Fish to reminisce about playing at the Tip Top Club in Birmingham 30 years ago, with amusing anecdotes and banter with the crowd.
Fish remains a superb storyteller both in music and conversation. He talks at length about his experiences and emotions visiting the battlefields his grandfathers fought at, and outlines the story behind the ‘High Wood Suite’. ‘All Loved Up’ is less serious and is very much the rocker in the set of new songs. A medley of older tracks picks out the best with snippets of ‘Assassing’, ‘Credo’, ‘Tongues’, ‘Fugazi’ and ‘White Feather’ ensuring that there is plenty of familiarity in the set for the less hardened ‘Fish Head’ in attendance.
All in all a great night out which also served as a preview of the ‘Moveable Feast’ album. Pre-orders for this were promoted throughout the night. The package looks fantastic – a real labour of love, and the gig must have helped in securing a substantial amount of orders. I know he’s got my business.
Fish will be back in the Midlands on 6th November with a date at The Assembly in Leamington Spa.
See more of Rich’s photos here;