Fish on Friday – „8mm“
Album release October 2023

Fish on Friday –  “8mm” (Frontcover)

After their successful longplayer “Black Rain”, Fish on Friday return to the airwaves with the follow-up album “8mm”. Our fear regarding a boring album was big, but expectations are only a dilemma if they are not fulfilled. Even the greatest bands and artists can definitely cause boringness when they release a new record. But the threatening Damocles Sword of triviality was once again skilfully removed by Frank, Marcus, Marty and Nick.

The album opens slowly and melancholically with the title track “8mm”. With spherical keyboards and beautifully relaxed guitars, van Bogaert’s wonderful voice carries through the song, which deals with the loss of a loved one.

The second track “Collateral Damage” shines with a surprising straightforwardness without being boring. The variation here is rather subliminal. Again and again, parts of diversely arranged instruments such as acoustic and electric/slide guitars merge into each other. The percussion performance at the beginning also transforms intelligently into a groovy drum pattern.

With “Overture to Flame” Fish on Friday show us how progressive rock or art rock can sound these days. Spherical keys open the song, before suitable effect guitars intervene to support it. Together with the snappily played drums, keymaster Frank van Bogaert is not afraid to use additional cool synth arpeggios. The finale of this overture, which is far too short, is heralded by the appearance of choirs, and the song flows smoothly into the track “Flame”. Progging is done here on a minimal basis. Soft vocals with acoustic guitars and keyboards carry the listener through the song for a while until the tempo is increased again. The keyboard section and slide guitars are responsible for the final spurt of the song and perfectly round off the package “Overture to Flame” & “Flame”.

Frank van Bogaert at FoF Studio

The following number “Jump This Wall” is mystically driven with corresponding keys, slides and synth arpreggios. What is musically promised here is also kept. The song encourages the listener to tap along, thanks to the excellent work of the in-house rhythm section. The unusual but interesting vocal line goes with us for a long walk to the chorus, which is responsible for the emerging earworm potential. Only the lyrics seem atypical for the band and the attentive listener may wonder what the lyricist was thinking. At least it was probably not a bad purple-lavender trip … 😉

The next track, “Don’t Lose Your Spirit”, has a multi-faceted arrangement right from the start and creates a nice art rock feeling. Great guitar riffs (acoustic + electric) and keyboard runs are in full swing until the first tempo change and the catchy vocal lines, performed by Frank van Bogaert and Nick Beggs, provide the next catchy tune. The song ends quietly and prepares the way for the next in the row.

Someone could think that “Funerals” would be another song about the loss of loved ones. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, because here it’s about a desirable woman whom the protagonist remembers again and again and probably regrets a lot. Anyway, the track belongs to the epic numbers on the album and Fish on Friday stay loyal to their previously spread out soundscape. They carry the listener beautifully melancholic through the first, calmer part. About halfway through the song there is a change of drum pattern and time signature, just the way we prog lovers like it. Beautiful little keyboard solos and a dedicated acoustic guitar interlude are embellished by Spanish-like castanets in the background. Here, too, the band shows itself creative in terms of arrangement before it comes to a kind of reprise that picks up the initial musical topic again.

The 8th in the group: “Silently Raging” is deliberately minimalist, but retains the charm of the spherical. A drum loop (sounds like the legendary TR808 device) paves the way for the use of the drums. Guest vocalist Lula Beggs takes over on lead vocals, though she’s actually already part of the inventory. Her voice is present in quite a few of the band’s songs, so the foreground absence of Frank and Nick’s vocals doesn’t make the track sound foreign at all. The general composition with this vocal line sticks involuntarily in the ear right from the first time.

They have fun in the studio …

Musically, “Instillers” fits in excellently next to “Collateral Damage”. Especially the lyrics should be read along while listening.

“A New Home” opens beautifully with heavenly guitar and keyboard sounds. This song deliberately lacks art rock leanings and offers a beautiful journey through a relaxing soundscape. Lula sings again in the foreground and is supported by Frank and/or Nick in the background. Once again, the track is presented in optimal form.

The closing track “Life is like the Weather” is definitely the smallest and shortest stop on the listener’s journey. With a singer/songwriter charm, Nicks Beggs performs his way through the song. A very beautiful number and a worthy ending of the album.

After listening through “8mm” completely, it is noticeable that Nick Beggs‘ vocal performance is clearly more present than on the previous albums. Not a bad decision, because his voice harmonises well with that of Frank van Bogaert. Despite everything, van Bogaert’s voice flatters almost every song and once you have taken his voice colour to your heart, there is no escape for you anyway. Never again … 😉

Fish on Friday are generous with long tracks on this album, which makes the progger’s heart blossom. The new cover artwork is again a brilliant work by the artist Michal Karcz. His work here is strongly reminiscent of the surreality of a Storm Thorgerson or Hipgnosis. Another plus point for the band, because combining visual art with music has always been an irrevocable symbiosis.

Compositionally, the album follows on seamlessly from the previous album “Black Rain”. This is largely due to the creative direction of Frank van Bogaert, who is somewhere between Phil Collins (vocally, lyrically), Richard Wright (compositionally) and Alan Parsons (studio technology/production, compositionally) without copying anything or losing his identity. It could even be said that he has his very own equivalency with regard to the artists just mentioned.

But also the rest of the band has it all. Drummer Marcus Weymaere always knows how to place the grooves skilfully and in detail. The right man with the right feeling in the right place!
Bass player Nick Beggs is out of this world anyway and his multiple talent has become a wonderful part of the band. Last, but not least – the finger-skilled and nimble guitarist Marty Townsend rounds it all off perfectly with his sense for well-placed chords, licks and slides.

Fish on Friday have proven once again that they are a band of substance and depth and that their music will timelessly endure for many generations to come. That’s something most bands lack these days. We also suggest that new discoverers take the time to listen to the band’s entire back catalogue. Almost every album contains little magic in the form of songs. So we can be curious about what else might come out of the magic castle in Ardenne.  – (André Fedorow) –

Recommendations to start off: “Funerals”„Overture to Flame“ -> „Flame“, „Jump This Wall“, „Don’t lose your Spirit“

From left: Marcus Weymaere, Marty Townsend, Frank van Bogaert, Nick Beggs

Musical line-up on “8mm
Frank van BogaertVocals, Keyboards, E-Guitars, Backing Vocals
Nick Beggs Bass Guitar, Chapman Stick, Upright Bass, Vocals, Backing Vocals
Marcus WeymaereDrums & Percussion
Marty Townsend –
Acoustic- & E-Guitars

Lula Beggs – Vocals on „Silently Raging“  & „A New Home“, Backing Vocals on „Don’t lose your Spirit“
Theo Travis – Flute & Saxophone on „Jump This Wall“
Sofie Dykmans – Backing Vocals on „Jump This Wall“


You can buy the new album here:

Other works by the band (click to buy):



More about Fish on Friday:
Website | FacebookSpotify | YouTubeFish on Friday Studio | Frank van Bogaert 

The Fish on Friday Radiospecial at Sound of Prog:

LISTEN HERE (look at the clock time below!)

27.10.23 (Friday, 27th October 2023)
20:00 Uhr (8:00 pm CET)

28.10.23 (Saturday, 28th October 2023)
00:00 Uhr (12:00 am CET)
10:00 Uhr (10:00 am CET)
15:00 Uhr (03:00 pm CET)
20:00 Uhr (08:00 pm CET)

29.10.23 (Sunday, 29th October 2023)
00:00 Uhr (12:00 am CET)
10:00 Uhr (10:00 am CET)
15:00 Uhr (03:00 pm CET)
20:00 Uhr (08:00 pm CET)