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FISH ON FRIDAY

Crossover Prog • Belgium


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Fish On Friday biography
Founded in Antwerpen, Belgium in 2009

Formed in September 2009, Fish On Friday are made up of William Beckers - Keyboards & Drums and Frank Van Bogaert. Started in Aartselaar, Antwerpen Belgium the band plays excellent crossover progressive music accessible to both pop and prog music listeners. In 2010 they released their first album, titled , Shoot The Moon

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FISH ON FRIDAY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FISH ON FRIDAY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 50 ratings
Shoot The Moon
2010
3.85 | 65 ratings
Airborne
2012
3.92 | 52 ratings
Godspeed
2014
3.54 | 45 ratings
Quiet Life
2017
4.12 | 40 ratings
Black Rain
2020

FISH ON FRIDAY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FISH ON FRIDAY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FISH ON FRIDAY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 4 ratings
An Initiation (2010-2017)
2019

FISH ON FRIDAY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
Angels Never Die
2013

FISH ON FRIDAY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Black Rain by FISH ON FRIDAY album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.12 | 40 ratings

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Black Rain
Fish On Friday Crossover Prog

Review by SilverLight59

4 stars Prog with pop sensibilities, or is it pop with prog sensibilities? Which ever the case, this is quite an accomplishment. And it's timing was impeccable, early in the covid shut down, a time of great darkness and depression for many. Here is a group of songs that for the most part are encouraging and positive, just what was needed! I have been wanting to comment on this for a while but haven't had time until now. This was, and remains, a go to disc when I want an emotional pick me up.

So, is it prog or not? It's here on the site, so I will go out on a limb say yes! Still, I guess it depends on your perspective. You can't deny that these songs have hooks that will create ear worms that are hard to get rid of ? very pop oriented. The vocals are pleasant and easy to listen to but nothing to extreme or challenging. The lyrics while not profoundly deep are enjoyable and compelling enough. But, this for the most part is not pop in the sense of top 40. These songs are musical journeys with changes in tempo, instrumentation, and good stretches of instrumental creativity, hence the more prog oriented side.

The first four tracks come bolting out of the gate like race horses determined to win the roses. Not that they are particularly fast, but they have intensity and creativity that is hard to resist, each one getting slightly faster and more intense than the one preceding it. It easy to see that this will be an engaging listen to follow. So some brief thoughts on the tracks:

Life in Towns: A thought provoking treatise on the disconnect of humanity towards one another, very pretty song, nice piano and guitar work with underlying synths that build up to a spoken word break mid way, and then grows in intensity to a big finish. The theme of this song seems all the more powerful given the isolation created by covid. (10/10 for being more prog oriented)

Murderous Highland Highway: This starts soft and builds up lyrically with instruments coming in gradually and then lifting it up as the tempo takes off. The beginning of this has a familiar 80's new wave folk edge that sounds familiar and welcome but you can't quite put your finger on it. This has nice central instrumental section with chorus in the background, breaks back into the lyrics and builds up to final guitar supported finish. Another big winner. (10/10 for being more prog oriented)

Black Rain: This is of course the title track, and it picks up the pace straight away. Breaks into lyrics. The opening piano comes off almost like an upbeat Elton John song from his early days, guitar quickly joins, and then comes the lead vocals with strong up front chorus singing in competition. Big tempo, nice guitar work, again, upbeat in nature. (9/10 for being more pop oriented)

Mad at the World: Starts with irregular synth notes, backwards, perhaps? Followed by piano and climbs into another mid tempo track. Lovely vocals, beautiful guitar, very pretty song. It would be hard to not like it! (9/10 for being more pop oriented)

Letting Go of You: Starts with pensive piano, soft vocal, then gives way to first female lead vocal. A nice duet which totally changes the direction of the previous four tracks. First half is a pretty straight forward ballad, but picks up in the second half with some brass, saxophone perhaps? Not a bad track, but not up to quality of the previous four. Does have a nice guitar finish for the last minute and a half. (7/10 definitely more on the pop side of the fence)

Angel of Mercy: Another big song that just draws you in emotionally, moderate pace but just strikes a chord that makes you feel good. So accessible and yet it has a lovely prog undercurrent that makes you wish it was even longer (10/10 so good!)

