Fish’s latest album, A Feast of Consequences is now available in the shop with deluxe packaging, 100 page book, bonus DVD and high-quality download.
Order now with a free T-shirt
To give you an idea of what we are trying to achieve with the fishmusic.scot website here’s a link to the ’13th Star’ album info page.
We still want to link in lyrics, audio samples, links to the album download that I am negotiating with a company at present, a photo gallery tied into the new tour history pages etc etc
I’ve written up a brief history here with some hopefully interesting side notes. It will become more elaborate as the months go by and the idea is to use this format for all my solo albums which when combined provides a detailed map of my career.
This will be constantly evolving and hopefully provide a treasure chest for existing fans and an engaging introduction to new fans
fishmusic.scot is now officially open
We’ve been picking up orders for the new ‘Suits’ and Songs from the Mirror’ remasters and for the new ‘Clutching at Straws’ T shirts and merchandise and all seems to be tickety boo so far. It was a ‘soft’ launch but the word seems to be getting out and more people are visiting every hour:-)
the fishheadsclub.com site is still operational but all traffic is being directed over to the new official site. Rob Skarin and John Reid have done a fantastic job getting this all up and running and have spent a lot of time and energy making sure the transition has been as smooth as possible.There’s a lot to be added as the weeks go by and still some tidying up to be done but I have the utmost faith in the guys to deliver and build this site into something very special for all concerned.
This web site is intended to become an Aladdin’s cave of information taking in my entire career and we will be populating galleries and libraries over the next months as well as providing week by week updates on the writing of the new ‘Weltschmerz’ album with blogs and video interviews covering the entire creative process.
This weekend the first part of the filmed on stage interview I did with Steve Blacknell in Islington in September will be up on fishmusic.scot with the other 3 parts added in the run up to the December UK tour. The interview takes in a lot of aspects of my career and introduces the themes, initial ideas and complexities involved in the writing of ‘Weltschmerz’. I think you’ll find it both interesting and funny.
Please visit the new fishmusic.scot site and let us know what you think and what you would like to see there.It’s not just my site, it’s our site and we need your input to make it even better.
take care , stay alive
We now have in our stock room the brand new remasters of ‘Suits’ and ‘Songs from the Mirror’ as well as all the new tour merchandise. I’d hoped to have everything up for pre order but we have been tuning up the new website fishmusic.scot and getting as many glitches ironed out before we officially launch tomorrow (Friday 24th). The fishheadsclub.com store will continue to work in parallel but the new remasters and merch can ONLY be ordered through the fishmusic.scot mail order shop.
It should be a lot easier to order through the new site and we have added PayPal express which remembers your details for future orders and makes it easier to calculate postage as it automatically configures to your region. The postage prices have also been re tuned so some of you will find it cheaper than before. It’s a lot easier to negotiate and there will be a lot more general and historical information added over the coming months as we tie in other social media aspects to provide a very current picture of what is happening.
The domain name is obviously a huge bonus as it’s easier to remember (and type) and as a high level domain name will hopefully create a lot more traffic. The fishheadsclub.com name will still work but will route log ins to the new site. As of tomorrow please change the entry in your browser to the new fishmusic.scot website address.
There are going to be some minor issues as the site settles in so if you do experience any problems please notify us as soon as possible. We had issues with the old site when people wanted to contact us from the shop and we weren’t receiving your mails. That has now been rectified on the new site as has the automatic order confirmation which sometimes didn’t happen.
I want to open up a lot more communication between us and gather your opinions on various projects that are in the pipeline. One of these is the streaming aspect of my catalogue. I am currently in discussion with a company to have my entire solo catalogue (including the remaster series) available for downloads across various platforms and this will also be linked to the fishmusic.scot website. I however do not plan to hand over the catalogue for streaming. I appreciate that Spotify and the like are great career promotional tools to some extent but the revenues are negligible and I don’t believe they translate that much into actual sales.
With that in mind and as a compromise I want to put together a compilation package of around 20 songs from across my solo catalogue to put up for streaming which will hopefully attract people to search for my music and buy the physical or downloadable product. I’d like you to choose the songs for that compilation.The song choices will only be from my solo catalogue, excluding any songs from ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’ which is owned by EMI/Parlophone and is already available for streaming. I was inspired by your reaction to the t shirt designs which was a great success and resulted in us creating something that was more attractive to the majority of fans. I want to continue this interaction and want to start with a voting process on the compilation album in the coming weeks.As always I’ll post more details when I have them.
