The former Marillion man is a force of nature as a live performer – don’t miss!
The big man certainly cuts an imposing figure, 6ft 4in of Scottish menace, growling at and joking with the audience with a roguish unpredictability. Buoyed by his beloved Hibs victory over Celtic earlier that day, he was in no mood for taking prisoners. Three songs in he stopped the gig to give his bass player a public slagging for being Edinburgh born and supporting Celtic. He announced that he would play his solo stuff first, take a break and then return to play his older (Marillion) stuff, the latter eliciting a spontaneous cheer from the audience. ‘Aye. Well that makes me feel f***in brilliant then doesn’t it!’ he growled.
His passion for what he does is as evident in his songs as in his stage persona. One song, inspired by a visit to Bosnia, was he said ‘even more relevant now than when I wrote it’; and who would argue. With Fish, it was hardly ever going to be all-serious though. A defining moment was during the stomp for Heart of Midlothian, with almost the whole venue engaged in a mass hand-clap he spotted some non-compliants in the balcony ‘Gie me!’ he pointed at them, then ‘F***in gie me!!’ before they finally succumbed to his greater will. Rather them than me!
‘Ladies and gentlemen, they call me the Fish.’ was how he left us, arms outstretched, drenched in his own sweat and taking in the applause, but he was already preaching to the converted. A force of nature.