To the Ministry's main lobby The Ministry Blog
concert setlists

30 December, 2005

Review: Mixed Company (Fish, 2003)

There's something I have to state up-front: Fish's voice was bad at these concerts (Muziekcentrum, Enschede, The Netherlands on 28 & 29 June, 2002); not only is it odd to hear an older voice performing songs made famous by a young voice, it's often quite painful to hear him struggle to sing at all.  On the 'Candlelight In Fog' 'official bootleg', similar vocal problems are easily balanced by increased spoken banter with the audience, but that's missing from 'Mixed Company'.  Whether his vocal problems disturbed the concentration of Fish and the band, or they were under-rehearsed, the recording includes a few rather severe errors, primarily Fish forgetting the lyrics.

It's rather annoying that highlights of the concerts described by Fish in the CD booklet aren't actually on the CDs; presumably one has to buy the DVD version, 'Fool's Company' to get them.
I've been spoilt by Fish's series of 'official bootlegs', which have been released with the selling point that they're complete and unexpurgated recordings of entire concerts. 'Mixed Company' isn't. It would be fair to call it a 'greatest hits, live' CD set: the highlights of his solo career and time with Marillion. Assuming the DVDs and CDs are aimed at the hardcore fans who will buy both anyway, and assuming that the rest of the concert is on the DVDs, that's fair enough. It's reasonable to collect those tracks the fans will play most often onto the CDs, so they can be played on any CD player – in a car, on a work computer, at home on a decent stereo, wherever. In contrast, the oddities and er, secondary songs (I can't think of a way of phrasing that which doesn't sound pejorative, but I don't mean it that way) could be presented on the DVD, which mightn't be played so often but would receive the viewer's full attention when it is played, justifying the use of the format. As it happens, the DVDs have 12 tracks (plus bonuses) and the CDs have 10, of which six are repeated on both.
However, only having the CDs, I feel a little short-changed; I don't think the CD set adequately stands alone.

Why not buy the DVDs? I've found that I just don't watch DVDs of bands, so they'd be a wasted purchase. I'm not sure why, but I just don't find/make the time, and always seem to watch a feature films instead. I have two Marillion and one Roger Waters DVD that I simply haven't watched, so I'm disinclined to buy more. Unfortunately this means I only bought the 'Mixed Company' CD set, so I'm missing the rest of the show, on the 'Fool's Company' DVD.

In summary, I was distinctly under-impressed, and doubt I'll play this often, if indeed ever again.

[To the people who reach this page via a search for 'fish mixed company
: buy the CDs, you ****ing parasites. 'Mixed Company' is not a freebie to be downloaded, it's a commercial release, and you are thieves.]


Sounds like a CD I must not fail to miss :)

Posted by Tim Hall at December 30, 2005 08:35 PM
Site Home Tull Tour History Annotated Passion Play
Day in the life... Page design and original graphics © NRT, 2003