Plenary by Derek Dick

In this plenary talk, singer, lyricist and performer Derek Dick discusses the influences on his songwriting and gives an acoustic performance.

About the session

Most song lyrics in the rock genre are often seen as secondary to rhythm and melody and often occur as an 'afterthought' in the writing process. It's unusual to have lyrics held in high esteem by fans worldwide who religiously translate and analyse and even have tattooed on their bodies. Fish's lyric style is unique and his words have been translated into at least seven different languages and discussed and used in theses in international colleges and universities. From humble beginnings as a reluctant English student at Dalkeith High School to international rock star who's written lyrics for 13 albums, it's been quite a journey. The plenary today will take a look at that journey and the experiences, both comedic and tragic, that have peppered his way and the observations and thought processes that have inspired his writing.

It will also feature an acoustic performance with his current touring musicians – Frank Usher on guitar and Foss Paterson on keyboards – to illustrate how the music acts as a backdrop and carrier for his words that have entertained hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide and which brought them into contact with the English language from a very different angle.

About the speaker

Derek Dick, who is better known in the media as 'Fish', made his name as a singer and songwriter first coming to attention as the frontman of the progressive rock band Marillion in the 1980s, who sold millions of albums and graced world stages in a dynamic rise to fame in the 80s. Fish went solo in 1988 and since then has made a name for himself as a maverick, independent artist who continues to fascinate and has written and released ten studio albums from his studio in Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland. Acclaimed as one of the finest lyric writers in the UK, he is also an actor and consummate performer and has recently completed a 180-date acoustic tour of Europe with his Fishheads project. 

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