We've Come Undone: This one begins with a darker soundscape, synthesized vocal initially, and then continues the male & female duet style, but more upbeat, with the chorus over the top. Builds to a nice finish (8/10 not as pop this time)

Morphine: A short mostly instrumental track, with nice rhythm guitar over what sounds like slide guitar. Good atmospheric sound scape (9/10 proggy enough)

We Choose to be Happy: Okay, this one. Well. Pretty shamelessly pop. Yeah, can't really make a case for this one. This was a skip track for quite a while, but eventually just gave into it. Really, who doesn't want to be happy given the state of the world? (6/10 this is a prog site after all...)

Trapped in Heaven: A slow starter, but pleasant soundscape, ballad but builds up to big guitar finish. A much needed sharp contrast to the previous track as it is darker and subtly intense. Nice track. (8/10 more proggish again)

Diamonds: Closing song starts as a ballad, seems a bit anticlimactic, although very pretty, but half way in begins picking up intensity, building, building, okay, actually it's pretty great, and a nice finish. (10/10 just because...)

In general, the first half of the album is more creative, proggy, and stimulating, but all in all, I still enjoy playing the whole thing. Given the opening issue of whether it really is prog or at least prog oriented, each person has to decide for themselves. If you like extreme musical meanderings, intense vocals, and darker themes, this is definitely not for you. But if you enjoy a little prog-light occasionally, this is a pleasant cross over that is worth checking out. Guarantee that one or two of the choruses will go home with you.

Total score for me: 98/110 Good enough for 4 stars

 Black Rain by FISH ON FRIDAY album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.12 | 40 ratings

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Black Rain
Fish On Friday Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I'm saddened by the minimal amount of attention for this wonderful band from Antwerpen, Belgium. Not only this latest album has remained unreviewed, but there are only five PA reviews in total, as many as they have released studio albums since their formation in 2009. Yeah, it's debatable if Fish On Friday is a progressive rock band in the first place, but does it really matter? Their music is melodic, very accessible and catchy pop-rock with a prog flavor and I enjoy them to a great deal. My acquaintance with their other albums is incomplete, but I daresay that on Black Rain the band is at their strongest.

The frontman Frank Van Boegart is responsibe of vocals, songwriting, keyboards and additional guitars. The main guitarist Marty Townsend seems to have a blues background (which isn't very audible here), while the most acknowledged member of the quartet is the British bass/Chapman stick player Nick Beggs who joined the line-up for the third album Godspeed (2014). Beggs has played in Kajagoogoo, Iona, The Mute Gods, Lifesigns plus bands of both Steve Hackett and Steven Wilson, so he's pretty known in modern prog circles. But it's definitely the singer- songwriter that deserves the biggest kudos. For starters, Frank is an excellent vocalist. His voice is warm and sensitive, comparable to Paddy McAloon (Prefab Sprout) and Nick Magnus (Steve Hackett, solo). Oh, nearly forgot to mention that Frank Van Boegart also produces the music and does it truly excellently. Without a hesitation I make a reference to Alan Parsons. The sound is clear, dynamic, organic and easy on the ears in a good way.

When I say that all these eleven songs are highly pleasant, I don't mean the album would be overtly mellow pop missing some kick and grab. On the contrary, it may be sharper than the earlier albums. Sonically it's not difficult at all to consider it as Crossover Prog. The songs do not stretch the compositional structure very radically, but nor they fall into the trap of refrain-chorus-refrain-chorus-bridge-chorus. 'Murderous Highland Highway' is the longest at eight minutes without notably sticking out as a prog highlight in my reception, simply because other songs are mostly equally successful. The title track is a good example of the effective, positive catchiness in this band's music. The female & male background vocals throughout the album work nicely, and the special guest Lula Beggs appears more upfront on some songs such as the ballad 'Letting Go of You', where one also hears soprano sax and clarinet of Theo Travis (Soft Machine, King Crimson, The Tangent, Steven Wilson,...). The closing piece 'Diamonds' is nearly a duet with Lula.

By looking at the few previous reviews for Fish On Friday here, I guess the most easily spotted shortcoming could be worded as "more of the same". Perhaps so, since they were very good right from the start and had found their own style. I notice that I enjoy this album more and more with each listening, so I feel justified to give a full rating. Instead of being "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music" (obviously not, I know!), this is a wonderfully written, produced and performed album of prog-pop, and warmly recommended to all friends of melodic, modern Crossover Prog from Steve Hackett and Nick Magnus to It Bites and Lonely Robot -- especially if you also have a good time with sophisticated pop like Prefab Sprout and Tears For Fears.

