"It's a few people trying to steal centre stage and if you don't know already I still own this particular stage for now." Raging Fish slams online trolls over farewell shows

(Image credit: Press)

Fish has hit back at fans who left derogatory comments complaining about him adding an additional Scottish shows on his farewell Road To The Isles tour, describing himself as "raging".

Understandably, the two Scottish shows that had been announced for his final tour in February and March have sold well, prompting him, not unreasonably, to add further shows in Haddington and Glasgow. This has prompted the ire of some fans because they will no longer be attending what they'd assumed would be his final show.

The new shows after at Haddington Corn Exchange on February 18 and Glasgow O2 Academy on March 10. Tickets are available now.

The current fan furore comes soon after Fish received similar online criticism for cancelling some of his Fish On Friday YouTube broadcasts, a totally free broadcast that he presents for his fans every Friday, which began during lockdown. The Fish On Friday broadcasts won the Event Of The Year in the Prog Readers' Poll in 2020.

"If I wanted reminding of why I am retiring and getting out of the music business then what I have read here on the group pages and on my timeline certainly does that and more," the singer wrote on Facebook yesterday.

"It's only a minority but  they are loud and they are noticeable but they are not representative of all the 2500 people who did buy tickets for a Fish gig in Glasgow. What I have been on the receiving end of in the last couple of days I will not stay silent on as it's not in the spirit of what I am trying to achieve or what I believe is the fundamental essence of this farewell tour.

"This is my farewell tour and I can choose where and how I do it. I will pick the set list and decide what is and what is not being played on what night. It's my gig. If I did what everyone wanted me to do then I wouldn't be who I am, I wouldn't be here now and you wouldn't be following my career. I am not the monkey on the organ grinning and accepting pennies to dance."

"I completely understand that some of you are upset that you bought tickets for a 'final show' and now it's the penultimate show. I added another show. Forgive me. If you really are still that unhappy and angry , sell your tickets and don't come to any of the Glasgow shows as you are not coming in the spirit that I'd like around those events.

"As I said, what I've had to endure reading in recent days has gone well beyond what I should have to put up with and I refuse to accept this negativity and crap in my life anymore.

"I'm sure there will be some smart ass retorts, well crafted arguments and intelligent reasonings as to why I am a Dick but in all honesty I don't give a damn because it's a few people trying to steal centre stage and if you don''t know already I still own this particular stage for now."

Fellow prog musician Robin Armstrong of Cosmograf also spoke out about the situation concerning fan entitlement and a lack of perspective specifically in relation to the Fish comments.

"I've been banging on about fan entitlement for some time but I had no idea quite what levels it reaches," he said on his own Facebook page. "The furore over these Fish shows shows the worst side of it. Some of the comments in the original post are mind bending throwing abuse at the artist they claim to support... There are some that are more interested in the bragging rights of being at the last ever Fish show, than actually experiencing the last opportunities of what is one of most enduring and best loved artists in the genre. You'll miss him when he's gone."

Fish's post has thus far attracted over 700 largely supportive comments from fans.

Fish Road To The Isles Engand and Scotland dates

Feb 18: Haddington Corn Exchange
Feb 19: Haddington Corn Exchange
Feb 21: Manchester Albert Hall
Feb 22: Wolverhamtpoin The Halls
Feb 23: Portsmouth Guildhall
Feb 25: London Palladium
Feb 26: Bristol Beacon
Feb 28: Aylesbury Waterside
Mar 01: Cambridge Corn Exchange
Mar 02: Nottingham Rock City
Mar 05: Liverpool Philharmonic
Mar 06; Newcastle City Hall
Mar 07: Aberdeen Music Hall
Mar 09: Glasgow O2 Academy
Mar 10: Glasgow O2 Academy

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.