Fish / Retirement Journey and Saying Goodbye to East Lothian

With Fish announcing his retirement from the music industry last week, fans eagerly await the news of the UK dates of his Road To The Isles tour. These will be announced soon but will include a prestigious London date. The meaning of the tour name has emerged as Fish shares his retirement plans.

Fish and his wife Simone will be moving to a croft they have taken over on an island in the Outer Hebrides. Fish will sell his recording studio and house in Haddington, East Lothian, in May, having lived there since severing his Marillion ties in 1988. 

“It’s going to be sad in some ways to leave East Lothian after so many years and having written, recorded and created so much here at the Studio,” Fish said. “All my solo albums apart from Vigil were recorded in this building.

“I’ll be leaving behind a lot of memories in the house and the garden where I’ve lived since 1988, and it will always hold a special place in my life. The croft, however, is a completely new adventure and one my wife and I are excitedly looking forward to.”

Vigil In A Wilderness of Mirrors and Internal Exile will be reissued in April 2024 with new remixes along with full concerts from 1990-1991. “It was a strange feeling recently sifting through the demo material for the 2024 Vigil and Internal re-releases and listening to the early versions of those songs that were written here soon after I moved to Haddington,” Fish said. 

It has emerged that the retirement move has been in Fish’s plans for quite some time. “We have been working on our move for the last year,” he said, “renovating the croft house and literally preparing the ground for our new home. It’s all been part of a plan I’ve been following since 2015, and when we came across the island in 2022, Simone and I fell in love with the area, and we both knew that this was where we wanted to be. 

“I’ll still be creating and writing on the island, and there’s that elusive autobiography to be written, as well as other projects involving music in some shape or another.”

Once a creative, always a creative, the saying goes. “With the Farewell Tour,” Fish says, “I’m calling a halt to ‘big band’ road work and traversing the globe in the back of a bus. I’m going to be concentrating on growing vegetables and looking after sheep while Simone follows her own dreams and ambitions on the croft. It’s a massive change in our lives, but we both feel it’s the right time to take this step and make the move.

“When I was looking for a name for the farewell tour, I obviously had the move to the western Isles in my mind. I remembered an old song by Scottish singer Andy Stewart that I played repeatedly on my mum and dad’s old RCA Victor record player back in the ’60s. I never really knew what the lyric was about, but the tune popped into my head when we were putting the tour together, and I managed to find the song online. 

“It turned out to have a lot more history behind it, and I discovered it was all about a young man returning home to the Western Isles and his journey across Scotland. Road To The Isles was a perfect and apt title for the tour. 

“It inspired me to get in touch with my sleeve artist, Mark Wilkinson, to revisit the Internal Exile album cover from 1991 and reinvent it using images from across my solo albums, based around a portrait photo by original photographer Kenneth Martin taken of me as the singer in 2023, about to become a crofter. 

“There’s a great sense of circles being closed with all aspects of the tour, and the album releases this year. I’m enjoying the sense of completion that it brings to this current stage in my life as I literally move on to new pastures.

“It’s a wonderful feeling.”

Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors and Internal Exile have both been remixed by Calum Malcolm in 2024 and will be available in a four audio CD and a BluRay disc set containing Dolby Atmos and 5.1 mixes, documentaries and full concerts from 90-91. Included is a 100-page hardback book in a slipcase featuring extensive sleeve notes by Fish, artwork by Mark Wilkinson and photos and images from the periods. Sleeve designs are by Steve Vantsis.

The deluxe versions will be exclusively available on and from April 2024 together with special vinyl editions of both albums mastered at half speed by Barry Grint at Air Studios and manufactured by Seabass vinyl in Scotland.

European tour tickets are on sale now. UK tour tickets will be announced on 27 February 2024.

Fish Road To The Isles European tour poster
Fish – Road To The Isles European tour.
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