Fish — Internal Exile
(Chocolate Frog CFVP10CD, 1991/2002, CD)
Fish — Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors
(Chocolate Frog CFVP009CD, 1990/2002, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-08-01
Ex-Marillion lead vocalist Fish has spent much time floating from label to label after departing his old band for good. Voiceprint took the singer’s back catalog and has done a second remastering/bonus-track addition exercise in a fashion which will appeal to hard core fan and neo-progressive acolyte as well. Mickey Simmonds (ex Mike Oldfield and Camel Dust and Dreams tour) was Mr. Derek Dick’s songwriting partner and I would say that many of these tracks have aged well. The overt approach taken was an extension of the high peak that his old band had achieved with 1987’s Clutching at Straws. In contrast the songwriting duo created something that was hoped to be a more commercial success (Side note: it’s ironic that both Marillion and their ex-singer had taken this path despite commentary otherwise). Vigil is what some fans deem Fish’s best solo work, with which I don’t totally agree. The work is mostly refined with many power ballads such as “The Company,” where Fish’s narrative vocal is merged with traditional elements (including recorder). But the album does lack unity and an edge that would later be recaptured on subsequent albums. Veteran session bassist John Giblin (Kate Bush, Brand X) is also a well-known contributor on the album.
“Internal Exile” was a track that originated on the tour to support the singer’s first solo album and became the title of his subsequent release on Polydor. The album contains the concert staple “Credo,” which is a self re-affirmation after a long personal struggle where the singer had broken free of legal entanglements. Simmonds together with guitarist Robin Boult shoulder the songwriting on the eleven cuts that may be Fish’s most passionate personal statement. “Tongues” is an outright assault on his old record label where the incisive sarcasm is not necessarily on the artist’s sleeve. Only two bonus tracks grace this effort, of which “Poet’s Moon” is the better and has an arrangement that should appeal. The big Scott also provides many long and intimate accounts in the liner notes from a memory that is remarkably intact despite the random drunken brawl. Especially interesting is the man’s struggle to gain financial credibility amidst a complicated financial situation not unlike has happened to George Michael or Andy Latimer.
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more