I regretfully have to inform you that I have had to abandon plans for a North American tour in February of next year.
There were a number of issues that arose in the months that led up to this decision that were creating difficulties and forcing me to make alternative arrangements but the proverbial straw that saw all our plans tumble was that when we received the offers from the promoters we had a £14k hole.
It was a 6 week tour that snaked from North to South across the country from West to East and we expected some of the "new" areas to be low guarantees.The offers across the board were lower than expected and the bus cost alone ate up a third of the budget.
I knew we would have some tough calls but nearly everyone was playing safe and I couldn't rely on percentage breaks above the guarantees when both the US and Canada, like every other country, are suffering from the ongoing recession.
Relying on merchandise sales in that climate was also a risk and together with bureaucratic hoops that we would have to accelerate our jumps through with regard to visas, taxation and the other elements that combine to make American touring an endless paper trail, signs were coming up that said "stop".
We would have had only 2 months to prepare for and promote the shows and if there had been any fall outs with venues or promoters going down I could have been facing potentially huge losses.
I looked at a shorter tour with Yatta but all the one off costs impacted too heavily and we didn't have the spread of income to accommodate them.
Larry Webman, my US agent tried to pull it together for us and put in a tremendous effort that we very much appreciated and respected but we couldn't draw anymore money from promoters who are themselves under a lot of pressure just now over there.
I made the decision to abandon the tour.
This doesn't mean that I am abandoning the idea of future North American tours and I have decided I will hang back and wait and see if the positive vibes spill over from Europe and we can perhaps find kinder climatic conditions overall in the Autumn of next year when I should have a new album to move.
I genuinely believe that this Fishheads project could work well over in North America but I have to be patient and very careful how I proceed and to make sure that when I do come over I have everything in my favour and that it involves a far less a gamble than I was faced with next February.
The tour we had routed was the tour that I have always wanted to play and with over 10 000 miles driving it would be the perfect way to see North America ,Kerouac style.
The three F's were all up for it and I think if I ever won a lottery hit it would be the dream tour for me as a musician!
I am confident another opportunity will appear in the future in more auspicious circumstances:-).
We are trying to find shows in South America but again it's very difficult to put a string of dates together that make financial sense.
I had hoped we could get at least three or four shows in Mexico but the current drug wars across the country make playing there very risky and we are only able to look at Mexico city.
I have so far heard nothing back from our usual contacts in Argentina and Brazil to spread flight costs and am at this moment in time doubtful that this will come together as we would be encroaching on carnival times when rock gigs just get lost.
Ironically I am actually stuck now at the end of January in Cancun as I arranged to fly from Cuba to Mexico for my entry point into the States.
Looks like I may be doing a bit more diving!
On a more positive note the reviews and reactions to the European shows recently have meant that we are now receiving a lot more offers from agents and promoters there.
We are already in discussion for 8+ dates on Poland in March, 20 or so in Germany and possibly 8+ in Italy and Switzerland for this Fishheads format.
It is going to be a very busy year no matter where we are on the planet!
I do genuinely and sincerely hope I can get back over the Atlantic later in the year and let our North American fans and friends experience the Fishheads project.
My fingers are well and truly crossed and I am sure I can find a cunning plan from somewhere !
thanks for your continued support,
take care and stay alive