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meetaxl week 4 - Stillmarillion help me on my way

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Post by Adam D Thu 28 Jun 2012, 9:51 pm

So here I am once more, in the playground of the rich and famous. Or more closely to the truth, hope to be in the presence of the stars who are going to make me rich and famous.

As you will all know by now, I have been on a mission to track down and interview a certain Mr Axl Rose within a year due to a bet that I took on late one Friday evening in Glasgow. In fact you could say that Axl only has himself to blame - if he had strolled onto the SECC stage at a reasonable time, then I am sure that the following drink consumption wouldnt have been any where near as much/ damaging and the terms of my bet never seen the light of day (and we nearly did see the light of day due to the finishing time of the GnR gig). Anyway, thats by the by and the challenge....accepted.

So back to the misssion so far. My first step towards meeting Axl was to track down 4 other other rock stars on the way, the first of which was a certain Mr Derek Dick aka Fish. Now so far, my attempts to track down the Scottish singer had led me very slowly in the direction of an email address from him, as well as a short note confirming that he had received my email.

So whilst I planned my next assault on getting an interview, I decided to talk to a Marillion tribute band called Still Marillion. And I am pleased to announce that I met them this week ahead of their Glasgow concert this weekend. The full interview can be read HERE. Hopefully you will find it a great read and a real insight into tribute bands in general.

What I found outrageous and just incomprehensible was that these guys are performers and yet get no action from the ladies! Have all those rock band videos been lying to us for all of those years? Next you will be telling me that Alice Cooper prefers golf to sex, drugs and Rock'n'roll! Needless to say, on the groupie bombshell, I have decided to abandon rehearsals for my one man Chico tribute act altogether.

A big thank you to all of the band for their time in answering the questions - don't forget people to check them out if you are in Glasgow this weekend (the ABC2 on Saturday night)

Anyway, back to my search and BIG news.

This Monday, I got a missed call on my phone (once again, nothing too unusual there). Naturally I dialled it back to find out who it was.

"Hi - you just dialled my mobile and I didnt answer it in time"

"Oh yeah. Its Derek....."


"Its Derek.....Fish"

**cue me losing my ability to speak as my jaw is removed from the floor**

"You want to interview me? What about this afternoon?"

Now at this point I would like to point out that I am grinning like a little schoolboy and am now babbling incoherently. However, I somehow manage to communicate that I had other commitments at that time but could do it later in the week. And there you have it - next week, I am meeting Derek. One of my musical idols. At his house no less!

So quite unbelievably, I am going to meet the man they call the Fish and I will have achieved my first landmark in this journey to meet Axl. Between now and then, I should really think about who is next.

Until next week, have a good one and remember - if you want girls, dont join a tribute band!

Make sure to follow me @meetaxl or drop me an email at

How did you all meet and come up with an idea for a Fish era Marillion band?

Mark (Guitar) and Martin (Vocals) are in an Iron Maiden tribute Maiden Scotland together, Martin had previously been in another Marillion tribute called Forgotten Sons and when that ended Martin wanted to continue singing the Fish Era Marillion songs that are close to his heart. Barrie, previously of Forgotten Sons came in on bass. Mark had Andrew (first drummer) as a contact who we knew was a great drummer who loved Marillion. Stephen (keys) was recommended to us by someone in the know and the band was born.

Stephen – I’d always fancied the idea of putting a Marillion tribute band together but always felt there wouldn’t be an audience for it. Quite by chance one night back in 2006 I found myself in Rockers in Glasgow watching a band called Forgotten Sons and realising that the audience did exist and this band had beaten me to it! All in all I’m quite pleased with how it all turned out.

How long have you now been together for?

First gig was Nov 2008

The band first got together in a rehearsal studio in August 2008.

Some of you were in Forgotten Sons - what is the main difference between Still Marillion and FS?

Martin and Barrie were the only ones in FS, the core of the band (Guitar Keys, Drums) were all fans of the music but new to a Marillion tribute.

