Fish – Weltschmerz: A Review30th September 2020
So here we are, the end of a career. Fish is no more.
Well, we’ve got this final double album, but after this Derek Dick, or Fish to you and I, is retiring from music.
I first found out about Fish back when I was 10 when my brother bought me a tape of Marillion’s Real to Reel. And I wore that tape out. Marillion were, with Jethro Tull, my introduction to Prog and I love that album as much today as I did 30 years ago.
I found the lyrical content to be the part of each song that I was drawn too. I remember writing the lyrics to Forgotten Sons on the inside of my maths exercise book (I’d previously covered it in wallpaper which was a thing we had to do in school in the 90’s). I can recall having in depth conversations with friends about Misplaced Childhood and Script for a Jesters Tear. I can remember trying to chat up a girl by using the classic line “Is that love in your eye I saw, or a reflection of mine” it didn’t work.
Weltschmerz translates as a feeling of melancholy and world-weariness and looking at the state of the world, I can totally understand.
This feels like a very personal album as all of Fish’s work has, he is never scared to show his emotions or his thoughts and this is partly why I love him.
As with all of Fish’s solo work the focus is all on his lyrics and his voice, you don’t get shredding guitars or 20 minute drum solos, instead what you have is music that supports and enhances Fish’s singing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the music on this album, there are moments that feel like a Led Zepplin song (Rose of Damascus) but the focus is definitely on Fish.
The title track, Weltschmerz, is very much a take on today’s chaotic world. I urge you to check out the lyrics as they make great reading. Just as a teaser, here’s one of the verses.
“I’ve formed the opinion that things can’t stay as they are. My anger and my fury trapped like a wasp in a jar. It’s never too late to make a brave new start. When the revolution is called I will play my part.”
The fourth song on the album This Party’s Over has an upbeat feel to it but again the lyrics give it a completely different take.
I could literally copy and paste all of Fish’s lyrics and I’d be proud of the review, so please, do yourself a favour and find them, then read them, then read them again, then listen to the album. But here’s just a couple of lines.
“I’m calling it a day, enough of all this bullshit. I’ll say goodbye to all my would-be friends. The wine is drunk, my glass is empty. I smash the bottle into smithereens.”
This is a very good album, a fine farewell from one of the UK’s most original musicians of the last 40 years. Farewell and thank you for all the Fish along with helping to shape my musical life. Your voice will be missed.
- The Grace of God 8.15
- Man with a Stick 6.30
- Walking on Eggshells 7.15
- This Party’s Over 4.23
- Rose of Damascus 15.43
- Garden of Remembrance 6.04
- C Song (The Trondheim Waltz) 4.41
- Little Man What Now 10.53
- Waverley Steps (End of the Line) 13.48
- Weltschmerz 6.45
25th September 2020