Ex-Marillion frontman Fish has premiered his powerful new single ‘Man With A Stick’.
The track received its exclusive first play on Planet Rock Breakfast with Paul Anthony this morning and is lifted from Fish’s new EP ‘A Parley With Angels’, which is released on Friday 21st September.
A musically powerful and lyrically potent single, Fish explains that ‘Man With A Stick’ was written following the death of his father two years ago. Listen to the track here:
Fish says: “I was inspired to write this lyric after my father died in May 2016. He was a strong, proud, well-respected man who, like most of us, found growing old difficult. When he reached his mid 80's he was becoming a shadow of his former self and in the last few months of his life he relied more and more on his trusty walking stick to get around.
“After he left us I found it hard to look at any old men walking with a stick. I started to think about our relationships with sticks in our lives and how they go from being associated with fun and play to becoming something more sinister and symbols of power eventually supporting us as our strength weakens and old age takes its toll."
Alongside ‘Man With A Stick’, ‘A Parley With Angels’ features new songs ‘Waverley Steps’ and ‘Little Man What Now?’ together with four songs - ‘Emperor’s Song’, ‘State Of Mind’, ‘Circle Line’ and ‘Voyeur’ – recorded at Islington Assembly Hall in 2017.
The EP will be available to buy digitally and in physical formats from Fish’s official website.
The three new songs on the EP will all feature on Fish’s upcoming swansong album ‘Weltschmerz’. As Fish told Planet Rock’s Wyatt at Ramblin’ Man Fair in July, he has vowed to retire in 2020.
The ‘A Parley With Angels’ EP trck-listing is as follows:
1. Man With A Stick
2. Little Man What Now?
3. Waverley Steps
4. Circle Line*
5. State Of Mind*
7. Emperors Song*
*Live at Islington Assembly Hall, London, December 2017
Fish will kick off his previously announced European tour later this month with a trio of UK shows in Edinburgh, Liverpool and Leamington Spa. He returns to these shores in December for further dates in Newcastle, Manchester, Norwich, London, Nottingham, Hull and Glasgow.
The gigs will see Fish perform Marillion’s 1987 album ‘Clutching At Straws’ in its unadulterated entirety followed by a second set that will feature songs from 'Weltschmerz'.
For ticket availability head to Planet Rock Tickets now.
See Fish at the following gigs:
Edinburgh Queen’s Hall – Sat 22nd
Liverpool O2 Academy – Sun 23rd
Leamington Spa The Assembly – Mon 24th
Newcastle O2 Academy – Sun 2nd
Manchester O2 Ritz – Mon 3rd
Norwich UEA – Tue 4th
Islington Assembly – Fri 7th
Islington Assembly – Sat 8th
Nottingham Rock City – Tue 11th
Hull City Hall – Wed 12th
Glasgow O2 Academy – Thu 13th
The ‘Man With A Stick’ lyrics are as follows:
Old man checks his rear view mirror, wispy hair, familiar eyes
Journeys alone, unsure of the exit, straddling lanes his signals ignored
Deaf to the horns, blind to the anger, stalled in the traffic of a fast moving world
The Man with a stick
Long rod dipping fishing hollows, short sword slays the ranks of weeds
Bat of ash on the edge of a diamond the kiss of willow before tumbling bails
Rock n’roll snares, cheerleading batons, the pencil scratches on an empty page
A pointer raps on a cloudy blackboard, a cane taps time on an outstretched palm
Learning the lessons, reciting the mantra that sparing the rod is spoiling the child
Says a man with a stick, watch the man with the stick, the man with the stick
And you force back the tears; stand in the corner listening to the sniggering of so called friends
Hold the pain in a fist, stare back in defiance, and vow to yourself that they won’t hit you again
Stifled your hate, channelled the anger, snuck in the system and bided your time
You tightened your lip, accepted the beatings and they measured you up for a uniform , you fitted the uniform
Then they gave you a stick.
A Knobkerrie and a bloodied shillelagh in calloused hands take the lions down
Pick axe hafts and hickory truncheons cracking the skulls on the picket lines
Bamboo staffs and sjambok switches, cudgels bludgeoning hearts and minds
Clearing the streets of a burning township, scattering crowds from a city square
Herding the queues of the weak and the hungry, testing the will of the few who dare face the man with the stick
You dealt out the blows following orders, the questions were left for another time
You held it inside; absolving your conscience laid all the blame on the ‘powers that be’
You gave them your all, got a watch and a bungalow, mothballed the uniform and faded away
Lost all you loved, withered and vulnerable, abandoned your car at the side of the road at the end of the road, your fate unavoidable
The son becomes the man
The man with a stick, a man with a stick.
Old man follows cracks in the pavements, leans weary at the end of days
Unsteady, checking his balance shuffles along on his lonely trail
The man with a stick