Whilst primarily a Fish era Marillion tribute, Forgotten Sons played quite a lot of H era material at their gigs. StillMarillion purely concentrate on the Fish era.

What has been your favourite gig so far?

The Robin 2 in Bilston where we played for 2 and a half hours in a set containing Misplaced Childhood and Clutching at Straws in full to a large and enthusiastic audience


Stephen - The Robin was an amazing night although I the Ferry in 2011 was pretty special too.

Do you find that having only four studio albums worth of material restrictive?

It would be nice to have more Fish Era Marillion albums but we still have a pool of around 40 songs from the fish era to compile sets from.

Kevin - There are still many songs we haven't touched so lots of scope to do new stuff.

Stephen - It's only a limited selection compared to some other bands but what a collection of songs. We also play most of the B-sides including Grendel and that adds up to around another album worth of material. If we were playing every couple of weeks then it might seem restrictive but we’ve been playing for four years and we’ve still got a few we’ve not played yet. I’m hoping that we complete the Fish-era recorded material next year - then we can move on to the early demos .

Have you considered playing some of the remastered albums B Sides (such as the excellent Clutching B sides inc Beaujolais day)?

Yes, if we feel it will go down well at a particular gig then we will tackle anything from that era. The likes of Three Boats Down from the Candy goes down well with audiences.

Stephen – As Mark says, we would play anything we think would go down well with an audience. The issue with the remastered additional tracks is there’s probably not enough of people out there who would be familiar with them. It would be good to give them a run out to see what they’d sound like, particularly the Clutching-era tracks as they give a really good insight into the progression of the subsequent careers of both Fish and Marillion.

Other than Hooks in You, would you consider doing some post Fish era stuff (like Brave)? And what about some of Fish's solo work?

Yes, we have talked about it but for now we have set out to tribute the Fish Era as in general it's not being played live by Fish or Marillion. Both Fish and Marillion are actively touring their own material and they do it better than any tribute. We are quite happy giving fans a nostalgia trip.

Stephen – We have tried some solo Fish material in the studio but never live. I’d love to throw the odd H-era Marillion song in every so often but I think one of the unique things about us is that we don’t try and copy what Fish and Marillion do in their current touring set up. As Mark says, they do it very well themselves.

What has been the best gig you have played and why?

The Railway in Bolton, great wee venue, great sound, lights and a really nice bunch of people. When we played there earlier this year, the planets just seemed to align to produce one of our best perfomances.

Martin - Agreed.

Stephen – Have to agree with Mark and Martin here. Great venue, great people and a fantastic crowd.

What are your favourite artists other than Marillion/ Fish?

Mark - Iron Maiden, Rush, Pink Floyd, Queensryche, Queen, Michael Kiske

Kev - Dream Theater, Tool, Genesis, Rush, Mogwai, Burzum

Martin - Iron Maiden, Queen, Rush, Dream Theater, It Bites, Pallas, Boston, Michael Kiske, Scar Symmetry

Stephen – Yes, Genesis, Steely Dan, The Beatles, Rick Wakeman, Tony Banks, Fairport Convention, Belle and Sebastian, Billy Joel, Donald Fagen

Barrie - Inxs, Adam Ant, Black Stone Cherry, Queen, Iron Maiden.

What songs do you wish that Marillion had written so that you were able to perform them?

Mark - Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd) Red Sector A (Rush)

Kev - Good question. La Villa Strangiato and Marathon (Rush), The Musical Box (Genesis)

Stephen – Firth of Fifth (Genesis), Awaken (Yes), Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (Elton John)

Martin - Time Stand Still (Rush), The Show Must Go On (Queen)

What is next for the band?

Continually trying to build the gigging circuit in the UK and hopefully looking at some European gigs.

