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FISH

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Fish picture
Fish biography
Derek William Dick - Born 25 April 1958 (Dalkeith, Scotland)

Because he finds it very nice to lie in the bath for hours, with his rubber duck, he gets this nickname from his friends: FISH. Later Derek shall use this name as his artists name. Derek grows up in the little village Dalkeith, where his parents have a garage. He's in school there, where he has a easy time, and has good results. Derek too is a fan of THE BEATLES in that period, and he wants to learn to play an instrument. But he never gets beyond playing a tennis racket in front of the mirror. The first single he buys is "Lola" of THE KINKS.

Daddies' garage is becoming a better and better way of way of earning a living and Derek is allowed to go to high school (which is far more expensive). Derek isn't so satisfied with that and prefers to stay in Dalkeith. When Derek is about 13 years old, he becomes more and more interested in music. Especially groups like YES, ELP and of course PINK FLOYD are his favorites. He likes the idea of having a band of his own. But his problem is that he cannot play any instrument. He tries drumming, but that's not so easy as it seems to. There's only one thing that Derek can do without many problems: singing. And this is the beginning of his career. Derek studies a lot by singing along with his favorite songs of YES, ELTON JOHN, and DEEP PURPLE.

Derek is getting older, and school becomes less and less interesting for him. He discovers the nightlife, and begins to enjoy life more and more. When he's 18 and ready with high school, he still doesn't know exactly what to do. He doesn't like university, and therefore he takes a job at the Forestry Commission. There he has the opportunity to do a building engineering study, something he likes because that would mean spending a lot of time outside. In 1979 he leaves for a study journey to Germany. When he gets back, he decides to become a singer at last. Derek changes his name to FISH. Not in the latest place because the off-stage nickname of Chris SQUIRE is also FISH. When he meets Peter GABRIEL after a concert, and this guy turns out to be a normal human being, FISH thinks "then I can do it too". FISH looks for a band, and after a failed audition for NOT QUITE RED FOX, comes across BLEWITT thanks to an old friend. Although the band does not play FISH's favorite music, he becomes their singer. FISH gets a lot experience on stage and thanks to that his performance and his voice both increase in q...
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FISH discography


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

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

3.83 | 328 ratings
Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors
1990
3.13 | 201 ratings
Internal Exile
1991
2.35 | 127 ratings
Songs From The Mirror
1993
2.82 | 157 ratings
Suits
1994
3.80 | 210 ratings
Sunsets On Empire
1997
3.72 | 204 ratings
Raingods With Zippos
1999
3.51 | 122 ratings
Fellini Days
2001
3.59 | 152 ratings
Field Of Crows
2004
3.79 | 241 ratings
Thirteenth Star
2007
3.96 | 394 ratings
A Feast Of Consequences
2013

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

2.95 | 18 ratings
Pigpen's Birthday
1993
4.05 | 20 ratings
For Whom The Bells Toll
1993
4.00 | 12 ratings
Derek Dick & His Amazing Electric Bear
1993
4.15 | 20 ratings
Toiling In The Reeperbahn
1993
3.51 | 20 ratings
Uncle Fish & The Crypt Creepers
1993
2.69 | 32 ratings
Sushi: Live In Utrecht
1994
3.80 | 10 ratings
Fortunes of War - Live Acoustic Set UK '94
1994
3.14 | 49 ratings
Acoustic Session
1994
2.87 | 19 ratings
Krakow
1995
1.90 | 12 ratings
Fish Head Curry
1996
4.64 | 19 ratings
Tales From The Big Bus
1998
4.29 | 7 ratings
Haddington Convention 1998
1999
2.83 | 16 ratings
The Complete BBC Sessions
1999
3.23 | 7 ratings
Acoustic Sessions
2000
4.13 | 8 ratings
Candlelight In Fog, Live In USA
2000
4.52 | 22 ratings
Sashimi, Live In Poznan, Poland 1999
2001
3.76 | 26 ratings
Fellini Nights
2002
4.12 | 15 ratings
Mixed Company
2003
4.50 | 18 ratings
Scattering Crows
2005
3.87 | 51 ratings
Return to Childhood
2006
4.20 | 26 ratings
Communion
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fishheads Club Live: The Spittalrig Sessions
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fishheads Club Live: University Of Derby
2012
4.33 | 9 ratings
Leamington Spa Convention 2012
2013
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Moveable Feast (European Tour 2013 - 2015)
2016
4.00 | 6 ratings
Farewell To Childhood
2017

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

4.50 | 6 ratings
Songs For The Company
1994
4.29 | 7 ratings
Krakow - Acoustic Set 1995
1996
4.25 | 8 ratings
Krakow - Electric Set 1995
1996
4.00 | 4 ratings
Duisburg - 10 Year Solo Artist
1998
4.18 | 11 ratings
Kettle Of Fish
2002
4.09 | 16 ratings
Fool's Company
2003
4.13 | 16 ratings
Sunsets On Empire - Live In Poland 1997
2003
4.55 | 11 ratings
Scattering Crows
2005
2.30 | 8 ratings
Live In Krakow - Acoustic
2005
3.88 | 8 ratings
Live In Krakow - Electric
2005
3.11 | 40 ratings
Return to Childhood
2006
4.60 | 5 ratings
In Search Of The 13th Star - Fish Live In The USA
2009
4.00 | 2 ratings
Fishheads Club Live
2012

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

3.08 | 44 ratings
Yin
1995
3.19 | 42 ratings
Yang
1995
3.33 | 6 ratings
Yin & Yang - Radio Edits
1995
2.51 | 19 ratings
Kettle Of Fish 88-98
1998
4.20 | 22 ratings
Bouillabaisse - The Perception Of Fish
2005

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

2.59 | 13 ratings
Big Wedge
1989
4.00 | 8 ratings
State Of Mind
1989
3.23 | 13 ratings
A Gentleman's Excuse Me
1990
4.17 | 6 ratings
The Company
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ao Vivo Em Portugal
1990
4.42 | 12 ratings
Credo
1991
4.15 | 13 ratings
Internal Exile
1991
3.29 | 7 ratings
Something In The Air
1992
3.57 | 7 ratings
Never Mind The Bullocks
1992
4.20 | 10 ratings
Fortunes of War
1994
3.75 | 12 ratings
Lady Let It Lie
1994
4.30 | 10 ratings
Just Good Friends
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Funny Farm Interview - July '95
1995
4.00 | 7 ratings
Change of Heart
1997
3.67 | 12 ratings
Brother 52
1997
3.50 | 2 ratings
Brother 52
1997
4.25 | 12 ratings
Incomplete
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Issue 30 CD
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
Fellini Days - Companion CD
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Field Of Crows - Radio Edits
2004
4.50 | 12 ratings
Zoe 25
2008
2.88 | 7 ratings
Arc Of The Curve
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Blind to the Beautiful
2014

FISH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Feast Of Consequences by FISH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 394 ratings

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A Feast Of Consequences
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Fish is a strong character, not surprising in view of his taciturn Scottish heritage as well as the tortuous tribulations that seemingly spare no one, such as love, health and money troubles that many suffer through at one moment or another in their lives' journey. Suffice to say , his previous work, 'The 13th Star' was a fine return to form, after a series of good but not really exceptional albums, proving once again that heartache is a 'perfect nightmare' , a grand source of inspiration and a liquid fuel for the pen. The big man was always a great lyricist and exceptional live showman, so hearing him still writing and composing thrilling music is a bonus for any prog fan to admire. He has a sharp mind and sharper sense of motivating configurations such as irony, sarcasm, bitter truth and a hint of bile.

