Email 25th March 1999

Subject: Fish 99 - Lager-Lager-Lager-Lager!!

Dear Fishheads, Freaks and the Company,
Ok I should have got back to you with the footy results! Problem is that I am in pain!!
My pinkie is I think fractured (not that I used it much anyway as I type with my thumbs) and I tore muscles around the rib area and at one point thought that this was also a fracture!
I went into Easter Road on Saturday about 1pm after digging deep (sorry couldn't resist that :-) under the stairs for the old fitba bits! I had lunch with the sponsors Carlsberg (not bad but would have preferred McEwans) at the stadium. Piers Hernu the editor of "The Front" magazine turned up late by which time I'd scoffed a few pints and rattled the roast beef down the throat in perfect preparation for my first playing excursion on the immortal pitch that is the killing ground of the mighty Hibernian Football Club my team of choice since I was a kid.
I'd also been invited to the Directors box by the club lawyer to watch the game and as I said in my pre-match interview with John Gibson from the Edinburgh Evening News I was the first person who would actually fulfil the dream of leaving the box to strip and go onto the field!!
A large Jack Daniels and coke in the Board Room pre-kick off sorted out some more nerves and then it was up to the no-smoking Directors Box. I don't really like it there cos you have to watch your mouth as you watch the game in order not to upset the Directors wives! Thank god the tension was lifted after a quick goal from the Hibees struck the back of the Airdrie net in the opening 5 minutes. It's a different game in the Box! The occupants are in there sweating about the financial worries of losing games and the stress is tangible. It's one area of the ground that desparately needs some primal scream therapy!
Hibs had it won after the second went in a few minutes later and I was sitting there watching the ball hit the net of the same goal that I would be defending at half-time during the penalty shoot out!
I'd met my 5 opponents at the pre-match hospitality. Nothing to worry about! Not a real striker amongst them. My worry was making a complete twat of myself in front of not only the famous North Stand and a load of friends and fellow supporters but also my Dad and Tara who were invited to the match!! What would she say if her Dad let the whole family down and she was left to cope with the humiliation of being remembered forever as "the kid who's dad made a complete arse of himself at Easter Road"!
I informed the nice lady from Carlsberg that I was no keeper and was meant to stick them in rather than keep them out!! I'm too big for a keeper! The first and only time I played for King's Park Primary a total bastard called Keith Smibert lobbed me from the half-way line 10 seconds into the match. I still have nightmares and find it difficult straying too far from a white line! ( shut it!!! :-) I played for a while with the Station Arms in Selkirk in forestry days and let in 9 goals in a Cup match!! I can't get down fast enough! One recurring joke was always that I hit the ground in instalments. High rise flats go down faster!!
The nice lady from Carlsberg took pity and offered an incentive! For every penalty I saved she would give me a case of lager!! That was enough! Sod family pride, this was about beer!!!
15 minutes before half time I headed for the changing room with the squad and waited impatiently for the call! The 5 shooters headed out first and then after a dynamic intro I headed for the goal! The adrenalin was pulsing and I ran - yes ran to the posts that I was about to defend! I was buzzing and felt 10 felt high! I was told by the shooters later that it seemed that way to them as I filled the gap between the sticks! My fingers curled round the bar and I planted my feet firmly in the sandy goalmouth!
The first shot went to my left and I didn't move!! Bugger! The player then placed the ball for his second out of 3 penalties. He was now cocky! Same place but this time I nailed it to a cheer from the North stand!! Third I missed! Second player came up and I saved his first, missed the second and the third went over the bar! I was still wondering if that counted toward a case when the third player rammed in his first! I missed the second, a well placed top left placement and then just as I thought the bubble had burst I saved the third with a spectacular (well it seemed that way to me!!) dive to the left.
My dad said that he'd already noticed that I was shit to my right (his words - thanks Dad) and so had the shooters.
I kept out one out of three and so the 4 guys left went to sudden death. Three of them hit home the other went off the bar! I saved the next one, the next went over the bar and the last one hit home with a beauty to get the prize - a crate of Lager!!! :-)
I'd just saved 5 crates!! The nice lady from Carlsberg felt that she'd been stung!!!!
I was "over the moon Barry" and headed for the stand to tumultous applause! Well OK, I could hear Tara clapping!! :-) I was so proud and feeling no pain!!
Piers and the Box offered congrats and the game ended with Hibs 3 Airdrie 0 Fish 5!!

