Sunsets on Empire, Raingods With Zippos, Fellini Days and Field of Crows are now available in the Fish Shop!
I received this on an e mail this Parlophone today which puts a bit of a new pressure on us all as we both have to gauge the pre orders.
“Just so you are aware, this is a limited product so we are only doing one factory run! Once it’s gone, it’s gone – as they say! ”
I am ordering them from the label as not being shrink wrapped in order to save time when I sign them. Just so you know.
A few people have been asking about why they haven’t had confirmations of their purchases on fishheadsclub.com
It seems there have been a few occurrences where orders have been taken but due to the switch over of the server the e mail confirmations weren’t automatically sent out. John Reid arriving at the weekend as we are having a couple of days brainstorming for the new web site and meeting with designers.When he is here he is going into the mail order files and intends to send out a blanket e mail covering everyone who’s ordered and we can find out if there are any missing orders.It should iron out any problems. I’m pretty confident everything is ok this end and any potential problems can be sorted when he is here.
There have also been a couple of questions on the security of the store.The security certificate hadn’t been acknowledged and wasn’t showing on the URL. The site however is secure and the certificate will now be showing on the shop.
On another note we are also looking at the problem we have with some returns due to wrong addresses being given or requests for signed deliveries being sent back as there’s no one to accept them. This is a particular problem in Poland as packages move from UK Royal Mail to other delivery services who immediately send packages back to us rather than store them at depots and leave messages of failed delivery with the intended recipients. We cannot afford to cover the cost of resending items and will have to come up with a solution to this.
We can send tracking information but it’s no use if the service it moves to doesn’t provide any more info when it enters Poland.
Please make sure when you give your delivery address that it’s valid and correct and that you have added the correct e mail address or contact details as well with your order.It all helps keep our service to you as slick and fast as possible and racking up office hours chasing down missing orders. We’re always trying to do our best to provide a great service as your help and support is sincerely appreciated
Just to let you know I’ve booked this in as a one off on September 6th. It’s the same day as SAS rehearsals and as I had a night free in the ‘Big Smoke’ it made sense to take up the offer from my old friend Steve Blacknell who you may remember interviewed me over my record collection for the Old Grey Whistle Test at my old gaff in Aylesbury years ago. I won’t be playing on the night but it’ll be a 2 hour interview/ conversation with both Steve and audience members and I’ll be signing stuff after.There’s only 70 tickets available so it will be quite an intimate affair and as it’s Steve’s birthday on the night I reckon it could get pretty loose 🙂
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
As announced yesterday the new deluxe versions of ‘Misplaced Childhood’ are now available to pre order from the fishheadsclub.com shop.
I’ve kept the prices especially on the vinyl as keen as I can and all pre orders will be signed by me.
With the 4x 180g vinyls in a box with the booklet the postage is eye watering with some options and we will be swallowing the costs of the actual packaging ourselves. We have a new cardboard box we are confident will stand the rigours of the postal services and get your order to you in perfect condition.
Please remember that these titles will not be available until 21st July so even if you get a notice that your order is completed it will not be sent out until that date onward and all orders will be processed in sequence, first come first served.
If you are placing mixed orders, for example remasters and the ‘Misplaced Childhood’ deluxe versions the other elements will be dispatched as we receive that order and the deluxe order will be sent out after the 21st July.
We have enough time to prepare packaging to be filled with the albums when they arrive here so we should service orders pretty quickly after that date as some of you already know from your experience with the ‘Farewell to Childhood” live CD/DVD.
Your support on this is sincerely appreciated here
Thanks for being out there
Having arrived late in the game and being out the loop a bit with the preorders I’ve decided that I’ll keep the prices the same as the Marillion shop at £59.99 (£49.99 outside Europe) for the vinyl and £29.99 (£24.99 outside Europe) for the CD deluxe set.Only difference is that I’ll sign the preorders bought from fishheadsclub.com. I’ll get the mail order info up tomorrow.
This has just been announced today by Parlophone Records.
I’ve decided to stock this in our mail order shop and it will be going up for pre order in the next couple of days. It’s a pretty stunning set and I’m personally glad this album is getting the treatment it deserves. I’ll be keeping the prices as keen as I can as I’m sure there will be some madly expensive numbers out there in retail land. Your support on these titles is appreciated as I have to pre order myself from Parlophone.
It’s quite ironic that these are coming out alongside my own ‘Farewell to Childhood’ release and with the May issue of Prog Magazine featuring ‘Clutching at Straws’ there’s a wild synchronicity around.
I’ll announce the pre order on fishheadsclub.com as soon as I have more information.
MISPLACED CHILDHOOD (DELUXE EDITION) will be released on July 21 as a 4CD/1BluRay set and 4LP boxed set version.
The CD/Blu-ray set includes the original album newly remastered and a 5.1 surround remix by acclaimed producer Steven Wilson. It’s accompanied by a previously unreleased concert from Holland that features a performance of Misplaced Childhood in its entirety, plus demos and rarities remastered exclusively for this set.
