Sunsets on Empire, Raingods With Zippos, Fellini Days and Field of Crows are now available in the Fish Shop!
Well it’s finally here! The day of the leaving! Bus is due in the next 3 hours and the crew are setting up a “pack model” in front of the studio. The merch, all 96 boxes of it , arrived at 9am and Robin, Gregor, Yatta and I put in a mean shift filling most of my entire living space with cardboard. If it looked a little crammed yesterday it now looks like a refugee station!
Vince “Sergeant” O Malley is returns as back line tech and will be working with Robin for the first time. Angus “Secret” Fearful is back as screen projectionist and has a lot more to play with on this tour having spent the last couple of weeks prepping footage to the new set list. The FTC as always is on front of house sound and our beloved Yatta as ever is production manager and the ringmaster for our circus! It’s a very tight ship!
Rehearsals went well and our brain cells are relatively intact. Having finished last on the recordings i was still pretty much linked in to the songs and the couple of new additions from the back catalogue came back to me surprisingly fast. I think we all just want to get it out on the stages now and any problems will be ironed out in the first couple of shows. With the album now being heard and as the wave of expected orders for the standard jewel case CD that goes on sale tomorrow heading out, there should be enough awareness in the audiences to make the set list slightly more recognisable from the UK May tour.
The reviews I have been getting in so far from established media and journalists have been absolutely fantastic and way better than even I could have imagined at this point in time. The slow grow promo seems to be working and the word of mouth spreading as I am getting requests for promo albums from areas and people that have not been on the radar in the past.There is a lot of planning and set up in this project and a hell of a lot of working on the balls of our feet. It’s requiring a lot of concentration and quick responses but we are managing to keep ahead of the game.
For me it’s crazily hecticated! This morning was evaluating German magazine buy ons, an interview with Michael Fuchs-Gamböck for ‘Good Times’ magazine (circ47 000) who loved the album, stripping the bed linen and laundry, unloading a truckload of merch boxes, answering e mails from Holland re the tour promo and setting up pre show interviews across there, setting up a big WDR 2 national radio interview in Koln on the day off after Hannover and all the travel/hotels and logistics with Yatta, collating promo album send outs with Elspeth who I still have to have a big meeting with today to sort out the restocking and the prep for next week to deal with the new orders coming in as the album goes full green light on the web site and the new tour merch goes up. I also still have to pack all my cases, get my stage gear together, sort out my meds bag for voice protection, get the cameras and my techy shit together and sort out my traveling office (including getting all my updates for the laptop done on the house broadband), contact the gardener who’s still away at harvest to sort out the October garlic plantings and other “must do’s”, order firewood,, sort out the lyric book with the new setlist order, eye test done yesterday so have to arrange post out to the road somewhere for new glasses, collecting and sending info to the right people to get the album bureaucracy on line and all the data together, sign the last 500 or so digiprints to go out with the deluxe version which will have another chase phonecall in today, another German interview at 6pm, sort out a Chinese takeaway for the band and crew, tidy up the house once the gear is all out of my living space, go to Tescos for catfood and pick up some tour essentials, sort extra pillows and a throw blanket out for the bunk on the bus, sign vinyls for the mail order, last check on the brassicas for caterpillars and check the nets over the raised beds, sort out tarriff with mobile phone company, and other things that will spring into my mind throughout the day and send a shiver of slight panic as I edge closer to climbing on the bus later this evening. I’ll be lying in my bunk tonight on the way to the Wirral still running through the checklist!
There’s that cold, grey, damp air that always seems to herald the Autumn touring schedules.The hope of meeting up with the sun somewhere hopefully on a day is recognised in some positive clothing in the case but the warm, waterproof will probably be of more use than sandals and shorts.I’ll still have a pair of swimming trunks just in case I get really lucky! One thing I am looking forward to is German Dampf bads (steam rooms) perfect day off for the singer! I’ve been in good voice in rehearsals and the lack of smoking has definitely made a difference. Gym time was swallowed up in Czech shenanigans and all the accompanying damage control but I have slipped a notch or two on the belt! I’m looking forward to it all and I have a good team with me including my daughter who I am looking forward to spending time with. She has the task of shifting the merch mountain. There’s a hell of a lot of logistics to be put in place for restocking out there and making sure we don’t run out. The trailer will be packed as we are carrying not only 5 different T’s but also the new album, Live at Leamington CD and the Fishheads DVD as they haven’t been out in Europe yet! 2 bunks have already been earmarked for boxes of “Feast”. In all honesty I have no idea of what we might move out there so again we are dealing with situations on the balls of our feet! Yatta is already moaning about space on the trailer so we have to make sure we have good supply lines open back to here! Elspeth will have all the new tour t shirts up for sale on the web site shop next week as I expect there will be orders coming in from people that can’t make gigs as well as those that buy after shows. This is the first time that the tour merch has been so integrated with the online shop!
We will be recording shows as we go and I’ll make decisions on the road as to how we might be able to set up a means of selling downloads from the tour. With the FLAC issues from a week or so ago a lot of time allocated to sorting out the live downloads was overtaken by events.We’ll work something out in the coming weeks!
And with that I better climb back onto my wheel and get my world spinning again! It’s going to be an interesting next few weeks for sure! 🙂