This release gets off the ground with the longest piece, a nearly 11 minute epic that proves his audacity as well as rejoining with a proggier sensibility that bodes well for the rest of the album as well as for the future. The odorous 'Perfume River' rolls along majestically, little hints of Paradise City from Guns & Roses ('take me down to the Perfume River' !?), sweeping synthesized keys add the necessary doom and gloom, ably handled by Foss Patterson a Fish veteran. Speaking of past cronies, Robin Boult is back manning the guitars and he must be the most underrated axe slinger in music by a country mile. Steve Vantsis handles the fluid bass and the marvelous Gavin Griffiths thumps the drums, he being among the best the UK has to offer as proved by his contributions to Mostly Autumn and Panic Room, among many others. A perfect entrance into matters that shed light on impressive words and astounding sounds. Fish is a tremendous bellower, armed with a voice that went through some recent deep throat surgery and all sounds fine. One of his best performances ever. Brrrrrilliant!

The balls to the walls approach on 'All Loved Up' is not my favorite style but, hey its only rock 'n roll after all, so let bygones be bygones and enjoy the ride, as it has a little punky style (nasty little clavinet in the background) that is ready to sign any contract and damn the torpedoes, a characteristic of this impulsive yet sensitive man, who lives and dies by his sword. The slithering mid-section has its 'own destiny', self-deprecating comments on fame and fortune. He sardonically mocks the 'in crowd' and 'the beautiful people', tossing in some F words to boot.

After the storm, the sun, as a ballad is needed to soothe the frizzled fur and segue additional commentary about that notion of beauty. 'I just can't see the beautiful anymore' he intones in his usual expert delivery. Aidan O'Rourke's violin only amplifies the sad lament. The lyrics again reveal what many fans know already, the man can write devastatingly effective yet simple poetry. Lovely!

The title track exemplifies his current 'state of mind' (slick, Thomas, slick) , a man who just does not feel inclined to give up and hide, boldly standing back up after every knock down, the lyrics here address these harrowing vicissitudes and his resolve to defend his sanity. As a fellow romantic, I take solace in his incredible strength and a source of inspiration to constantly thrive emanates from his work.

A five-song anti-war suite is next, once again stamping 'prog' credentials all over his song writing, as exemplified by the John Bonham-like thud on 'High Wood', propelled by some fiery guitar riffs and bombastic contours , Fish and Liz Antwi intertwining their lungs to better evoke the inflamed words. Boult shows some colossal grit and restraint, while Fish tosses in some German commentary (like he did with 'Manchmal'). The booming 'Crucifix Corner' just takes the mood to another level, a variation on the previous flow, a rambling discourse on the futility of endless conflict, a classic theme that he has approached many times before with great success. The orchestrations are truly grandiose, the beat relentless and the melodic passion is kicked around with strategic flair. This is great music from a resourceful poet and musician. The military marching band carousel revives old patriotic manipulations on 'the Gathering' , rallying the poor bastards to willingly give their lives for some form of King and Country and the 'promise of a Brave New World' that we all know will never happen. Armor, glory, surrender and family, all blended together by the sausage churning military-industrial complex propaganda. Goodbye youth and innocence, promises broken. 'Thistle Alley' conveys more forbidding afterthoughts, wounded corpses dancing under the Florence Nightingale candles, more hefty drumming (war and ballistic drums, hmmmm) and Fish really involving himself into the revolting 'danse macabre' carnage. This brutal onslaught takes no prisoners, the darkness is omnipresent and sensationally executed. Yeah, it's heavy! Orchestral confines marshal the battlefield, with more angry musings about thrust and counter-thrust, as 'the generals count the casualties', Fish has managed to address the futility of war in a convincing, lyrically enthralling manner that, unfortunately after 'Je suis Charlie', we all know it will never go away, humans are just not advanced yet to coexist in peace, the world will never be either 'Brave' nor 'New'. Just the usual cycle of evil and love. A perfect finale.

