VIGILS END’ UK TOUR 2021 BLU RAY DISC AND 2 CD’S IN HARDBACK BOOK
‘Vigils End’ was filmed and recorded at Leamington Spa Assembly Rooms on the 24th November as the final show on the short 7 date UK tour in 2021 These were the only dates performed on what was originally planned to be an extensive International tour that was postponed and finally cancelled due to the covid pandemic. The shows were to feature the new ‘Weltschmerz’ album and the final performances of the entire ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’ album on its 30th anniversary and had begun on March 13th 2020 at Aberdeen Lemon Tree. 48 hours after the first gig the tour was brought to a close and a week later the first lockdown began. The band wouldn’t perform again until the following year and due to a combination of adverse factors the 2021 UK shows would be the only gigs featuring this setlist and the last shows for a considerable time.
The Leamington show was originally broadcast in December 2021 as a global stream event and was hugely supported worldwide to enormous acclaim. The original broadcast has been further mixed, edited, and produced to provide even better quality.
‘Vigils End’ Blu Ray features the entire two hour show filmed in 4k by Dave Barras and Scott Mackay at ‘Strangeboat ’and now available here on Blu Ray in an HD version in a widescreen format with Dolby Atmos and 5.1 mixes provided by Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh ( Marillion/ Warner’s remasters)
The audio was mixed and produced by Calum Malcolm who also provided a dedicated stereo mix for the double CD version that comes in two wallets at the rear of the hardback book which has over 1100 words of sleeve notes from Fish including private photos from the tour and artwork by Mark Wilkinson with sleeve design by Steve Vantsis.
The Blu Ray which is also in a wallet at the front of the book has the aforementioned full filmed concert plus 2 interviews, one with backstage footage and the other filmed earlier this year with Fish at the Studio.
It also includes a complete ‘alternative UK tour set’ taken from the other 6 shows on the tour, mixed and produced by Steve Vantsis and the ‘Lemon Tree’ gig from 2020 which was previously released on You Tube as a fund raiser for band and crew during lockdown. The stereo audio has been given a boost in quality and produced by Steve Vantsis and Calum Malcolm.
BLU RAY DISC
Full Leamington Show in widescreen HD with Dolby Atmos and 5.1 mixes 120.03
Vigils End – Behind the Scenes (Video) 30.58
The Road to Leamington (Video) 48.36
Alternative UK Tour Set (concert audio)
Grace of God (Southampton) 9.06 (Dick/Boult/Vantsis)
Big Wedge (Frome) 6.03 (Dick/Simmonds)
Man With A Stick (Cambridge) 6.30 (Dick/Vantsis/Boult)
State of Mind (Cambridge) 7.24 (Dick/ Simmonds/ Lindes)
Family Business (Cambridge) 5.28 (Dick/Simmonds/Lindes)
Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors (Cambridge) 9.55 (Dick/Simmonds)
Rose of Damascus (Southampton) 15.49 (Dick/Vantsis/Boult)
He Knows You Know (Liverpool) 5.42 (Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Mosley/Trewavas)
Weltschmerz (Frome) 6.51 (Dick/Vantsis)
This Party’s Over (Liverpool) 4.51 (Dick/Boult/Vantsis)
Cliché (Liverpool) 7.11 (Dick/Simmonds/Lindes)
View From a Hill (Liverpool) 6.29 (Dick/Gers)
A Gentleman’s Excuse Me (Cambridge) 3.56 (Dick/Simmonds)
Fugazi (Frome) 9.09 (Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Mosley/Trewavas)
The Company (Glasgow) 5.04 (Dick/Simmonds)
Bonus Concert – ‘A Fish in the Lemon Tree’ Live March 2020 (Concert Audio)
(Set list same as Leamington but missing first 4 songs and ‘Script for a Jester’s Tear’ in place of ‘Fugazi’)
CD 1 Live in Leamington 24/11/21
Grace of God 9.41
Big Wedge 6.06
Man With a Stick 6.43
State of Mind 7.20
Family Business 5.27
Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors 10.29
Rose of Damascus 15.52
He Knows You Know 5.42
This Party’s Over 4.57
View From a Hill 6.43
A Gentleman’s Excuse Me 3.58
The Company 5.11
Band Leamington Assembly Rooms and on UK tour 21
Fish vocals, Steve Vantsis Bass, Gavin Griffiths drums, John Mitchell guitars, Spencer Cozens keyboards, Doris Brendel backing vocals
Band Lemon Tree 2020 as above except Marcel Singor guitars and Liam Holmes keyboards
All songs published by Fishy Music/ Copyright Control except ‘He Knows You Know’ ‘’Fugazi’ and ‘Script for a Jesters Tear ‘(Lemon Tree show’) published by Charisma Music/ EMI Publishing Ltd
Copyright in this recording Derek W Dick under exclusive license to the Chocolate Frog Record Company Ltd 2022
Sleeve notes copyright Derek W Dick 2022 (no unauthorised reproduction without permission)
Photo by Glenn Moore
Excerpts from Fish’s sleeve notes
“We had cleared Dundee and I was looking forward to crossing the river Tay at Perth and getting on to the M90 where with a bit of luck I’d find a clear fast stretch of motorway to deliver us to our next journey marker at the Forth Road Bridge. Apart from rogue roundabouts and speed cameras keeping me in check the journey from Aberdeen had been relatively good going after we had negotiated our way through the maze of diversions in the city.
