Uncle Fish And The Crypt Creepers

Battleside Ltd, released June 1993

2 CDs
UK: (Battleside Ltd.) FIS 004
USA: (Griffin) GN 1032-2
USA: (Renaissance Records) RMED00160-2 (Released 24th Sept 1996)
UK: (Dick Bros Record Company) DDICK17CD

Remastered 2CD (Released 28th Oct 1998)
Eur: (Roadrunner) RR 8685-2 (016861868529)

Recorded live at Dusseldorf Philipshalle, 7th Dec 1991

CD 1 (56:54):
01. Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors [Dick/Simmonds]
02. Credo [Dick/Simmonds/Boult/Usher]
03. Tongues [Dick/Simmonds/Usher/Boult]
04. Family Business [Dick/Simmonds/Lindes]
05. Incubus [Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Mosley/Trewavas]
06. Shadowplay [Dick/Simmonds]
07. Dear Friend [Dick/Boult/Simmonds]

CD 2 (54:23):
01. The Company [Dick/Simmonds]
02. Lucky [Dick/Boult/Simmonds]
03. Big Wedge [Dick/Simmonds]
04. Windswept Thumb (Bitter Suite) [Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Mosley/Trewavas]
05. Heart Of Lothian [Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Mosley/Trewavas]
06. Fugazi [Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Mosley/Trewavas]
07. Internal Exile [Dick/Boult/Simmonds]
08. Market Square Heroes [Dick/Kelly/Minnett/Pointer/Rothery/Trewavas]
09. Forgotten Sons [Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Mosley/Trewavas] (Recorded at Paris Olympia. 9 December 1991)

I'd never bought this in the past, despite a superb track listing because I'd heard the sound quality wasn't up to much.
Well I was told wrong (I have the Dick Bros. version). It sounds great to me and may well have taken over from Sushi as my favourite live CD.
Absolutely storming versions of Big Wedge and Fugazi (loved the echo effects).
Big Wedge has a whole new dimension added (great intro.)
Shadowplay knocks spots off the studio version.
The IE/MSH finale fairly rocks too.
Heart of Lothian seems too fast, but that's the sort of thing that makes a live performance.
Fish is in good form vocally and seems to be enjoying himself.
I highly recommend it.
Graham Gordon, 19 Nov 1998

My girlfriend bought a copy of Uncle Fish and the Crypt Creepers. I've been listening to it a lot lately and just really enjoy Fugazi. It is as though we are being told a very personal and secret story at the beginning. Fish almost whispers "vodka intimate...". That is one excellent song. And then the guitar parts in Lucky are so involving.. I wish I'd had this live CD ages ago. Michael Lasham, 15 Jan 1999

Another Official Bootleg, this time recorded in Dusseldorf in December 91 during the Internal Exile tour. The band on this tour consisted of Frank Usher (guitar), Robin Boult (guitar), David Paton (bass), Mickey Simmonds (keyboads) and Kevin Wilkinson (Waterboys, China Crisis) on drums.
This was the tour where Fish started the gig singing Vigil in the middle of the audience (just a voice in the crowd), so for those who thought Arena's recent opening for the Visitor show was very original ..... I don't think so. Anyway, the song is played very well and - as much of the other songs from the first album - much tighter than on the previous tour.
Credo, Tongues, Family Business, Shadowplay and Dear Friend are all good versions and Incubus starts with the graveyard story and soundeffects, which unfortunately was done in rather annoying German for this gig. The track itself is wonderful, with tasteful playing by Mickey and a double guitar solo by Frank and Robin.
Lucky was already played with a lot more energy on this album and Big Wedge features the amazing sermon with Fish playing the TV preacher.
Heart of Lothian is introduced by an acapella version of Windswept Thumb (you know, the 'on the outskirts of nowhere, on the ringroads to somewhere ...' bit). Heart of Lothian is played much beter than on the previous tour and isn't inferior to the Marillion version at all.
Before the band kicks off with Fugazi Fish talks out the fucked up situation in the world. Parts of the song itself aren't played as well as on other versions (especially the beginning where Fish misses his cue and the bit at the end) , but it's still good to hear this track again.
A great version of Internal Exile merges perfectly with an enormously energetic version of Market Square Heroes.
The final track (recorded in Paris two days later) is a fine version of Forgotten Sons which unfortunately is dominated a bit too much by Frank Usher's solos (it seems he can only play one style).
The performances are done very well and the band plays tighter than on the Vigil tour. I'm not very fond of Fish' (half) German conversations though, that's why I actually prefer another 'official bootleg' from the same tour (For Whom The Bell Tolls).
Strange enough, someone placed the tag '(live)' behind all the tracks on the first disk, but not behind those on the second disk. Usage of this addition on a live album is rather senseless anyway, as far as I'm concerned.
The 8-page booklet contains liner notes and pictures of the performance. The actual stage show had been lower in budget that tour. I think think it might even have been the last tour with real stage props. 8- out of 10.
Ed Sander (DPRP), December 2003

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