I’m really pleased with the finished copies of ‘Suits’ and ‘Songs From the Mirror’ and think they are great packages that continue the series in style. I do have to put my hands up here and admit to a screw up which ultimately is my responsibility as I took my eye off the ball and should have caught this before the album went to production.
On the ‘Suits’ remaster the track listing for CD3 on the reverse of the hardback cover is wrong.The CD itself has the correct running order and the track listing and details on the inner pages are correct but the print on the actual cover has CD3 listed as the first 11 tracks from CD2. It’s too late to change this now but it will be corrected on the next production run.My apologies, I should have caught this when proofing the artwork but both Mark Wilkinson and I completely missed what was a glaringly obvious mistake.
The track listing on ‘Suits’ is as follows –
01 Mr 1470 (6.06) [Dick, Paterson, Boult]
02 Lady let it Lie (6.54) [Dick, Paton, Cassidy]
03 Emperor’s Song (6.19) [Dick, Cassidy, Boult]
04 Fortunes of War (7.51) [Dick, Cassidy, Boult]
05 Somebody Special (5.23) [Dick, Boult, Paton]
06 No Dummy (6.16) [Dick, Cassidy, Boult]
07 Pipeline (6.44) [Dick, Paton, Boult)
08 Jumpsuit City (6.50) [Dick, Boult, Cassidy]
09 Bandwagon (5.07) [Dick, Paton, Boult, Usher, Paterson, Wilkinson]
10 Raw Meat (7.18) [Dick, Paterson]
11 Out of my Life (3.45) [Dick, Boult]
12 Black Canal (8.26) [Dick, Paterson]
Suits CD2 Demos
01 Somebody Special (4.25) [Dick, Boult, Paton] April 92
02 Pipeline (6.18) [Dick/Boult/Paton] April 92
03 Out of My Life (3.39) [Dick/Boult] May 92
04 Mr 1470 (4.23) [Dick/Paterson/Boult] May 92
05 Pipeline (7.10) [Dick/Boult/Paton] May 92
06 Somebody Special (4.21) [Dick/Boult/Paton] June 92
07 Raw Meat (4.44) [Dick/Paterson] June 92
08 Lady Let it Lie (6.05) [Dick/Paton/Cassidy] Summer93
09 Bandwagon (3.30) [Dick/Paton/Boult/Paterson/Wilkinson] Summer93
10 Mr 1470 (6.10) [Dick/Paterson/Boult] Summer93
11 Jumpsuit City (4.44) [Dick/Boult /Cassidy] Summer 93
12 Somebody Special (5.08) [Dick/Boult/Paton] Summer 93
13 Emperors Song (6.13) [Dick/Cassidy/Boult] Summers 93
14 Lady Let it Lie (5.55) [Dick/Paton/Cassidy] radio session, Haddington 7/94
Suits CD3 Live Versions
01 Mr 1470 (6.30) [Dick/Paterson/Boult] Haddington Convention 28/5/94
02 Fortunes of War (6.27) [Dick/Cassidy/Boult] Haddington Convention 28/5/94
03 Somebody Special (4.46) [Dick/ Boult/Paton] Waterfront, Norwich 21/6/94
04 Black Canal (7.04) [Dick/Paterson] Schuurr Club, Lucerne 28/11/95
05 Jumpsuit City (5.09) [Dick/Boult/Cassidy] Schuurr Club, Lucerne 28/11/95
06 Pipeline (7.31) [Dick/Boult/Paton] Schuurr Club, Lucerne 28/11/95
07 Emperors Song (5.52) [Dick/ Cassidy/ Boult] Krakow P1 studios 11/10/95
08 Lady Let it Lie (6.05) [Dick/Paton/Cassidy] Krakow P1 studios 11/10/95
09 Jumpsuit City (5.30) [Dick/Boult/Cassidy] Haddington St Mary’s Church 26/8/06
10 Fortunes of War (6.37) [Dick/Cassidy/Boult Haddington St Mary’s Church 26/8/06
11 Raw Meat (9.55) [Dick/Paterson] the Blue Note, Poznan 30/3/2011
‘Songs From The Mirror’ tracklisting
CD 1 original album plus bonus tracks
01 Question (06.39) [J Hayward]
02 Boston Tea Party (04:21) [A. Harvey/H McKenna/A. Cleminson
03 Fearless (06:15) [D. Gilmour/N. Mason/R. Waters/R. Wright
04 Apeman (05:56) [R.D. Davies]