 Quiet Life by FISH ON FRIDAY album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.54 | 45 ratings

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Quiet Life
Fish On Friday Crossover Prog

Review by Albert H

3 stars More of the same from Fish On Friday - melodic Crossover Rock with definite Progressive leanings. The Nick Beggs influence is more obvious in this album, but that's no bad thing. These guys really know how to write a good tune, and their arrangements are very complex at times.

The vocals were always a bit understated on the earlier a;bums, but here they've enlisted the assistance of several singers to broaden their vocal sound. It really works well. The title track has "call and answer" vocals between male and female vocalists and it really works well.

The degree of musicianship shown here is excellent. The material is solid and shows development for their last release. I have all four of their albums, and am looking forward to their next! A solid 3.5 stars.

 Godspeed by FISH ON FRIDAY album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.92 | 52 ratings

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Godspeed
Fish On Friday Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fish on Friday might have totally passed me by if it wasn't for the coincidence of me looking for new bands to purchase soon and a timely review someone posted somewhere (PA? Amazon?) of this album. The review sounded so good and a quick sample of the music told me that I would likely like it. And I did! Do!

The label "crossover" is one that steers me away because I imagine that it means it's a pop or rock band with occasional tendencies to be a little more musically intellectual. I tell myself that I want something more challenging, which makes no sense as many of my favourite albums are crossover, or rock albums with just some progressive tendencies like Rush, Saga or Deep Purple. I also like some pop prog like Alan Parsons Project, The Moody Blues, and Supertramp. So, surprise, surprise, this here is a crossover prog album that I quite like.

From the first listen, I was already of the opinion that this was like "Learning to Fly / Momentary Lapse of Reason / On the Turning Away" Pink Floyd or perhaps eighties Moody Blues. There are these beautiful vocal melodies and harmonies and mature, adult lyrics about life, love, and human relations and human experience. I'm guessing "Tick- Tock" is a song about someone with Alzheimer's disease because the chorus goes "You don't remember" and the lyrics are about someone who forgets everything. For me, much of what is so appealing about the album are the vocal melodies and harmonies.

The music features a lot of piano and acoustic guitar, but also synthesizer and electric guitar. The guitar can get a bit heavy on the rock side but never in a hard rock or metal way. It just adds some nuance of fullness and energy to the music in places. The most successful moments are when the music eases down and gives us simple percussion and bass along with piano and acoustic guitar or a simple lead electric. There are places where the music picks up tempo and volume and it still sounds great; however, I found that listening on my iPhone, these more energized moments don't sound as clear. It's as though the sound becomes a big warm fug, the drums muted a bit and the vocals surrounded by other instruments. The CD sounded much better on my car stereo.

Overall, the general sound of the album is mature contemporary pop rock but with change ups in the songs so that you can never be sure when a song is going to suddenly slow down and ease back or going to pick up in energy. "Sanctuary", for example, begins quietly and then builds with some synthesizer and female vocals, and then rocks out for a stretch before dropping back to a more eased back approach. It goes acoustic and laid back before returning to the charged pop rock sound with the electric guitar and female vocals. The title track also goes through some changes, demonstrating the band's ability to stretch beyond the borders of the standard adult contemporary pop song. In short, Fish on Friday seamlessly blend a simple pop rock approach with the daring spirit of prog. Crossover prog indeed!

The songs to have caught my attention and to have received the most replays are "Tick-Tock", a simple but beautiful song; "Don't Love Me to Death", which adds some different components to the song to go beyond average; and the pretty and sweet ode to a dear friend and family member, "My Dog". It's a short but cute track. The rest of the album includes moments of interest in every song, including beautiful instrumental parts, more catchy melodies and soul-soothing harmonies, and even some flute and sax solos. Not every song captivates me from start to finish but each song has something I like, some more than others.

If you like eighties, post-Waters Floyd or eighties Moody Blues but recorded with a modern sound and approach, then I suggest checking out the album. I played it for my family in the car the other day and my kids and wife were asking about who we were listening to. Of my big batch of new purchases, this stands out as one of the preferred listening experiences so far. Maybe not essential, but certainly a very good album worth having.

