So many stand-out gig moments over the years, to the point where they just become a blur of fantastic memories and feelings. - Can't confess to having been there during the early Marillion years, although I have been a huge fan since around '87. Some of those early gigs during the Script and Fugazi years have gone down in folklore and I really wish I had been old enough back then to experience them!
First solo Fish gig I caught was during the Sunsets On Empire years. Remember being blown away, not just by the power of the music, but by the guy's warmth and stage presence. Something I'm still taken with every time I go to see a gig.
Like I said, many stand-out experiences, not least the Convention in Leamington. So entertaining being a part of the larger family of fans, the camaraderie and the banter. Recall the humour and excitement surrounding his long-awaited decision to play Grendel, after years joking about it. That moment when the intro kicked in, I will never forget. The performance may not have been entirely perfect, I don't remember, but the sheer energy of the crowd 'raising the roof' carried him and the band through to the end. Amazing to be part of that energy, and I still say that the recording of that moment on the Gone Fishing CD only partly does the reality justice. You had to be there.
I've mentioned this many times over the years, but if I could pick out one individual gig I would love to go back in time and experience all over again, it would have to be December 2011 at The Caves in Edinburgh. His acoustic tour I think. Can't express in words how the whole of that weekend came together to make-up the most perfect of times. Not just the gig itself, but the many meetings, the magic of the place, the fact that it was Christmas time, and more than anything actually meeting the man for the first time, in the pub prior to the gig, and a most wonderful moment between him and a small group of fans after the gig, when he was having a wee smoke outside the venue in the cold December night. I'll never forget that and how it made mine and my partner's weekend extra special. - I can't even remember who else shared that moment with us, but I'm sure they feel the same way. I think it was about seeing and feeling his own energy and excitement. He was buzzing that night, having taken so much from the crowd. - That was the best moment for me. Speaking to the big man on a cold winter's night in Edinburgh.