My name is Derek and I am a Fish

30 years ago I went to what was then the Apollo theatre in Oxford to see Marillion. This was during the Fugazi tour when they were still in their ascendancy and Fish wasn’t writing songs like Lavender.

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I remember the beginning of the gig very clearly. The set had a raised stepped gantry in the middle of the stage at the top of which was housed a white circle of what turned out to be paper on a frame. This was backlit silhouetting Fish behind it and then of course as the music hit a crescendo and he leapt through. Very theatrical and great fun. It was a good gig.

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Wind forward 30 years and I am in Reading’s Sub89 club waiting for Fish to appear. This time there weren’t any theatrics unless you count braving the crowd and coming to sing amongst us, as you can sort of see from the dark picture above.

The set list was predominately made up of tracks from the latest “A Feast Of Consequences” which was good because that was what I had practiced and the reason I had booked a ticket in the first place. Between each track Fish told a story or pulled down the christmas decorations above him. Initially this was just pointing them out but then they started coming away and more and more followed! There were two themes in the stories: inequality and war which were also reflected in the songs showing that he hasn’t lost his sense of right and wrong over the years.

For the encore we were treated to Incubus from Marillion’s Fugazi which completed a circle for me as that was also played all those years ago in 1984.