To be honest: my expectations didnít run high, when I was ready to watch the first live DVD from the English progressive rock band Tinyfish. After listening several times to their latest studio effort Curious Things, I wasnít that enthusiastic about the music. However, when the band entered the stage and kicked off with Motorville from their debut album, I was very much surprised. Wow! This sounded very good, indeed. The music differed a lot from the music I heard on Curious Things. The strong rhythm sometimes reminded me of an early Rush album. Yeah, this was certainly my cup of tea!
I like all the music performed by Tinyfish at the progressive rock festival held in Katowice, Poland February 2009 very much. The band members are just excellent musicians. Guitarist Jim Sanders has a great ear for melody and knows how to play a perfect solo. Drummer Leon Camfield is a great live performer and certainly adds something extra with his electronic drum devices. Maybe bass player Paul Worwood lacks a leading role in the band, but his style of playing suits the band perfectly. Simon Godfrey, brother of Jem Godfrey (Frost*), can be seen as the leader of the band. He is responsible for all the lead vocals and rhythm guitar parts. You might consider him as a singer-songwriter, who can write perfect progressive rock tunes, but his songs still have an acoustic feel from time to time.
Thereís no keyboardist on stage, in spite of the fact that we hear many keyboards. Simon didnít want to add a sixth member to the band so he played the keyboard parts with his feet instead. There is a fifth band member, as you already noticed. Robert Ramsay does all the spoken words between a number of songs. Thatís something we very rarely see on a live stage. Robert saw that once during a Hawkwind-gig and it inspired him to do the same with Tinyfish.
After watching this performance, it became clear that Tinyfish is most of all a live band. The recordings are much more powerful and energetic live on stage. If you watch this DVD, I would strongly advice to watch the extra documentary. Five Lives On Fire is very entertaining and gives an idea of their live performances, rehearsals, studio recordings and other domestic things. Even the interview with Simon Godfrey and Ďspoken word masterí Robert Ramsay is worth watching. It is hard to compare Tinyfish with other bands in the genre. They certainly have a style of their own. I mentioned Rush as a reference, but that is by far not enough to describe the bandís sound. Anyway, all that matters is the music and thatís kicking ass! So thumbs up for this release for it has no weak spots whatsoever.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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