Sunsets on Empire, Raingods With Zippos, Fellini Days and Field of Crows are now available in the Fish Shop!
In the last few days I’ve made an executive decision regarding the proposed recordings for the 3rd CD on the ‘Songs From The Mirror’ remaster.
I’ve decided to blow out the SAS band live recordings and the new recordings that were intended to happen in early October in favour of putting together a documentary DVD with David Barras.
The writing for ‘Weltschmerz’ is taking a lot longer than anticipated for a number of reasons one being that my creative time has been whittled away by a host of other demands.With Robin Boult in the USA gigging with Howard Jones for most of the Summer and both Steve Vantsis and John Beck involved in their own projects it’s been difficult to get all the players together. I felt that to allocate so much studio time and resources to recordings for a ‘historical’ project was not going to be as beneficial as focusing on the new writing. After discussions with various trusted consigliere I decided on another approach to the 3rd disc.
The sleeve notes for SFTM are complicated and demanding and I am already up to 6000 words out of a 9000 target and haven’t yet dealt with the recording, the reasons behind the choice of songs, the album and single release or the tour yet. Simone has read what I’ve written so far and she considers the sleeve notes the best yet.
So far they take in the loss of Andy Field, the change in band and management , the confrontation with Polydor, the ‘Toile tour’, the arrival of producer James Cassidy and the set up of the idea for ‘Songs from the Mirror’. The writing is concise and lean with no waffle and there are a lot of stories, mainly the funny ones, that have been omitted due to lack of space.
To add to that James Cassidy offered to write up his take on both SFTM and ‘Suits’ and has delivered 20 000 words on the period. He’s reminded me of a lot of elements that I missed out on especially regarding the studio time.There’s no way I can incorporate them in the sleeve notes.
David Barras is already primed for the documentary for the ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’ remaster and has accumulated a lot of 8mm footage from that period from my own libraries.We’ve also found material from 92 and the tour in 93 and after discussion with David we have decided to go for a documentary on SFTM and James Cassidy has agreed to come up here to take part in a joint filmed interview where we can cover James’s take on the period and cover all the information that I can’t write up in the sleeve notes. Between the footage and the interviews there is more than enough to pack a DVD that will now be the third disc on the remaster.
This can be done in the coming weeks which frees me up for ‘Weltschmerz’ writing when I have my co writers in the country and available.It also means Calum Malcolm has enough time to work on the remasters and we can get both ‘Songs from the Mirror’ and ‘Suits’ out on schedule for early December.
I know some of you were looking forward to new recordings but I think that this new plan makes a lot more sense in the long run and that the documentary will more than make up for any disappointment.
I’m sorry to say that the warm up show in Stirling Tolbooth has sold out in less than 24 hours. There are no other warm up shows planned.
I’ve also managed to find another 500 ‘Misplaced’ deluxe CD’s,available to buy now with delivery here on the 21st August. Parlophone agreed to make one more production run of which these units are my last allocation.As with the new order of vinyl’s we are getting these will be signed. We still have a few CD’s we kept back from the first run and anyone who orders the ‘Misplaced’ Deluxe CD together with any other album will be sent their package out now while we have stock.The rest will be sent when we get new MC stock here on the 21st August.
Also available ‘Farewell to Childhood – Live in Europe 2015-16’
I have managed to get another 350 ‘Misplaced Childhood’ limited edition vinyl’s from Parlophone. These are the last in the run and won’t be reproduced. Once again I will be signing these albums. They are up for sale now and I expect them here in the next week.
I’ll be playing a warm up show for the UK tour at the Stirling Tolbooth on Wednesday 6th December. Tickets are available now at http://culturestirling.org/events/fish/ £20 standing. It’s a 200 capacity venue so if you can make it book now to avoid any disappointment
Shot taken when we filmed the interview session for the documentary footage on the ‘Misplaced Childhood’ CD deluxe. A fun day was had as some of you will already have seen on the DVD.
Although it’s registered as being ‘out of stock’ at the moment I managed to get another 500 CD albums from Parlophone that will be with me end of August. I’ll put them up for sale in the next couple of weeks.
I’m working this week on the sleevenotes for ‘Songs from the Mirror’ and ‘Suits’ and starting to collect the photos for the 2 projects.I finally managed to work out a structure to deal with the notes as they are by far the most complicated because of the 2 albums being worked almost simultaneously between 92 and 94. I forgot just how much actually happened back then so it’s becoming an extensive piece of writing that I expect to be over 18000 words between the 2 albums! ‘Suits’ will be finished by October and ‘Songs from the Mirror’, once the SAS gigs in September and the studio sessions in October are completed will be ready to go in November to be released together with ‘Suits’ just before the UK tour.
With the Glasgow show on the December tour virtually sold out already my promoter has green lighted a small warm up show in Scotland on the 6th December which I am presently negotiating and hope to announce next week. The other dates are selling really well with the first 2 London gigs and Manchester also nearly sold out apart from a couple of tickets.
‘Weltschmerz’ is also coming to the fore of my thoughts and in between sleeve notes for the remasters I’ll be working on the ideas that John Beck and Steve Vantsis brought to the Studio last week.
