A PAUSE FOR QUIET REFLECTION

Singer Fish ex­plains why he can’t tour ev­ery­where fans want him to.

Prog - - Intro -

My tour in De­cem­ber will stretch well into next year. My Ger­man agent is work­ing on dates in the next few months and will take of­fers that make sense for us to play. Some peo­ple keep ask­ing about Ire­land. The last time I played in Dublin on the Fish­heads Club tour, I pulled less than 150 peo­ple. I played Belfast on the same tour and had about the same at­ten­dance. Th­ese num­bers don’t sup­port a full elec­tric tour and, as I have had no of­fers from Ir­ish pro­mot­ers yet, it’s highly un­likely at this point that I will get over the wa­ter. I’m sorry, this isn’t through choice.

There’s talk about a South Amer­i­can tour but it all comes down to num­bers and if they sup­port all the lo­gis­tics, wages, travel, etc. It’s the same in North Amer­ica where the bu­reau­cracy and le­gal re­quire­ments are so over­whelm­ing, the dis­tances so huge and the costs so high it’s ex­tremely dif­fi­cult, if not im­pos­si­ble, to make sense of that com­mit­ment. It’s all very well a cou­ple of peo­ple writ­ing from a city ask­ing for a gig but the pro­mot­ers, venues and I need a lot more peo­ple to make a show hap­pen.

I re­mem­ber on the Move­able Feast tour there was “up­roar” among Span­ish fans when I didn’t re­place the post­poned Madrid and Barcelona shows. I made the ef­fort and the cir­cus drove hun­dreds of miles over four days to make them hap­pen. I played to less than 750 peo­ple across the two cities and barely broke even, even with merch sales. I can’t af­ford to take chances, the pro­mot­ers can’t af­ford to lose money, the venues want safe bets and I have to be re­al­is­tic no mat­ter how much ei­ther I, or a few ded­i­cated fans, want a show to hap­pen in a par­tic­u­lar city.

If I won EuroMil­lions, I could af­ford to play in places I’ve al­ways wanted to with­out the stress of keep­ing a cir­cus fi­nan­cially op­er­a­tional and nearly los­ing my house, as I’ve come close to in the past. Un­til then, I’m in the hands of an agent who gath­ers deals that make sense. Please try and un­der­stand what it takes to op­er­ate a tour. A Feast of Con­se­quences sold around 25,000 copies world­wide. For an in­de­pen­dent la­bel in this day and age that’s pretty good go­ing. But to put that in per­spec­tive, if I sold that many in North Amer­ica alone, a tour there may have a chance. I didn’t. Most of those sales were in Europe and even in some coun­tries there I strug­gle to get gigs.

I’m not com­plain­ing as I’m pretty happy with my lot and ac­cept where my ca­reer is now. I un­der­stand some of you are frus­trated at not be­ing able to see live shows near you but I’m sorry there has to be a re­al­ity check. If there are no of­fers, no pro­mot­ers and lim­ited de­mand out­side a small fan base it won’t hap­pen no mat­ter how much peo­ple com­plain. I’m 59 now, not that old but old enough to feel the strain of tour­ing and in the last year it’s been a sair fecht. Be thank­ful I’m still plan­ning gigs some­where.

Thanks for all your sup­port, it’s sin­cerely ap­pre­ci­ated.

Fish

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