Subject: Fish 2000 - The Farm location and our first Fellini night!
Dear Freaks, Fishheads, Fans and the Company,
Well finally the team assembled on Wednesday night for our first Gathering. Wes and JY had arrived the previous night and had already ran up a tab in the Tyneside with Yatta who was up in Scotland sorting out nuts bolts and flightcases.
I'd been in London on an invite from Nigel Sherwood to a media party at the opening of a new pub in Islington. Great night all round and a meeting with my good friend and film producer Eric Rowan confirmed my acting slot in "Clarinda" (the Burn's movie with Johnny Depp) next August and a part in another movie "Stoned" being filmed later in the year. "Stoned" is the film based on Andrew Loog Oldham's vision of Soho in the 60's as seen through his role as Rolling Stones manager. It features Eddie Izzard and Matt Le Blanc. I also had a chance to talk in depth about the fan Club convention at Charlie Brown's in October as Nigel Sherwood is the Boss of the occasion.
He is doing a rousing job raising the press to support these gigs and I hope they will both make a big impression.
Wednesday was exciting as people met for the first time and prepared for an adventure together that will take us on a curve for at least 4 months all over the World. The gear had arrived from the States and all the musos had set up in a studio I though would have long been demolished or been full of some new fresh dot comet talent clacking on keyboards. I would never have thought that here I would be once again embarking on another project with the same nervousness and electric buzz that accompanies first days jamming. I needn't have worried about the chemistry. There's another new energy about the unit and with Alan Brown's extreme enthusiasm on the kit, matched with Steve's knowledge and technique, this rhythm section looks like it will make a huge impact. Wes and JY mould together perfectly and no better endorsement could be had on the night when after quite a few bottles of vino we managed to get the bones of two new songs from our first session.
"Blind Man Walking" is a groove and a half with severe dynamics worthy of classic Floyd/Doors, spoken section and all! :-) The other is a very Arabic Tango with the title of "Is This You". I am working on lyrics and directions etc during the day and joining the band at night for rehearsals and writing sessions. Wes, Alan and JY work on the older material for the shows during the day and Steve joins us at night till late for full band work. We don't have long so time has to be split carefully between the two jobs.
As well as writing and working on Fellini Days I still have to get the business end together and have to talk the talk with bank managers and such, as I try and get the house/recording/touring situation on line in the first weeks to allow me the relative peace to concentrate on what I am supposed to be good at! It'll happen, and there is too much synchronicity around to make me feel anything other than that this is all supposed to happen. There honestly are too many Fellini moments around to even think negatively just now.
I have to play an SAS gig at a private party in Beaconsfield this Saturday and JY is away gigging that night. The weekend will have a bit of respite from what is for us all a demanding schedule. Some people have questioned whether I can put this together and get the album written. I think we can.
We won't be playing or attempt to play a completed album at Charlie Brown's. We will be playing what has been written so far and what we feel confident of performing. That is the whole idea behind Fellini Days and I will be outlining my thoughts behind this in a forthcoming E-mail. It's a radically different approach to making albums and I sincerely hope you will support me with this.
Finally some news on the gig front. The SAS tour has changed slightly and these are the finalised tour dates:
Weds 6th The Brook Southampton
Thurs 7th The Brook (Box office 023 8055 5366)
Fri 8th Chiddingfold, Surrey
Sat 9th Chiddingfold (SAS ticket office - Jill Davies Mon - Fri, 10am - 6pm, 020 8761 2329)
Sun 10th London Shepherd's Bush Empire
Mon 11th Cambridge Corn Exchange
Tues 12th Liverpool, Royal Court Theatre
Weds 13th York, Barbican
Thurs 14th Edinburgh Usher Hall
Fri 15th Manchester Apollo (Paul Young Tribute Show)
Credit Card Hotline for all of the above gigs 08705 321321
Please note the changes in venues from the last e-mail.
I will also be playing more gigs for the Army in Northern Ireland before Christmas. These are not open to the public but I will be attempting to get passes for Irish Company members who have been waiting on a return to the island for quite a while. Any Irish members please contact me privately on this and I'll get back to you with any news on the possibility of attending.
Lots of stuff happening every day - it's never boring here at the farm! East Lothian-enders! Your very own Prog soap opera! :-))))
Tomorrow - the story of Alan! His Mother and Father's visit to the farm to make sure he isn't joining a drug crazed cult! His arrival with bags for his week's lock in and the question of "who brought their own breakfast cereal AND milk to the farm! :-))))))))))))
He is "sweeter" and squeekier than Squeeks! Official from Tammi! :-)))))
Also what is it with Wes and soup? Is he the new Soup Dragon or just another Clanger? How out of it will Bubs be tonight as he realises he has a long lie tomorrow? Will JY finally decipher the discs from the last tour and join Wes in a second pint of 70 shilling at the Tyneside? Can they consume more than one in an hour and remain standing?
Keep watching! East Lothian Enders... directed by Fellini! :-)
lots of love
Onkel Fish x
Email 6th October 2000