The Union - Fish Forum

Fish Tails from the audience

We all have a particular show that for some reason just sticks in our minds as being the one where everything for us just clicked, regardless of how many times you’ve seen an artist play, usually one shines brighter than the rest. For some reason a show with Marillion featuring Fish and a solo show from the man himself both happened at the Southampton Gaumont years ago.
The Marillion gig was a re-scheduled one that ended up being played close to christmas instead and i remember it just because the band were just having a blast, it was just a party atmosphere, laughing, joking, silly string, female roadies mooning and everyone relaxed and fooling around whilst the music was played, a memorable night.
Jump forward and Fish returned promoting his rather wonderful Suits album and sadly the venue hadn’t sold a tremendous amount of tickets, Fish wandered out on stage wearing a kind of head scarf more suitable for the desert, sat down and said that he would wait for all those in the balcony and gods to make their way down to the stalls where everyone could get closer together and it would feel more like a crowd, so people did and when he was satisfied he started the show. He could have cancelled claiming poor ticket sales but didn’t and it was in the end a really great night.
May explain why Suits is by far my favourite solo album but irrespective of that i admired Fish for not letting his fans down, i wondered if anyone else went to either show and what they thought? I would also like to read your experiences, Fish with or without Marillion or both which show and why?


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.

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I sadly sacrificed all opportunities of seeing Fish or Marillion and the majority of the the bands i grew up with when i emigrated to australia, although i do like living here i look at the gigs i have missed and it makes me weep inside.
Fortunately i was there at the start when the seeds for Script were sown and the first tentative steps were taken, so i have those memories of the band finding their feet, all so long ago but i reckon they were the best times, vinyl to hold and album covers to stare at and seeing the bands with my eyes rather than through some-ones smart phone, it was for me a better experience then, there’ll be people that’ll argue but each to their own.


Great post. :wink:
I have many a great experience going to see Fish. However my standout memory was on the Clutching at Stars tour in a small venue in Runcorn. We were at the very front and I was snapping away getting some great pics when the big man himself fixed me a piercing stare and asked “you ok?” “I would be if you could just keep still for a moment” I replied cheekily. “Tell you what” said Fish “I’ll just stop the show” he lay on the stage so I could get some great snaps… And then the unthinkable happened. I very nearly had my very own ‘Grendel Recital’ moment. He tried to lift me up on to the stage. Embarrassed, I declined only to later regret not doing so. :pensive:
I was with my father in law and asked if he would take a picture. He actually recorded a short video that I still have.
I adore Fish and not just his music, he is probably the most honest artist there is.
I remember on the Internal Exile tour, and a gig in Liverpool I brought a number of Pic Disks and bootleg albums to get signed. I sheepishly offered them to Fish. “You gotta be f#cking joking me, how many?” He signed a few, I said a very grateful thank you and was about to walk away… “giz em ere” said the big man and signed them all…:sunglasses:
What you see is indeed what you get. And what we all see we love…

Ste x


So many gigs. The Marillion memories are now very hazy but probably Milton Keynes in `84 ( support to Quo ). An overnight bus journey from Dundee to Milton Keynes arriving an hour prior to the gates opening. Bottles flying at a certain Glam Rock has been. Jason & The Scorchers and Nazareth were also on the bill. Although the day belonged to Quo there was a hefty support for Marillion who being based in Aylesbury at the time had a lot of local support. Being there with a friend who is no longer with us makes it a special memory too.

Fish gigs - The Toile Tour `92 at Preservation Hall Edinburgh. Was like he was playing in your front room he was that close. and sitting with Fish outside afterwards for photos and autographs.

Fat Sams Dundee `93 - Fish at the bar with Frank Usher, and I invited them to my birthday party ( no they didnt attend ). Fish walked along the bar singing The Company.

I remember the Fellini Days Tour at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh. In a bar afterwards this American guy kept staring at my tour shirt before coming over, “Excuse me sir, but what is a Fellini Day?” Trying to explain to an interested but confused tourist was not easy.

I remember a gig in Lochgelly in a wee seated Arts Centre ( possibly 2006 /2007 ) type place where everyone seemed rooted in their seats. The set had a lot of Clutching at Straws numbers. Well the Last Straw kicked up and I was up out of my seat like a shot.

So many great times none more so than most recently and Glasgow on the last two tours. The first gig when I walked into Henglers Circus and walked up to Rab and was welcomed into the Company. Then all meeting again in 2015 and continuing the friendship with a great bunch of people once again, before breathing through our arses in the Market Square Heroes moshpit.:smiley:

Remember folks for those going to Manchester - 321 sleeps.


On the subject of confused onlookers, I recall an old guy in a Warrington pub looking at, amongst others, mine, Andy and Rab’s t-shirts and asking if we were fish wholesalers. That same guy also thought Rab looked like ex-army. Talk about funny! :laughing:


So many good memories,I remember the first time I seen fish was on the field of crows tour in Belfast…I was beyond excited,it was nowhere near close to a sell out but the gig was incredible.Briefly met the big man backstage and made a bit of an arse of myself,star stuck!
Return to childhood in Glasgow was a blast as was the 13th star gigs in Belfast and again Glasgow,messy affairs but always special.
Acoustic gigs were again fine evenings of craic and banter,Perth theatre was a special nite as it was my mini stag nite…once again a messy affair!
Glasgow again for the feast tour and the sublime farewell to childhood gig…meeting up with the company in weatherspons and feeling welcome as ever…magical times and I’m already getting excited for the December show in Glasgow.
PS…I had tickets for the Fellini tour but couldn’t make it…:scream: