Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Fish - Krakow CD (album) cover





3.27 | 24 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars Several veteran acts of the 1980s wave of British neo-prog benefitted in the mid-1990s from the fact that even though their popularity might have waned in the UK itself, they had gained a passionate following in Europe. This was no doubt helped by the fall of the Iron Curtain making touring in Eastern Europe substantially easier. Poland would seem to become a hub, with Pendragon practically making it a second home and Fish undertaking a seven date Polish tour in 1995.

Fish and Marillion may well have sown some of the seeds of this later flowering back in the Cold War days; in the liner notes to Krakow, this 2CD release of a concert from the tour, Fish talks about how a visit in 1987 saw them becoming a little entangled with the then-burgeoning Solidarity opposition movement (an echo, perhaps, of how Van Der Graaf Generator found themselves embraced by Communists and reviled by Fascists in 1970s Italy), and saw him forging some of the professional and personal connections which would later make that tour possible.

In principle, the Poland dates were as part of the larger "Yin and Yang" tour, in support of that pair of quasi- compilations. (I say "quasi" because despite containing old material, most of the songs on there are re-recordings or alternate takes - but Fish calls them compilations, so I'll go along with that.) In practice, Fish's newest proper album at this stage was Suits, so you can sort of see this as a mature stage of the Suits tour, with the band having toured that for over a year at this point the material is well bedded-in.

Certainly, the best picks from Suits are well-placed here. I particularly like the way Black Canal and Jumpsuit City from that album are woven together with Big Wedge from Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors in order to produce a sort of triptych about ever-spiralling corruption.

There's some Marillion material in the setlist - but that's fair enough, Marillion were still including Fish-era songs in their sets at this time. However, the Marillion songs account for some five songs of a set of 17 (and two of those - Fugazi and Slainte Mhath - are worked into a medley and so not played in full), so Fish's solo material is very much now the focus here. In keeping with that, the setlist is very front-loaded with Fish solo songs - he doesn't dip into the Marillion songbook until towards the end of the first disc.

The album is sourced from good-quality 24 track tapes; they don't pick up that much in the way of audience noise except between the songs, which does have the downside of making it sound like the gig isn't being that passionately received, but when you do hear the crowd they do seem happy. At points there seems to be issues with feedback, or Fish's vocals sounding somewhat echoey, or the sound mix simply blowing out the levels, so this isn't exactly a pristine live album, but it's certainly a loud and enthusiastic one. It's also a little disappointing that what is clearly intended as a transition from Slainte Mhath into Credo is split over the two discs. Nonetheless, it's a great little set, but due to these issues far from perfect.

Warthur | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this FISH review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.