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Fish Return to Childhood  album cover
3.80 | 64 ratings | 9 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 (53:11)
1. Big Wedge (6:25)
2. Moving Targets (7:16)
3. Brother 52 (5:00)
4. Goldfish and Clowns (6:49)
5. Raingods Dancing (4:46)
6. Wake Up Call (Make It Happen) (3:18)
7. Innocent Party (5:07)
8. Long Cold Day (6:26)
9. Credo (8:04)

CD 2 (71:28)
1. Pseudo Silk Kimono (2:35)
2. Kayleigh (4:04)
3. Lavender (2:57)
4. Bitter Suite: Brief Encounter / Lost Weekend / Blue Angel (8:28)
5. Heart of Lothian: Wide Boy / Curtain Call (5:26)
6. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) (1:58)
7. Lord of the Backstage (1:52)
8. Blind Curve: Vocal Under a Bloodlight / Passing Strangers / Mylo / Perimeter (13:04)
9. Childhoods End? (4:33)
10. White Feather (4:45)
11. Incommunicado (5:10)
12. Market Square Heroes (6:58)
13. Fugazi (9:38)

Total Time: 124:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Fish / lead vocals
- Frank Usher / lead guitar
- Andy Trill / guitar
- Tony Turrell / keyboards
- Steve Vantsis / bass
- John Tonks / drums
- Deborah French / backing vocals

Releases information

2CD Snapper Music #: SMACD923 (2006)

Thanks to velvetclown for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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FISH Return to Childhood ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FISH Return to Childhood reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 2005, Fish embarked on a highly successful tour supporting the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking Marillion album Misplaced Childhood. He decided to capture the event aurally at the 013 in Tilburg and visually in Amsterdam. This is the aural aspect of the tour. Now right from the get go (if you're unfamiliar to Fish's solo works and therefore haven't heard his voice since the Marillion days) you'll notice his voice is much deeper and rougher than when he first performed the album 20 years earlier, so don't expect the same studio performance for Misplaced Childhood. Fish's supporting musicians are dynamic and they really do perform all the material on the album well. Longtime member Frank Usher (guitar) is joined by Andy Trill to add dynamic to the guitar aspect, Steve Vantsis and John Tonks act as the rhythm unit and at moments hit the cohesiveness Trewavas/Mosley, Tony Turrell uses a wide array of keyboards, from organs to synthesizers and his sound is superb, and finally backing vocalist Deborah French was added to help give dynamic to the overall show, the Misplaced Childhood songs in particular.

The show itself is spread out onto two discs, the first being solely Fish's solo material. The overall sound of this show is very modern, very crisp, and everything sounds great, and from the opening feedback notes of Big Wedge you can already hear that. You can also hear the band having a blast while on stage and you can definitely hear it in Fish's voice. Although the solo material is more geared towards his later solo material (Sunsets on Empire, Raingods With Zippos, Field of Crows, etc.), two gems from the past are included. The first is Big Wedge, off of Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors, and the version here is very good, possibly as good as the studio version, which was a superb track. Of the newer material, the two Raingods with Zippos songs, Raingods Dancing and Wake Up Call is probably my favorite here, because the overall sound is more lush and dynamic than the studio version (of which Plague of Ghosts was a great epic). The first set ends with a ripping version of Credo, in which the band really get into a groove and towards the end, individuals from the band leave the stage at different times and soon the stage is empty, ending the first set.

The second disc of the show is comprised solely of Marillion songs. Opening with La Gazza Ladra , the second set opens with a much spacier sounding Pseudo Silk Kimono. From the get go, you'll notice that the Misplaced Childhood songs aren't played in the same key as they were when Marillion toured the album, and this could because Fish's voice has changed considerably and he isn't able to hit those kind of notes. The dual guitars, though, seem to get the job done (although I'd prefer Rothery to both Usher and Trill, who don't play as emotionally as him). The version of Blind Curve here is more dynamic during the Perimeter Walk section, and thus results is the longest version of the song I've seen (running at 13 minutes). This is the same case with Bitter Suite. In all, Misplaced Childhood is performed wonderfully, but I don't think it's as good as the live Marillion versions. After Misplaced Childhood finishes a few more Marillion staples are played. The first is a ripping version of Incommunicado, which has some great synthesizers from Turrell, whose sound on this album is superb. Next is Market Square Heroes, which gets a fairly faithful rendition and some more is added into the middle section. The show ends with a great version of Fugazi, which although vocally draining for Fish (because there are a lot of lyrics for the song), is played pretty faithfully and the, "Where are the Prophets?" section is especially biting this time around. In all, the Marillion songs are very well played, but nothing can really compare to Marillion playing Marillion songs.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the Return to Childhood live album. It was refreshing to hear Fish perform such a great album in its entirety all over again since we'll never hear Marillion perform it all again. My complaints do come at this, though, most of the Marillion songs are played in different keys than their original versions, so they don't sound exactly the same sonically, but they are still played wonderfully, and you can sometimes hear Fish straining his voice and his vocals can be hard to understand at times. Other than that, though, if you're looking for a Fish live album, this may be the one to get (if you can take Frank Usher butchering some solos during Misplaced Childhood). Granted it's not perfect, but there is a magic about it that any fan of Marillion and neo prog in general will enjoy. 3.5/5.

Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Misplaced Childhood is one of my favorite albums, and I very much enjoy the solo albums I have by Fish. So, you would think I would have been very excited about this album. The truth is I am always wary of an artist trying to recapture past glories. I had also not heard anything live by Fish since the Marillion days. Well, my fears were laid to rest. This is a wonderful album. Even if he doesn't have the same range, Fish still infuses a lot of emotion into the music. The band is very tight, and emotes a sense of enjoyment with the material.

The first part is from his solo career, and is much more rock oriented than full out prog. Don't let that scare you away. He is still doing quality stuff, and has picked out some choice numbers. "Moving Targets" is especially good. It infuses some great elements (violin, soulful back up singing), while rocking all of the time.

The second part is Marillion. It has all of "Misplaced Childhood," followed by "Incommunicado," "Market Square Heroes," and "Fugazi." The tunes are played skillfully, and with respect, but are rocked up a bit. Not really a problem, but I have just listened to the originals so many times, that it puts me off a bit. There is joy in the performance, but it seems to lack a certain spark. The band just doesn't have the same touch as the Marillion guys. Although, this isn't Marillion, is it? Taken on that level, they do a fantastic job.

If you are a purist, and don't think you can handle the tunes without Rothery, Trewavas, Kelly, and Mosley, this might not be for you. If you like Fish's solo work, you will definitely enjoy the first half. Take it for what it is, and there is a lot to like here. You can't go wrong with this playlist. Therefore, I say it would be an excellent addition to any prog collection.

H.T. Riekels

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars I can hear your heart

It is perhaps ironic that these days, if you wish to hear the music which made Marillion famous, you have to look not to the band themselves, but to their former vocalist. With the band having long since moved on from that era, live renditions of their great early tracks hard to come by to say the least. In fairness, Steve Hogarth's voice and style are somewhat different from that of Mr. Dick, Hogarth's early efforts to deliver the songs (as documented on the "Stoke Row to Ipanema" DVD) were brave but always inferior to the originals.

It is therefore immensely pleasing to find that Fish has managed to set a side any misgivings he may have had about revisiting his past, and presented us with this live album. Here we have a rendition of "Misplaced childhood" in its entirety, together with a handful of other early Marillion tracks and a set of his solo numbers. This is not the first time by any means that an artist has followed such a path, we just have to look to David Gilmour and Roger Waters for precedents. It is though the first time since 1986 that "Misplaced Childhood" has been rediscovered live. The timing of the tour marked the 20th Anniversary of the album adding extra poignancy to the event.

The set, which was recorded in Tillburg, Netherlands in late 2005, is neatly split between the two discs. Disc one focuses on Fish's solo work, most of the tracks coming from his more recent albums. There are two old favourites (especially live) "Big wedge" and "Credo" from his early solo work, which serve to warm up the audience nicely.

It is though when we move to disc 2 though that emotions start to run high. The distinguished intro to "Pseudo silk kimono" (the hairs are standing on the back of my neck just thinking about it now) tells us that the moment has arrived. The instrumental tones and colours may be a bit different at times, but this is the classic album performed in all its glory, and sounding every bit as magnificent as it did over 20 years ago. As with the live audience, we cannot help but sing along as "Kayleigh" becomes "Lavender" and "Bitter suite" becomes "Heart of Lothian". We solemnly recite the obscure Scottish poet's ode to the spider, and pledge that "your carnation will rot in a vase". This is indeed a "Return to childhood" not just for Fish, but for all who went there with him.

The set concludes with a quartet of Marillion favourites, including the legendary "Market square heroes" and closing with the wonderful title track from "Fugazi" recorded in Koln, Germany.

