Dear FishHeads, Freaks, fans and The Company,
Well the good news is that "13th Star" entered the UK independent album charts at number 33 this week. A very respectable position considering the promotion is only just beginning to kick in. I always knew that this is a slow spinner as I don't have the resources to spark off the big box of fireworks normally associated with an album release and am relying on word of mouth and an accumulation of profile raising items at radio, TV and in the press to start the fires. My job is to keep spreading the flames and fuelling them with more promo work and touring.
I just came back from 2 days in Milan taking care of Italian promotion. It was highly successful and again rave reviews of the album and radio plays are growing. I already have air play on the biggest rock station in Milan - Rock FM - where Mox, one of the principal DJs, is a major fan of the album. Together with national plays on Radio Capital (links to that interview on the web site) and Radio Lifegate, two of the top 3 stations in Italy. All the principal music press were covered by interviews and the signing at FNAC records was covered by national press and followed up with photos and reviews. It's incredibly positive and discussions are underway with my Italian agent for gigs in very late April and early May in the South of the country and in late May, early June in the North once it gets warmer and the open airs start to happen.
This touring pattern will hopefully include French gigs on the way down and back to the UK as well as a show in Brussels which is being discussed as a live radio broadcast on national radio.
A gig in Malta is also possible as it is relatively easy to cross from Sicily on the ferry and we have been approached as to our availability.
May 12th is our Pinkpop gig in Holland with a day off before our show so we can catch Roger Waters who is playing the same festival on the 11th. Busman's holiday! ;-)
April has me in Holland for the Rock Classics show at the Ahoy on the 12th and possibly appearing as a special guest on a couple of dates with another band in Europe during the first week of the month. Apart from that April is dedicated to more promotion and with the North American tour looking more likely by the day I am sure there will be a few late nights on the Transatlantic phone feeding interviews to support the tour in June.
July and August will take in more festivals including another return to Loreley. The bill is still under negotiation but Circa - made up of members of Yes (Alan White, Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood) - are confirmed and I have my fingers crossed that one of the bands in discussion will sign on the line for the event to make it a special night.
Italy will again figure high in the equation as the open airs and festivals offer a lot of opportunities and we could possible be playing a few dates with PFM (Premiata Forneira Marconi).
I met Franz Di Cioccio, their drummer and main man, in Milan last week for the first time. I'd seen the band in Edinburgh at the Leith Theatre in April '76 on the 'Chocolate Kings' tour. We had a great natter reminiscing and talking over potential plans for this year. A lovely bloke and someone I have a great deal of admiration and respect for as one of the pioneers of Italian progressive rock in the '70s.
If we do get the opportunity to work together then there's a strong chance I'll be joining them on stage for a couple of numbers. Franz wants me up for 'Chocolate Kings' which would be beautifully ironic and so Fellini! :-)
The UK is slowly coming together. I recorded two shows for Planet Rock to broadcast on Good Friday and Easter Monday, and tomorrow I head for London for broad sheet interviews and meetings, with a GMTV appearance with Bob Harris scheduled for Thursday morning.
More interviews and meetings on Thursday and a night out in the big city before an interview and photo shoot for The Sun newspaper on Friday morning for publication next week ;-)
Today was an interview and photo shoot for the Scotland on Sunday "At Home" feature and yesterday I had a Scotsman interview with another feature in that paper being done on Friday.
Saturday is the Stuart Maconie show on Radio 2 at 1pm and then probably my last Hibs game of the season before flying out to Poland for two days promotion work. The rest of the week is in London and more regional and national radio interviews coupled with various press work. I finish with Eamonn Holmes on 5 Live on Saturday and come straight up to Scotland for rehearsals for three days before the Irish shows.
It's a very busy time as you can see.
I can now announce that 'Arc of the Curve' will be available as a pre-order download via our web site in the next day or so. The official release is on March 3rd but you will be able to order the download in advance by the end of the week. The package will contain live versions of 'Square Go', 'Circle Line' and 'Sugar Mice' recorded in Rome as well as the edited and full versions of 'Arc of the Curve'.
It will also be available on iTunes UK and other download sites on release.
Hopefully my profile will build in the coming weeks and generate enough interest to give the single a good chance of a chart entry which will in turn validate more air plays.
Spread the news and let's see if we can make a noise on this!
Just before I go and head to the airport I want to thank Fabio, Ezio, Jimmy and all the members of the Company Italy for all the hard work they put into the promo days in Milan. Not only was it highly successful but I also had a brilliant time in their company :-D I'll write more about the trip in another email and tell you about the fabulous Fabio and the Grendel mask, my night at the San Siro stadium and Ronaldo's last game.
For all you Italian fans out there, get in touch with the Company Italy on their web site and join in the fun and games as well as supporting the Italian campaign for the Summer. They need all the help they can get to spread the '13th Star' vibes at radio and in the press. Any suggestions for gigs should be sent to them at their web site http://www.the-company.it/
The final part of the Vietnam blog will eventually appear. Just need to find some spare time :-D
lots of love
Onkel Fish x