Discussion, news and info on the forthcoming convention in Leamington Spa.

Reflections on Leamington Spa

Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:48 pm

Well, where to start?

My first convention in 10 years and I´m damn happy I did this one. But, let´s start this journey back in 2002 and more specific in June in Liverpool(UK) & Enschede(NL). Fish was to play the entire masterpiece “Misplaced Childhood” in it´s entirety, probably THE album that I have played most in my collection. I really love that album and for many years I prefer “Side 2” rather “Side 1”. Side 2 and all musical passages between the actual tracks are just in a perfect harmony, add the voice and the lyrics from Fish and it´s just perfection!
I heard the entire suite back in 86 at the “Farewell to the Garden Party Tour” but that was my very first Marillion gig and I wasn´t that hooked at the band at that time. So, it was a easy decision to book the Enschede tickets and as a bonus I booked the tickets for the Caverns gig as well. A fan got to do what a fan got to do.

The question I still ask myself today is what the fuck happened with Misplaced Childhood in 2002? This was perhaps the biggest disaster in Fish´s tour history in my opinion. A band that performed a master piece without any respect at all for the original. Some of the MC-songs just sounded horrible in my opinion(Guess some of You starts to hate me by now!). What did the band at the rehearsals, it clearly didn´t sound good. I still haven´t listened to the “Fools Company” DVD, I just can´t stand the Enschede show.

I would say it was around that period I kind of lost the interest in Fish after being a huge fan since the solo debut in ´89. After the Enschede shows I just went to one Scandinavian gig of every tour, so I have been around but less frequently.

Then, in Copenhagen in 2010 I went down to a acoustic show without any hopes, I was anyway in the southern part of Sweden that weekend so I thought a trip to Denmark could be nice. 2 hours later I asked myself, what happened during the show?
This was probably one of the most important shows in my Fish history and also one of the most memorable. First of all, Fish´s voice was better than for ages and Frank and Foss performed the songs in a brilliant way. The set was also very well balanced with Marillion songs and covered the entire solo catalogue of Fish. That night I rediscovered the singer I have spent a lot of money on (actually don´t want to know how much all trips round Europe has costed me over the years) and more important, rediscovered the brilliance, in the man´s lyrics and humor. That night I was reborn!
So, the decision to travel to Leamington wasn´t that hard, it was a simple decision and I´m glad I did it. It was NOT for the BIG song that was to be performed for the first time in nearly 30 years it was to try to recapture some of the magic I obviously had missed over the last years.
The four different sets Fish performed with his musicians turned out to be four magnificiant shows. A couple of minutes into Grendel the first night I felt this was going to be an excellent show. This was based on the fact that the band paid respect to the history and treated Grendel in a very balanced manner. It was clear that they had rehearsed for a long time and was nervous to play the monster but they did it and they kept their honour as well as they did with the rest of the Marillion material! The four sets contained songs from basically all studio recordings with Marillion & Fish and I was very pleased with the selection and the variety of the set lists. Of course, some personal favorites were missing but what can You expect! Unfortunately, the only song from the MC period turned out to be the obscure “Freaks”, I would just have loved to have “Blind Curve” in the set and the rarely played “A view from the Hill”. Grendel was actually even better the second night when the band was a bit more relaxed! Just wonder if it´s possible too keep Grendel or part of it out of the setlist for the next tour!

Fish had also succeeded to maintain his voice and the performance by him was amazing and with a band that sounded really good it was nothing but a pleasure to standing in the audience. It´s a long time since I enjoyed a live gig as much as I did in Leamington.
What to say about the new songs that was played? If I remember right there were four of them, 3 of them were really promising, but “Beautiful People” wasn´t in my style, it was just too simple and no hook what so ever, otherwise I really looking forward to preorder the “Feast” .

