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Steve Hillage - Fish Rising CD (album) cover

FISH RISING

Steve Hillage

 

Canterbury Scene

4.15 | 420 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Nothing to do with a tall Scots singer getting out of bed!

In 1975, Steve Hillage made the brave decision to leave Gong, and set out on a solo career. "Fish rising" was his first release, the recordings actually taking place while he was still a band member. Hillage called upon Dave Stewart to assist with the arrangement of one track, but took on much of the production duties himself.

The album consists of just five tracks, most of which are broken down into shorter sub-sections. Inevitably, there are obvious similarities with the music of Gong, but with more focus on the guitar work of Hillage of course.

The opening "Solar music suite" is a magnificent statement of intent, running to almost 17 minutes. This hugely ambitious piece has a strong Canterbury sound, accentuated by the frequent appearance of Dave Stewart's distinctive keyboard sounds of the type also used by bands such as Caravan. While lyrically rather obscure, Hillage does come up with some great hippy-esque lines such as

"No need for sitting on our own, staring desperately at the problems of this world. We see mistakes, maybe our high is blown, but sometimes you need the black to see the white to find the core of love and beauty."

"Salmon song" is the most jazz orientated of the songs here, but even then it has a pure rock core. Hillage's guitar work is strong and prolonged, his girlfriend and lyrical partner Miquette Giraudy adding some female voices to the piece.

"Aftagild" sets out in Hendrix like fashion, with very up front guitar, but gradually subsides into the eastern flavoured "Lafta yoga song" the only vocal section of the seven part piece.

In all, an album with will undoubtedly appeal to those who followed Hillage through his Gong days. This is in many ways a Gong album where Hillage takes centre stage throughout. It's groovy man!

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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