Email 18th March 2006

Subject: Fish 2006 - Convention and other tour news

Dear Fishheads, Freaks, Fans and the Company,
Things have been moving forward on the convention front as venues have been booked and facilities arranged.
We have secured permission for camping facilities in the town itself at the football pitches where the Company Scotland famously won the Company World Cup back in 2001. These are within a few hundred metres of both the Tyneside tavern and the Plough which will be the principal meeting points/drinking holes for the convention.
The Boy Scouts have offered to provide us with the Scout Hut which can accommodate 40 people in the main room in sleeping bags or camp beds. The building has toilets (male/female/disabled) as well as a small kitchen and other rooms which will be used to store items and valuables for those camping. We will be providing 24 hour security for the camping area based at the Scout hut as well as the building itself (which is already fenced and gated) from the Saturday morning until 12pm Sunday night. Camping for tents will be along the length of the football pitches. Further toilets will be made available at Haddington Football Club which is directly opposite the Scout Hut. Showers will be provided at the football club and the Aubigny centre nearby with the rugby club also offering help if required.
The Tyneside and the Plough will be serving breakfasts and will have other meals on offer as well during the weekend. There is also a barbecue at the Plough (which is directly next to the Corn Exchange) on offer. All food will have to be paid for separately.
Camping will cost £20 per tent for the weekend and if you want to bed down in the Scout hall then it is also £20 for the Saturday and the Sunday night. First 40 applicants will be accepted for the hall. The money will go to pay for the security and the remainder will be split as a contribution to the Scouts Association and the Haddington Football Club Youth team.
We would like to know numbers in advance so facilities can be added if required and the town can be notified of the area we need for tents.
Camping "tickets" can be paid when ordering the "weekend" convention tickets (more info later)

The Convention proper will kick off on the Saturday of the 26th around 10 am with an artwork exhibition at the Town Hall. Mark Wilkinson will have a number of original pieces on display (and some rarities) and will be conducting a 'live' airbrush painting of the 'Market Square Heroes' sleeve as well as providing an insight into his work in a question + answer session during the day. Mark will have ciglee prints of his artwork available for sale at the exhibition.
We also hope to have a whisky tasting display by the Scottish Malt Whisky Association in a room in the same venue which will also contain the Convention 'office' where Elspeth will have information on the weekend and be able to answer any queries you may have on arriving.
This venue will close at 3pm.

The Corn Exchange had been previously booked for the morning and afternoon but the bonus is that it will contain an antiques and arts fair running in conjunction with the monthly Farmers Market which takes place directly outside the venue. The market offers a whole range of local produce including venison, Ballencrieff sausages and, of course, haggis!

We hope to have other small venues in town where other gigs will be taking place during the day but especially during the "lunchtime session"!

We will take over the Corn Exchange around 3.30pm for a welcome speech and general question and answer session with myself until around 4.30 or so. Further activities will be arranged for the remaining time before the gig at St Mary's Church where the doors open at 6pm for our 6.45pm acoustic set. This is scheduled to finish around 8.45pm.

At 9pm the evening continues back at the Corn Exchange where the "Border Boogie Band" will be performing at a private party for convention attendees. There will be a bar inside the venue and the Plough will also have a barbecue and open air bar in their car park area outside.
The 'Border Boogie band' (formerly known as 'Blewitt' - my first ever band) are celebrating their 25th anniversary together and Frank Usher and I will be joining them on stage for some numbers. During the night we plan to have some party pieces and other events during the set breaks providing an all in all fun occasion that is scheduled to go on until around 1am :-D
Needless to say I will be retiring early!

Sunday kicks off around 1pm with various acoustic sets in the town. These are still being arranged. Again various "happenings" will occur in the Corn Exchange from 1.30pm with a "Weakest Link" special featuring myself and some other band members together with selected members of the fan club and hosted by none other than our own Elspeth Laidlaw (who has promised to dress accordingly! :-D ) Comedian Will Smith takes the stage at 3pm to a seated hall to perform his renowned "Misplaced Childhood" show. "Odin Dragonfly" will be on stage at the Corny around 4pm before an open sound check with my band at 5-6pm. Doors will open to the general public at 7.00pm with support on at 7.30pm.
We will take the stage around 8.45pm until after 11 utilising the full light/projection show we used at the Paradiso in Amsterdam for the DVD shoot. The venue will stay open until 12pm. Again there will be a bar inside the venue so farewell drinks can be had before we all hit the road home!

Laminated tickets for the weekend, including the Saturday St Mary's Church acoustic show, the Electric full band show and all events in the Corn Exchange are £50.00. Tickets for gigs only are £20.00. The laminates will identify which areas of access holders have purchased and will be supplied with a lanyard. (a £50.00 weekend pass will supply 3 laminates). Tickets for the Corn Exchange events are not available separately and laminates are only supplied with "full" weekend tickets.

There will be another gig at St Mary's Church on the Friday 25th August with doors at 6.45pm and performance at 7.30pm. This is an overspill show for the Saturday night and will go on sale once the Saturday show is sold out. Tickets however will be made available on request in advance for fans coming in from outside the UK in appreciation of their travel arrangements. For fans who would like to take in an extra performance tickets will be made available two months before the show. Should any tickets remain thereafter, they will be made available to the general public one month before the show. Tickets for this show (laminated in advance and "standard " to the general public) are £20.00.

St Mary's Church has a strict limitation on audience numbers and we only have 380 tickets for each night. The acoustic nights in the church are very special intimate occasions as some of you may remember from 2001. It is a completely different set from the "electric" gig!

When the Saturday acoustic show is sold out the "weekend" laminates will take in the Friday performance and the Sunday night performance.
For those people unable to travel on the Friday I advise booking early to ensure tickets for the Saturday night performance.

Tickets will go on sale from the 3rd of April. Details on how to purchase will follow in the next week.

More details will be made available as they come in and I hope to have an FAQ section on the web site to explain any aspects in more detail as the organisation develops. Any comments you may have are welcome and I suggest we use the Yahoo Fish Fans group mailing list to discuss problems or queries. I really want to make this convention one to remember and as such am planning to bring quite a few numbers into the set which have been ignored or been gathering dust for a while. Obviously rehearsal time is limited but enough to bring a few jewels into the light. Special guests are still in discussion but again I know certain names are committed with some others juggling diaries.
It's all starting to come together and your support for the occasion will make all the difference and make the weekend something truly special!

On to other news!

'Odin Dragonfly' (Heather Findlay and Angela Gordon from 'Mostly Autumn') will be supporting me on the Rotterdam 'Nighttown' show and the three UK dates in Wolverhampton, Scunthorpe and Liverpool in May.

I have been booked to appear on Rowan Rivrond's Radio 2 show "Jammin'", recording on the 23rd May. It's a major comedy show broadcasting on Saturday afternoon.

Photos and an article will appear in the Scottish Sun next week regarding myself and my girlfriend Heather Findlay and my involvement with the 'Mostly Autumn' shows at Glasgow University on the 23rd and Lochgelly Centre on the 24th March. I am singing a couple of numbers with the band, probably 'Just Good Friends' and 'Lucky'.

more to follow, things are starting to speed up

lots of love
Onkel Fish xx

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