//Per
Thanked: 5

Re: Reflections on Leamington Spa

Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:37 pm

Curiously enough, I have just got around to watching/listening to one of the few video clips I recorded at the convention - "script" - and it made my spine tingle all over again! This was my first convention and was an absolute treat. Onkel Fish's voice is back in very good shape and it was a joy to see him so clearly enjoying himself on stage. Really looking forward the the Feast (album and tour) and glad that the big man is still in the business. :)

Re: Reflections on Leamington Spa

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:05 am

per h wrote:what the fuck happened with Misplaced Childhood in 2002? Some of the MC-songs just sounded horrible in my opinion(Guess some of You starts to hate me by now!). //Per


You won't get any "hatred" on this site Per! It's not that sort of place. We may be fans but we are not sycophants. :)

I don't share your opinion about the return to Childhood stuff, but I can see where you are coming from. Remember that in the intervening years since 1985, Fish's voice had changed a lot. He just couldn't sing in that pseudo-falsetto way that he used on the early Marillion albums. To accommodate this, many of the Marillion tracks had to be dropped down in key. That changes the way that a piece of music sounds and feels.

My personal opinion is that this is the main reason for the big change in the feel of the MC material. Also, of course, it was being played by different musicians. Fish's band is not a cover band - but a group of talented players with their own styles. They will never sound like Trewavas, Rothery, Kelly and Pointer/Mosley.

I like the re-invented versions, but they are very different to the originals.

Great post by the way! 8-)
Thanked: 2

Re: Reflections on Leamington Spa

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:24 am

I preferred Grendel on the first night! - Didn't want to hear it again after that.

Re: Reflections on Leamington Spa

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:30 am

arcademannequin wrote:I preferred Grendel on the first night! - Didn't want to hear it again after that.

The 2nd time it was played was better, but also would have been happy with the the once playing of Grendel could of have played some other stuff then

Re: Reflections on Leamington Spa

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:35 am

mileszippo wrote:
arcademannequin wrote:I preferred Grendel on the first night! - Didn't want to hear it again after that.

The 2nd time it was played was better, but also would have been happy with the the once playing of Grendel could of have played some other stuff then


It was played better on the second night, but I thought that the crowd euphoria of the first night was brilliant. Grown men were weeping when they started playing it! :lol: :cry: :lol:

Re: Reflections on Leamington Spa

Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:54 pm

Conan wrote:
per h wrote:what the fuck happened with Misplaced Childhood in 2002? Some of the MC-songs just sounded horrible in my opinion(Guess some of You starts to hate me by now!). //Per


You won't get any "hatred" on this site Per! It's not that sort of place. We may be fans but we are not sycophants. :)

I don't share your opinion about the return to Childhood stuff, but I can see where you are coming from. Remember that in the intervening years since 1985, Fish's voice had changed a lot. He just couldn't sing in that pseudo-falsetto way that he used on the early Marillion albums. To accommodate this, many of the Marillion tracks had to be dropped down in key. That changes the way that a piece of music sounds and feels.

My personal opinion is that this is the main reason for the big change in the feel of the MC material. Also, of course, it was being played by different musicians. Fish's band is not a cover band - but a group of talented players with their own styles. They will never sound like Trewavas, Rothery, Kelly and Pointer/Mosley.

I like the re-invented versions, but they are very different to the originals.

Great post by the way! 8-)


That's a good point!!! If i remember correctly from the Convention Fish said that his Doctor had told him to stop Singing like that as he was damaging his Voice!!!

Re: Reflections on Leamington Spa

Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:05 pm

To be honest, I much preferred the way Fish's band played it at the Convention, compared to Marillion's studio recording. Much heavier and with a better groove. Just my opinion. ;)

Re: Reflections on Leamington Spa

Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:07 pm

arcademannequin wrote:I preferred Grendel on the first night! - Didn't want to hear it again after that.

:o I preferred Grendel on the first night as well Paul, although probably down to the crowd reaction, it was just "out of this world".
The second night was brilliant as well, the song i thought was a bit more controlled and thought the Crowd reaction was up there, but not as much as the first night.
Thanked: 1

Re: Reflections on Leamington Spa

Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:56 pm

mwelljester wrote:
arcademannequin wrote:I preferred Grendel on the first night! - Didn't want to hear it again after that.

:o I preferred Grendel on the first night as well Paul, although probably down to the crowd reaction, it was just "out of this world".
The second night was brilliant as well, the song i thought was a bit more controlled and thought the Crowd reaction was up there, but not as much as the first night.


Exactly my point. WE made it better! ;) :D
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