Interview 7th March 2008

Lancashire Telegraph 7th March 2008
Reproduced with kind permission.

As the frontman of Marillion and for the last 20 years as a solo artist, Fish has never stopped touring. Before he plays Blackburn on Sunday he answered a few questions.

Lancashire Telegraph: Are you looking forward to getting back on the road?

Fish: Absolutely. Performing the new album is a real buzz. I also enjoy the routine.

LT: With 18 dates in a month, do you have to get "concert fit" before you set off - if so, how?

Fish: I'm not too bad. I find it a bit daunting and am always slightly nervous on the first shows after a lay-off. With 60 shows late last year the band are still pretty tight and my memory is still functioning.

LT: Part of the show will include songs from the new album, '13th Star'. How would you describe it?

Fish: I think it's my best album yet. Great reviews have buoyed us. I wrote it in the main with my bass player Steve Vantsis, who brought in a new set of influences and styles. It was born in a very traumatic period in my life last year after the collapse of a relationship. Best bet is to check out my website where you can hear clips.

LT: The show also celebrates the 20th anniversary of Clutching at Straws. What's it like to re-visit songs after a period of time?

Fish: The '87 material sits well with the new songs and I have been enjoying revisiting the "Clutching" album. It's interesting how you interpret the songs differently as you get older. I think the performances are more assured. I have to adjust keys to accommodate my voice these days as it has changed a lot over the years. The falsetto stuff is impossible but my voice overall is richer and more bluesy.

LT: Will you throw in a few songs from other albums/periods along the way?

Fish: The set list is a mix of songs from different eras. It's always difficult choosing the material as there are now 13 albums of songs. The set clocks in at around two hours.It has changed since last year as the new album is taking prominence. I think it's a good balance.

LT: Do you ever get tired of singing 'Kayleigh'?

Fish: It's not in this current set. I played it in 2005-06 during the anniversary tour of the Misplaced Childhood album. It needs a rest every so often, as do most songs at some point or other. There are so many to choose from these days and you have to omit some in preference to others, depending on the shape of the set, when you introduce a new album.

LT: When on tour do you just enjoy the experience or are you working on new songs as you go?

Fish: I don't write on the road. The shows are too demanding and my head is focused on the performances. I still enjoy the shows and the whole road experience.

LT: Are Fish fans - a shoal perhaps - particularly loyal? Do you find a wide age range in the audience?

Fish: The fans are incredibly supportive and enthusiastic and I don't take their loyalty for granted. The website means there is a lot of communication and information and it's interesting to find people rediscovering me as a solo artist and new fans coming on board. In countries where I receive more radio coverage on my solo material there is a higher percentage of younger fans.I think that says a lot. The fan base is something I respect and pay careful attention to.

LT: Finally, tell us one thing about Fish we might not know.

Fish: I always buy a plant for my garden on every tour. Last one was a fig tree from Switzerland.

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