I’d stopped drinking a few months previously and had determined that I was going to remain alcohol free for the entire UK tour. I enjoy driving at night and had decided to drive back after the show rather than deal with the expense and kerfuffle of dealing with an hotel when we were only a few hours from our own beds and had a day off next day. I was tired but my mind was racing faster than the Skoda. Talk radio was frothing away about South American football in between the news items that were feeding us scraps of updates on a developing situation.
On the way up to the gig news had broken that the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon had already called for venues to be closed in 2 weeks’ time. That meant that my last show at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh was gone and with it the planned filming of the ‘Weltschmerz’ material that I wanted to put on the Blu Ray disc of the new album that was scheduled for release in May.
It had been the first topic of conversation every day at rehearsals as we had all become keenly aware of this new virus that had come out of China and was now taking Italy apart. It was patently obvious it wasn’t an ‘if’ anymore but a ‘when’. The uncertainty over what it all meant for us as touring musicians was painful to endure and there was an air of the inevitable in the dressing room at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on Friday, March 13th.
Photo by Margaret Craig
“And there we were, in the Skoda, just approaching the bridge over the Tay when a forest of fluorescent traffic cones appeared out of the darkness. I don’t know whether I misread the signs or just took the wrong turn, but we ended up driving in circles trying to find a way through the roadworks, turning back on ourselves and never managing to find the on ramp to the motorway. It was intensely frustrating. At one point I considered battering my way through the cones and across to the lane we couldn’t access, and it seemed like forever till we found a clear stretch of road to take us home. Looking back now that night’s drive seemed a perfect metaphor for the forthcoming years.”
Photo by Paul Cavender
“Arriving back at Overhailes Rehearsal rooms had a blinding sense of Déjà vu. Our journeys there had been kept as isolated from the general public as possible. Everyone was testing and our initial contact at the farm nervous and respectfully distant. We were well aware of the perils we faced out there. The situation was discussed at length, and I was already making back up plans. It was going to be risky, and we needed some luck to see us through to the now final show, the global broadcast recording at Leamington Spa.
With no insurance available I figured that if we could get through the first show in Glasgow we had a multi-track recording as back up both as a substitute broadcast (although without film) and a live album to put out to recover costs and pay band and crew wages for the tour.
Backstage areas were to be sealed off, no one not even family members allowed access, we had to remain either on the bus or in the dressing room all day until showtime and then clear out after directly onto the nightliner to head to the next show. No selfies, no autographs and as little contact as possible with anyone outside our circus bubble.”
Photo by Margaret Craig
“Walking out onto the empty stage at the O2 academy for soundcheck on Sunday 14th November was an incredible feeling but entering in front of a crowd for the first time was almost biblical. I was almost overcome with emotion as I strode out to the opening pulse of ‘Grace of God’ and had to compose myself before singing a note. The reception from the audience was quite simply ecstatic and it was a communal celebration as we began our first performance in we over a year and a half since we started at the Lemon Tree”
Photo by Paul Cavender
“Tuesday was load in to the Assembly rooms and the circus were all quite shocked at the mess it was in. All the dressing rooms were mouldy or smelling of damp and the only area we could use was a communal space that was filled with stacked chairs and a few sofas. It wasn’t exactly welcoming but with all the other rooms out of bounds it was all we had. The space once housed Tammy Wynette’s outrageously pink Silverstream caravan that she used backstage at festivals as well as a full size Dalek and other eccentric items that at least once gave the concrete box we were in some character.
Upstairs at the stage the crew were encountering major obstacles as the damage from 2019 was substantial amongst the wiring and connections. There were a lot of things missing that needed to be found and connected and made to work as the rig was supposed to. There were lighting issues too as tie points were damaged or missing. The set-up day was proving invaluable as we could never have carried this off on a show day. The local crew and my guys were magnificent. “
Photo by Paul Cavender
“This was going to me my last show on this tour and also last show for quite a while. To be honest I didn’t even know if this was going to be my last show ever.
I pulled on my fresh black floral shirt and took another swig of Old Kruipnik honey vodka that my friend Marek Cieslak from Poland had brought over for me. It was perfect timing and better pre gig for me than the high grade manuka honey I’d been munching all tour. I’d done extended vocal warm ups in the toilet between passing trade and had given myself a few stretches to free up my aching legs and back. The ibuprofen would kick in soon and my magic ‘Wiewohl’ mix had opened up my chest and breathing. I was wired up to my battery pack, the ear monitors were patched in and I could hear the crowd above already gathered in anticipation. I was ready.”