Sunday, 20 December 2015

Fish - Birmingham Town Hall

Christmas had certainly arrived in Birmingham ! The Town Hall is smack bang in the town centre and the German Christmas Market is in town.

Being used to the token offering in Northampton it was quite a surprise and stretched on endlessly a  cavalcade of lights and sound.

I even treated us to a large German sausage ....

But we were not here for the sausage, or indeed the lager or anything else being thrust before us. Oh no we were here for a nostalgic trip down memory lane after some 35 years of it's launch. This would be the last time that the iconic and most well known of Marillion albums 'Misplaced Childhood' would be performed by it's creator as it was intended , in it's entirity. Fish himself came on stage to announce the support band 'Lazuli' warning those still in the bar that they were about to miss something special. Describing them as probably the best support band he has encountered during his career. High praise indeed! Lazuli are a French Progressive Rock band formed in Southern France in 1998 by Claude and Dominique Leonetti.I have to say they were very impressive !The set starts off with a sitar sounding electrical vertical guitar, I have no idea what such a thing is called? They sing in French and are an unlikely collection of multi instrumentalists. The set is completed with all 5 of them around an electronic glockenspiel culminating with a version of Marillion's 'Incommunicado'. Followed by a well deserved standing ovation. “You think you’ve brought a ticket to a gig. You’ve not.” We’re rolling back time Fish tells us. 30 years to be precise. ‘Misplaced Childhood’ Marillion with Fish on vocals was their biggest album reaching platinum status, straight in at #1 in the UK charts, 41 weeks in the actual charts themselves. Marillion only made one more album afterwards with Fish‘Clutching At Straws’ before he went his separate way. Of course Marillion have continued very succesfully since 1989 with Steve Hogarth on vocals. Fish takes the stage with his customary scarf around his neck. He starts off with some offerings from his solo career ‘Pipeline’ from album ‘Suits, followed by ‘Feast of Consequences.’ Of course there is the obligatory chatter, anecdotes and witty observations sandwiched between each song. By the time the opening notes of ‘Pseudo Silk Komono’ begin the audience has warmed up and gone from seated to standing. The fifty minutes flew by on a wave of nostalgia but it was more that that it was part of my growing up. There was still time for encores that included the crowd favourite from 'Script for a Jesters Tear' 'Market Square Heroes'.

 This might be the last chance to ever hear 'Misplaced Childhood' in full but Fish has promised to keep going for at least another two years.

Setlist: Pipeline (Fish – Suits)
Feast of Consequences (Fish – Feast of Consequences)
 Family Business (Fish – Virgil in a Wilderness of Mirrors)
 The Perception of Johnny Punter (Fish – Sunsets on Empire)
 Misplaced Childhood (Marillion) in it’s entirety:
 Pseudo Silk Komono
 Bitter Suite
Heart of Lothian
Waterhole (Express Bongo)
 Lords of the Backstage
Blind Curve Childhood’s End?
White Feather

Encore: Market Square Heroes (Marillion – Script for a Jesters Tear)
 The Company (Fish – Virgil in a Wilderness of Mirrors)

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