Subject: Fish 99 - Tour postponed, single releases. RWZ on Radio Forth Rock Show Friday
Dear freaks, friends, fans, the Company and FWO,
Well you can't have an album about Raingods and not have some dark clouds somewhere in there!
After long talks with my agent Nigel Hassler (great name!) about touring plans for Europe this Summer I've decided to postpone the Raingods tour till August/September.
I'm obviously gutted but to go out with the figures on offer would be suicidal at this moment in time having just spent most of the last 12 months digging my way out of the last wreck.
Our costs per show are 3000 pounds with production (PA and lights) supplied and 4500 if we supply the necessaries. Apart from Holland who gave us the needed fee for 4 shows with our production the rest of the offers were well below requirements some of them 1500 below and most 1000. The venues were mostly clubs and therefore the production on offer would be varied and generally wanting.
I refuse to go out on a repeat of 97 and have therefore decided to cancel the proposed tour and wait on the impact of RWZ to determine whether touring will happen this year in Europe. I was facing a 25000 pound deficit and the prospect of taking RWZ into clubs with dodgy sound systems and basic lighting rigs for 6 weeks wasn't appealing.
RWZ needs a decent production and after the last tour where we were forced to use sometimes mediocre lighting rigs I swore never to undersell again and refuse to submit to another demoralising tour experience. This album demands a show.
Other reasons were as follows -
A non uniform sound system and monitor rig deals heavy strain on all involved as we have to struggle to accomodate for variations. Bad monitors tear the hell out of singers especially.
The complexities of RWZ need a professional monitor and sound set up. You can't plug 40 odd inputs into a 24 channel board and you can't feed the necessary monitor mixes if the desk doesn't have the capacity. The quality would have been variable and would have reflected badly on Andy my sound engineer and ultimately myself.
Last tour I took flak for not trailing lights with us. The subtleties and drama of RWZ and the proposed set would be lost without a lighting element to backdrop them.
The tour was mainly biggish clubs. The ticket prices had to go higher but the promoters wouldn't raise them high enough to accomodate the difference.
I was also nervous at asking 13 pounds for a show with no decent lights or sound in a shabby venue.
Tour support from RR is not even to be asked for as at the end of the day the money borrowed comes from album sales and with a club tour 95% of the audience already have the album and 5 paragraphs as a live review plus a couple of posters will not have much effect on sales after the gig. A hall tour is a different matter altogether and a street poster campaign and the surrounding "hoo ha" leads to more of an event feel and lends gravitas to the show in general. There's much more interest in general in a bigger hall tour and it also attracts 'bystanders' as well as dedicated fans.
The difference in earnings is higher as there's more people and the ticket prices can be raised to help the production costs. With a club tour this is more difficult as even Sponsorship would be hard to kindle for a small venue tour with restricted impact.
Preaching to the converted would be the order of the day as the live club scene is dead at the moment and with limited promotion from the gig and a limited impact after it this level of touring doesn't make sense to spend time and money pursuing a 'growth' curve.
Promoters are nervous with many shows bumming out there so the guarantees are low and the venues "safe".
In Germany I was also faced with a heavy tax hit as the current regulations on artists are dehabilitating. This made the German leg nonsensical. The only shows that made sense were the Dutch dates but there's no way I could rehearse a band and make just 4 gigs work on these figures alone.
I talked to the band and although disappointed they are completely understanding of the situation and are with me all the way on this. I more than anyone was anxious and excited about taking RWZ on the road but the prospect of another 'black hole' in the road has forced me to be realistic.
RWZ is getting great reviews and the best reception any of my albums to date has so far had at this stage in their release.
Nigel is going to hold off and once the album has hopefully made an impact and the results are there to inject some confidence into these promoters he'll go back and demand the fees I need to take the album out on the road with a production under our control and at the same time allow me to walk on stage stress free and safe in the knowledge that my house is there when I get back!
I know many of you will be severely disappointed with this but I have no choice.
I'm still working on the States and there is a small chance that we can get there first if the figures work out. Larry Webman my US agent and Jim Pitulski are working on something now.
Please don't e me with questions on touring as all dates will be notified as soon as they are confirmed or otherwise.
This means that the Summer is pretty clear so my Movie/TV agent is back on the phone and I'll be writing with Tony Turrell and Mark Daghorn who are already sending me ideas to work on. There's a chance of a revisit to the Castle Marouatte for more writing sessions but the main events for the next 3 months will be the promotion of RWZ. I start with an on line interview next Wednesday and the it's Paris Thursday, Utrecht and Groeningen for playbacks on Friday and Saturday with Voselaar in Belgium on Sunday for more of the same. Monday is press Brussels, Tuesday Amsterdam, Wednesday Koln, Thursday Hamburg and Friday Munich before I get home for the weekend! After that it's Milan for two days, Geneva, Zurich etc etc. RR are very together with the promo and the organisation is impressive.
Puts Dick Bros in the shade I'm happy to say!! :-)
The single release has been put back to April 5th to allow for the set up of airplay and it seems a video will be in the planning stage real soon!
:-) Signs are good!
Jay Crawford, Head of Music at radio Forth is away on holiday this week so he's letting me play with his rock show on Friday. Edinburgh Rock goes out between 6 and 8 pm on Friday on 97.3FM and can be heard all across central Scotland on various networks like Tay FM and Borders. I'll be playing a couple of tracks from RWZ and the Haddington Tapes as well as a bunch of other stuff! Tune in if you can!
Once again sorry to lay the heavy news on you and I hope all will be resolved for Autumn. This means the Convention will probably be in August and tour or no tour fan club shows will happen.
I've just got a new PC sorted out so my freaks entries have been non existant as I've had to change servers to cope with the new ISDN set up here. I've not managed to get my addresses sorted out properly yet so I haven't received freaks for about a week.
Please relog my address at Onyx although the Company address is working fine. The old Powernet addy is dead and I'm having problems with people mailing me and not getting through. If you've been trying to get through and getting bounced try this addy from here on..
I'll e at the weekend!
hear you soon
a very thin
Onkel Fish x
(been working on the demolition and gardening a lot!!)
Email 11th February 1999