After the match Tara and my Dad came back and I was with a tear in my eye as Tara stood outside the dressing room door waiting on Hibby autographs as 2 older generations looked at each other with wry smiles and a warm memory of a similar situation 30 years or so ago!
She hung on till the end and wouldn't leave until she had the "number 10, he's my favourite!". Russel Latapy from Trinidad came out and she had her photo taken by the Club photographer as she stood with all the other Hib's kids in complete moon faced wonderment!
The rest of the family went home after big hugs and Piers and I headed off to the welcome depravity of my favourite Easter Road boozer "The Four in Hand". The rest of the night became a blur of Irish singing in the Oxford bar and a succession of pint glasses and vodka shots as we manouevered our way to the Freaks meet down in Stockbridge. Others can relate this parable but all I'll say is that Bill McNie was so out of it he couldn't untie his laces when he got home and had to use a Stanley knife in order to get his shoes off!! I relate no further but will say that Piers and I had a great time and the company was brilliant!!
We got home at around 1am and spent the rest of the night watching an old SAHB video from the 74 USA tour followed by a classic Little Feat Rockpalast gig featuring one of Lowell's last performances. I left Piers on the couch.
Next morning we had to work as I had to do the singles review for the April issue of "the Front". Tough call but I did it and the results you can read in the mag!! The boy bands took a couple of mean hits!! :-0 I also found that I'd taken a couple of mean hits and at first put it down to the hangover. The pain came in like a Mexican wave and decided to hang around for a while. I thought that I'd done some serious damage as coughing curled me into a wee ball of spasmic white fear! I forgot about the physics of the occasion - one 220 pound six foot five inch forty one year old hitting solid ground 23 times in quick succession leads to agony after a night of carefree drinking!!
But you'll be pleased to know that I am wiser for the experience and my porch is better off by 5 crates of lager! An investment in pain that paid off in the end - better than touring!!!
I am now officially retired.

So children that is the story of the penalty king and his adventures at Easter Road stadium!

On other more pertinent notes -
The Haddington tapes are here and on their way out, likewise the German Convention video! All orders placed for either of these items will be autographed as promised as a thankyou for your patience in waiting for this hellishly delayed release!! Also we are now taking orders for Raingods With Zippos. The 24 page booklet is arriving early next week with the albums already here!
Cat No's are RR005 for RWZ price 13 pounds UK and 14 pounds for ex UK!
Clutching at Straws is cat no. FS029 and priced the same as RWZ!
Both prices include postage and packaging!

If you want to wait and buy at retail then you can still get the booklet free with any order from here for merchandise with a value of over 10 pounds sterling.

Finally as you know there are some acoustic gigs around the promo tour kicking off in mainland Europe. Another venue has just been added in Koln where we'll be playing Flanagan's Irish Pub in the Altstadt, a few minutes walk from the Saturn record shop where the signing session and wee gig is to be held! As with the other shows we'll be playing for around 30 minutes in the shop and then for around 90 minutes in the pub! Tickets for this show on the 20th April will be 30 Deutschmarks and can be obtained from the Company Germany - Mario Bolt. The limit is around 250 so be quick if you want to go as demand is extremely high!
Full address will be announced tomorrow!

There will be another Dutch show announced in the next few days and the news will be brought to you as soon as it's locked in! With Incomplete hitting the Top 100 in Holland at mid week at 67 it looks like things are really starting to kick off!! :-)

Someone mentioned I hadn't posted a big one for a while! I'll try one soon !! :-)))

Thanks for being out there!
a very happy and relieved
Onkel Fish x

Subject: Fwd: Fish 'Incomplete' midweek chart Holland!

Dear Fishheads,
Thought that I'd pass this on to you all from Mandy Salem, International Promo co-ordinator for Roadrunner records. On Friday 26th on Radio Forth FM (97.3 FM) Paula Whitelock is running the first of a series of interviews including a selection of tracks from Raingods. Her programme is on between 11 and 2 am and the clips will be played all week on her show! Listen in if you can!

Onkel Fish
Great news already!

Fish with Elisabeth Antwi single 'Incomplete' has a midweek chart entry of Number 67 in the Mega Top 100 Midweek Chart in Holland.
Fish has been doing continuous promo since 18th February. Beginning with a European promo tour of Holland, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Poland, Fish has been doing international phoners/promo for the rest of the world ever since. Fish will be doing further promotion for 'Raingods With Zippos' from 9th April when he will be going back to France, Germany, Holland and England to do various in-stores, fan club gigs, tv & radio appearance with Elisabeth, John Wesley and Tony Turrell.
PLEASE keep me informed of how the single and album do in your territory.

Best wishes

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