There’s just no excuse, really: in these media-saturated days with every spurious celebrity’s fart and squeak virtually trumpeted for the delectation of the masses, I somehow missed the news that one of my long-time favourite artists is – finally – about to release something new
Fish, for the uninitiated, is the Scottish singer-songwriter who first made his name back in the early ’80s as the flamboyant lead-singer with British, Neo-progressive rock band, Marillion. If you’re over 35 but not a fan, you might nonetheless remember their brief period in the sun back in the ’80s when they scored a #1 album with Misplaced Childhood – Kayleigh and Lavender were daytime radio staples – and opened for Queen and Rush. Like his former bandmates – whose latest, and stunningly-accomplished album, Sounds That Can’t Be Made was released last year – he continues to tour and release music under the radar of the popular music press.
His latest studio recording, A Feast of Consequences has been that long in the writing and rehearsing that thoughts of it had kinda fallen under my radar too; and then suddenly, release day is just around the corner (well, ish – be out August/September apparently). I pre-ordered it last week from his splendid-looking new website. Here are some tasters…
As with Marillion, I’m not a fan of all his output, and his last record, 2008′s 13th Star, whilst fresh and contemporary-sounding musically was let down by some clunky and mawkish lyrics. In fairness to Fish, circumstances around the time of release – his well-publicised split with his then-partner – necessitated some last-minute rewriting on that front and I suspect that the album, as originally intended would have been stronger and more cohesive. The above clips suggest he’s on a different tack this time; less angry and wounded, looking out rather than in. Bassist, Steve Vantsis is co-writing much of the new material, as was the case on 13th Star; whilst lead guitar comes courtesy of Robin Boult rather than Frank Usher this time (the two have, alternately and occasionally together, been Fish band mainstays throughout his solo career). I’m imagining, rightly or wrongly a sound more in line with his Fellini Days/Field of Crows period, which would be no bad thing, since those are my favourite albums since his solo debut back in 1990 with Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors.
And the pre-order boxed edition of the album+DVD looks handsome indeed, as good as anything Racket Records or KScope/Burning Shed might produce under the circumstances and a step up from the rather pretty but flimsy packaging for 13th Star. Fish. it seems, has really pushed the boat out (snigger) this time around…
The link to preorder is here
And for the unfamiliar, here are a few personal highlights from Fish‘s solo career so far: