Email 6th April 2000

Subject: Fish 2000 - Lights, camera, action! Dying on stage in Renfrew

Dear Freaks, Fishheads, Fans and the Company,

Just got back from Glasgow yesterday after shooting "Skin Deep" for the next Taggart programme. Two very long and heavy days that began at 2pm and finished at 3am. First day was draining as I had a fight with the "missus", beating her up just before the cop arrives to beat me up!! I ended up skewered on a "coat hook". I was well battered and bruised by the fight scenes and my throat was raw with all the shouting and screaming throughout the day. Well powerful btw - the non smoking Fish definitely has improved! :-))) Next day was a driving "stunt" and hanging about quite literally till 3am on the coat hook dripping in stage blood. There are a load of photos of me as a corpse for your perusal on the site soon. I may be using these for an insurance scam so keep them to yourself ! :-)))))))
I can't say too much about the plot etc or I'll spoil it for you! BTW "Taggart" is the most "sold" programme in the World even outstripping "Friends". STV license the Taggart programmes to literally hundreds of countries and channels and it seemingly is one of the most popular TV detective shows in France! Before you ask I don't have a transmission date - I'll let you know!
Inspector Rebus "Black and Blue" is scheduled for the 26th April on ITV and not the 11th as I was prevously told. Please adjust your VCR's!

"Salvation's Door" has finally been green lighted with a two million pound budget for July and August with rehearsals in June. This effectively wipes the Summer and as I thought throws the Convention into a later slot in the year. I plan to spend April and May between the gym and the writing room in order to at least get Fellini Days off and running as I prepare for the rigours of the Salvation's Door movie. I will probably be attending the Cannes Film Festival with Eric Rowan as he moves forward with the Clarinda project which some of you may have been reading about in the press recently (Johnny Depp is probably to play Robert Burns). Eric will be there with fellow Clarinda producer James Cosmo who will be at Cannes for the premier of the All Saints movie which he starred in as the band's "manager". For all you Trainspotters out there the All Saints film is directed by Eurythmic Dave Stewart who wrote the music for "Jute City". James Cosmo although a well known Scottish actor for years really came to fame in Braveheart as Wallace's Dad. Braveheart also had a performance from David O Hara (Jute City) and Tam White as the McGregor! Tam White also acts in Rebus! I will be writing some lyrics for tracks on the soundtrack album and singing a couple of songs both traditional and original compositions as well as acting in a small role in the movie. Shooting is hopefully early next year.

All this acting work rules out any gigs in the Summer apart from a SAS gig in Malta on the 1st July which should be confirmed this week.
I may be at the Feast of Hope as an international wine taster but will not be performing.

I am waiting on confirmation of another movie starting in late August. As yet no firm details but it looks very likely to happen. This will take me through to late September / early October. As I obviously will not be on set all of the time when filming the album will be pieced together during the year and recorded in a suitable gap for release on mail order in late Autumn. I plan to indulge in a brief tour soon after release and this will be when the array of Fan Club conventions will take place. I don't see me being on the road for longer than 3 weeks maximum. The Haddington Convention will be a cold place for campers but with it held till a very quiet holiday time, the flights and accommodation should be a lot cheaper. Please, please, please don't book any accommodation until I have confirmed the dates as I am getting grief in the Tyneside from Bed and Breakfast owners who have been taking and having to cancel bookings!
The Issue 30CD is with Calum Malcolm for mastering and will be in production next week. The track listing is as follows-
1 Emperors Song / Credo / What Colour is God / Mr 1470 medley
2 Plague Of Ghosts
3 Cliche/ Perception of Johnny Punter
4 Incomplete
5 Sunsets on Empire
6 The Company

All tracks are from the Haddington Convention '99 and have been mixed by Elliot Ness.
I am still undecided on the "Candlelight in the Fog" gig or list but it seems that the show on the album will be the Philly show as the other tapes were not as good quality. With this in mind I am thinking about using the 97 Milwaukee show as a filler to add to the overall album and give a US live album covering both tours. As well as changing the format I will be making this a mail order item only and using the European shows which I have more material to choose from as an official retail release as the live album from that tour. If we do this on Chocolate Frogs then that will give me a late Summer release which can also to be honest help fund the recording of Fellini Days which I will once again be covering on my own without record company "help".

The Philly show is a great show and has a brilliant vibe and I have no qualms about releasing this. I however feel that the European shows are generally slightly better quality and provide a great example of what the '99 band was about. I am working on the Candlelight CD all next week in order to get this out asap. I'll let you know when I have a better idea as the Milwaukee show will need to be ok'd by musos involved before mastering. I am interested in what you think on this idea. As the thrust is changing I realise that some of you may not like this new "compilation" piece and the European shows taking "point" so to speak! The entire Philly show will be on 'CiF' and the Milwaukee show will make up the rest of the recording space available. The European album will be taken from a number of shows that we have including Amsterdam, Poznan, Koln and others all "pre fog". I would like to get the 'CiF' CD out mid-May at the latest. I realise that you have been more than patient and Tammi and I sincerely appreciate your understanding on all this.

The fanzine is at the printers on Monday so we can get the Issue 30CD out with the Issue 31 fanzine! Huge slice of US tour diary and a bundle of photos on 74 pages.

Late news - I'll be in Luxembourg on the 17th June singing a couple of songs with T42. It's their birthday party and good friend and Luxembourg promoter John Rech invited me down for a session. I don't know the venue yet but it's an open air near where the '97 show was planned before the rain came down and washed the stage away! :-)

On a personal note the family lost my Aunt Liz, the last of my aunts and uncles and my Mum's only surviving sister. She had a long and exciting life and had come back to Dalkeith just months before her husband Charlie Lilley died in the mid-80's. As a weird co-incidence, Charlie came from Preston and served as a regimental Sergeant Major with the Royal Scots in Burma during the Second World War. During the campaigns he served at one time with Preston-born Tony Turrell's grandfather who mentioned him in his war diaries. We discovered this coincidence at a Chinese meal in Genoa last year!
Fellini day, anyone?

The ruin has been cleared and is now being examined by the structural surveyors. With the house market now alive after the winter, Tammi and I hope to be able to vastly simplify our lives in the very near future. The waiting is tense but the promise of a new freedom is a big high. It's been difficult to concentrate on anything else just now and apart from the filming all else has been dominated by the financial and business issues I am trying to clear up and put in order. With some work on line this year I feel a lot more comfortable than I did a few weeks ago and as soon as I have the agreements I need in place I can get back to organising the rest of my life! :-)
Before I head off into the ether, spare a thought for me on Sunday as I'll be at Hampden Park Glasgow with Tara and my Dad at the Hibernian v Aberdeen Scottish Cup semi final. It's live on Sky Sports at 6pm if you're interested. Three generations of Hibby's at Hampden - now that's something!
For my Southern friends all I have to say is - Were the raingods smiling at Murrayfield last Sunday or what!?:-))))))))))
It's great being Scottish sometimes! :-)))))))

lots of love
Onkel Fish x

ps. I'll be on BBC Radio Scotland's "On the Ball" programme on Saturday at 1pm and 5.30pm discussing the Cup semi's this weekend!

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