Marillion/ Fish

What is your favourite Fish/ Marillion album (inc post Fish era)

Mark - Clutching At Straws

Kevin - Clutching at Straws

Martin - Clutching At Straws (Marillion), Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors (Fish)

Stephen – Brave (Marillion), Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors (Fish)

Barrie - Clutching at Straws

What is your favourite song by Marillion?

Mark - Forgotten Sons
Kev - Brave and The Great Escape (is that allowed? H-era AND 2 replies?)
Stephen – The Great Escape
Martin - Incubus
Barrie - Forgotten Sons

Have you ever performed in front of Fish or Marillion? If so, what was the feedback?

Martin has performed "Fugazi" with Marillion onstage at one of the conventions. He has also sung in front of Fish at on old FS gig. I believe the feedback was positive!

Martin - Fish came to a Forgotten Sons gig in Edinburgh in 2004 and was very complimentary. Pete, Mark and Ian joined Forgotten Sons onstage for a couple of numbers at a Glasgow gig in 2004. I was then asked to sing 'Fugazi' with Marillion at the 2005 fanclub convention, which was incredible!

Tribute bands

Would you ever expand out of just being a tribute band?

We have talked about doing some original prog rock material under a different banner, whether we can all find the time is another story, it would be interesting though.

Whats the best tribute act name you've seen?

Dodgy Williams - Robbie Williams tribute

Martin - Crowded Scouse, The Flu Fighters
Stephen – ReGenesis

Apart from yourselves, have you seen any other tribute acts you would highly recommend?

Maiden Scotland!! Livewire (ACDC tribute)
The Watch (Genesis) StillMarillion (oh yeah I'm in that band now )
Stephen – ReGenesis, Nearly Dan, Maiden Scotland
Martin - Junior Priest and Dressed to Kill.

Do you get groupies and any interesting stories there?

Mark - Nope!
Kev - Shockingly little, aka. ziltch.

In Hull there is a annual Tribfest were numerous tribute acts play over a weekend , have you ever done anything like that ?

Never been asked to do anything like that but are open to offers!

Have you ever performed for Fish or Marillion?

Martin has performed "Fugazi" with Marillion onstage at one of the conventions. He has also sung in front of Fish at on old FS gig.

General Music

Who is the most famous fan of yours? (if any!)

We only have infamous fans lol

What has been the best gig you have ever been too?

Mark - Rush - R30 - Glasgow SEC
Kev - Dream Theater, Armadillo 2012. Haven't been to see Rush, that may change things...

Martin - Rush R30 tour, Glasgow SECC 2004.
Stephen – Yes Union 1991
Barrie - Inxs Barrowlands 1997

If you could ask Fish one question, what would it be?

What's with the wooly jumper

Martin - What lyric are you most proud of and why?

If you could ask Axl Rose one question, what would it be?

What would it take to get you and Slash back together

Martin - Do you not own a watch?

Do you think I will get to meet Axl Rose by June next year? (be honest!)

Anything is possible..yes!

Martin - Probably not!

Who should I aim to interview after I land fish?

Steve Rothery

Adam D

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Post by Crimey Thu 28 Jun 2012, 10:00 pm

Really enjoying reading these and completely absorbed into them.

I am desperate for you to make it.


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Post by Pal Joey Fri 29 Jun 2012, 1:50 pm

Great read. Takes me back through time reading all of your favourite songs, best gigs ever, who you'd like to cover,etc.
Some really big influences there... must be a real buzz to perform those songs live.

Keep up the great work, lads. I'll keep an ear out for your stuff! OK Ale x 5

Pal Joey
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Post by Adam D Fri 29 Jun 2012, 7:08 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys!

I am going to reveal the next target next week as well.

On the back of this article (and the Fish interview to come) I have now got two contacts for GnR! I have the guy who wrote their auto biography and contact details for their UK PR.

I also have a contact for my 3rd target, who will be revealed after I get my second bagged!

Adam D

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Post by Adam D Sun 01 Jul 2012, 9:01 am

In case anyone is interested, here is a clip from last nights gig:


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