The BluRay contains promo videos, and an album documentary, as well as high resolution and 5.1 Surround Sound mixes of the album. The entire set is presented in a case-bound book that includes a 60-page booklet with liner notes written by rock writer Dave Everley.
The vinyl version of MISPLACED CHILDHOOD (DELUXE EDITION) features the newly remastered version of the original album and the entire concert from Holland. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl, the four LPs are presented in a 12” x 12” lift-top box, completing the set is a beautiful 24 page booklet which contains replica tour program and extensive writing on the history of the album and how it came to be.
Discs two and three contain an October 1985 concert recorded Live at the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in the city of Utrecht. The performance includes the entire Misplaced Childhood album along with several songs from the band’s earlier albums, like “Script For A Jester’s Tear” and “Fugazi.” All of the live recordings are previously unreleased except for “Chelsea Monday,” which was the B-side to “Heart Of Lothian” (The full concert is included with the MISPLACED CHILDHOOD (DELUXE EDITION) LP set).
The BluRay disc contains an hour-long documentary about the album and promo videos for album singles “Lavender”, “Kayleigh”, “Lady Nina” and “Heart Of Lothian.” Also featured is the original album remixed by Steven Wilson in 5.1 Surround Sound and the 2017 Remaster in high resolution 96kHz 24 bit. Rounding out the disc are Wilson’s Surround Sound and Stereo remixes of “Lady Nina,” the B-side to “Kayleigh.”
I was saddened to hear the news today that a dear old friend passed away suddenly yesterday. Les Payne produced Marillion’s first demo at Roxon studios in July 1981 and gave us our first experience in a recording studio. We went on to become friends and he was immensely proud of his involvement in the very early stages of the band. We kept in touch over the years and I played a couple of gigs with him at the Pegasus in the very late 80’s. My move to Scotland meant we rarely saw each other after that but every now and again I’d hear his eternally cheery voice on the phone. He was an outstanding individual with an overwhelmingly positive personality that always drew a smile from any stranger in his company. His commitment to his songwriting, studio work and performances were inspiring and despite so many hard knocks and disappointments he never lost sight of his goals and his optimism was incredible.Always willing to give advice and help to young bands and musicians he played a part in the rise of many talents. He never made the big time but leaves a legacy of worthy songs and a memory that will always be cherished.An honest and decent man in every respect he will be missed by many and especially in the Aylesbury and Bucks community of musicians where he was a legend. My heart goes out to his family and friends at this tragic loss. Les Payne RIP
My Mum handed me a box of really old cassette tapes I’d given her over the early band years including a couple of the original and now legendary Roxon Studio demos we recorded over the 18th and 19th July 1981 with Les Payne producing.
We’d met Les through his strong association with the Friars Club and were introduced to him by the promoter David Stopps.We saved up enough money from gigs to pay for the demo time ( I think it was about £400 but Les gave us a deal).
It was my first ever time in a “proper” recording studio and I was pretty excited and daunted at the same time. The line up was Steve Rothery guitar, Mick Pointer drums, Diz Minnitt on bass and Brian Jelliman, keyboards.
We were pretty pleased with the outcome and thought the world was ours. Listening back now my vocals were a trifle shabby and that high octave register very unnatural.The arrangements on the demos that were rejected by every major record company at the time were pretty much the same as on the ‘Script For A Jester’s Tear’ album and with ‘Garden Party’ reaching number 16 in the UK charts nearly a couple of years later I admit to having a chuckle sometimes.
I still have the rejection letter from EMI 🙂 “Rinky Dinky Doo” 🙂
Les, thanks for all your help back then and I’ll always retain a happy memory from those days. RIP mate.
I’m happy to announce that Lazuli will be supporting me on some of the December UK shows. They will be playing Cardiff 12th December, Bristol 13th, London 15th, 16th, 17th and Cambridge on the 19th December. Due to other commitments in France they can only play these dates.
The very talented Doris Brendel will be supporting me at Leeds 8th December,Manchester 9th , Leamington 10th, Newcastle 20th and Glasgow on the 21st http://www.dorisbrendel.com/
I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who wished me a happy birthday today. 59 years of age in old money today and celebrated with a hot shave at the local Turkish barbers to take some years off! First time sans beard for as long as I can remember ( and that’s only till last Tuesday 🙂 )
14 year old Liam made us a wonderful cake last night and we ate it together watching snowflakes gather on the patio furniture and quaffing some fine tea. Tonight however thanks to the wonderful Elspeth the lovely Simone and I will be partaking of her gift of ‘Rock Rose’ gin with no need for ice cubes in this arctic chill.
Wild garlic soup from garden harvest for lunch and a slow cooked Madras curry later by the wood burning stove with a few glasses of Savvy and 8 tracks a go-go.
It’s a great day so far and I’m one year off a bus pass which may make tour coaches cheaper. I’ll have to barter!
