Sunsets on Empire, Raingods With Zippos, Fellini Days and Field of Crows are now available in the Fish Shop!
You may be thinking “oh it must be quiet up at the studio, he hasn’t posted much since the masters went off!”
Oh I wish! 🙂
It’s been absolutely full on in recent days. It’s been so intense the 4 days since my lady returned to Germany feel like they are in another age!
Comms have been flying between Mark Wilkinson, the printing and production elements and myself as we try and keep everything on line to the deadlines agreed months ago. It’s been no easy task. Having delivered our side of the bargain with all masters and finished artwork sent and arriving in the printing and production plants before schedule it’s been frustrating waiting on responses. We were assured today that the deluxe edition units will be here in the studio ” on , or as close to the 2nd September” as they can manage. We can only trust they will keep their promise! News that the head of the printing plant is a huge Fish fan and has just returned from holiday to find our project slightly behind the original schedule makes me think there will be some extra shifts being allocated to “the Feast” in the coming days! 🙂
We have been organising our end and my friend’s son and 2 of his student friends have been beavering away in the front of the control room sticking address labels, customs labels and airfreight labels on packages in preparation for filling with the deluxe editions. There are boxes queued up waiting on the albums, all dressed in ordering sequence and country of destination. All was going well until the envelopes ran out when the Viking order didn’t show 2 days in a row. The palette of 20 cartons of packaging went missing! Cue a very upset Elspeth!
The guys carried on putting the invoice slips in the pouches that now fill the packing station and we are assured a delivery from Viking sometime tomorrow!
The munchkins have been great company and fine fun ! I brought a stereo system through and gave them freedom to rake through my CD collection to provide some background music to what is a tedious job. They haven’t complained once ( apart from asking for biscuits! ) and I have been entertained by their jukebox selection which has taken in early Genesis, Springsteen, Yes, Floyd, Billy Joel, The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Tenacious D and the Police to name a few! I was mostly impressed by them singing all the words note for note to Foxtrot! I like having happy people around! 🙂
Apart from the production chasing, Mark and I ,with assistance from my daughter have put together the 5 new T shirts I am taking out as tour merchandise and selling here on mail order in the coming months. The merch range is pretty stunning this time around ( including a shaped female T instigated by Tara who is on the merch stall this tour) I will put some JPEGS up in the next week to give you an idea of the new T’s. I will obviously have the Deluxe and standard versions of “Feast of Consequences” on tour as well as the “Fishheads Club” DVD and the “Leamington Spa convention” double cd/dvd. There’s a few other items like the bandanas and beanies and new metal keyrings and a few umbrellas that we can’t send out in the mail as they are too expensive and awkward to package. The T designs are off to the printers this week so another small mountain is slightly shifted !
I have been organising promotion companies in Holland and Germany and working with them setting up plans and interviews at radio and in print. It’s the most concise promo I have had for years and quite a substantial investment on all levels. (In Germany we are looking at a 5 month campaign staggered across the media)
Working with promoters in other countries to arrange interviews etc has also been clocking up the time and I’m sure in the next week what I do have of any available time will be chewed up with interviews in advance of the shows.
The UK promo is well under discussion but won’t come into play for a while. In the “old days” we used the match in the box of fireworks trick. It’s expensive and hit and miss and relied on timed distribution through outlets. There are hardly any retail outlets these days so a different strategy is required. It becomes a lot more subtle. The O2 gig in November gives me a great opportunity to focus the UK side and I already have ads booked in Prog magazine and Classic Rock magazine in the coming months and will be interviewed by Rich Wilson for Prog this weekend.
Normally everything would be set up well before the album with reviews on launch. I am taking a bit of a maverick approach to all this and looking for a slow burn and a building fire. There will be lots of things happening over the next months and I just have to capitalise on them and basically join the dots! It will take a lot of focusing on my behalf as different countries react to the album and the tour dates and I will have to react accordingly when fires hopefully start and need fueled to burn a little brighter. It’s going to be demanding fun! 🙂
Chasing photos for press, signing the digi prints (only another 1200 to sign to cover the existing orders so far), chasing up band members for rehearsals, and Angus for a visit up here to sort out back projections before rehearsals, sorting through 2014 gig offers with Yatta and trying to form a cunning tour plan. Generally creating awareness of the project and collecting the keys of doors. All demanding and receiving energies.
I’ve already been offered and accepted a 2 song acoustic performance and interview live on Dutch National Radio 1 on the 17th September, the afternoon before the Paradiso show and next Wednesday “Blind to the Beautiful”, “All Loved Up” and “High Wood” will be played by Piotr Kaczkowski on national Radio 3 in Poland on his afternoon show accompanied by a telephone interview we are conducting on Saturday. This will be the world premier of the first 3 tracks from “A Feast of Consequences”. Piotr’s show can be heard on the internet and I will post details when I get more information.
These are 2 great pieces of promotion that were offered to me and I have already been notified of other highly influential journalists and media people who’s attention has been aroused by the interest in the new release. There is a definite high level of anticipation in Feast in a lot of quarters and I think it has been more than a little bit helped by the success and reach of the Fishheads Club tour!
I am confident I have something special with this album and feedback from various friends who’s opinion I trust have added to my conviction that this is a great chance to climb out of where I have been biding time for quite a while. There are breaks happening that I haven’t had for a long time and I just have to keep my eye on the balls and keep them in the air for as long as possible. This next stage is very important as even a brilliant album can go missing in action without the correctly applied promotion. I don’t have the budgets of major labels so I have to pick and choose carefully where and how I spend the money I do have available to my best advantage. This week I have been finding that the promotions hat I swapped for the writing and recording artists hat is fitting well, looking good and just might be back in fashion!
It’s going to be a very demanding time on me as a person and as a singer as I negotiate gigs, interviews, business demands, making decisions on the move, communicating on tour, maintaining my health and sanity on the road and staying on top of it all. I have a great supportive team around me and they will play a major role in deflecting the negative elements and help keeping me focused in a forward direction. It’s going to be probably a tougher mountain to climb than in actually creating the album but I am more than looking forward to the challenge and accepting the responsibility of commanding this project.
This is a glorious chance for me and I am taking it very seriously.
After the first 4 days of not drinking alcohol , 3 days of not smoking and the first 2 days of gym workouts I’m feeling I have entered a good place and I’d like to build on this new energy I’ve found.
I am feeling rather inspired for the first in a long time ! 🙂
Thanks for being a big part of the inspiration and for being out there ! x