There are of course many live albums available by Fish. The vast majority of these serve to capture the essence of a live gig by him well, but are generally disposable in terms of their musical value. What differentiates "Return to childhood" is that here the music comes first. As such, when it comes to Fish's live catalogue, this album stands head and shoulders above all others.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars On the evening of this April 23rd, 2006 I was heading Limbourg (le trou du cul de la Belgique, difficult to translate), a Belgian village close to the German border to see this "Return To Childhood Tour". And the concert was an excellent performance of this great singer.

The big man was in good shape: joking with the audience, having obviously fun, generating fun (which is not easy). In one word: a very good concert. And when I watch this DVD, I just feel the same, but with some more tenderness since I can testify with my flesh and bones about this tour.

The first part can be considered as a very good Fish part. Some of his greatest songs are being played (but several major ones are not featured). I have to say (and the audience around me as well), that what motivated us for being there was the second part of the concert.

It is true to tell that the DVD doesn't include anything like special effects, superb light show, or great décor. Just a band playing good music and a front man being as charismatic as always and virtually at home in Amsterdam (but I have already mentioned that Fish IS at home in The Netherlands (just as "Genesis" was at home in Belgium in the very early seventies).

The first part of the concert features several highlights like "Goldfish & Clowns", "Raingods Dancing" or "Credo" but the real thing starts after the break. "Misplaced Childhood" in its entirety.A legendary album in front of my eyes.

Of course, this representation won't add anything new nor any better to the original work or concerts from the original period. BUT, this one was pure nostalgia (as the concert that I saw no later than yesterday with "Mick Pointer & Friends" performing "Script Of A Jester's Tear". Pure nostalgia and great moments of my (very long) musical life.

If ever you are looking for perfection and superb vocals, just past your way. This is a Fish performance recorded in 2006. As such, some imperfections are inevitable but the big man is always captivating, so "audience-friendly", such a great showman. Hat's off, Mister Fish. I will always respect you. And the beautiful work you have brought to us.

Four stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For me personally, the primary motive having this double album from Fish was of course Disc 2 of this package. Misplaced Childhood means a lot to me not because of this is Marillion's best selling or highly acclaimed album but it's more on emotional reason. First, it's a concept album where the music flows seamlessly from one track to another until it reaches the end of one side vinyl and continued with the second part which basically also collection of songs that flow seamlessly also. At the end, basically we have only two long parts like Jethro Tull 'Thick as a Brick' or 'A Passion Play'. Second, compared to previous two albums of Marillion (Script and Fugazi) I had a very long time enjoying Misplaced because it took Marillion two years to come up with the next album 'Clutching at Straw'. So, almost everyday I played Misplaced Childhood's cassette until I repurchased the cassette because the first one was exhausted being played all the time. By that time, CD was a luxury product. In fact, I started CD collection with the purchase of Misplaced Childhood when I travelled to Singapore. This serves a very long introduction about how I have been so attached with Misplaced Childhood.

I was actually not excited when Fish announced that he would release this CD because I did not think it would be as good as when the early Marillion line-up played it (Mark Kelly, Steve Rothery, Ian Mosley, and Pete Trewavas). That's why I did not pre-order the album because I was afraid I would be disappointed. Another reason, sometimes I compared Fish with Peter Gabriel. I knew Peter Gabriel is the kind of guy would never look at the past - he never played Genesis song during his concert. I think he has a good reason because his solo work has different kind of music than when he was with Genesis - so why should he play it? That's a good reason and I salute him for his consistency. While Fish is different, he always look the past success of the days when he was part of Marillion. That's OK ... Each of them has reasons for not doing or doing it.

He did it differently and ...excellent!

To my surprise that I find this CD package is interesting and I have full of joys enjoying this live album. At first I kept playing the Disc 2 all the time and never had a chance to play Disc 1 because I don't quite like The Big Wedge (the opening of Disc 1). The Disc 2 starts right away with the Misplaced Childhood concept album. The keyboard opening of 'Pseudo Silk Kimono' (2:35) takes longer than the original studio version and I like it. Even though this track is short but it's strategically important to me as it helps set the tone of the overall gig. I really enjoy the opening part as the howling guitar work of Frank sounds great combined with the keyboard work. It goes straight to commercial tune 'Kayleigh' (4:04) which sounds almost the same with Marillion's live except the guitar solo that sounds more dynamic. In fact Frank also insert great guitar fills in the music which it was not available at the original version. The transition to another pop song 'Lavender' (2:57) is also nicely done. 'Bitter Suite: Brief Encounter / Lost Weekend / Blue Angel '(8:28) starts nicely with drums solo like the original version but this time the guitar work is wilder than the original. I like the guitar solo, really. Of course I like the part with 'It's getting late ...." which flows nicely to 'Heart of Lothian: Wide Boy / Curtain Call' (5:26). The first set of isplaced Childhood has been done excellently by the band.