Thanks again for all your messages and greetings and all the smiles , it means a lot.
lots of love back to you, take care and stay alive
Derek the Fish x
On Wednesday I boarded a flight to Berlin from Edinburgh for a serious trip down memory strasse. I was bound for a film shoot with a production company creating a feature length movie documentary on the history of Hansa studios where we had recorded the ‘Misplaced Childhood’ album back in 1985. Obviously our history is gloriously intertwined with the city and the studio which was why I’d been asked to participate with my dear friends and fellow collaborators Steve Rothery and Chris Kimsey. All three of us had jumped at the chance at a fond reminiscence, a free bar tab and a fine hotel dictated, in the nicest possible way by Herr Kimsey, to the production company. He was very specific and the promise of lubricated memory jangling and exclusive verbosity by the invited participants appealing to those on the other side of the camera. They wouldn’t be disappointed.
Edinburgh airport, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, Americano coffee with Jimi Hendrix on the restaurant PA with the “Wind cries Mary” was totally apt for the occasion. I hadn’t been in Hansa studios since the day we finished recording.
I drove in the taxi past the redundant Tempelhof airport chasing other memories as heavy flakes of snow fell and immediately melted in the struggling sunshine. At first I thought it was the proverbial cherry blossom and then, as Chris Kimsey likewise mentioned in the Italian restaurant soon after, it came into my mind that it looked like ash and created a far more sinister scene which I readily dismissed and cut from my own movie.
The street names were familiar, the surroundings not. The taxi came to a halt and the driver announced my arrival. I didn’t recognise the area. The wasteland where we had shot band photos outside the studio had been replaced by modern buildings and the sweep of gray Berlin Wall I walked past every day to the studio now swallowed in a modern city. The studio building from the outside was exactly the same apart from “Siegmar’s Mampe Bar” now transformed into an Italian restaurant and the aforementioned neighbourhood encroachment of the 21st Century.
It was fantastic to see Steve and Chris again and the hour of jollity we had before filming began warm and unique. We wallowed in our own private memories and caught up on all things family and beyond before heading into the studio where our lives had been dramatically entertained and changed by a 2 month encampment where we produced a piece of work we never thought would have the impact it had.
Entering the main recording floor for the first time in 30 plus years could have had the soundtrack of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” as it was such an incredible moment and I immediately voiced the “wasted ” line from ‘Perimeter Walk’. The 3 of us were like kids visiting their old school and we exchanged various thoughts and memories even before we sat down on our allotted seats in front of camera to be cajoled into our respective and collective associations with the space. We were relaxed and evocative revisiting this famous dimension from our new perspectives.The years were peeled back and we fondly remembered magical times like old soldiers on a park bench, the darker elements unspoken as unnecessary intrusions and embarrassing to the company.
The control room we had spent so many hours, days and nights in was now a bar that served the main recording floor which although still used for recording also served as a function room. The irony was not lost as once it had been a ballroom for German military officers and it was now utilised for corporate use. The new world order. The old control room that we had used was where Bowie had, as legend goes, seen the protagonists that he had written ‘Heroes’ about as once it had a clear view of the Wall. I had so many memories from that room and now found it difficult to replace the working set up as I knew it back then with the sumptuous surroundings in it’s place.The rest of the studios are impressive and we were invited up to the mixing room where the final touches were added to ‘Misplaced’ and where quite a few both hair raising and extremely funny memories had been had. I have to admit after years of working from here in Haddington at my own humble studio I longed for an opportunity to work in a mainstream establishment like Hansa again.
Funnily enough one question during the interviews was why we never came back. None of us had an answer.
It’s still an amazing recording space and defined by it’s history and temporary occupants who created so many magical recordings many of which most people have no idea of their point of creation.
To give you an idea have a flick through the artists and albums on this website and it will take your breath away https://www.discogs.com/label/274153-Hansa-Tonstudios?sort=artist&sort_order=
We retired to a small bar near the studio for some more “off the cuff” filming after the Hansa shoot to fill in the more “Berlin” moments of our time there. All I will say was it was fun! Maybe I said too much but I think my “filters” were working.There’s always the edit 🙂
We were met there by Thomas Stiehler, our engineer back in 85 who had arrived in Harris tweed plus 4’s and with his wonderful eccentricity that I fondly remembered from the ‘Internal Exile’ recording sessions here in 91.
He would join us for dinner in our hotel at ‘The Savoy’ (Thanks Chris) where a marvelous meal and accompanying beverages would deliver me early to bed after more reams of story telling and a reminder that my partying stamina wasn’t as it was back in 85.
As I left for my last shoot at the remaining section of the Berlin wall that morning I saw the guys in the breakfast room and bid fond farewells to slightly bleary eyed individuals.Yes we were older, more dignified and fragile in the grand scheme of things but there were still beautiful sparks in us all. Warm smiles and hugs it had been a great reunion of kindred souls. We have all moved on along different paths that can never be rejoined as they once were but to share a moment and a memory and celebrate a defining period in our lives was a wonderful opportunity we will cherish.
I’m looking forward to seeing the finished film and have to thank Martin, James, Rachel and all the team for providing this occasion – it was really special.
To Steve and Chris – Let’s not leave it too long till next time x