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Fish Tales from the Big Bus album cover
4.31 | 26 ratings | 2 reviews | 58% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (64:03)
1. The Perceptions of Johnny Punter (11:41)
2. What Colour Is God (7:21)
3. Family Business (6:24)
4. Mr 1470 (5:32)
5. Fish Talking (4:25)
6. Jungle Ride (8:15)
7. Medley: Assassing / Credo / Tongues / Fugazi / White Feather (20:25)

CD 2 (50:15)
1. Fish Talking (6:25)
2. Cliche (8:35)
3. Brother 52 (6:08)
4. Lucky (20:14)
5. Internal Exile / The Company (8:53)

Total Time 114:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Fish / vocals
- Robin Boult / guitar
- Mickey Simmonds / keyboard
- Steve Vantsis / bass
- Dave "Squeaky" Stewart / drums

Releases information


Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to tszirmay for the last updates
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FISH Tales from the Big Bus ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(58%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FISH Tales from the Big Bus reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
4 stars This double live album captures a set from the Sunsets On Empire tour - specifically, the Koln gig which was the end of the German leg. Sunsets was an incredible artistic breakthrough, in part because of the assistance of Steven Wilson behind the production desk and on the songwriting, but it also found Fish exploring a world of drum loops, samples, and other modern musical techniques which had previously not been such a big part of his sound (though there's some precedent for the samples in the "newsreader" section on the studio version of Forgotten Sons...). The big question arises: "does the band succeed at translating this to the stage?"

The answer is an emphatic "yes". The approach is a bit rockier than on the album, adding a live frisson which helps integrate the newer material with more well-established Fish classics. Yes, Fish classics - the nearly two hours of music on here includes no complete Marillion songs, though Assassing, Fugazi, and White Feather crop up as part of a mid- set medley, and at this stage in his solo career Fish was at the point where he could present a compelling concert just with his own material.

(For that matter, Marillion themselves were approaching the point where they would habitually do entire sets without any Fish-era numbers - Piston Broke, which was recorded the same year, only has Sugar Mice to represent the Fish years on there. Both parties in that particular divorce were growing as artists just fine going in their own separate directions, which is perhaps proof positive that going their separate ways was ultimately healthier for both than staying together.)

The older songs fit alongside the Sunset material admirably, with Fish and his band familiar enough with them to add some new polish to old material - the version of Family Business on here is magnificent. The rendition of Mr 1470 from Suits - a somewhat underrated album in my view - has new juice added to it which makes it sound like something which could have passed muster on Sunsets. Fish also has an excellent rapport with the German audience - a good chunk of his between-songs patter is delivered in a mix of German and English, which seems to be appreciated by the fans.

My only major complaint is that the 20 minute version of Lucky here ends up being rather self-indulgent and self- congratulatory, Fish expending more time on the band introductions than is perhaps necessary. Otherwise, the tape quality is decent for the most part, though there's some hiccups here and there which preclude giving this five stars, the technical execution by the band is much more consistent (impressive, given some of the newer technology they were incorporating), and the man himself is on top form. If you are interested in 1990s-era live Fish at all, I'd recommend getting yourself a ticket on the Big Bus.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is my favorite live album by Fish. It's also one of the talkiest, which is why I love it so much. What sets Fish apart from other performers is that he is first and foremost an entertainer, meaning he'll sing and dance and tell (long) stories. Those who have never had the pleasure of s ... (read more)

Report this review (#25050) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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