It’s all coming together nicely
Steve Vantsis and John Beck now driving South after a productive week here at the studio. The seeds of around 4 songs have been sown and although a long way off they are an inspiring start. We also did some work on the 6 proposed new cover versions for the ‘Songs From the Mirror’ remaster. Keys worked out and ideas for arrangements are in place.
Nearly all the packages have left the building with only around 150 Deluxe CD’s left to sign and pack tonight.It looks like we got our timing right and a huge thanks to Simone, Elspeth, Rab and Emma for turning this all around so quickly. Steve himself jumped in to pack and sticker albums this morning! 🙂
A great piece of organisation turning around 2500 CD deluxe sets and 600 vinyl boxes in a week.Well done chaps! 🙂
The Studio is now nearly free of cardboard and Simone and I have a weekend on our own for a change. I hope the weather holds as it’s the airshow at East Fortune and I’m looking forward to parking myself in a deckchair at the front of the house and taking in the parade of classic airplanes that come up the valley for their fly past over the showground.Particularly looking forward to the ‘Super fortress’ in the sky above the Studio. I better get the Nikon out with the big lens
2600 vinyl and cd box sets signed, 500 more to sign on Wednesday when the last shipment of our order arrives from Parlophone.
The packages to North American, Australian, Japanese and other faraway places are now on their way and ones to European and closer overseas places go out from Wednesday.
The UK will be going out from Friday on the official day of release.
Parlophone have announced they are making another production run of the ‘Misplaced Childhood’ Deluxe CD and I have put in another order for 500 more albums. I was disappointed to hear that there isn’t another run on the vinyl versions and I don’t think there will be anytime in the near future.
We’re glad to reclaim our home from the cardboard mountain as the Studio was just about overloaded with packages stacking up daily and nowhere to go.
John Beck and Steve Vantsis arrived here on Sunday to begin the first of the forays into writing. We’re still playing around and searching for start points but it feels good to at least be in the room together and making noises.
I had good news last night from my appointment with the cardiologist. My heart has gone back into normal rhythm and there’s no immediate need for any further treatment. I’m being monitored to see if there’s any fluctuations and still taking the pills for a few weeks more but it appears it was a problem with ‘flutter’ rather than something more serious. I’m glad as I can get back to the gym and get some of this poundage off that’s accumulated in recent months.
Garden blog arriving soon and more updates on the writing to follow this week.
“Into the blue!”
After discussion with James Cassidy I’ve decided to forego the remix of the ‘Suits’ album. The original intention was for James himself to remix but he was honest enough to admit that he’s “ring rusty” when it comes to engineering and producing having been working in artist management for over 15 years now. It was put forward that a 3rd party should take over the mixes but I thought that defeated the purpose as in all honesty the original album works well and a polish in the remaster suite by Calum Malcolm will more than freshen it up.
Another factor was cost and with all the reel to reel tapes having to be transferred and a new engineer, unfamiliar with the album working without tracking sheets in a mixing studio in London the budget was far exceeding what the project could afford. It was becoming a step into the unknown and the question was whether the new mixes would bring something really worthwhile to the table. James and I decided it didn’t make sense.We would be tinkering with something that didn’t really need tinkering with.
The remastered original album with the B sides on CD1 is a good chunk of material and I have the following to use on Cd2 and3.
Suits CD2 Demos
Somebody Special 4.25 April 92
Pipeline 6.18 April 92
Out of My Life 3.39 May 92
Mr 1470 4.26 May 92
Pipeline 7.10 May 92
Somebody Special 4.21 June 92
Raw Meat 4.44 June 92
Lady Let it Lie 5.16 Summer93
Bandwagon 3.30 Summer93
Mr 1470 6.10 Summer93
Jumpsuit City 4.44 Summer 93
Somebody Special 5.08 Summer 93
Emperors Song 6.13 Summers 93
Lady Let it Lie 5.55 radio session, Haddington 7/94
Suits CD3 Live Versions
Mr 1470 6.30 Haddington Convention 28/5/94
Fortunes of War 6.27 Haddington Convention 28/5/94
Somebody Special 4.46 Waterfront, Norwich 21/6/94
Black Canal 7.04 Schuurr Club, Lucerne 28/11/95
Jumpsuit City 5.09 Schuurr Club, Lucerne 28/11/95
Pipeline 7.31 Schuurr Club, Lucerne 28/11/95
Emperors Song 5.52 Krakow P1 studios 11/10/95
Lady Let it Lie 6.05 Krakow P1 studios 11/10/95
Jumpsuit City 5.30 Haddington St Mary’s Church 26/8/06
Fortunes of War 6.37 Haddington St Mary’s Church 26/8/06
Raw Meat 9.55 the Blue Note, Poznan 30/3/2011
I think the overall selection and the wealth of really good demo material makes the remaster release special and following the format of the other releases it will have extensive sleeve notes and photos in the hardback book.
I’m starting writing the sleevenotes in the coming weeks and doing last minute searches of the archives just in case there’s any more wee gems around.
I have to admit it’s been interesting going through the fanzines and old notes on both this and ‘Songs From the Mirror’ as both projects ran consecutively and it was a very important period in my career when I moved from major labels to being independent with the Dick Bros label.I hope you find it as interesting as well.