 Godspeed by FISH ON FRIDAY album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.92 | 52 ratings

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Godspeed
Fish On Friday Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I am guilty for not having picked up on this Belgian band earlier, I guess being a Thomas makes me some kind of biblical sceptic, doubting all the time! Fish on Friday maybe a perfect name for a Christian rock band but that was not what coloured my decision to delve into their craft and make me hesitate. It was ultimately the numerous positive reviews as well as the clincher, my recent infatuation with Nick Beggs' bass and stick wizardry. This master bass man was only a guest on the preceding release 'Airborne' (which I will now hunt down quickly) and is a full- time component on this studio recording. So let it be written: this is a fabulously entertaining recording with immense melodies, scintillating pace and endless instrumental brilliance. Imagine a huge dash of Supertramp (prog and pop sensibilities), Floydian propellant moods and a definite mid-period Genesis flair, sewn with unending details that keep the pace exciting and unexpected. There is also a smoothness that one could associate with prime Roxy Music, especially when the sax kicks in. Brainchild of keyboardists William Beckers and Frank van Bogaert (who also supplies the soft-edged vocals that will remind one of a certain Dave Gilmour), the blessed crew is fleshed out by ace guitarist Marty Townsend, steady drummer Marcus Weymaere, sax/flute icon Theo Travis (Fripp, Wilson, the Tangent) and of course, the solid sonic undertow of Mr Beggs.

The captivating title track sets the prog standards aloft with an epic 10 minute + swoop, illuminating a well-forged path of mood, atmosphere and stylish magnificence. The saintly pace is bold and confident, piano twinkling like liquid gold, haunting mellotron backdrop and 'godly' vocal work, both lead and harmony that may remind of vintage Barclay James Harvest. Marcus Weymaere really riffles like some madman on his thumping kit, while Townsend adorns some marvelous little licks on the guitar. A simply divine first communion of the finest order, wailing mellotron notwithstanding.

'Just a Nightmare' sources darker themes, piano, organ and synths in the lead, carving out a suave vocal that enthuses right from the get go. Nick Beggs' rumble underpins a brisk stride that embellishes a lovely main melody, dreamy and hopeful. Theo Travis introduces a sensational sax break that inspires and cajoles, remindful of Andy Mackay's passionate style.

Romanticist inspiration continues on 'She Colours the Rainbow', a lighter mood that remains firmly piano driven, pushed along by swirling keyboard work and a gentler swoon. A short ballad that is both heartfelt and fragile. Very pretty indeed.

Having been banished into a such a gentle space, 'Callin' Planet Home' revs up the rockets somewhat, the electric guitar taking up the challenge as it curls around a rather insistent chorus, infused by Travis' devilish flute medley, a churning organ and a smooth as silk rhythmic foundation. Massed choir voices relay a sense of density and majesty. Townsend's languid slide guitar break winks at Dave Floyd, so one can certainly appreciate the suave intent.

'Ghost Song' is another proggy high point, a slow cooker that nods towards the classic Pink Floyd sound, what with the smoky lead voice and seductive backing vocal crescendos. Theo Travis adds his usual amazing touch with some inspired wind instrumental savvy. Another highly addictive melody.

The lightweight but compelling 'Radio' has a humorous radio intro and a punchy discourse, adding more sweeping choir work and lavish keyboards and offering a magical melodic ride not unlike recent work by Nick Magnus, Patterson-Eyre and such. The endless vocal labyrinth is truly phenomenal and addictive. Yes, it poppier material but very enticing indeed.

The persuasive 'Sanctuary' is another extended extravaganza that will immediately remind some fans of the more prog elements of Alan Parsons Project, the vocal department being very adept at multiple surges and drilling the chorus into eternity and armed with a heavier guitar-led crescendo, elevating the piece to lofty heights.

The obligatory sweet love ballad 'Stay' definitely stays in your mind once seduced by the shockingly striking choral work. A breathtaking and starry-eyed piece of heartfelt beauty that will pull at the heartstrings in that most convincing way possible. Yes, simple can be so lovely! Immediately marshaled to my daily 'hit' list, as I could listen to this gem on and on and on. The guitar break rekindles fond memories of Ian Bairnson's finest solos, where verve and exhilaration combine to dazzle.

The highly impulsive 'Don't Love Me to Death' is lyrically intriguing, a much rockier disposition with rambling guitar rampage, swooning keyboards and a driving beat, the voices adding incredible depth to the mix ('You don't give me room to breathe') and a slippery synth solo to seal the deal.

Quirky and quite progressively tinged 'Tick Tock' is strangely remindful of Dream Academy, a short-lived synth-pop group of the 80s that had a brief moment in the spotlight, especially in view of the massed voices and the intricate keyboard cascades that overwhelm and conquer. The razor sharp guitar exchange is quite welcome, together with the ringing orchestral backdrops.