The sincerity drips on 'Other Side of Me', a ballad that shows another side of our Wedgeman, a heartwarming inner vision that opens up his soul for perusal, which is what any true fan would want! Still dealing with the pain of his near marriage to Heather Findlay, he remains a romantic giant, a bolder Bryan Ferry (the two have actually a lot of common virtues but we won't get into that today), not surprising then that they are my top two vocalists/lyricists. A simply gorgeous song.

'The Great Unravelling' serves as the ideal finale to a near perfect album, another dream laid bare, a modern percussive sheen, a sorrowful veneer and all drenched in evocative yet muscular music. A wailing Antwi performs amazingly in tandem with Monsieur Poisson, the passion overt and mercurial, 'ushered into the light' and a phenomenal ending, suave guitar solo and a confident , unbroken and courageous artist ready to face the next challenge ahead.

You are a hero, Mr Derek Dick.

4.75 victims of expectations

 Live In Krakow - Acoustic by FISH album cover DVD/Video, 2005
2.30 | 8 ratings

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Live In Krakow - Acoustic
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Who are those anonymous blockheads that give full rates to releases that are obviously quite poor? I'll be very short, in fact I wouldn't bother to write about this DVD at all if there weren't those foolish ratings that in my sincere opinion have so badly gone wrong. A week ago I bought both of dubiously re- released Krakow DVD's from library at 1 euro each. [As I realized later with my friends, the DVD of the electric set was faulty: it featured only seven tracks instead of 18 or so that were listed. The visual quality wasn't very good, and the 1995 concert itself nothing special either - and of course the most interesting tracks such as 'Fugazi' weren't on my DVD.]

This acoustic set then was even bigger let-down musically. By the way, also a CD of the same content was included. I listened to it quickly (using skip button several times) and felt that it's totally useless extra. At this point I hadn't checked the DVD's and didn't yet know I wouldn't care to save them either to myself. This set of nine songs (total length was few minutes below an hour) has both some rather boring songs and some well known - even classic - songs: 'Kayleigh', 'Lavender' and 'The Company' would be the top 3 in here. But now we come to the crucial question: how good are the live versions? Frankly, this acoustic gig sounds just tired. As someone else said, as we had changed this DVD into the player, the acoustic approach brings no extra interest to the songs. Fish's voice is far from good shape. Camera work is cheap. There's no way to rate this any higher than two stars, and even that probably has one star too many. Also the layout is terribly cheap looking. Avoid!

 A Feast Of Consequences by FISH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 394 ratings

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A Feast Of Consequences
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by tanc66

4 stars Fish Swansong - a Feast of lyrics and creativity

If this is Fish's final studio effort it surely is a great way to bow out. The acoustic element is given prominence and the well-crafted lyrics are music to the ears - well written and provide an extra dimension to the delivery of the songs and the intended messages.

Prog lovers will enjoy Perfume River and the adventurous High Wood Suite - the songs are appreciated more and more by repeated listenings.

Lovers of melody would prefer All Loved Up and the title track A Feast Of Consequences.

The high piece is the very original The Great Unravelling - lyrics and song writing just blend in together perfectly to deliver a highly emotive and expressive original composition.

The band is tight and delivers well - whilst the female voice balances well with Fish's original vocal delivery. He knows his voice is no longer what it used to be and thus uses it intelligently to guaratee good song delivery.

His lyric writing skill is exceptional and very original. I have never come across anyone who can put together his thoughts in such an intense manner. Why has he not yet ventured into the world of book writing? What is he waiting for?

I wouldn't compare this album to Sunsets On Empire however - it's very different. Together with 13th Star i place this up there with his best creative efforts. Great artwork from Mark Wilkinson and sharp production by Calum Malcolm.

An excellent package.

 Sunsets On Empire by FISH album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.80 | 210 ratings

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Sunsets On Empire
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Sunsets on Empire was released in 1997, and, to me, rather clearly marks out the first instalment in the second part of Fish's duel solo career. This career started promisingly with the rather good Vigil in A Wilderness of Mirrors (itself, a logical follow up to Clutching At Straws), but rather swiftly degenerated into a morass of record company splits, dubious musical direction, and, frankly, a descent into commercial oblivion.

