Email 11th May 2000

Subject: Fish 2000 - Captain Invincible - "Into the Blue"

Dear Freaks, Fishheads, Fans and the Company,

Tis me! back again with a plethora of info and interesting crapola! :-)

Starting with radio stuff which I've been overloaded with in recent weeks. I'll be on the Nicky Campbell show on Monday 15th at 11am being interviewed on the subject of my career with respect to the switch from music to acting. 5 Live transmits on 909 and 693 MW and they will be taking calls on the show. For those of you who remember Nicky hasn't been much of a fan of mine in recent years so there could be a few sparks if he tries to take the piss. It's a shame he will be in London and I'll be in Edinburgh talking via ISDN. He will probably feel a bit safer! :-) Give us a ring if you're up and get involved!

Radio profile has also extended to the Fred MacCauley show on BBC Scotland with an interview on "unusual hobbies" and yours truly discussed an old fascination with military modelling and wargaming. There was silence during my soliloquy! They weren't sure if I was on a wind up or not! :-)

Football interests gave me a spot on BBC Scotland on the pre and after match comedy programme "On The Ball" with Tam Cowan and Stuart Cosgrove. A very funny duo who always rip into me every chance they get and who love having the treatment returned. How many puns on "fish" do you think there are? They have them all plus some extras!
I did a spot for STV's car programme due out in late Summer where the psychiatrist in residence had to guess the owner of a vehicle presented to him. He has to discover the identity through various clues! I had a chainsaw in the back of the van! :-)

On the acting front "Salvation's Door" is STILL not fully greenlighted even though the latest script is superb. John Hales the writer/director is fully confident that shooting will begin this August but as always the backers are slow in getting the wallets out and without funding in place the wheels can't turn.

I've also been offered an indy movie "Hillwalkerz" by Scottish writer/director Martin McGreechin. We meet to discuss the script next week but if I decide to go for it this will mean a short shoot in June. The role is a gangster!

I've also been offered another movie "Seagulls on Speed" by writer Graeme Scarfe. I read the script this week and it is incredibly well written and even more funny. The story is highly original and I hope that this gets the production deal it deserves. The role is again a gangster with a twist and as the character is totally over the top and it is a very dark comedy it is an offer I can't refuse!

The 20 foot giant in the Monkey King didn't happen and tbh I am kind of glad. I never liked the original programme and I think it might have damaged my "hard man" image that seems to be growing rapidly. As the press officer from "Taggart" told me after watching "Rebus" - "You seem to be cornering the market in Sleaze bags!" :-)
A good article in the Scottish Sunday Mail by Billy Sloan gave me a great wee write up and had a photo from the "Taggart" set. (copy on it's way to the site).
As you can see the acting projects are coming in quite thick and fast and I have to be careful in allocating time too far ahead. The plan is till to write and record "Fellini Days" in the Summer / Autumn for release on mail order in December to coincide with a short European tour which concentrates on Fanclub Conventions and takes in other territories in order to maximise on promotion for the release to retail in the early Spring. Robin Boult has already volunteered his services on the album but as yet no-one else has been approached as I am taking a lot of care on laying the foundations for the next part of my music career. I am still waiting on settling the existing deal with Roadrunner who have now stopped all production on the titles in the catalogue. Once that occurs I will be able to organise the future releases for later this year and this will probably involve allowing RR a free market to sell through existing stock. This will mean that my albums will become even more harder to find at retail outlets than they are now! :-0

Issue 30 CD and the new fanzine were sent yesterday so you should have them in the UK in a day or so and in Europe and the US etc in the coming week. The 72 page fanzine is hilarious as it contains the tour diary from the US tour as well as a bundle of photos with captions discovered under the influence! Everyone who has heard the Issue 30 CD so far has been blown away. Elliot Ness and Calum Malcolm have done a great job on the production and together with Mark Wilkinson's artwork it makes a great package. I don't think anyone will be disappointed with the album and I'm sure you will agree it was worth the wait to get it done right!
On the subject of waiting! "Candlelight in the Fog" is getting sorted. Andy Williamson my engineer finally discovered that he had the NYC Mini disc but as he is away with Jethro Tull doing outfront on the World Tour getting it has been a problem. It is now sorted and I expect to be working on the album next week. I don't know the quality of the Irving Plaza set but if I remember rightly it was a stunning first half. Calum Malcolm is waiting to start the mastering as soon as I compile the tracks. Once you have listened to the Issue 30 CD you will understand why I want him involved.
If this turns out as I hope with a combination of the NYC and Philly show then I will be considering this as a bona fide release in the States. I apologise to all of you who have been more than patient on this. It would have been easy to just throw a live show out but I want to make sure it's the best quality of material and packaging that we can muster. As part of a recruiting drive and stock sell off before we move house (hopefully we find a buyer soon - it's Summer and doesn't scare the Southerners as much once the polar bears migrate!) there are a number of sale items on the merchandise list. We decided to keep the postage at the same levels even though rates have risen in recent weeks. Our postage rates will remain until the end of July when the next list goes out. On top of that anyone who has bought or plans to buy "Candlelight in Fog" will receive a voucher for 2 pounds which you can use on any double live CD on our mail order catalogue until the end of July. You can use this on top of any Company discount you may be entitled to on those titles or other articles as shown on the new merch list as being part of this deal. The voucher can only be used on our mail order service so don't go walking into your local store and asking for discount! :-)
I hope this goes a little way to appeasing those of you who have patiently waited for the new live album.

On rummaging through the cupboard we found around 150 of the original "Outpatients" CDs with autographed and numbered covers. This was the first release on Fishy Records and contains as well as "The Seeker", "Out of my Life" and "Time and a Word" a track that should never again see the light of day called "Swing your bag" featuring none other than ex genesis singer Ray Wilson (currently the Rock Jock on Scot FM). There are a couple of good tracks by artists swallowed by the fog of the business but as a completist these are the last cd's of this title as it is now deleted.

I will be working with Voiceprint on a DVD of Kettle of Fish and the 97 "Sunsets on Empire" Polish gig (shot in widescreen) for release in Autumn. We will be building a lot of other pieces into the programme including an interview on the contents and other stuff of interest to access on the disc. Voiceprint are very excited about this and the American DVD distributors consider this a superb music DVD. More news as it happens. It would be ironic to make in-roads in America through this medium rather than through a "pure" album.

On the subject of touring both Tony's Tour Diary from the European tour and the new US tour diary will be added to the web site in the coming weeks.

I have a couple of additions and news on the touring front.
The SAS Malta gig is not yet confirmed and the Amsterdam show on the 4th July is a corporate gig for Microsoft engineers! :-o This sadly means no outsiders can buy tickets! :-( I was so looking forward to an SAS show at the Paradiso and an even better night out with the Curry Boys! I don't think Bill will be there but if he is then you can be sure I'll be asking him if he needs a pad in Scotland! :-)
The T42 gig is now confirmed with the addition of a warm up in Belgium on Friday June 16th. The Belgian gig is in "The Twilight Cafe" Nidrum next to St Vith (Hi Alex!!) at 10pm after the Holland v Denmark European Championship game. Nidrum is a small place less than an hour away from Luxembourg. Tickets are around 20DM's and can be ordered from Patrick at the club tel. (evenings) 0032 8022 6016.
On Saturday the gig is in the Townhall Square Duddelange just outside Luxembourg city. T42 will be on stage at around 11pm and Wolf Maahn will be headlining. The gig is free. T42's singer has been a family friend for years and asked me to come down to his birthday celebrations which are combined with T42's 10th anniversary to make a big party occassion. I'll be singing "The Company", "Roadhouse Blues" and a T42 track for my supper.

