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Fish explains why he's retiring in 2020 and insists 'it's not a Status Quo'

Former Marillion frontman Fish has told Planet Rock why he’s calling it a day in 2020.

The singer, real name Derek Dick, told fans in a blog post back in March that he’ll be retiring in 2020 following a farewell tour that year.

Speaking to Wyatt backstage at Planet Rockstock at Ramblin’ Man Fair on Sunday, Fish explained he’s retiring as “there comes a point where physically it gets too much” and insisted he won’t be coming back like Status Quo.

Reflecting on his vocal abilities, Fish said: “I don’t look at myself as a singer, I’m not a technically gifted singer. I think one of the problems I had was back in the early eighties I was singing very wrong, very unnatural. I think if I’d gone to see a voice coach at that point in my life they’d have said ‘stop singing like that because you will not be able to keep that going for the rest of your life.’

“It’s interesting, probably since ‘13th Star’ (2007 solo album), I write towards the best parts of my voice. Back when I was in Marillion, they just played something and I sang over it and they knew I could sing just about anything that they played in whatever key.

“But y’know I came to regret that. Tonight, we’re doing ‘Clutching at Straws’ y’know its 30 years down the line and we have to change the keys on it, which is fine because I think the soul and the passion is still there and the delivery, I’ve not had anyone particularly complain about it… well some people do (mimics voice) ‘it doesn’t sound like it does on the record’.

“I mean that’s one of the reason why I chose to announce my retirement in 2020. There comes a point where physically it gets too much. Recovery as well.

“I think when you’re on a tour bus and you’re doing three gigs on, one off or whatever then it’s like… y’know singing for tours like tonight, we don’t do the pop band stuff where it’s like an hour on stage, it’s a full flak performance.

“When you’re on a tour bus it’s hard when you’re rolling about, which is why I’ve taken over leaders’ privileges so I’ve got a German tour bus this year and I turned around and I said ‘I want a double bed’ so the front lounge upstairs is the singer’s double bed so that I can actually do star shapes rather than being in my coffin with the curtains.”

Going into more detail about his retirement, Fish added: “Yeah, like I said we’re on tour this year with ‘Clutching at Straws’ and then the new ‘Weltschmerz’ album and then next year, the end of next year, it’s going to be ‘Vigil’ (1990 debut solo album ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’) and then the following year it will be the farewell tour.

“This is what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years, y’know taking for example the ‘Misplaced Childhood’ album out in 2015, it was ‘this is the last time I’m going to be playing this album’ and I wanted to play it in its entirety because it was written as an album and I wanted to perform it as an album and ‘Clutching at Straws’ is pretty much the same, it’s like ‘there’s the album and that’s it’ and once we finish the European shows in probably May next year, that will be it put to bed.

“And like I said, ‘Vigil’ the first solo album… it’s interesting, we’re sitting here in 2018 it’s exactly 30 years since I left the band and next year it’s going to be 30 years since my first solo album. So yeah it’s a long goodbye… but it’s not a Status Quo!”

Fish headlined the Prog in the Park Stage at Ramblin’ Man Fair yesterday evening. Watch his full interview with Wyatt here:


Watch all our Ramblin' Man Fair interviews

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