So, when this was released, I did not have too many hopes, but had seen some decent reviews, got it, and found that said reviews were fully justified. Although I do not feel that Fish has, unlike his former band mates, released a bona fide indispensable masterpiece, this is most certainly the first in a very consistently excellent series of albums, that has continued to 2013's Feast of Consequences.

What does, of course, set this apart, right from the crashing and heavy tones and riffs of The Perception of Johnny Punter, an overtly political piece about the shocking ignorance of the British general "bloke", is the involvement of a certain Mr Steven Wilson, he of Porcupine Tree fame. Not only did he lend guitars and keyboards, thus creating an altogether harder edge to more "traditional" Fish music, but also co wrote six tracks and, crucially, produced it, providing us with both a lush sound (the vocal harmonies are never anything less than beautiful), and a glimpse of his own future career direction. Certainly, I don't think that anyone else aside from Wilson could make the monologue of Jungle Ride sound so enticing and exotic. And, talking of political, the title track is a gloriously expansive pure rock track referencing, and, of course, celebrating the decline of that great institution, the British Empire, with bittersweet lyrics reminding all of said decline.

It is difficult to pull any particular track as a standout. I personally love the commercial prog rock of Goldfish and Clowns, the powerful funk of Brother 52, and the lush Celtic love of Tara, but, in truth, all of this is damned good, and quite how it flopped commercially so badly (Fish had to close his record company as a result) is a bit of a mystery, except, I suppose, that the musical sins of the past had rather caught up with him.

I am rather clear about this superb album, one of his best. It is well worth revisiting if you haven't heard it for a while, and, if you do not have it, buying to add an excellent, hard, bitter in places, and never less than fascinating release to your collection. Certainly, those of you "'ard and 'eavy" proggers (neo? Too soft for me, mate!) will find a great deal to enjoy here (What Colour Is God? should have been a PT track, it is that hard), and I really do wish that there was a hope of a further Dick/Wilson collaboration in the future.

 A Feast Of Consequences by FISH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 394 ratings

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A Feast Of Consequences
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A Feast Of Consequences is the first album by the great Big Fellow in six years now, this owing to a combination of well documented personal and health issues. Thankfully, the throat problems that threatened to scupper his career appear to have been sorted out completely, and the only real thing you notice listening to this, as compared to earlier works, is the fact that his range has narrowed somewhat, although this, of course, could equally be due to advancing years. This is most noticeable on Other Side of Me, which is delivered in almost a monotone for much of the track.

Does it render this work a disappointment? Not a bit of it. This is a mature album, showcasing a unique talent, so much so that the disappointment of horrors such as Songs From The Mirror are now all but a distant memory. This is the continuation of a run of form that started with Sunsets on Empire, and included the exceptional Raingods With Zippos and the immediate predecessor, the hugely enjoyable 13th Star.

The subject matter is familiar to all those who, like me, have followed Fish from the very early days, this being war, the futility of war, the political issues behind such tragedy, but, of course, never forgetting the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The music itself ranges from the thoughtful and subdued, as witnessed by the opening epic Perfume River, to the type of pop/prog which he almost made his own in All Loved Up, and the epic suite, this witnessed by High Wood, a five part musing on the sheer futility of it all. Amongst all of this are two quite sumptuous ballads, my favourite being the astoundingly gorgeous Blind To The Beautiful, a paeon to the heart wrenching loss of faith in life and beauty itself. The lyrical point of the whole work is best represented by the powerful title track.

