Email July 2nd 2007

Fish 2007 - The water under the bridge

Dear FishHeads, Freaks, fans and the Company,

Another rain drenched day in Scotland and I am trapped by the film footage coming out of Glasgow airport. The images are horrendous but thank God there don't seem to any serious casualties as the car bomb (or so it seems) did not detonate properly. The chilling thought I am living with is that Tara was supposed to fly from Glasgow to Berlin today but as I decided to take her to see Genesis her trip to Berlin was put off for a week. It is frightening and it's the first terrorist attack in Scotland for as long as I can remember and drills the point home that nowhere is safe these days. Steve V flew into Edinburgh just an hour ago and was caught up in the heightened security as all traffic into the airport has been turned away. With a heavy schedule of flights to festivals in the coming weeks travelling is not a pleasant prospect.

Another quiet day in the studio as I am still recovering from the virus and not yet ready to record vocals. It's getting better every day and with a day off tomorrow I should be perfect for Monday when I move to Calum's studio in North Berwick for the sessions. Calum and I finished all the mappings today and got guides on "Where in the World?", the penultimate song on the album. Calum has already "comped" the "Thirteenth Star" vocal and reckons we have it in the can (as we used to say in the days of tape :-D). It is a far different approach as I said in the last email but it carries the emotion of the song and more.

The lyrics are complete and I must admit that this album has been the toughest experience that I have ever coped with emotionally and mentally. The lyrics have been unbelievably difficult as I struggled to cope with so many powerful mixed feelings and try to focus on what I set out originally to write while dealing with periods of extreme sadness and anger.
I started working with the lyrical ideas last October shortly before I originally split with Heather Findlay. There was a melancholy to that period as I knew the end of the relationship was impending for reasons that were obvious. The separation propelled me into a retrospective outlook but at the same time the model of the concept came into being. As most of you already know this is my 13th studio album but the number also pertained to the number of women who had made an impact in my life and who had left their marks one way or another. The twelve go right back to my childhood with Aileen who I had a massive crush on at Kings Park primary school in Dalkeith, Moira my next door neighbour as a teenager, Lesley my first "proper" girlfriend in my late teens, Kay etc. Heather was number twelve and the "13th Star" signified the dream of finding true and everlasting love. The idea for the album title obviously arrived after October with the previous working title being "The Water Under the Bridge". It was after the collapse of our relationship last year when I was contemplating my life and in particular my previous relationships and my journey and how it had been affected and re-routed by all the collisions of the heart that I realized the number 13 came up again. Too much of a coincidence to ignore.
As the months went by and I entered this year the situation changed and I went on my "road to Damascus". The decision to re-evaluate my entire stance on family and commitment and follow my heart meant that my emotions journeyed on a new high and I genuinely thought that I had found my "13th Star" for real. The content and the approach to the writing took a new curve.
Lyrics to "Circle Line", "Zoe 25" (previously "Micklegate"), "13th Star", "Square Go" and bits of others came to be and the story of the character's journey from banal, aimless, uninspired, directionless living ("Circle Line"), the frustrations and repressed anger ("Square Go"), the source of initial loss ("Miles de Besos"), the fantasy and daydream ("Zoe 25") , the new love and new journey ("Arc of the Curve"), the insecurity and lack of trust and the disengagement ("Manchmal"), the return and reciprocated disengagement ("Openwater"), the analysis, sense of loss and anger ("Dark Star"), the questioning and desire to rekindle the love ("Where in the World") and revelation, the plea for reconciliation and the promise of the future and the new journey ("13th Star") all started to make sense.
Unfortunately the reality of my personal situation changed and as the weeks went by it became very difficult to find the source of inspiration to complete the curve of the album and in particular the "love" songs. It came down to involve dipping into my past and bending the recent experiences to suit. Bungee jumping into a well of emotions became the order of the day. I nearly drowned a couple of times and had to hold my breath some days. But now the writing is complete and I can breath a sigh of relief. I just have to sing them now!

I went to Calum's studio today with a voice back on form and a healthy attitude. As the guys ran through the set in the Scout Hall I was working in North Berwick. I am glad to say we are back on track and completed vocals on "Dark Star", "Zoe 25" and "Openwater". Tomorrow leaves me with the last two songs "Where in the World" and "Arc of the Curve" before Lorna performs her magic on Wednesday. Thursday I am in rehearsals leaving me Friday and Saturday to polish off the performances and sort out any glitches.
It is sounding great! Working with Calum at his studio is a different experience and very intimate. We both wear "cans" (headphones) and I stand directly in front of the desk and sing with Calum only a few feet away. The communication is perfect and we achieve a lot more than working through glass in the studio up here.
The album should be finished recording on Saturday before I go down to see Genesis on Sunday in London. I am so excited, as we all are in the band, to hear the first mixes which will be done by the end of the month.

We have just had our curries and everyone is exhausted after a hard day's work either in rehearsals or recording. It's early to bed for me and I will be overjoyed if I can hit the last two vocals tomorrow leaving me with only comps to beat in the last two days.

I'll leave you with another lyric from the album. This song has a very Who-like feel in parts and really swings and rocks out. Written by Frank Usher, I think this will be a killer live!


I'm running out of options, running out of road, got no sense of direction, sliding out of control.
Going in search of nowhere, just some place to hide, from these omnipresent problems,
I just can't hide from life.

You set sail under cover of the darkness, by the early light I knew that you had gone,
In search of new horizons, where the sky melts in the sea.
I followed in the hope that I could catch you and convince you our directions were the same,
That we could steer the same journey across the oceans,
Fly our flags together in a heaven full of stars,
But you blew me out the water the first chance that you had.

If you want me, you know exactly where I am, adrift in open water, gazing at the stars.

I went down with all hands in the morning; I was clinging to the wreckage of the dream,
Praying for a rescue that I knew would never come,
I watched your sails disappear into the distance; I saw my life in the currents floating by,
I was left to the mercy of the four winds and the tides,
To carry me to shorelines where the sea and sands collide,

If you want me, you know exactly where I am, adrift in open water, gazing at the stars.

You said more in the things you didn't say, I told you that I loved you and I meant it,
We were heading for the rocks; we'd reached the point of no return,
One day I will manage to forget you, one day I will get you out my mind,
Delete the photographs, the images, the numbers on the phone,
The messages you sent me that I held on for so long,

If you want me, you know exactly where I am, sailing open waters, guided by the stars.

C Derek Dick 2007


Until the end of the week

lots of love

Onkel Fish xx


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