I have confirmed another tour in Bosnia with SSVC who are the entertainment agents for the British Army. I'll be playing 7 acoustic shows there between the 6th and 15th July. I don't know all the venues yet but we are flying into Sarajevo this time. This is part of a two-part Army tour as we are going to Kosovo for 7 shows in January. The band will be Frank Usher and Aaron Lawson on guitars, Steve Vantsis on Bass, Foss Patterson on keyboards and an as yet unspecified drummer. Squeeky has taken a full time job in an Edinburgh drum shop and can't get the time off. It is a sad indictment of the live scene at the moment when a drummer of his capability and experience can't get enough work to keep himself going. He will however be able to play on the Winter tour. Squeeks is helping me find a replacement for the tour. As it's more of a percussion gig rather than a full blown kit there are some options.
BTW I am very aware of the suggested major concert extravaganza in Kosovo this June. SSVC will probably be involved but the parties that are furthering the idea know of my existance and history down there and if it comes off I hope to be on the bill.
I will be playing at the Feast of Hope in Geneva Switzerland on the 27th May however it will be only a couple of as yet unspecified songs with some Swiss musos and perhaps something in French with the boys from Zebda depending on how the International wine tasting goes! :-) I am there as more of a guest rather than as an artiste and please do not come down expecting anything in terms of a Marillion reunion as rumoured. That is definitely not happening. Steve Hogarth is the only person from that band attending and there are no plans for a recurrence of last year as he has his own solo band and own plans for the event none of which I am involved with. This is also a free gig.

On the subject of solo artists how many of you caught our very own Liz Antwi on Top of the Pops last week. She is currently at number 10 in the charts under the name of Elisabeth Troy (her middle name) as guest singer with MJ Cole.
She looked great, hat and all, and I must admit feeling real proud of our girl. I really hope she finds her dream and makes a name for herself as a successful solo act as she deserves. It's a shame that her talent wasn't noticed on "Incomplete" or even "Tilted Cross" but if Liz Troy "happens" as I hope then it would be a lot easier to get airplay on those tracks in future should someone decide to re-release them, although the credits would have to be changed around! :-)
More Happy News - Bruno my great friend from Switzerland who also works for the Swiss record company who have been dealing with me since 93 and who came over to Wes' wedding in Florida (they met in a fountain in Winterthur on the Raingods acoustic promo tour! see archives!) is marrying Taz Sturdy, Wes' great friend from Michigan. They met at the wedding in Ruskin county and fell immediately in love with each other. A road trip through snowstorms to Taz's home in Colorado cemented the relationship and resulted in Taz moving to Zurich a few weeks ago. They are getting married in Zurich the day before the Feast of Hope and Tammi, my Taz and myself will see them that weekend.
Who says there's no romance in the World! :-)

I have been sweltering in a rare bout of Scottish Summer. Like all true Jocks I was out copping rays and weeding the garden while singing along with my new copy of the Floyd live "Wall". Hours later it was time for the after sun in big scoops from the bucket. I never learn! :-)
I've been in the garden pondering Fellini and getting my fingers green. It flattens the tyres a bit above the belt line as well as providing some much needed therapy and relaxation while at the same time makes the place attractive to would be buyers! :-0 I got a chance to listen to some music that I wouldn't normally sit down and listen to as a session. My good friend Tyler P sent me some new stuff from the States (Thanks T!) and so I ran some discs through while knee-deep in the shrubbery discovering just where the cats go to read the newspapers in the morning! :-0
Most disappointing - Oasis Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (should have been called Sheltering Under the Armpits of Dwarves!) Not a decent song on it. The production is wonderful but as they say in Scotland "a gold plated turd". I'd say "anytime Liam" but I heard there was a queue! :-))))))))))))) Seriously though I was well disappointed as the earlier songs had character and were a wee bit less blatant about sources! This is just sad. I prefer the Ruttles.
"Anyone Out There" - I didn't think it would be as good as it was! I am so used to the Studio version that I was taken aback by some of the solos etc! Great packaging that made me jealous! :-) Don't even ask for something close!!!!
Find of the year so far - Eliades Ochoa - Sublime Illusion (Virgin CDVIR 85 7243 8 47494 2 2) A Spanish flamenco act who has played with amongst others Ry Cooder. Don't ask - try and find a listen! I say no more! :-)
Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now - her covers album leads me into the cold beer moment at close of play. If you've not heard it yet then why not? Sheer class but beware! Do not listen to while depressed or while drunk!:-)

So that's it for another while! Off into the Sun again and the Wilderness of Weeds! It's strange to see the weather maps showing Southern Britain with rainstorms and flashfloods with thunder and lightning accompanying! Maybe the curse has lifted! :-)))))
Until next time!

lots of love

Onkel Fish x

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