The original date, along with the rest of the planned UK shows, was scrapped in May as guitarist Robin Boult battled a nasty bout of chickenpox.
And it seems this show almost didn’t happen either, with the veteran frontman admitting he’s the only one not suffering the effects of the dreaded lurgy. To compound matters, keyboardist John Beck hobbles on to the stage on crutches after badly damaging his knee on the tour bus earlier that day.
But if they’re feeling rattled and under the weather, it doesn’t show as Fish and his band of troubadours deliver a highlight-strewn two‑hour set which sends the faithful back into the wet Glasgow night with smiles plastered across their faces.
Kicking off with the sprawling and multi-layered Perfume River – the opener from his latest studio album A Feast of Consequences – Fish then launches into the hook-laden title track from the album, which has the crowd nodding their heads in approval. Arc Of The Curve and Manchmal from 2007’s 13th Star follow, the latter complete with slabs of crunching guitar and pounding industrial percussion in what is arguably the heaviest track Fish has ever recorded.
It’s then back to his latest album for the five‑track High Wood suite, a collection of songs inspired by the events of World War One. Fish introduces the 30-minute performance with a deeply personal account of his grandfather’s role in the Great War and the conceptual piece, accompanied by grainy black-and-white footage from the time, becomes the highlight of the night. Crucifix Corner is delivered with a gritty edge, while a blistering performance of Thistle Alley stirs emotions with its menacing atmosphere.
The big man clambers off the stage to mingle with the crowd for the opening moments of Vigil from his debut solo album before taking a stab at big business and corporate greed in crowd-pleaser Big Wedge from the same record.
And while it might be 26 years since the frontman quit Marillion, the double whammy of Heart Of Lothian and Incubus go down like the proverbial. On the latter there’s an incredible solo from Boult, sending the misty eyed throng back 30 years to Fugazi.
The set is wrapped up with the graceful Blind To The Beautiful and the anthemic The Company, which has us swaying with glasses raised to the sky. Even Santa’s in the mood to celebrate and pops onto the stage for a brief jig with the vocalist, encouraging the crowd to do the same.
As the band then take a bow, Fish reveals that he and his entourage are planning to have an end-of-tour party after the show. But given their various ailments and injuries, a round of Lemsip and good night’s sleep is probably closer to the mark.