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Fish - Return to Childhood CD (album) cover





3.22 | 44 ratings

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3 stars A live registration of one of the toughest gigs of 2005 where Fish revisits pieces of his past. I must say, "Misplaced Childhood" has never been my favourite Marillion album. I remember when it was released it was a bit of a letdown when I first heard it due to the romantic tendencies and the soft sound. Moreover Fish's voice had changed drastically when compared to "Fugazi" . In time I learned to love it more for its mystic and romantic elements. After all those years I find myself appreciating all of the song writing.

The set is divided in two parts. On the first part you'll get a sort of best of package of Fish' solo material ; not necessary the best tracks he ever did but it comes close. When you got Fish- and Marillion material united in one gig, comparisons seem inevitable. The Fish stuff is less progressive but more dynamic and powerful and certainly more up to date. "Misplaced Childhood" is smoother, softer and especially more melodious.

A Fish gig is always a bit of a party. In the spoken introductions of the songs, Fish jokes or gives commentary to all kinds of stuff. It's a pity that, his funny stories have been strictly limited on the "return to childhood" gigs but I guess he used that time to play more music. Anyway, I enjoyed his distractions once again.

Everyone knows the vocal abilities of Fish have been eroded by time since 1985. His vocal performance vary from one gig to another. Quite surprisingly he handles "Misplaced childhood" quite well without significant adjustments. I did spot him in better shape on other gigs of the same tour. As always, he doesn't manage to sing "Kayleigh" proper but on the other hand, I don't believe he ever did, even in the Marillion years. Unfortunately his singing doesn't deliver the power on tracks like "Credo" , "Goldfish and clowns" and "Incommunicado".

The concert has been shot in the Paradiso club in Amsterdam. Even though this venue has a great atmosphere, it seems very small when compared to the places Marillion visited in 1985. Too bad there's just so little stage effects apart from the band itself. They seem pretty good organised and all musicians deliver an excellent performance. The way these guys handle the Marillion stuff is slightly different from the original versions. The music has a rougher edge, the guitars are to the fore and sound more chaotic which is most refreshing. In fact, for the most part, I prefer the Fish versions to the original but that may be personal.

This package of 192 minutes live material is recommended for those who didn't made it to the gigs. Those people who did witness the gigs and want a nice souvenir will not be disappointed. Strange enough, this dvd includes the complete track listing of the first part of the "Fool's company" dvd from 2002. On "return to childhood" there's more solo material included. Let's not forget the splendid cover art from Mark Wilkinson which refers to the original cover of MC. On this cover we find the jester stepping back into the room he left in 1985.

Fishy | 3/5 |


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