Email June 29th 2007

Fish 2007 - "Just another day on the circle line"

Dear Fishheads, Freaks, fans and the Company,

Well there are bad days and bad days and this was a bad day. I woke up this morning ("got myself a gun....") to discover the bottom of the bed covered in blood. Harley my "fighting" cat has been having a bit of a scrap with a neighborhood Tom who's been coming into the studio and eating the cat food. Harley has been defending territory and hasn't been coming off well in the scraps. I had him at the vet on Tuesday. Forty five quid for an antibiotic injection for a badly swollen infected leg! This wound is to the lower neck and was deep enough to leave a blood trail across the studio floor. Now feeling sorry for himself and recovering.

One of the goldfish in the "Celtic pool" has a parasitical infection and is the size of a spiky tennis ball. I've been treating the water for a couple of days now but I get worried that it might spread. There are only three fish in that particular pond but I'm treating the pond on "Heartbreak Ridge" where there are 12 or so denizens (and a large frog) just in case.

Tara is now on school holidays but was off for two days with food poisoning which she contracted at a friend's house from badly defrosted chicken. Holidays means the "Bank of Dad" is called upon more regularly and she blew her pocket money over the weekend going to 4 gigs! She is supposed to be painting outside doors around the house to earn money but as always it turns into "Huckleberry Finn" and all her mates appear with brushes as she assumes executive painter mode!

And I picked up a virus on Sunday which has gradually crawled into my system and taken my voice out. I am a bit pissed off as it hit me out of the blue. Frank had it the week before and considering I stopped smoking a couple of weeks ago in preparation for the album it's a double piss off! It's more of a hassle than a worry as we are way ahead on the album and I have all next week to finish the last four songs and sing against the versions we already have to see if I can beat the "comps". Comps are compilations of various takes I have already sung and represent the best vocals I have sung so far. I lost a chunk of my top range but the lower edge is full on and makes for a lot of presence and depth in my voice. The harder songs were out of the register but Calum and I had a go at "Thirteenth Star" this afternoon after two days of resting. I sung it an octave down from where I intended and as Calum said "someone smiled on us" as the version we got is packed with emotion. So much emotion in fact that I had to "take 5" a few times as the subject matter was getting to me. We also managed to get "maps" of "Openwater" and "Arc of the Curve", a lyric I completed last night. Maps are when we sort out the melodies, phrasing and approach before going for full takes. Obviously my voice needs to recover before we go for full takes but all things going well that should be tomorrow. I have Sunday off but still have all off next week to finish the album as the band will be rehearsing without me and mapping out the new set before I go in to work with them at the tail end of next week.

I will be down in London on Sunday on my day off as Tara and I have been invited down to the Genesis gig at Twickenham. I wasn't originally going to go but one of my best and long serving friends, Jon Crawley, who worked for Charisma Records way back in Marquee days, and latterly with the Genesis management, and who I stay with regularly when in town gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. It'll be great to see the guys again and I am genuinely looking forward to the show. A nice break from the grief here at the Studio and a chance for Tara to meet some of her heroes :-) Yes, she continues the family tradition! :-)
I get back on Monday morning to continue vocalising and working with Calum at his studio in North Berwick. I think the "busman's holiday" will be inspiring! I then have two full days to finish what I need to get done before the backing vocal sessions on Wednesday.
The backing vocalist is Lorna Bannon and we should have all her contributions sorted out in one day. Lorna of course worked with me before on "Suits", "Songs From The Mirror" and "Sunsets on Empire". She has a fantastic range and is perfect for what Calum and I need. The bv's are slightly scaled down from our original ideas as the songs have changed over the last 4 weeks and we all feel that there's more than enough with the main vocal to hold the songs together. Lorna won't be coming on the road and as yet I am undecided as to whether we need a female vocal out there as I have Chris, Foss, Gavin and Steve that can back me up if need be. I will definitely not have bv's on the festivals. Time will tell if we need them in the long run.

And then just after the strained and emotional session today I took a phone call from a mate who asked me if I had seen the Daily Record. Turns out my ex had conducted an interview with the paper in order to advertise their support slot as first guests on the Bryan Adams gig at Murrayfield stadium next month. One mention of her band and the rest was all about me. The headline "Coldfish, Star had no time for romance" said it all and to be honest I don't want to get into details. All I'll say is that it wasn't as I remembered things happening and obviously having been publicly condemned in some quarters for talking to the papers about us a few weeks ago it may seem a bit hypocritical.

Anyway it's a cue for not one but two lyrics. I think they are quite romantic ;-)
Ironically the first one I finished last night as the papers rolled out of the press in Glasgow, the other was written in January on my "road to Damascus".

Arc of the Curve

Do you remember the magic of the moment, when forever was only words away,
When we believed everything was certain,
All we had to do was fulfill promises we'd made,
Cherish hope between us and our dreams were always safe,
We'd always be together and in that I had my faith
I put a ring upon your finger, and that smile upon your face
And I told you, that I couldn't love you more,
And we longed for the arc of the curve.
We launched on the arc of the curve,
We touched the stars.

The fairy tale, the breathless rush of romance,
If love is blind then I will never see again,
When we awoke the spell remained unbroken,
Our souls entwined, in afterglow, you held my beating heart,
Blew away my shadows, you kissed the tears from my eyes,
And you told me that you couldn't love me more,
We sailed on the arc of the curve,
We flew on the arc of the curve,
And touched the stars.

The days are long the nights are longer,
In every minute there's a thought of you,
I can't forget the magic of the moments,
I stare into the mirror to pretend I'm not alone,
It takes everything I have not to call you on the phone,
Just to tell you that I couldn't love you more,
That I'm lost on the arc of the curve,
Careering on the arc of the curve,
Crashing on the arc of the curve.
This arc of the curve.

I could never contemplate that you would ever walk away.

C Derek Dick 2007

Thirteenth Star

With a heart full of sky, your eyes full of moon, I left you dying, I heard you cry,
Just a fool to myself, there could be nobody else, I was lying to even think I could survive without our love, I can't deny it.

Then you showed me the way, and I will follow,
To the end of my days, and you know I will follow
The thirteenth star.

There's a point in your life, you got to reach and when you do, you know it, and now I'm here,
If I held out my heart and offered my hand would you take it, if I showed you the stars would you follow,
Let me show you the way, to the end of our days, will you follow me to the thirteenth star!

There's a point in your life, you got to reach and when you do, you know it, and now I'm here,
If I held out my heart and offered my hand would you take it, if I showed you the stars would you follow, let me show you the way to the thirteenth star.

I follow the thirteenth star.

C Derek W Dick 2007

And yes the first line of the last song was deliberate!

It's Friday night and I retire to my "blue house" to water the plants and finish the lyric to "Where in the World". I am eight lines short. Steve V arrives tomorrow and the rest of the band on Sunday. Set list is complete and it's a stormer. The plan is to mould the "Clutching" material within the set rather than isolate it as a separate entity. It's not like "Misplaced" which required being played as a whole and I think the material sits well with the new tracks and the solo songs I've picked out. A lot of work but what's new? ;-)

Until next time,

lots of love
Onkel Fish xx


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