I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m going about things recently and trying to improve on how I deal with my career especially with regards to social media. Although I’m a reasonably prolific writer and there are a lot of subject matters the content isn’t really getting out beyond the converted.
After discussion with John Reid, who deals with all things IT for me we have decided to completely change our set up starting with the website.
I recognise that there should be a lot more content and interaction and we need to get people to delve around and discover not only what’s happening now but also my history. Amalgamating the old ‘Company’ website with the new one is a must. I use the old blogs and tour histories as well as the discography a lot when compiling the re masters and even I was I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m going about things recently and trying to surprised at just how much is over there on that web site.
John and I are already in discussion with third parties to help us out and our aim is to get a completely new all singing and dancing website together in the Summer so that we can reach out to a wider audience and get them interested in what I’ve done and what I am doing.
I also have to get refocused on the next re masters and have decided that ‘Suits’ and ‘Songs from the Mirror’ are up next. I want to schedule these for late October so they are ready for when I go out on the December UK tour. I’ll be working on ’Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’ and ‘Internal Exile’ throughout that time and aiming to get these released next March. As they are the oldest albums there’s a lot more material to sift through and especially with ‘Vigil’ a lot of options to take it to a higher plane regarding content.
With ‘Suits’ I have been in discussion with the original producer James Cassidy and he is very much up for a complete remix and revisit of the material. Not only have I discovered the original master tapes but also a collection of multi-track demos from that period. It all depends on cost and the quality of the tape but I am confident that we can create something very special from the material.
I want to have ‘Songs from the Mirror’ follow in the same 3CD hardback packaging as the other re masters to continue the theme but there isn’t as much material to choose from. The 1993-4 tour was pretty much captured on the ‘Sushi’ album (since deleted) but there wasn’t that much material from ‘Songs from the Mirror’ played live. There are a couple of cover versions that can be included but I’m still short of 3 CD’s. After a discussion with Spike Edney he’s given me access to some SAS band material and as I am playing with them in September we are going to set up a live recording of about 5 tracks at Portsmouth Guildhall and at the proposed warm shows and rehearsals. That still leaves me with space on disc 3 so the idea is to record about half a dozen new cover versions here at the studio in the summer when I have a band together working on the new ‘Weltschmerz’ album. It gives me a chance to try out new musicians in the studio and to play around with ideas at the same time. Songs by Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, John Martyn, The Who, Elton John and some others are already up for consideration and that would give me a re mastered album with some hefty and hopefully attractive content.
With ‘Vigil’ I have a lot of options and will be interested to getting feedback on this. Back in the day I shot a lot of footage on Super 8 film. I have coverage of the move here, the first writing and band rehearsals as well as Townhouse studio and then the touring itself. David Barras and I will be going over this material with a view to perhaps putting together a film documentary of that period. As always it all depends on the cost of creation and whether I can cover it with sales. As EMI own the copyright to this album and the associated studio material I have to license it and get their ok on the finished product. I would have preferred to have owned it but it’s not for sale. As I said with it being the oldest solo album there’s tons of live stuff never before released as well as acoustic versions from the Fishheads club tour and beyond. There’s a possibility of putting together a multi disc version bigger than the others in the re master catalogue. One idea is to go for a super dooper deluxe version with a standard 3 disc version as the other cheaper option. The same could be used for ‘Internal Exile’. If there’s enough interest in this type of format then I can seriously look at the possibilities.
The question of vinyl is repeatedly asked. The problem is that vinyl is very expensive to produce in small numbers and the outlay just now cannot be justified. Having thousands of pounds worth of stock sitting there when I need to fund the new album and the rest of the re masters can’t be justified just now especially since my health issues have meant I had to delay all my touring activities this year.
Once I have the new website up and running I’ll create a section where people can offer commitment to buying the vinyl albums. Once I get an idea of numbers then I can commit to a production run. That seems the most sensible way of putting it all together and making it finally happen.
By next Summer I’d like to have the ‘Weltschmerz’ album released and the entire solo catalogue available as re masters ( apart from ‘Feast’ and ‘’13th Star’) with a website that fits the bill that I can populate with material from the studio and the following tour.
There’s more than enough to do in the following months and this is the plan I would like to follow as a guideline.
I’m genuinely interested in your feedback on all these ideas and once the new web site is online I will be looking for other contributors and involvement from you the fans.
Thanks for supporting me with all the re masters and releases and I’ll do my very best to maintain the quality and the pricing as well as the service provided by our mail order shop.
It’s going to be an interesting next few months of that I am very sure.
Take care and stay alive