Fool's Company: Live in Holland 2002, Pt. 2

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This DVD documents the second of a two-night-event presented in Amsterdam as part of the 2002 convention of Fish's fan club The Company. Volume 1 presented the first night, devoted to Marillion's catalog. This one focuses on Fish's solo repertoire, especially songs he had not performed live in a while -- or ever. As the singer explains in the included bonus interview, the original idea was to present the first-ever live rendition of the whole suite "A Plague of Ghosts" (from Raingods With Zippos, one of his best post-Vigil solo efforts) as the show opener. A gradually shrinking rehearsal schedule forced him to abandon that project a few days before the concert, and so the group performed the complete Misplaced Childhood album again (the main event on the "Marillion night"). As a result, there was considerably less "new" material performed at the second show and this DVD runs shorter (roughly an hour for the main program). Luckily, what was performed is stronger and tighter than the Marillion material, and Fish's voice is put through less strain. "Vigil" is a bit painful vocal-wise but still a good crowd-pleaser. The same applies to "Shadow Play." "3D" and "Raw Meat" are surprising selections -- and surprisingly poignant and efficient. The highlight of the set though is undoubtedly the segued "Rites of Passage" and "State of Mind," with famous Focus guitarist Jan Akkerman walking in at the beginning of the second one. Yet, this all makes a rather light set, lacking a rocker or two, although it is much more good-humored and relaxed. Extras include the end of the up-close-and-personal interview with Fish, dispensable backstage footage and trailer, and two more excerpts from the show presented in rough sound mixes: "The Company" sung by the crowd and accompanied by the band, and a rendition of the Beatles' "Birthday" for the show organizer. The band on both volumes consists of John Marter (drums), Irvin Duguld (keyboards), Frank Usher (guitar) and Robin Boult (guitar).

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