I was wondering how Fish band can perform the opening of second set 'Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)' (1:58) as it requires dynamic drumming / percussion at the opening part. Thanks God ... the band does it wonderfully! The drumming work sounds very dynamic and the guitar work is really great. 'So when you think it's time togo, don't be surprised!!!' ... Whoooaaaaa..... great!!! It then flows excellently to 'Lord of the Backstage' (1:52) and 'Blind Curve: Vocal Under a Bloodlight / Passing Strangers / Mylo / Perimeter' (13:04). 'Last night you said I was cold ...untouchable ..." oh man .... It's a wonderful part, Fish! Excellent!!! Well, I really enjoy the second part of Misplaced Childhood.

Emotionally, I am so satisfied with the Misplaced Childhood set performed by Fish band. My worries for the band for not being able to perform and create the nuances of Misplaced Childhood are gone and I love this version of live set as I love the version of Marillion's 'The Thieving Magpie'. I ever imagined if Marillion with Hogarth plays this set.... I don;t think they can create the nuances of the album because Hogartj voice is more suitable to crossover prog kind of music ...something like Radiohead, Cold Play. While Fish has proved himself that he could deliver the full nuances of the album EVEN THOUGH he is backed with non- original members of Marillion (Mark - Pete - Ian - Steve). Congratulations Fish! It's excellent really! I keep playing this Disc 2 because of my liking of Misplaced Childhood live.

The rest, actually I don't really care. But, when I happened to spin, it's not bad at all and it's good that I have Incommunicado, Market Square Heroes and Fugazi. To my surprise also that I find Disc 1 is very good as well. Those tracks that I do not like as per studio album, it's much better being performed live here at this set. Its really an excellent double live album that I highly recommend you to have it in your prog collection. The music is performed differently and it's excellent. Overall rating is 4.5 stars. This is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 405

Fish is a vocalist, poet and musician very well known in the progressive rock world. He was born April 25, 1958, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Derek William Dick, aka Fish, joined the neo-progressive rock band Marillion in 1981 and led the band through numerous successes. He was the dramatic lead vocalist of Marillion with a dynamic personal presence, both off and on stage, in the same vein of Peter Gabriel of Genesis. He participated as a band's member of Marillion on their four first studio albums and on many of their live shows, before departing for a brilliant solo career, in 1988.

"Return To Childhood" is a live album of Fish and was released in 2006. It was also released on the DVD format that contains the same songs, precisely in the same order. It was also released in the same year. In 2005, Fish celebrated the 20th anniversary of Marillion's best-selling album "Misplaced Childhood" with a series of concerts which featured an integral performance of the album. It was recorded from a live concert made at The Paradiso, in Amsterdam, Holland.

"Return To Childhood" has twenty two tracks. The album is divided into disc 1 and disc 2. Disc 1 has nine tracks, all belonging to the solo repertoire of Fish. So, those tracks are: "Big Wedge" from "Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors", "Credo" from "Internal Exile", "Brother 52", "Goldfish And Clowns" from "Sunsets Of Empire", "Raingods Dancing" and "Wake Up Call (Make It Happen)" from "Raingods With Zippos", "Long Cold Day" from "Fellini Days" and "Moving Targets" and "Innocent Party" from "Field Of Crows". The disc 2 has thirteen tracks, all belonging to Marillion's catalogue. The first ten tracks of that disc belong all to the third studio album of Marillion, "Mispalced Chilghood". The remaining three tracks are: "Incommunicado" from their fourth studio album "Clutching At Straws", "Market Square Heroes" from their debut EP "Market Square Heroes" and "Fugazi" from their second studio album "Fugazi".

The line up on "Return To Childhood" is Fish (lead vocals), Deborah French (backing vocals), Frank Usher (lead guitar), Andy Trill (guitar), Tony Turrell (keyboards), Steve Vantsis (bass) and John Tonks (drums).

When comparing this band to the band that played "Misplaced Childhood" at the European convention in 2002, this new line up represents a step forward. The band on this album plays as a very tight unit, which coupled with Fish's voice, it sounds best that it has in a long while, which makes of it in one of his better live albums, in the most recent years.

As I said before, the first half of the gig contains of a selection of Fish's solo works. The set contains mainly the more up tempo, rocky songs from his repertoire, with only "Goldfish And Clowns" and the "Raingods Dancing" falling more in the category of ballads. So, here we have excellent versions of "Brother 52", "Goldfish And Clowns" and a moving of "Raingods Dancing", among others. "Credo" sounds especially energetic to my ears. "Big Wedge" and "Raingods Dancing" are probably my favourite tracks in this first part of the album. After that, the band exits the stage one at a time before a short break in anticipation of the evening's main event, the live performance of "Misplaced Childhood".