05 Hold Your Head Up (03:45) [R. Argent/C. White]
- I Know What I Like (04:17) [T. Banks/P. Collins/P. Gabriel/S. Hackett/M. Rutherford
- Solo (04:10) [S. Denny]
08 Jeepster (04:10) [M. Bolan]
09 Time and a Word featuring Steve Howe (4.24) [Anderson/Foster]
10 The Seeker (3.16) [Townsend]
11 Five Years (05:17) [D. Bowie]
12 Caledonia (04.21 [MacClean]
01 Something in the Air (6.00) [Keen] Live Hamburg, Grosse Freiheit 23/6/92
02 I Know What I Like (3.16) [T. Banks/P. Collins/P. Gabriel/S. Hackett/M. Rutherford]
03 The seeker (3.17) [Townsend]
Both 93 Demos recorded at the Funny Farm Studios Recorded & Mixed By JAMES CASSIDY
04 Fearless (6.49) [D. Gilmour/N. Mason/R. Waters/R. Wright]
05 Boston Tea Party ( 4.13) [A. Harvey/H McKenna/A. Cleminson]
06 Jeepster (3.54) [M. Bolan]
07 Hold Your Head Up ( 3.08) [R. Argent/C. White]
08 5 Years ( 7.58) [D. Bowie]
All recorded Live Utrecht, Vredenberg Halle 18/3/93
09 Roadhouse Blues (7.30) [Morrison, Manzarek, Densmore, Krieger]
10 Jeepster (5.35) [M.Bolan].
Both Live ‘Acoustic’ Gertrud Boumer Halle Duisberg 9/12/94 “Jürgen’s birthday party”
11 Solo (5.19) Live acoustic Bucklein Theatre, Krakow, Poland, 14/10/95
12 Boston Tea Party with SAHB (4.57) [A. Harvey/H McKenna/A. Cleminson] Funny Farm Studio December 1995
13 Faithhealer (6.28) [A. Harvey/H McKenna/A. Cleminson] Recorded live at Nearfest USA 20/6/2008
Total 72.04 minutes
Disc 1 and 2 remastered by Calum Malcolm 2017
Disc 3 DVD
90 minute interview with Fish on track choices and anecdotes from 1993-94
‘Hold Your Head Up’ promotional video
‘Solo’ live from Cropredy festival 2015 with Fairport Convention
‘Fearless’, ‘Boston Tea Party’, ‘Hold Your Head Up’, Jeepster’, ‘5Years’ live from Utrecht 1993. Rare footage filmed on 2x Hi8 cameras (bootleg quality) with audio replaced from the ‘Sushi’ album
With rehearsals now finished I’ll be concentrating on the further set up on the website in the next 2 weeks and putting the finishing touches to the tour preparations. Angus Fearful is back on board to deal with the back projections and is currently putting together images and footage for the shows. I have a new sound engineer , Marios Sozos who has come in to replace Alastair Lindsay and Mark ‘McKinty’ Gordon has taken over from Yatta as production /tour manager on the road. Yatta is still involved and has been putting together all the tour pre production. Yatta will be at a few of the UK dates so say hullo if you see him.
It’s a slightly different circus entourage but the vibe remains the same. I’ll post more news as it comes in and give you an update on the site launch later today.
Hecticated but Happy 🙂
take care and stay alive
Just over a week into rehearsals and Doris arrived Monday for a couple of days working on bv’s with us.It’s been strange getting back into the swing of playing again but all falling into place and confidence is high.
Weird singing songs I last sang in a recording studio 30 years ago and which I never did live with the ‘Marillos’ as well as some solo stuff that hasn’t been performed for quite some time.
News that Leamington is now sold out together with Glasgow, Manchester and the first 2 London gigs and the others, including the 3rd London gig with only a couple of hundred left is adding to the excitement of the fast approaching tour.
