The other night a friend went to see ex-Marillion vocalist Fish performing Misplaced Childhood in full at a venue in Bristol. I was chatting online to another friend as why he wasn’t there as he’s the biggest Marillion fan I know – apparently solo Fish is “rubbish”. Great fun managing to wind up two people over one band.

Apparently I’m a bit of a wind up merchant. I have no idea where people get that impression of me from!

Anyway this got me thinking. I’ve NEVER listened to a Marillion album in full in my 42 years, so I asked for a recommendation of an album by both vocalists. This could be the start of regular thing on this blog as there are so many records that evaded my musical radar and with the introduction of the shuffle function on an iPod and iTunes giving to the option and the ability to buy a single track my listening habits have evolved over time.

We stumble back in time to June 1987 and Clutching At Straws for the first part of my Marillion introduction. I am aware of who Marillion are, I quite like Kayleigh – doesn’t everybody?, but I’ve only ever liked them as a singles band. I’ve never purchased an album but I may have acquired a 7″ many moons ago – Sugar Mice, I think, from a fairground of all places, but why and what happened to said record I don’t know.

Last night I stuck the 1999 remastered version of Clutching At Straws in my Spotify library and this morning at work I gave it a blast. If I’m being truly honest I have to say I really liked it, even though they fall in that category of uncool bands with the likes of Nickelback.

I was well aware of Incommunicado, and the aforementioned Sugar Mice was a lot better than I remember it being. I really liked Slàinte Mhath with its slow build up. Plenty of slower atmospheric tracks and some really rocky up tempo stuff on offer throughout the original 50 minutes.

On the evidence of this isolated listen I’m more than likely going to be listening to a few more of the Derek Dick era recordings in the very near future.