Another noticeable thing about this album, to me, is just how much better Fish is when he is surrounded by cohorts he trusts and likes in what would, anywhere else, pass as a regular band. Robin Boult returns, very well indeed, on guitar, to join Steve Vantis on bass, Foss Patterson on keys, and the wonderful Gavin Griffiths on drums. Together, this bunch make a tightly knit troupe, and the well produced album is completed by the extremely powerful backing vocals of Elisabeth Troy Antwi, whose performance on the evocative Great Unravelling is simply brilliant. And we also have a wonderful set of artwork by the legendary Mark Wilkinson. Happy days!

Fish has, here, produced a powerful, and wide ranging, album, one that definitely appeals strongly to old boys such as I, but would, I feel, also be a decent introduction to those reading this review who might want to explore what a good, intelligent, modern rock album, with a range of tone and depth, might sound like. The aforementioned High Wood suite is the best example of how a progressive rock epic should sound, ranging from hush to toe-tapping, tub-thumping rock, from pastoral, Celtic fused folk, to lush keyboard led symphonic sounds. It has it all.

It should also, by the way, really now scotch all the nonsense I still read from those who wish for a return to Marillion. They are doing nicely without him, thank you, and, you know what? So is he without them.

Four stars for this, an excellent album, and very strongly recommended.

 A Feast Of Consequences by FISH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 394 ratings

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A Feast Of Consequences
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars I am one of thousands who are following Fish's career since Marillion's early days. I am also one of those who were hoping that at some point Marillion and Fish will unite their forces again. Well, not any more! All of us must accept the fact that Fish left his past with Marillion for good (and/or vice versa), and he is continuing his career as a solo artist. After the terrible news of the throat surgeries and cancer rumous which were spread, I feared the worst. (And I was not the only one). But all of these stories are a thing of the past now since Fish is here once more! With a new album, and dare to say a good one. After leaving Marillion in the late '80's all of us (the Marillion fans) left wondering what's gonna happen next. Luckily, almost a year later we had two good albums to choose from. Marillion's 'Season's End', and Fish's 'Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirror'. It was the best start for both Marillion and Fish, but as it turned out it was just a good spark which never became a fire... Fish's career was going downhill, with every new album being a little bit worse than the previous one. But fortunately there was a turning point. And the turning point was the collaboration with Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, Blackfield etc) in the album 'Sunsets on Empire' in 1997. This album was Fish's first really good album after 'Vigil'. Two years later Fish released another good album, (Raingods with Zippos - 1999) again with Steven Wilson being present, but this time with less responsibilities. Two more albums followed before '13th Star', and at the point which everybody believed Fish is regaining his old self, we learned the news of the throat surgeries and the fear of cancer. The good thing with Fish is that he is inspired from his personal tragedies (and he has some), and he comes back every time even stronger! So, after the problems with his health and his divorce as well, he returned with this album, which is one of his best works in my opinion. The album itself can't be characterized as the "definition of Progressive Rock", but it has many good moments, including a 5-piece epic, starting with the wonderfull 'High Wood' (track 5) and ending with 'The Leaving' (track 9). In these songs Fish remembers his "Prog roots" and he does it well! Further than that, we have a very decent album, with Fish describing many of his personal moments which are "dressed" with beautiful melodies. The album includes 11 songs, and has a total running time of almost 67 minutes. It's highly recommened of all the fans of Marillion's early days, and to all those who can enjoy a beautiful melodic album, filled with personal stories and/or nightmares... My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.00.
 Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors by FISH album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.83 | 328 ratings

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Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by genbanks

