Friday, 21st August 2009
Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands
Article and Live Photos By Edwin Roosjen
It was the only gig in Holland for Fish and off course it was sold out.
This was my fourth time I went to see this charismatic front man and it has been different every times.
One thing is always the same, it is always fun and the atmosphere is always great.
I was expecting a lot of material from Fish's latest album and I was expecting a similar setlist as over a year ago in the Paradiso.
Just before I left for Haarlem I saw the setlists from the Fish convention just two weeks earlier and I was hoping he would squeeze a few of the older songs into the set.
The most exciting part of a gig for me is the entrance of the artist.
First on stage was keyboard player Foss Patterson, he walked on stage, sat behind his instruments and started playing the intro part of Vigil.
One by one the other members stepped up but without the usual cheers from the audience.
This was all because Fish was singing but no one spotted the man who is usually hard to overlook.
Suddenly everybody started looking the other way and finally I noticed Fish had entered from the back of the venue.
He was making his way through the audience leaving people behind both surprised and excited.
After that first shiver number two was Assassin, never thought I hear that song from him.
I do not know if he made the high notes in this song because he was overpowered by the vocal capacities of the Haarlem crowd.
After Credo it was time for his first speech, he met some bicycle Santa Claus' in Haarlem.
He is used to watching right and then left and then you can cross over.
In Holland, and especially in the vicinity of the Patronaat, there are a lot of bicycle lanes and whenever a pedestrian is walking on a bicycle lane dutch people tend to say "ho-ho-ho-ho-ho".
As a dutchman myself I can confirm that he is telling the truth.
Fish made a nice transition to the subway in England and the next song was Circle Line.
The next song Poet's Moon is a very unknown B-side and for the first, and only time, the crowd was quiet.
Next speech was about the Libyan who was released from prison, because he is terminally ill he is allowed to return to his home country.
A bridge to Tongues which is about politics and deceit.
Next was Numbers, the only song from Field Of Crows.
Open Water was introduced with a speech about the fact that in this modern world of internet and telephones there are still pirates, small boats with a few people that take over huge ships.
Fish was in a talking mood and for long Cold day he said it was his way of therapy from his divorce.
Normally people pay a lot of therapists and he is privileged to be able to put everything in a song and have a lot of people listen to him.
And then we had Incubus, wow man is he really playing this, "OOOEEE AAAAHH".
Fish was really playing two of my favourite songs from Fugazi, I am a happy man.
As expected Cliché is played and after that Fish announced they were going to play the last song.
Everybody knows they will return for at least one encore and when I looked at the time I concluded that it was the normal time to end the first part of a gig.
Foss Patterson started playing Pseudo Silk Kimono and I felt a bit sad because that is just a very short song.
Shortly after my disappointment my brain started working again and I remembered it was the intro of the Misplaced Childhood album, which I played countless times.
After every song it was with eager anticipation everyone listened if the next song was played.
In then end they played the whole first part of the album, amazing.
The encore started with Freaks, another song I would not dare dream of he would be playing.
Haarlem was clearing it's throat another time and sang a long like one.
During Lucky the band members were introduced during a long bluesy part.
Gavin Dickie was for me the new guy on the bass, Foss Patterson on keyboard and on drums Gavin Griffiths (whom I recognized as the person who was cutting in line earlier that evening while entering the Patronaat).
On the guitar were two brilliant players, Chris Johnson and Frank Usher.
After that I really thought the gig was over but they came back one more time.
Fish made a warm speech about the feeling of belonging to a special group of people that can still enjoy the music instead of degrading it to a piece of data downloaded onto a disc.
He stated "Music is dead", but on an evening like this I just refuse to believe him.
The Company was sung loudly by all the people fortunate enough not having to leave because of train or bus.
My fourth Fish concert is the most memorable I have attended, mainly because of the choice of old songs I never thought I would hear him play.
Not all was perfect, the sound was not very good and way too loud.
One can always say that the vocal capabilities from Fish are, nicely put, not as they used to be but he can make up for this by his charisma.
It was a terrific evening and next time he plays in Holland I will be there again.
As said before, it is always fun and the atmosphere is always great.
Long Cold Day
Pseudo Silk Kimono
Heart Of Lothian
Fish Official Website
DPRP Review: 13th Star