Fish announces Misplaced Childhood 30th anniversary tour

Fish press shot 2012

Renowned progressive rock singer and songwriter Fish has announced a 30th anniversary tour where he will be playing Marillion’s 1985 album Misplaced Childhood in full.

The announcement comes following the former Marillion frontman detailing his retirement plans earlier this year.

The Farewell To Childhood tour will begin in Sweden in June and take in an array of shows and festivals throughout the remainder of 2015. The legendary Cropredy festival in Cambridge on 14th August and the inaugural Midstock in Fish’s hometown of Dalkeith on 12th September will be the only two opportunities to take in the tour outdoors in the UK before more intimate indoor shows later in the year.

“I started to consider my future and I came to the decision it was time for a major change in my life,” says Fish. “A plan was required that fulfilled all my needs and desires and gave me an exit strategy where I could have fun and give the fans of my music a celebration rather than a wake.

“The first part of the plan begins this year with my last performances of the 1985 album Misplaced Childhood that catapulted Marillion and me to fame. It holds a lot of memories from a period that was very exciting and crammed with experiences both dark and magical. The lyrics on that album hold a very special meaning to me as they were written by a young man on the cusp of fame and dealt with a lot of personal issues. It was not only a breakthrough album for the band but also for me as an artist because I was finally discovering my own individual style as a lyricist and singer. To be performing it on its 30th anniversary has a lovely resonance.”

Seven of Fish’s solo albums are also undergoing a remastering and repackaging programme and will be released throughout the year. The first four – Sunsets On Empire (1996), Raingods With Zippos (1998), Fellini Days (2001) and Field Of Crows (2004) – will be available for pre-order in May and released in July.

Internal Exile (1991), Songs From The Mirror (1993) and Suits (1994) will follow at the end of 2015.

Confirmed UK dates for the Farewell To Childhood tour are as follows:

August 14th – Cropredy Festival, Cambridgeshire
September 12th – Midstock Festival, Dalkeith
December 3rd – Bristol, O2 Academy
December 4th – London, Islington Assembly Hall
December 5th – London, Islington Assembly Hall
December 7th – Cambridge, Junction
December 9th – Birmingham, Town Hall
December 10th – Sheffield, City Hall
December 11th – Manchester, Academy 2
December 13th – Glasgow, O2 ABC

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80 days to ahhh

Clerks soundtrack to get vinyl treatment for 30th anniversary

Clerks Post Logo

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the soundtrack to Kevin Smith’s cult classic film Clerks is to be released in a vinyl edition for the first time.

The original mix of music and dialogue from the film will be preserved across three sides of two LPs, with the fourth side featuring an etching. The set is scheduled for release on the 11th of November.

The album features cuts from many of the leading lights from the heyday of alternative rock, including Alice in Chains, Girls Against Boys, the Jesus Lizard, Bad Religion, Soul Asylum, Corrosion of Conformity, Stabbing Westward and more besides.

According to Rolling Stone, legend has it that licensing the music for Clerks cost more than the production of the film itself. The movie helped make Alice in Chains’ 1992 song “Got Me Wrong” a hit, and the Kevin Smith–directed clip for Soul Asylum’s “Can’t Even Tell,” which closes out the movie, ensured that it reached No.16 on Billboard’s alternative song chart.

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Bruce Springsteen’s albums from worst to best

Springsteen Portrait 2012 V2

To commemorate 30 years since the release of Born In The USA, the UK’s Telegraph music critic, author and pundit, Neil McCormick has pulled together a list of Bruce Springsteen’s albums, ranking them all from worst to best.

As McCormick acknowledges in his article, all things Springsteen are relative: The Boss’ worst are often better than others’ best. As declared devotees of Springsteen’s music here at Skin Back Alley, we’d take exception with some of McCormick’s ordering (Wrecking Ball at No.3? Really?!) but would definitely agree with his No.1 choice.

As the Telegraph’s intro editorial notes about Born In The USA: “…its mix of anthemic socio-political rock and songs of personal struggle, bolstered with snappy pop melodies and dynamic production, helped to make it the biggest selling album in the world in the year of its release. With more than 30 million satisfied customers to date, it remains the biggest selling of his long career. But is it really his best ever?”

McCormick clearly doesn’t think so. He ranks all 18 of the New Jersey-ites albums as follows:

18: Human Touch (1992)
17: High Hopes (2014)
16: Lucky Town (1992)
15: Working On A Dream (2009)
14: Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ (1973)
13: Devils & Dust (2005)
12: Magic (2007)
11: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006)
10: The Ghost Of Tom Joad (1995)
09: The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (1973)
08: Tunnel Of Love (1987)
07: The River (1980)
06: Nebraska (1982)
05: The Rising (2002)
04: Born In the USA (1984)
03: Wrecking Ball (2012)
02: Born To Run (1975)
01: Darkness On The Edge Of Town (1978)

Says McCormick of his choice of Darkness On The Edge Of Town as The Boss’ best work: “It’s a kind of concept album of American failure, life in the “Badlands”, where “Adam Raised A Cain”, where wasted youth are “Racing In The Streets”, staging failed escapes in search of “Something In The Night”… It is his first great work of maturity. Everything that Springsteen has achieved since is signposted on this masterful collection.”

Read McCormick’s thoughts on each and every album here. What do you think of his rankings? Comment below or send us an e-mail and let us know!

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Springsteen museum to launch online

Springsteen 2014

Bruce Springsteen is to have his own online museum. is set to launch in June to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the rock legend’s Born In The USA album. Over 300 items will feature in the initial collection, ranging from vintage concert posters to sheets of hand-written lyrics. More items will be added over time.

The site’s creator, Michael Crane, has said that the museum will run contests every six months or so, with signed album artwork being offered as a prize for the first competition.

Springsteen is currently touring in the USA, and recently performed a 40 year old song, “Linda Let Me Be The One”, live for the first time ever. He also released a four track EP, American Beauty, for Record Store Day on the 19th April, and you can watch the video for the title track below.

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Johnny Marr: Factory Records story is “a crock of s**t”

johnny marr soundtrack

Renowned guitarist Johnny Marr has dismissed years of gossip about Factory Records turning down The Smiths as “a crock of shit.”

Speaking in an interview in this week’s edition of NME, Marr says that the band were never refused a deal by the infamous Manchester label. “If you were a musician in Manchester at that time, it was almost the law that you went on your hands and knees and begged Tony Wilson for his papal blessing to stick you in the studio, and I wasn’t about to do that,” he says.

“So much has been made of Factory apparently turning The Smiths down, but that’s a crock of shit,” he continues. “The Smiths would have signed to Factory over my dead body… I didn’t want to be assimilated into the Factory aesthetic. Before we knew it, we would’ve had side-partings and khaki shorts, with bongos round our necks… No disrespect to A Certain Ratio.”

The new edition of the NME is a 30th anniversary special celebrating the release of The Smith’s debut album from 1984. The magazine is on newsstands now.