Fish

Krakow

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Krakow, a live two-disc set culled from Fish's visit to Krakow, Poland, in late October of 1994 is an emotional, hit and miss, 17-track affair. The first ever international act to stage a bona fide Polish tour (seven dates in all), Fish's trek benefited from huge television, radio, and press exposure. On this particular night in Poland, pre-show tensions were running amuck as the band were informed of their early six p.m. stage time. To make things worse, the band was also in the process of breaking in a new bass player (ex-Deacon Blue man Ewan Vernal). With expectations running high, Fish and company rose to the occasion by delivering a strong, if somewhat cookie-cutter set list. By 1994, it was clear that Fish had abandoned many of Marillion's dramatic back catalog moments only to replace them with newer songs like "Black Canal," "Jumpsuit City," "Emperor's Song," and "Lucky." Older songs like the classic "Fugazy" and the spine tingling "Slainthe Mhath" now made their appearances in the form of medleys. Fortunately, bombastic oeuvres like the spectacular "Vigil in the Wilderness of Mirrors" and "Lavender" still percolate a set that places an inordinate emphasis on Fish's otherwise late career solo efforts (many of them subpar). In a perfect world, it would have been a nice surprise if the Scot broke out some of his otherwise stronger material, however, considering Fish's ability to win over any audience with his wonderful stage persona, these are minor qualms.

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