Email 20th November 2003

Time: 15:47
Subject: Fish 2003 - Dutch Masters, hunting bears with airguns

Dear Freaks, Fishheads, Fans and the Company,

Although Saturday's win was excellent (and jammy) most Scots fans that had a grip on reality knew the payback was going to be hellish in Amsterdam! When my cat "Lucky" deserted the studio yesterday morning it was a bad sign. I arrived late at the Tyneside to discover my traditional seat at "alimony corner" had been taken by a wee English friend, another bad sign! The seating arrangements were out of kilter, badly affecting the Fengshui that had led to a scrambled victory at the weekend. I had to watch the game on another tv in the pub meaning that I was facing West rather than North and as I had to stand for the first half energies that should have been focused on creative attacking vibes were spent moving feet and balancing pints. Paul the owner mentioned that the 70 shilling had a strange taste. It wasn't good! At half time the pub was still hopeful - it was only 3-1 on aggregate and all we needed was a quick goal after half time and we were back in the game! At 4-0 I moved on to tequilas. At 5 the pub was staring at the floor. At 6 I was praying for it to be all over or for some charitable Dutch defender to put the ball in his own net as we weren't going to score. Hearing the Dutch crowd sing "Auld Lang Syne" was tough to take! The worst defeat in over 40 years!
Hats off to the Dutch though! It was a different team last night and they deserved the victory. Total football that must have sent a shiver through the other qualifying teams. Pity it had to be us that was taught the lesson!! :-(
This could be a very bad week. England poised to win the Rugby World Cup on Saturday and Hibs playing a buoyant Hearts on Sunday.
Valium anyone?:-)

lots of love
a gutted Onkel Fish who is not looking forward to the Dutch gigs next year! :-)

Time: 17:07
Subject: Fish 2003 - Preparing for Take Off

Dear Freaks, Fishheads, Fans and the Company,

Only a couple more gruelling road trips to Ca Va Studios in Glasgow along a motorway that is more of a cone and speedtrap collection rather than a major thoroughfare. The mixing process ends on Sunday when it will be delivered to Calum Malcolm for mastering on Monday. Mark Wilkinson has the album cover and inner 24 page sleeve under control and all parts will be delivered to the production plant next Wednesday. Rob Ayling should give me a definitive delivery date by then but it looks like we will have finished product by the week ending 20th December. We haven't had time to add new clips to the site this week as Elliot has been focusing on mixing the album and had a load of horn parts and the last vocal ("The Lost Plot") to sort out in Glasgow. However next week we will edit a number of soundbites to give you all an idea of what the finished album sounds like and at the same time give details of how and when you can order. If the dates work out as we hope there is a good chance that early orders will arrive just before Christmas.
I have been promised a tour schedule for the UK and mainland Europe next week. It's later than I would have liked but from what I know so far it will be a pretty conscise tour taking in most areas where we know there is a supportive fanbase. Any help you can give us on promotion of either the tour or the album is much appreciated and we will put details of promoters/venues etc on the website.
I am also planning to put together a cd with radio edits and short interview snippets in order to maximise the spread of promotion to independent stations and we will be taking on professional promotion agencies in all territories to support the campaigns. The album will not be released to retail until after the main tour in May after which we plan to continue operations throughout the Summer with a number of open airs and other gigs. We can't afford to buy advertising and will be dependent on the album "speaking" for itself and word of mouth carrying it on throughout the year.
I am confident that this will happen. As Bruce Watson said after hearing the first mixes, if we were on a major label they would be drooling over this album. There are more than a couple of tracks that immediately jump out as potential hit singles and hopefully this will be picked up at radio.
It's a strange time at the moment as for many of you "Field of Crows" has crept up over the last few months. To think that in less than a month it will be unveiled in public is a weird feeling for all of us involved in the project.
I'll let you know a lot more next week and I look forward to hearing what you think of the next set of clips as well as the artwork ideas that will also be up on display on the website.

Last piece of news is that I'll be in Aberdeen tomorrow taking part in the BBC Scotland Children in Need programme on both TV and Radio. Part of my contribution is judging a mermaid competition! Me the Third Earl of Spittalrig, at night, in a strange seaport with some chilled chablis and a nest of aquatic beauties? :-))
Probably worth buying the News of the World on Sunday then? :-)

Until next week then
lots of love
Onkel Fish
ps I will be playing the Chiddingfold and Southampton shows with the SAS band in December!

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