Fish was educated at Dalkeith High School. After working as a petrol pump attendant, gardener and forestry worker, Fish came to the public's attention in 1981 with the British group, Marillion. The band achieved chart success in the UK, attaining top-ten hits in 1985 with "Kayleigh" and "Lavender", and again in 1987 with "Incommunicado". In 1988, Fish left Marillion in order to pursue his solo career. Many of Fish's later works contain lengthy spoken word lyrics, shorter examples of which can be heard on earlier Marillion albums. Vocally, Fish has sometimes been compared to Peter Gabriel, lead singer of Genesis in the 1970s. Music journalist David Hepworth described his voice as a “conflation of Roger Daltrey and Peter Gabriel”.
According to Fish himself, his nickname originates from the amount of time he spent reading in the bath. Fish has one daughter, Tara.
On 26 August 2007, Fish performed at the 'Hobble on The Cobbles' show at the Market Square in Aylesbury, UK. He was accompanied on stage by four Marillion members, (Mark Kelly, Steve Rothery, Ian Mosley and Pete Trewavas) for one song - 'Market Square Heroes'. This was the first time they had performed together in nearly two decades. In a press interview following the event, Fish denied this would lead to a full reunion, claiming that "Hogarth does a great job with the band... We forged different paths over the 19 years."
His most recent studio album 13th Star was released on 12 September 2007 as a specially-packaged pre-release version available to order from his website. A UK tour for this album commenced in March 2008, supported by Glyder. In February 2008, Fish was confirmed to be the Friday night headline act at NEARFest X. He also appeared with BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris on GMTV to promote Childline Rocks, a charity concert.
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