Another Friday moment for you!
This was the original version of the medley we were playing to close the shows in 2013 taken from a broadcast on Polish TV and filmed in Przemyśl on the Eastern edge of Poland and close to the Ukrainian border.
I remember the stage was made out of what seemed like table tennis tables wired together and the word “shoogly” came to mind!
It pissed down and we had to walk back and forward across the square from the dressing room in an adjacent building to stage during the afternoon as a very long never ending soundcheck took place. By evening it was freezing and still raining and the view from stage to a crowd of umbrellas was quite surreal.
It was a fantastic show and the band were on fire despite the downpour! “Goldfish and Clowns” and “Jungle Ride” in particular were superb and one of the finest renditions of those songs ever. It was a tough night for a frontman as it was a free gig and the majority of the audience were first timers and curious. It meant “full attack” mode and I threw everything I had out at them. During the show you can see the steam rising from the band and the breaks some of us had were under umbrellas at the side of the stage where we started to freeze in the plummeting temperatures.
The show was one of the best of that tour and I was glad it was captured on a multi camera shoot with all the trimmings!
This is just a clip from it but you can get the full show, ” Sunsets on Empire – live in Poland 1997″ on DVD from fishheadsclub.com
The DVD also has a documentary directed by Jorg Bushka that was filmed in Koln later in the tour and it shows the nitty gritty of a show day with interviews with all concerned. I have strange feelings watching it now as it was a particularly stressful time.
Just after the Przemyśl show I went down with a bad flu virus as the weather conditions and the performance weren’t conducive to our health. I lost some shows and was struggling for a couple of weeks and never quite got back to full strength after the virus left.
By Koln I was £70k in a hole with the tour as I’d gambled on audience and merch numbers. We were also waiting on 5 promised French dates that never transpired and I had to make a decision on going home or bluffing my way across France with club gigs set up by fans. In the end we got 2 which came nowhere near covering the bills which would all be paid.
A bad knee ligament injury in Barcelona finally took me down and I flew home losing even more dates. That’s the short version! That tour sent me well into the red and was a major contributory factor to the events in 2001 that nearly wiped me out.
No one knew at the time just how bad it was! “He’s the guy that wrote “Kayleigh” so he must be a millionaire!” I remember hearing in a back woods bar somewhere in Germany on a night off as one of my crew members told some locals who I was.” He’d never be in a place like this!” they added.
The band line up back then was one of the finest I had behind me with Steve and Dave Stewart really striking gold as a rhythm section and Robin and Mickey gelling brilliantly.
It was the first time Robin took over guitar duties on his own as Frank had left on the “Sunsets ” album as he didn’t like what Steve Wilson was doing.
Robin is still ill btw and needs at least another week to get back to full fitness. His skin is still clearing but he sounded a lot chirpier the other day when we spoke. This virus has really taken him completely out! :-0
This week has been the usual smörgåsbord of “to do’s” with getting Rentokil in to remove wasp nests in the wooden storage shed the most unusual. A memo had to be left in the office and the picture discs of “Suits” and “Fellini Days” were off the shop until the nests were sorted as they hung directly inside the shed door beyond which the vinyl was kept. It turned out they were old nests but the prevalence of some big wasps makes me think this will be on oncoming problem and with Gregor allergic to wasp stings we’ll have to be vigilant!
Another “to do” has been getting the tickets for the Haddington Corn Exchange gig on the 23rd August off to the printers. We should have them on sale beginning of next week and they will be £20 including VAT with a £1.50 booking fee to cover postage etc for those of you booking on line through the web site. I’ll let you know more news when I get it!
I’m still waiting on the definitive European tour dates.
Steve Vantsis has been mastering the live material for downloads this last week and I hope to have 15 shows up on the fishheadsclub.com shop that will be released across the next month or so. They are all stereo mixes taken from the out front mixing desk and Steve has sprinkled a bit of magic on them to make them special. Some shows had to be binned because of bad sound as the hall acoustics affected the out front mix which had to be compensated on the night and this didn’t give us a good source.
The shows that have been picked are pretty good and stand up well against multi track mixes. I am keeping prices down to £4.99 plus VAT for a complete show. I intend to release a “best of” on a double CD later in the Summer which will be available for £8.99 plus Vat and P&P.
A lovely breeze blows through the office window as I write this and the garden is calling me this weekend. Obviously I’ll be taking in the Cup Final tomorrow and I have a dinner date with James Anderson and an old merch friend tomorrow night in the city. Sunday I’m going to see James’s Dad Ian play at the Festival Hall and apart from the usual barricade watch It should remain
It’s only when the drums stop I get worried!