The second disc contains, obviously, the integral performance of "Misplaced Childhood" as well as some more Marillion's classic tracks, as encores. The rendition of "Misplaced Childhood" is fairly close to the original, despite the addition of a female backing vocalist, and that it was played in a more heavy and modern way. The backing vocals of Deborah French make a nice addition to Fish and work pretty well, although she does occasionally try to upstage him, I think. The crowd is absolutely bonkers, at this point, and needless to say that it's really ready for more Marillion's material after Fish and his band takes their bows. For the encores, the Paradiso is treated to "Incommunicado", "Market Square Heroes" and a supposedly unrehearsed "Fugazi" all performed with great perfection. All this was a must have to all Marillion's fans of the Fish's era. All in all, we have here two fast hours and fifteen minutes of great music, really.

Conclusion: As happened with most of you, the main reason that led me to buy this live album was de CD 2 and that was the CD I heard first, really. However, if we want to be totally fair, this live album is much more than "Misplaced Childhood". Relatively to CD 1, I'm not an expert on Fish's solo material. I merely know some few Fish's solo tracks, particularly his two first studio albums. So, I can't say if all these live versions are different or better from their original versions. But, I can say that for my surprise that they're all great and that I was very pleased when I listened to them, especially "Big Wedge" and "Raingods Dancing". Relatively to CD 2, it exceeded all my expectations, really. It's truly impressive that 20 years later he did it different but also excellent. We may say that it sounds more heavy and modern than their original versions. To my ears, it continues sounding fresh and new as if it was the first time. This live version is as good as the original. "Return To Childhood" is a great live album and an excellent addition to any prog collection. I think it's very curious that was Fish and not Marillion that celebrated the 20th anniversary of that great masterpiece.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by Warthur
3 stars Return to Childhood is a live album capturing a concert from the tour Fish undertook to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Misplaced Childhood. Although Marillion did still include the occasional Fish-era song in their repertoire, they'd taken to leaving most of Misplaced Childhood on the shelf, understandably since their musical direction had evolved away from it and Steve Hogarth's vocals style wasn't as good a match for much of the material. (By comparison, Hogarth's approach to some songs on Clutching At Straws works much better, in part because musically that album found the band evolving in the direction they'd follow on Seasons End anyway.)

As such, Fish pretty much had a clear run when it came to taking the lead on celebrating this anniversary. The structure of the setlist is simple enough: disc 1 is where Fish takes a bunch of his solo material out for a spin, and it's a fairly solid set of song choices, particularly since he's freed of the need to plug his most recent studio album and so can simply select a clutch of bangers from across his repertoire.

Then disc 2 serves up the main course - Misplaced Childhood itself, as interpreted by his solo band. There's been plenty of releases of live renditions from the Fish-era lineup of Marillion, but obviously this stands out from them a little due to the different personnel involved. There's also a clutch of encores touching on the rest of Fish's career with Marillion - Incommunicado and Market Square Heroes to showcase one of his last and first singles of his stint with the band, and Fugazi as a final mission statement.

Though the setlist is well thought-out and means that the album ends up being a little different from the typical Fish live show, at the same time for some reason this show doesn't grab me. The recording quality is decent enough, but the live mix feels off - it's one of numerous Fish live releases where his live band are really giving it a lot of oomph, and his vocals end up a bit overwhelmed. There's no getting away from the fact that not only did this gig take place 20 years after the album's release, but also it was a good long time after Fish himself had performed the epic in full - and in the intervening years his voice had changed and evolved inevitably.

Some alterations to the keys of the songs were undertaken to account for this, but it still leaves the whole thing sounding just slightly off to me - the Misplaced Childhood performance is in this weird place where on the one hand, Fish and the band know they aren't going to make it sound exactly like Marillion did, but on the other hand this is a nostalgia tour so they keep drifting back in a Marillion-mimicing direction rather than adapting the material more freely. I actually think if they'd given themselves more licence to retool and re-imagine the material it would be better; as it is, Fish and company spend the second disc sounding a bit like an especially polished Marillion tribute act. That might be exactly what people wanted - but if you've already heard live gigs from Fish's time in Marillion, you'll probably prefer those to this, and as for the Fish solo material featured here it's good, but there's ample live renditions of this stuff out there too. On the whole the set is solid but inessential.

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