The ‘Suits’ and Songs From the Mirror’ remasters arrive here on Friday and the tour merchandise is being delivered next Tuesday. I’ve not announced a pre sale on either as I hope to have the new website and shop open this weekend. It’s a new domain, fishmusic.scot which will be linked to the fishheadsclub.com website to avoid confusion and we have revamped a lot of elements and simplified the ordering process with PayPal express as well as revisiting postage pricing which has been trimmed as much as we can.I think you’ll enjoy the new experience and we will be adding a lot more content as the weeks progress.I’ll let you know more as it moves into ‘live’ settings.
As you can probably understand it’s been a hecticated last few weeks so comms have been curtailed by the workload.More to add very soon once I clear rehearsals this weekend.
As most of you probably know by now Simone and I were married on Saturday 14th October at Aberlady Church. We had kept it very quiet as we wanted a small gathering of close friends and family and had been setting this up since January. Too much to report just now as we only got back on Sunday from a short honeymoon in Malta and have hit the ground running.
The day was very special and we will remember it for the rest of our lives.
After being together for just over 6 years with Simone and her son Liam moving over to Scotland last August we both decided to make it official this year when we had a window of opportunity and time to organise the event. We couldn’t have done it without the wonderful Elspeth and as you can imagine it was a pretty daunting challenge with everything else happening on the work front.
I didn’t have much time after the wedding to post much else than my very short previous message but I’ll write up a blog in the coming days and put together some of the hundreds of photos from our special day. It truly was magical.
May sincere thanks from both of us to everyone who posted their best wishes while we were away and all I can say is that we are both so happy together at finally tying the knot that binds us.
lots of love Derek and Simone
And so like many of my fellow Scots we endure the strain of the countdown to today’s kick off in Slovenia at 5pm and the inevitable nail biting angst and suffering over 90 mins hoping we get the result we hope for.
I was reminded of probably my most stressful and heart pumping day at a game by this picture sent to me recently.
Wembley during Euro 96 when Scotland played England was the most intimidating atmosphere I’d ever performed in.
I’d been asked to sing ‘Flower of Scotland’ by the organisers for the pre match national anthems with Paul Carrack singing ‘God Save the Queen’. I was at the stadium hours before and the build up was terrifying. There was a soundcheck of sorts and my tiny monitor looked like it had been bought from ‘Woolworths’.
Paul and I were both shaking as we stood in the tunnel waiting to come on to the turf and above me there were scores of English fans hurling abuse at me. I’d been told that probably half the stadium was Scottish fans. They lied.
Paul walked out to rapturous roars and on my announcement it turned to a cacophony of booing. As I made my way out the tunnel all I saw was a sea of red and white with a tiny section of Scots fans in one corner. It was brutally hot and we had to stand for ages waiting on the teams coming out. All I could see in front of me were baying English fans giving me the finger. All I could do was smile.
The teams finally filed out and I felt a little better when a couple of the Scots team standing next to me gave the thumbs up and friendly winks of support.
‘God Save the Queen’ started up and the stadium burst into spectacular song, Paul doing his best to ride with them. I’d never heard it sung so loudly and so passionately and I waited my turn, heart pounding.
I was announced and at exactly the same time as the snare drum intro crackled out the speaker the booing became deafening. I just had to focus and count myself through it. After only a couple of lines the Tartan Army were already ahead of me and I had to stick with the song timing rather than follow them. It was a nightmare and it turned into a nightmarish cacophony that I just wanted to end. My adrenalin was spiking and my heart rate through the stadium roof. It was the longest 3 minutes of my life and as I walked back up the tunnel the relief was incredible. Paul and I were both drained and the come down was enormous. And now we had the most important match of the Euros to deal with.
The result didn’t go our way as was to be expected. A Shearer goal should have been nullified by a Scottish penalty taken by McAllister but even I saw the ball move from the stands as he took the run up and that miss was compounded by a brilliant strike by Paul Gascoine 90 seconds later that effectively left us dead in the water. It was horrible to take in and after the game I saw McAllister looking like he was going to the hangman.
Singing ‘The Flower’ at Wembley that day was an incredible experience and definitely one for the ‘bucket list’ ticked off. I just hope we get the result today and get into the play offs to give us a chance of our first major tournament for far to long. I will probably be drinking heavily from 5 onwards
Calum Malcolm was at the studio yesterday dropping off listening material for the ‘Suits’ and ‘Songs from the Mirror’ remasters. Disc 1 of the 2 titles, the original albums’ have still to be remastered but ‘Suits’ disc 2, the demos, and 3 the live versions are finished as is ‘SFTM’ disc 2 a mixture of demos and live material.
David Barras has edited the DVD for ‘SFTM’ disc 3 and I will be getting the finished version on Monday which will be going for mastering as a DVD 9 on Wednesday. It’s turned into quite a collection with a 90 minute interview, the ‘Hold Your Head Up’ promo video, ‘Solo’ with Fairport Convention from Cropredy 2015 and ‘Fearless’, Boston Tea Party’, Jeepster’, Hold Your Head Up’ and 5 years from the Vredenburg show in Utrecht in 1993.
The Dutch material is pretty rough, “bouncy” and grainy as it was shot on 2 Hi 8 cameras, one static and one “wild”, but as the only surviving footage from the main tour in Spring 93 it’s a souvenir rather than broadcast quality. David has replaced the camera soundtrack with the ‘Sushi’ versions as coincidentally it was the same show I released on the Dick Bros label in 94 as the first of the ‘official bootlegs’, now long since deleted.
The artwork is already in production and all the discs will be with the manufacturer next week.I’ve been told that we could have both finished remastered albums by mid November.
The T shirt and seat shirt designs are now with the printers and again we hope to have them in stock on the mail order service at the same time.
Rob Skarin ( who put together Steven Wilson’s web site among others) is confident we will have that up and running by the end of October and it will launch with the first section of the on stage interview I did with Steve Blacknell in Islington in September.
Steve Vantsis and Robin Boult were up last weekend and we worked on all the keys for the December set list and tinkered with new songs for ‘Weltschmerz’. There are some great ideas around but as I said before it’s highly unlikely I will have new material to play on the tour. That’s slightly disappointing but I know the wait will be worth it and the set list is pretty powerful without their inclusion.
The only downer at the moment is that my back has ‘gone wrong’ and I’m suffering from dreadful sciatica which makes walking and standing really painful.( one of the reasons I wasn’t at Hampden last night) I’m seeing my specialist again and had another MRI scan on my spine last Friday. I’m still waiting on the diagnosis but the specialist hopes I won’t need invasive surgery and if it comes down to it I will get steroid injections to get me through the 11 shows in December.I had them on the ‘Childhood’ tour and they gave me relief and mobility but it’s a short term fix and I’ll have to deal with the problem next year.
A wee piece of silver lining was that I’d noticed the last time I had an MRI scan that the machine had some interesting sounds and rhythms. The operator advised against taking my phone in to record them due to the magnets but pointed me at some clips on You Tube. I came back and told Steve and Robin and we listened to the samples which they thought could be interesting.
A couple of days later Robin came up with a wonderful riff on the acoustic guitar and I had the idea to see if the scanner samples worked as a complete juxtaposition to the feel of the riff. It was quite uncanny as not only did the underlying rhythms of the scanner match the pulse of the riff but the sounds were in exactly the same key. It was meant to be! 🙂
Steve Vantsis and I had a productive time last week when he was up but I have to admit I was pulling myself out of a creative swamp for the first 4 days and had to sit back and let him conjure some magic until I got on my feet. I have to be truthfully honest and say I have taken on a lot bigger job than I thought and we are both realising that we have been overly optimistic on timings. That’s not to say we are struggling for ideas; in fact we have too many but none of them are anywhere near ready for performance. This could result in having nothing new to play live in December. That may sound disappointing to some of you but there’s a huge ‘Yang’ in all this.
As you know I have nominated ‘Weltschmerz’ as my last studio album and I have always intended this to be special. There have been fragments of elusive lyrical ideas floating in my mind for quite a while but now I am in a position to start catching and pinning them down to create frameworks that make sense. Steve has given me around 15 musical ‘doodles’ to play with and from them I think we have the seeds of about 4 songs and a number of pieces that can be added to structures that are becoming more elaborate as we enter into the writing sessions proper.
My problem is that I am writing screenplays or short stories and creating huge challenges for myself.