The very short, acoustic and frivolous 'My Dog' adds a little personality and a bark or two. 'Cheesy lyrics' indeed! This is a killer album that caught me quite unaware but better late than never. Shame on me for letting this epic scroll go by, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

4.5 divinity hustles

 Airborne by FISH ON FRIDAY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.85 | 65 ratings

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Airborne
Fish On Friday Crossover Prog

Review by robbob

5 stars Why is so delightful to listen to Fish On Friday....Well is like to eat a very tasty fish on friday after work....or studies.... And excellent improve ...what can you expect in next album...better and better.... This is a light neo prog...but not light because of light compositions...light instrumentation or arrangements ...because is easy listening ...delightful listening...nothing very complex...but complex in its creation. The music is in the line of their Netherland neighbours Moon Safari...there is special sound going out from these two countries Belgium and the Netherlands.... It reminds me very much the music of the disappeared Supertramp...is as Supertramp is still alive but the good Supertramp(until 1982) . So great expectations for their 2014 album... Sure it is going to be as good or better that this one. In this original kind of prog for me a masterpiece..5 stars
 Airborne by FISH ON FRIDAY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.85 | 65 ratings

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Airborne
Fish On Friday Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Airborne' - Fish on Friday (7/10)

Today, it is Thursday, and I am drinking a now-lukewarm cup of coffee. Less than an hour ago, I had a ham sandwich. Given these circumstances, it's a refreshing change of pace to hear Fish on Friday, a relatively new Belgian ensemble. Taking after the Alan Parsons Project, here's a band that incorporates the best elements of pop and progressive rock, creating a sound both clever and catchy. "Airborne" is their second album thus far, and while I have never heard of them before listening tonight, it's clear that they have plenty of musical experience and maturity. Fish on Friday's sound is perhaps a little tame by contemporary prog standards, but the songwriting's smart and the musicianship is top notch. Who could plausibly ask for more in a pop-prog crossover?

Fish on Friday start off "Airborne" with a fantastic opener. "Welcome" is a great showcase of their sound. Reminiscent of the clever pop sensibilities of latter-era Genesis, Fish on Friday maintain a strong focus on melody, backing up the surface catchiness with a thick production and versatile musicianship. Although proggers will be first drawn towards the cameo of the well-versed Nick Beggs (of Steves Hackett and Wilson fame), the glory on "Welcome" lies in the way so many different sounds are used. It's still based around a concise pop structure, but there's symphonic string and horn samples, soulful guitar leads, ambient atmosphere and subtle vocal effects all tossed into the mix. Were it not for the extent Fish on Friday have gone to make the music a sonic feast in regards to the production, "Welcome" would not sound out of place on a popular radio station. Take that as you will.

"Airborne" has a strong sense of diversity to it. Each song sounds generally different from the one that came before. Other highlights include the Porcupine Tree-ish "This Cruel World" and the Floydian anthem "Back to Your Moon". Although there is a clever versatility in the songwritng however, the songs themselves rarely change up their pace once they've locked themselves in a certain mood. Whether its a slow, atmospheric ballad or something a little more rock-oriented, listeners won't find themselves too surprised once hearing the first minute or so of each track. It's certainly not an adventurous experience musically, especially for the more seasoned progressive listeners out there. "Airborne" is kept largely afloat through the way its executed. The production here is excellent and wonderfully mixed, and the depth of the arrangements keeps it interesting on the second and third listen. One thing that's less successful here however are the lyrics. Although there are exceptions where the sentimental approach really works (on "This Cruel World" and the irrevocably sincere "Alien City"), the lyrics often feel cheesy, particularly when phrases and painfully unfitting expletives are used. It's a small concern in the overall scheme of the music, but it does serve to detract from what is otherwise a remarkably solid pop album.

Fish on Friday are lodged somewhere between the melancholy of Porcupine Tree, the atmosphere and warm vocal harmonies of Pink Floyd and the upbeat pop of 1980's Genesis. It's rare that I enjoy an album so much on the first listen. Unfortunately, repeated listens do not do much for the experience. Although Fish on Friday have a solid depth to their sound, the songwriting offers all tricks up front, and this robs "Airborne" of a 'grower' effect when it comes to follow-up listens. Of course, as a pop-based record, the key is in the immediate enjoyment, and this is something "Airborne" succeeds in wholeheartedly. In playing it safe, Fish on Friday have managed to make something enjoyable and intelligent.

Thanks to chris s for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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