Email 14th May 1997

Subject: Wee Torchy!!
To: Freaks Mailing List

Hiya all!

Contributor of the month? What an award after having just only started with the big keys!!! I can use my elbows as well!! Nice to feel the warmth of a real fire so lets toast some marshmallows. You've probably seen Jez's e about the ltd. editions but I thought I'd better add a wee bit more fuel to the fire.

The problem was the sleeves not the sleevenotes and all our end was in order. The manufacturing let us down even though the order was placed well in advance. The promo campaign incorporating the release date was alreaady in action therefore we couldn't delay the schedule. My guys have worked their asses off to turn it around and as you knew from Jez there's a chance we can filter some units out in the first week if the sleeve manufacturers deliver as promised. The first weeks chart is very important to a small label like ours so it would most definitely not be in our interest to stagger a release. The pack is special as is intended for first week buyers ie. real fans so if you can't find it and you really want this version hold off or shop around. It's worth the wait. The same wag decided to get a lot of his chest re other titles and marketing campaigns so I thought I'd respond in my accustomed manner.

FOW. digipak with 4 cd's is seen by my learned (and I use this term extremely f***ing loosely!!) friend as a rip off when taken into account along with the dick bros acoustic album. Firstly they may have similar titles but the recordings and conditions are very different. FOW contained a version of the track on every one of the single cd's to comply with the then necessary conditions for the release of a chart entry in multi format. A single to qualify for the UK charts must be less than 23m. and contain no more than 4 tracks 1 of which must be the nominated title in some version or another and must (at that time - it's now 3) be on no more than 4 formats ie. cd, cass., 12" or another recognised format in whatever no. The choice of 4 cd's was mine in order to try and counteract the traditional 1 week in and out routine I usually have with singles. As I was on an acoustic tour with suits it made sense to utilise the live material and rather than release another live album "give it away" on the single and yet stay within the formats. Thats why the release was as was! Needless to say it didn't work and once again the retailers screwed it up by packaging singles together and selling FOWx4 as a collectors item and generally not adhering to the principle of the staggered release. Even with 52 you'll find retailers selling it as a collectors item at a higher than normal chart price knowing that theres genuine fans out there who'll pay the price and as Fish's singles never chart anyway who cares? FOW has still to break even as a project (including video and all associated costs including photo shoot & packaging design etc.) BTW I was congratulated on our ingenuity by certain members of some major labels at Midem.

As with all our releases we have to give away a large no. of freebies for promo and press etc. SOE for example will involve around 2000 free samples some of which will never see a review or play. They're the ones you find down in your local collectors emporium pre release at inflated prices as some sad dj ba***rd needs some beer money that weekend. That's life and there's nothing I can really do about it apart from the occasional confrontation when I come across one personally in a shop. At the same time as the suits ac. tour it was fashionable for artists to play ac. gigs or sessions for radio stations. We played a few but it was expensive as session fees had to be paid as well as transport, fuel, hotels and food if it was on a tour and then again we couldn't play everywhere. Thats when I decided to try and cover a wider range of stations by recording the ac. Dick bros cd. It provided any station no matter how small or how far away with an ac. session which they could pretend was their personal exclusive. It worked but as always some of the 1000's we gave away ended up at retail at heavy prices.Together with the interview cd., done for the same reason, collectors were forking out 45 sterling in one case for the int.cd. We let fans know we had it on mail order at real prices and if they wanted it they could get it here. It has since been filtered into our distribution systems and has helped on rainny days. So there you have it, the machinations of a small label. We sell them to cover costs and to allow anyone who wants to collect the labels output a chance to do so without paying over the odds. Now is that cynical or just clever business practice that's beneficial to fan and artist alike. Bottom line? Buy them if you want to theres no pressure!! I'll still use multi format cd singles when I think fit and I'll always try and find something of interest when I can to use as extra tracks. Change of h. will however only have 1 cd. After all the bitching over what I've released how many of you have bought un-official bootlegs at stoopid prices? ie. 15 sterling for a single shite cd. recorded in a rehearsal or at the back of a club!! Come on, hands up!! Bottom line! We provide value for money and you don't have to buy them if you don't want to!

Another thing! Who started the rumour thang (sic) about some fish fans have had enough and are giving up the cause. Bo***cks I say. This is a nasty rumour unless I'm supposed to believe that someone is giving up on me before they've heard sunsets and without giving it a listen after waiting so long! Bo***cks I say. You're petty scaremongering does not phase me. You're underestimating how good SOE is (or very aware if you still subscribe to a paranoid tribal mentality!!)

Finally thanks to thomas and paul for making some valid points!! After fighting long and hard to get that USA deal and coming back with a positive post all I seem to receive is grief. I thought the effort would have been more appreciated. This isn't the cry of an ignored child rather an incredulous adult at the pathetic tantrums of a minority. Maybe you're just scared to face the myth in 3d and the realisation of seeing a fish gig is too much . I'm coming at you!!!!!! Well that wasn't too bad, was it? But then again I'm limbering up, it's been a long time! Itchy my man!! Respect!!

New dawn approaching! More to follow!!
Snuggle up tight my anoraked friends, the earth rim walker is afoot, and his new nikes are hurting him!!!

Lots of love as always------ Uncle Fish
"WHA DAUR MEDDLE WI ME?"
 

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