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FISH, The Assembly, Leamington Spa
For early arrivals the weekend started with a get together on the Friday
evening at The Sausage a popular bar in the town with entertainment by the
band Jump and Fish paid a visit to meet some of the fans and have a
glass of wine.
The convention started Saturday lunchtime with concert footage both
vintage and from the soon to be released DVD on a big screen, followed by
a stand-up comedy routine disguised as an introduction and Q and A session
with Fish, and as usual he had the crowd in stitches.
and topics he gave his unique insight on included Michael Jackson,
favourite gigs and meerkats! I took this opportunity to buy raffle tickets
in aid of Sunshine Project, a charity helping needy children in Egypt (the
total raised was well over £4000).
Next up the
fantastic artist Mark Wilkinson who designed all the sleeves for
the early Marillion albums, all of Fish's solo work and has also worked
with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest took questions from the crowd.
music next with a short acoustic set including stripped down versions of
Marillion classics 'Sugar Mice,' 'Lavender' and solo tracks 'State Of
Mind' and 'A Gentleman's Excuse Me.'
then closed for sound checks and the fans made their way to various bars
and restaurants in town, I myself went to The Jug and Jester which was
full of Fish tee-shirts.
the evening came from the excellent Pendragon who played a blinding
set including latest album tracks 'Indigo' and 'Eraserhead' and classic
oldies 'Breaking the Spell' and 'Masters Of Illusion' and they went down a
Now the big
man himself, who played almost a three-hour set starting with him walking
through the crowd to the stage singing 'Vigil' and he played close to a
three-hour set including solo and Marillion material.
tracks included 'Brother 52,' 'Numbers', Suits’ and The Clock Moves
Sideways' and all except one track from a run through of current album
Marillion years he played 'Incubus', 'Fugazi', 'Freaks’ a rocking 'Assassing'
and finished with 'Market Square Heroes'.
Sunday started with some real fun a 'Hunt the Penguin' treasure
hunt/competition which involved teams of up to four people walking around
the town with a page of clues and directions to various locations with
included The Jug and Jester, Katie's Kabin newsagent and Murphy's Bar,
where there were also questions to answer, and when the penguin was
finally located at The Bandstand prizes were given to the first team to
make it and the team with most questions correctly answered. The teams
also got soaked by the Hunt the Penguin welcoming committee.
followed by another talk from Fish, this time assisted by various band
members, and topics this time including the expense of flying and drinking
next along the lines of a well known TV quiz but this time called 'Never
Mind The Fish Heads' and included all the various rounds from the show.
After the sound check interval the evening started with a solo set by
Chris Johnson which included a superb version of the song he wrote for
Mostly Autumn 'Gaze.'
Next up a
band I enjoy more every time I see them The Reasoning, mostly
playing material from their first two albums Awakening and Dark Angel.
There were many stand outs in a fantastic set but if I had to pick a few
it would be 'Aching Hunger,' 'Fallen Angels', 'Dark Angel' and opener
'Within Cold Glass'.
and the last set of the convention just about brought the house down, the
Fish set started with the classic debut Marillion album title track
'Script For a Jesters Tear' and included rarely played solo songs 'TumbleDown',
'Poets Moon', 'Long Cold Day' as well as live favourites 'Lucky', 'State
Of Mind' and 'Internal Exile'. He also had the crowd singing along to the
classic Marillion tracks 'Kayleigh', 'Lavender' and 'Heart of Lothian.'
weekend and great to have him bring this event to my hometown and being
with fans from all over the world saying what a fantastic town and venue
made me feel very proud. Lets hope he comes back soon.
and photos by Andrew Lock
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