I’ve already been documented as saying that I don’t want ‘Weltschmerz’ to deal with the big business/ corporate/ kings and queens/ empires/ world perspective but to pull it down to focus on people dealing with the current world we live in and their struggles, trials, pain and anger. I’ve developed a few characters with their own scenarios, all different but all linked by ‘Weltschmerz’.
For example I want to write about a young woman who is self-harming because she can’t vocalise her pain and anger and other issues. I wanted to bring in an older male character that is preying on her vulnerability and in fact ‘grooming her’, disguising himself as a younger person when he contacts her online. Steve has 2 musical pieces that both fit the characters but they are very different and I was trying to find a way to work them together. I wasn’t comfortable relating the second character in first person and needed to relate both in third character in a similar way to the ‘Zoe 25’ lyric. As the 2 musical “characters” weren’t compatible I realised that this was a 3 act play and it was only today I realised what I needed to complete the triptych and provide a resolution. It has evolved into a very dark neo Gothic horror tale and it is still being added to. There’s so much scope to play around sonically with and there’s all sorts of things to be added to the mix as it develops. At the moment the only musical input has come from Steve and we are both genuinely excited at what others can bring to the feast. The working title is ‘The Cutter’ but that will definitely change. ( ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ already used it).
I’ve also not made it easier for myself as I have decided that every song on ‘Weltschmerz’ must be associated with or have a link to a flower as gardens and growing will play a symbolic role on the album.
‘Market Garden’ is another title for a lyric about an old Dutchman living in Arnhem who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and who is clinging to his memories from youth when Allied paratroopers dropped on the city during an ill-fated operation with the same name as the title.
The man is still married but can’t remember his wife who is heartbroken at “losing “him and who is now a stranger in their house. His days are spent wandering the streets always ending up at the bridge that was brutally contested in 1944 and where it was the last time he saw the body of a young Scottish paratrooper who crashed through his father’s greenhouse during the initial parachute drops. The memories for those days anchor his life and everything else, even the writing on a page is forgotten once it’s turned. The lyric has to take in his memories, the relationship between man and wife from both sides and his struggle coping with a modern world that’s been built around him and which he doesn’t recognise or relate to. The flowers related to this lyric are ‘forget me not’s’.
Again it’s a difficult and delicate subject matter to deal with in a simple song structure and lends itself to a palette of sounds and musical movements identifying the characters and timelines. I started work on this with Steve Vantsis and John Beck but we have only just scratched the surface.
‘Man with the Stick’ a lyric about aging and about how we use sticks throughout our lives ( conductor, pipe band leader, riot control, boys fishing rods etc etc), ‘Guardian of the Flowers’, inspired by a Channel 4 documentary about a gardener in Aleppo, are another 2 ideas in progress. All stories with characters and as I have said many a time in the past ( and which I should have copyrighted as so many people use it these days) I find myself writing movies for people’s ears.
There will be other musicians involved in the writing process of ‘Weltschmerz’ with John Wesley willing to contribute as well as Romain Thorel from Lazuli who wants to get involved at some point and who has already worked with me earlier in the year on an idea which as yet is untitled.
And here is the ‘Yang’ of it all. I may be struggling to get songs together for the tour but with the door now opened and the first 5 months of 2018 dedicated to writing with a wealth of material starting to bubble up and out I am now looking at signing off with a double album. I discussed this with Steve when he was up and after a few glasses of wine we are both convinced this is achievable having been only 30 minutes or so short from one with ‘Feast of Consequences’. A double album gives us space to breathe and for solos and other ingredients to be played with and extended upon. The subject matter abounds and I’m being provoked every day into new ideas and directions. It’s a big call and I am very aware that this will become a very expensive project as session musicians, studio time and producers’ commitment all increase accordingly. It’s more than just a serious consideration just now but I have an underlying confidence that I can pull this off.
Mark Wilkinson is excited as he too has been developing ideas and is totally inspired by the subject matter bouncing around. He is confident he can put together a phantasmagorical collection of images and present them in a package that is fitting for my last call.
I may have to look at crowd funding to finance this as the commitment will be a huge drain on finances but I want to bow out with a big statement. With the lyrical content blossoming into near film scripts and bona fide stories you could perhaps call this a crossover album.
copyright Derek Dick 2017
On Monday Simone and I went up on the train to the city where I was taking part in a BBC Radio Scotland quiz show ‘Stop the Press’ with big fellow Hibby and presenter Grant Stott as compere at the ‘Monkey Barrel’ comedy club..
My ‘captain’ was comedienne Jo Caulfield, who I’d last met on ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’, while our opposing team was led by journalists Gary Robertson and Fiona Shepherd.It was a lot of fun and comedic rather than competitive. It’s being broadcast on Friday at 13.30 and will be repeated Saturday at 11.30. If you miss it you can catch it on the BBC i player.
It could be worth it just to hear my ‘Brazilian’ tour story
The link is below but sorry to say it’s UK only
After much consultation with fans on the FB pages Mark Wilkinson and I have come up with the new designs for the T’s and sweat shirt for the ‘Clutching at Straws’ tour shirts. There was a lot of to’ing and fro’ing and gnashing of teeth so much so that Mark eventually sent me this on the last late night of design frenzy.
I felt it was important to get input from fans as to what you want rather than plough ahead with something we both liked as I’ve come unstuck in the past and been left with a wardrobe of shirts I loved but which didn’t go down as well as I’d hoped with the majority of people at the shows.Obviously the ‘Weltschmerz’ artwork is in formative stages and although an element of it has been hinted at on the tour poster with the frame of flowers there wasn’t anything substantial to bring into play. We therefore decided to concentrate on the ‘Clutching at Straws’ images.
The ‘cocktail glass’ was my initial idea for the ‘CAS’ album front cover but was rejected by the band at the time. I decided to resurrect it on this tour and Mark gave it a twist as befits a martini with the ‘fish’ logo on the umbrella and a ‘tear’ of blood as used on the ‘Warm Wet Circles’ single artwork. It actually seems more relevant than before and ties in to the ‘Weltschmerz’ idea in an abstract way. We tried using the ‘flower border’ on the design but the detail didn’t come over as we had hoped so reverted to a clean image for the front of the shirt. The lettering was settled on when Mark suggested we use the original album title font style.We went for a blue shirt rather than a’ traditional’ black as it just made the image more vibrant. I had originally intended to go without a backprint as it’s only 11 shows and many a time I’ve been caught out with overstocks that become dated after the tour. The fans decided otherwise and I bowed down to wishes and we created a simple design for the back of the shirt that ties in with the front and provides a souvenir from the first of the shows on the ‘Clutching at Straws’ anniversary tour.
The idea for the second shirt was a polo with an embroidered martini glass but after consultation with our printers, ‘Razamatazz’ we discovered we couldn’t capture the detail in the needlework we wanted. It was Mark who suggested a second T using the artwork he’d supplied to ‘Prog’ magazine for their front cover a few months ago when they ran a feature on ‘CAS’. Neither Mark or I were happy with the original album cover and his retake where he populated the original bar scenario I thought was genius. Again I went for an alternative to black and we agreed a grey background gave it a bit more class. The backprint of tour dates and the “still drowning” quote was again added by popular demand.
The final item on the merch stall will be a black sweatshirt rather than a ‘hoodie’ as it lends itself more to a front design. With these never as popular as T’s on the road I decided to omit the back print and keep it simple and ageless as a stock item.Hoodies may be popular with some but as we still have stock from the ‘Feast of Consequences’ tour I opted for a return to a traditional sweat shirt and sated the demand for a black item. I personally think it looks stunning.As with the T shirts the seat shirt will be produced in large sizes and I’m waiting to find out from ‘Razamatazz’ just how big we can go with the designs. I’m not going with ‘girlie’ sizes as in all honesty we don’t sell enough to qualify print runs but we should be able to cater for most other sizes.
All these items will be available on the mail order shop on the website in November together with the ‘Suits’ and Songs From the Mirror’ remasters and all will be for sale on the UK tour on the merchandise stall. Some have asked if the mail order service caters for outside Europe and the UK and the answer is yes. We send items worldwide
With the web site being completely redesigned by Rob Skarin, who has done an amazing piece of work with Steven Wilson’s site and others, it’s a perfect way to launch the newly designed mail order pages.
I’ll know more about pricing and the date for the new website relaunch in the next week or so and this post will be followed up later with news on ‘Weltschmerz’ and the new ideas which quite honestly I think you will be very excited to hear about.