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After many weeks of careful thought and discussing the situation with friends, musicians and colleagues including my new German agent I have made the decision to delay all touring, apart from the current UK shows in December until next summer.
It has become obvious that there is no way I will have a new album written and recorded by the end of the year. I’d hoped to have been a lot further down the line with writing by now but in all truth I’ve been struggling to get to grips with the ideas I do have and piecing them together in order to move forward.
Steve Vantsis was up last weekend and he agreed that we are so far behind in the intended writing schedule that to pull it back 6 months and go for a release in June 2018 made perfect sense.
My agent, Patrik Mertens also agreed that to begin with open airs and supporting club shows next summer and building up with promotion to a full European tour beginning mid-September gave us all adequate time to prepare the ground and make sure everything was firmly and soundly in place on all levels.
As I have written before 2016 took the wind completely out my sails. The replacement ‘Farewell to Childhood’ tour dates followed so closely by my father’s death and then dealing with those emotions affected me so much more than I could ever have imagined. My physical health was deteriorating due to the back and shoulder ailments and the subsequent serious operations completely sapped all my creative powers. It was only the arrival of Simone from Karlsruhe in August, her unquestioning support and the sanctuary of our garden that kept me sane as I felt everything else uprooted and my perspective on Life drastically shift. I was suffering from what is more commonly known as “writer’s block” and as I penned back in 83 I was “becalmed, be stilled, bewitched – drowning in the Real”.
“Weltschmerz” as a concept had grown into a monster I was finding difficult to chain down and tame.
Losing Yatta, my production manager and loyal friend from my future tour plans also hit hard and although he will be involved in the background his presence on the road will be difficult to replace. After nearly 4 years of touring with a stable unit it is obvious that changes have to be made and this I find quite daunting just now. The 11 date UK tour is well within my capabilities, logistically, physically and professionally but to consider anything more than that and trying to complete a new album is a step too far.
The shoulder injury is healing but it’s at least 8 months away from being 100% and that is only if I continue the recovery process without adding undue strain and creating my own problems for myself through being impetuous and foolhardy. 11 UK shows, staying in hotels with adequate rest and plenty of preparation is achievable.
In the coming weeks we will enter the writing sessions in earnest and I am confident I will have new material to play alongside the ‘Clutching at Straws’ album performance in much the same way I played ‘Feast of Consequences’ material before it went into the recording studio in the summer of 2013. The set will not be saturated with the new songs and I envisage moving new material in and out of the setlists during the dates combining them with other solo works to give me a balanced show.
The open airs in summer 2018 will continue to feature the ‘Clutching’ album as will the European tour at the end of that year. The only difference will probably be more ‘Weltschmerz’ material as the album will by then be available. The rest of Europe will not miss out on this particular “farewell” tour and there will be more UK dates added on the final section.
I have no idea as yet about the “rest of the World”. At the moment I would probably not be allowed entry to the USA with the stamps I have on my passport but you can trust that I still do have my eye on that particular piece of the touring puzzle and I do sincerely hope that chances will come my way that make sense of some sort of trip across the big water. The same applies to Canada and South America. With the current state of affairs I can’t consider it and would really need a massive show of support and concrete guarantees to make it happen and that would most probably be in 2019.
You can already see that the retirement plans are changing and that I have to rejig the entire outro plan. Simone and I have talked long and hard about this and she is totally supportive of the extension although we are both agreed that I have to scale my touring activities right back. The book and screenplay writing will take prime position in the next years as will hopefully other ideas for endeavors nursed over a bottle of wine in our garden on an evening.
The plans to compile the rest of the re mastered solo albums will go ahead in the next months and ideas will be dealt with in another blog/newsletter in the next days. I want to reach out for some of your input as there are a couple of options especially with ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’ and ‘Internal Exile’.
I’ll be depending on the re masters and the new live albums to support the next year or so and the UK tour will play a big part in propping me up through the writing stages and into the recordings.
The entire writing process and its progress will be covered here on the website as players arrive at the table and the album takes shape. I can’t say much more at this point as the crystals are still forming. Mark Wilkinson was in agreement with the delay on ‘Weltschmerz’ and he too will be practicing his arts on the re master collection as he puts together the cover ideas which already have associated images.
The touring delay will obviously disappoint some people especially those in Europe but I am sure you understand the album takes precedent and that I need the space and focus to deliver something I intend to be very special.
All is good in the garden but I’m wary of late frosts and droughts that are inevitable. Sounding like ‘Chauncey’ in ‘Being There’ just now but that is where my head is at. I’m channeling my energies into tidying up business and uncluttering my Life, setting the scene for a clear run at ‘Weltschmerz’. It’s important that I jettison a lot of debris and re balance myself as I’ve been overwhelmed for far too long. There’s still a lot to do and a lot of issues to deal with personally and professionally but it’s all achievable given time.
I just felt I had to write this. Thanks for your patience and your support,