5 stars I remember entering in a cd shop, and being shocked by the music which was sounding. I didn't know about Fish was left Marillion, and I asked to the guy behind the counter what is this?, and he said "Fish", and I said to me Wow! Was Vigil, and this song is just.... incredible great. And this album is just perfect, the best work of Fish, and one of the best solo works of the prog rock heroes. After that, as an album, Fish neverelse could reach this level. The opening track is the absolute highlight of the album, an epic of high quality, evertytime I listen it, I feel this tickle typical of the emotional moments. The album includes the mini hit Big Wedge, yes a pop track, with winds a la Collins, but just stunning. The chorus is catchy and great. When I saw Fish here in my country, he opened with this track, and was a big moment. The highlights IMO included the closing Cliche, an intimate song which mutates from soft parts to others very powerfull, and with great instrumental sections, or the track State of mind and the ballad A gentleman´s excuse me, an acoustic piano based track. The rest is very good too, like View from the hill or The company with this sctoland folk instrumental passage. The voyeur is more in a hard rock piece, and Family business is maybe the one not so good, Not Marillion, but yes the Marillion's Fish, with his own seal, a superb debut. Easily for 5 stars.
 Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors by FISH album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.83 | 328 ratings

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Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by jmeadow

3 stars Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors begins promisingly, seemingly starting where Fish-era Marillion left off with the haunting and dramatic title track that effectively combines personal and political lyrical themes set against some lovely melodic motifs. The other highlight is The Company, an upbeat, anthemic rocker with a sharp edge of melancholy. For me, these two songs are the album highlights, while the reminder seems to occupy fairly standard late-80s AOR territory.

While much of the music seems to lack the sophistication that Fish found with Marillion, similarly the lyrics often seem to lack the nuance and complexity of previous Fish recordings; to say that wealth is corrupting doesn't seem particularly original or insightful.

Overall, I think Vigil is a good addition to any prog collection, but fear it falls short of the heights of Fish's best work.

 A Feast Of Consequences by FISH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 394 ratings

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A Feast Of Consequences
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After six years of absence from the studio, Scottish progressive rock singer Fish has returned with a startling level of inspiration in the form of 2013's A Feast of Consequences. Fish's first album since 2007's Thirteenth Star was released after experiencing events that would be nothing less than traumatic for most people - going through both the end of a marriage and a throat cancer scare in a narrow window of time can't be easy, but as we saw on Marillion's Clutching at Straws, Fish's personal struggles often inspire some of his strongest work. A Feast of Consequences once again demonstrates this to be true.

The album shows Fish continuing to mature the sound that he has been toying with for most of his solo career. Sophisticated art rock characterized by melodic songwriting, witty lyricism, and influences from folk music is the name of the game on A Feast of Consequences, and although most listeners will probably label this as a prog album, the lengthy "High Wood" suite is the only segment here that feels progressive to me in any traditional sense. It's not important, though, as even the ballads here are well-delivered and musically engaging. "Blind to the Beautiful" and "Other Side of Me" may not be the most bombastic tracks in Fish's catalogue, but their pervading feeling of introspection make for fine examples of what ballads are truly capable of.

Fish's voice has mellowed over the years, and although he doesn't possess the soaring range that he once did, his performance on A Feast of Consequences has a soothing timbre that suits his musical explorations well. There really isn't much to complain about when talking about an album of this quality, and if you're a fan of Fish's solo career, you'll have no trouble appreciating what he has to offer this time around. It's good to have you back, Derek!

 Internal Exile by FISH album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.13 | 201 ratings

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Internal Exile
Fish Neo-Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fish's departure from Marillion may have marked the end of one of the most important lineups in eighties' progressive rock, but the Scottish singer showed great promise as a solo artist with his 1990 debut album, Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors. Whilst it may not have been on the level of Clutching at Straws or Script For a Jester's Tear, Vigil is a strong collection of neo-prog compositions with captivating melodies and engaging lyrics. Comparatively, 1991's Internal Exile feels like a bit of a step down for Fish - although the two opening numbers (namely "Shadowplay" and "Credo") are fantastic, the album doesn't sound totally consistent from start to finish. It sounds like Fish was really searching for a distinct solo sound on Internal Exile, but didn't have songs strong enough to carry the weight of his stylistic ambitions. The album's heavy influence from Celtic folk music makes it an interesting stepping stone in Fish's solo career (and "Shadowplay" is worth the price of admission alone!), but on the whole, it isn't one of the man's strongest observations.
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