Swear to God, the man gets bigger! The Drunken Poet took to the stage, prowling beneath low spots that singed the top of his shaven head as though he were a tiger stalking prey. Blasting into Big Wedge to begin the first half of an electrifying set that spanned a glittering back-catalogue of over 25 years, it was clear he was more than hungry - he was starving!
unremitting power of the former Marillion front man’s voice lies
undiminished. A sort of gravely mix of whiskey, lager and smoke, it evokes
a passion amongst his followers that is as hard to define as it easy to
be trapped by. On what was quite possibly the hottest night of the year,
the walls of this small venue positively dripped with sweat as the big
man belted out his solo work for more than an hour. Goldfish and Clowns,
Brother 52, Lucky and a fantastic version of Credo
at the end of which saw each band member put down their instruments to
leave the stage following an explosive drum solo.
Twenty-six years ago one of the most generation
defining albums ever written was released. Misplaced Childhood
blew everything else that was around out of the water with its mix of
ballads, poetry and steel-edged rock to tell a tale based on Fish’s
life experiences to that point and – most notably – his break
up with a girlfriend. Her name was Kayleigh and the song that
derived from it set Fish’s name in stone.
By way of celebration, the band trooped
back on to the strains of Rossini’s Thieving Magpie and
launched into the album in its entirety. With everybody already having
lost stones in the unrelenting heat, the pace and enthusiasm of the crowd
hit fever pitch as each word was sang along to.
Rare indeed is it that an album evokes
so much emotion. Lavender, Heart of Lothian, Mylo,
Perimeter Walk and finally White Feather were ripped
out by the singer and crowd alike with obvious joy.
Fish shook hands with the crowd, threw
bottles of water to those in need, chatted, smoked and drank from what
appeared to be a bottle of wine before once again leaving the stage. It
was almost like being twenty again.
Demands were high for an encore and Fish
did not disappoint as he broke into Incommunicado with all the
gusto of a teenager let out for the big lads party his mum and dad had
banned him from.
A second encore delivered the singular
highlight of the evening – Fugazi. This is a song about
everything wrong with the world that has stood the ravages of time like
no other. Penned in 1983, it tells of a world filled with disappointment
that can only be changed by its inhabitants and, here, was lapped up by
the expectant faithful. Then Market Square Heroes tore the place
apart again with the audience yelling out the tagline as though there
were no tomorrow having been encouraged to the point of worship by the
singer. “Are you following me?” he sings. After damn near
three hours, you bet your arse we are, mate.
The lights lifted and the crowd called
for more, but that was the end of a truly remarkable performance by one
of the most underrated talents the world of Progressive Rock has ever
Roll on next year so that it can be done
all over again. This was a gig so good it was even worth being ripped
off by a licensed bandit in a taxi just to get home.
Want More Information on Fish? Visit http://www.the-company.com/
|Were you also at this Fish: 'The Return To Childhood Tour 2005/6' concert at the Liverpool Academy 2 on the 11th May 2006? Maybe you would just like to comment on this review - FEEDBACK|
Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit. - Chris High 2003.
Site designed and maintained by Steve Bennett 2006 all rights reserved