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  FISH/Lazuli
O2 ABC, Glasgow
Sunday 13th December 2015


Ian Sutherland
ian sutherland


fish

Mr Derek William Dick better known as Fish has been a big part of the soundtrack of my life. Since encountering him with Marillion in a pub in Bannockburn in 1982 I have seen him with that band and subsequently solo many,many times.

I have the albums too and through the ups and downs of my life and his career he has provided many highlights for me.

I am not alone in my admiration for the man and his body of work as a sold out show at the ABC tonight shows. The news that he is in the winding up stage of his career plus that he will be performing Marillion's 'Misplaced Childhood' in its entirety for the last time on this tour has brought the faithful out in force.

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Opening act Lazuli benefit from an introduction from Fish himself to show that they have his seal of approval but I think the audience would have loved them anyway as they are really good.

fish

This unusual French outfit do prog with a kind of world music edge to it. Adding in a selection of unusual instruments to the usual guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards set up they have a lively, cheerful air which married to some very well put together songs really gets the crowd on their side.

The elegant, looping riffs and extended instrumental sections work really well and even finishing with all the band combining to play a song on a marimba (a xylophone like instrument) goes down a storm. A really interesting band worth keeping an eye on in the future.

Fish is still often described as ex Marillion in any introduction but he has twenty years plus of mostly very good solo material to draw on so tonight's show starts with a selection from those years.

fish

'Pipeline' has a really nice groove which lets the band settle in nicely. Fish gets to show off some of the theatrical moves he's known for and get his vocals on track. Bedevilled by vocal and health issues on this tour tonight is obviously a physical strain on him but the charisma is still intact and the audience follow his every move.

The title track from 'Feast Of Consequences' follows and then we get the first extended song intro of the night. At most gigs when the singer talks a lot you want them to shut up, but Fish is a genuine raconteur and his storytelling is always worth listening to.

A story of a drunk in an A&E department becomes the lead in to anti paedophile song 'Family Business' in his hands and he follows this with a passionate speech about the attacks in Paris as an introduction to 'The Perceptions Of Johnny Punter'.

fish

A song written about Bosnia in the nineties it is a surprising highlight of the night, its brooding, hypnotic riff conveying menace and tragedy in equal measure and there is added poignancy when a silent moment is added with Fish standing stock still while a French flag is projected on the back screen. Stirring stuff.

Then came the time for the evening's main event. Marillion fans in the eighties were known for being word perfect on all the songs and tonight everyone dug deep into the memory and found that the lyrics to 'Misplaced Childhood' were still in there.

'Kayleigh' and 'Lavender' were easy, the stirring 'Heart Of Lothian' didn't take much effort either and even 'Lords Of The Backstage' was there for most.



This was an emotional and nostalgic run through a thirty year old album and closing track 'White Feather' became a huge celebration of the event. The crowd sang ' I will wear your white feather, I will carry your white flag' as one, bouncing along with the jaunty riff and many had come prepared waving white feathers and white flags madly.

After such a high there was no way the main man and his band were escaping without playing more and they went right back to the beginning with 'Market Square Heroes' and then an emotional ending with one more glorious sing along to 'The Company'.

fish

Age and ill health have dulled the voice a bit but that simply didn't matter tonight. This was a celebration of the man's music, talent and sheer dogged determination to deliver his art to his audience. He shed a tear on the stage and there were more than a few misty eyes out in the audience too.

A magnificent gig and a fitting tribute to the big man. Hopefully he'll make it back for one more hurrah before retiring.

fish




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21.12.15













 


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