Exposé Online banner

Fish — Fellini Nights
(Chocolate Frog CFVP014CD, 2002, 2CD)

Fish — Suits
(Chocolate Frog CFVP011CD, 1994/2002, CD)

Fish — Sashimi
(Chocolate Frog CFVP008CD, 2001, 2CD)

Fish — Fellini Days
(Chocolate Frog CFVP007CD, 2001, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01

Fellini Nights Cover artSuits Cover artSashimi Cover artFellini Days Cover artFellini Days is the ex-Marillion singer’s tribute to famed director Italian Federico Fellini best known for his avant-garde films such as La Dolce Vita and Satyricon. The director himself was a vanguard in the film world (highly unpredictable and misunderstood) making him prime subject matter for Derek Dick to loosely base a conceptual album around. Co-writers for this album include keyboardist Foss Patterson (who filled in for Camel’s Coming of Age tour) and long-time collaborator guitarist John Wesley. Best tracks include the disc opener “3D” partly due to smooth mood imparted to begin the disc but also due to hard rock mid-section that works well to establish healthy tension. “Tiki 4” samples the director’s narrative about his film making approach to drive home one of Fish’ best narrative vocal lines about a California party house while “Obligatory Ballad” doesn’t transcend its obvious self-statement. The disc does close out on an upswing with “Clock Moves Sideways” with an ominous mood established by the ensemble and Dave Stewart’s drumming especially notable for restraint. Sashimi is a two-disk live document largely drawn from the Raingods with Zippos support tour. It’s the companion live set to Sushi, both of which were previously on his short-lived Dick Bros. label. The set list is heavily slanted too much to that material. The overall vibe is electrical if only for the choice of venue helped to be constructed from the Polish branch of the man’s international fan club “The Company.” Tour personnel include a unique set of performers including Ghana native Elisabeth Troy Antwi who adds an appropriate vocal foil to Fish that works especially well on classic Marillion tracks: “Hotel Hobbies,” “Warm Wet Circles,” and “That Time of the Night.” Sunsets on Empire is also well represented with several tracks that benefit from a live band performance. John Wesley gets a good opening in the guitar break from “Just Good Friends” to frazzle the fret board so to speak. “Brother 52” always seems to work well in a live setting with its groove-based organ riff and pounding rhythmic structure. Suits was the big man’s delayed fourth studio album first issued in 1993 and perhaps lyrically his most worldly project to date with ten tracks on the original (augmented by two bonus tracks for this reissue). High points of the album are the album’s opening cut, “Mr. 1470,” which relates to an old skull artifact the artist had found while exploring Africa. Co-writers this time out include co-producer James Cassidy and guitarist Robin Boult shouldering five and eight of the overall tracks. Veteran session bassist David Paton (who appeared on Camel’s A Single Factor album) anchors the sessions along with drummer Kevin Wilkinson. Keyboardist Foss Patterson co-wrote one of the two bonus tracks which was stranded on a singles boxed set in the UK that most likely didn’t find its target audience while “Out of My Life” was lifted from the Outpatients tribute CD to close out the disc. Perhaps the most ripping attack at Fish’s recent altercations with unsupportive record labels is summed up on “Raw Meat.” Fellini Nights is the two disc live document for supporting the Fellini Days CD and it’s a hot one. While the studio record had a few strong points but came off a bit weak, the live presentation was something altogether more vital and high energy. This could be due to the fact the backing band had swapped in a new drummer and keyboardist who added more passion to the live performances than their studio incarnations. The best tracks which represent the improvement from the live stage on disc 1 are the opening piece, “3D” where the song takes on a wilder persona. “Long Cold Day” also stands out as Wesley’s lead guitar playing is vital and tortured. Disc two sports a well conceived medley of early solo songs that mesh together well. Overall it’s Fish’s detailed narrative liner notes that breathe new life into each one of the reissues and make the reinvestigation process one of discovery and appreciation.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2002 releases, 1994 recordings, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Fish (Derek William Dick)

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Maryam Mursal - The Journey – Maryam Mursal is a singer from Somalia now exiled and living in Denmark. Somali music, like the country itself, is a unique mixture of African and Arabic. On this release, Mursal approaches her...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues