The Union - Fish Forum

Fish new album revision "double album sign off"?

From Fish’s Fb page 10mins ago.

Steve Vantsis and I had a productive time last week when he was up but I have to admit I was pulling myself out of a creative swamp for the first 4 days and had to sit back and let him conjure some magic until I got on my feet. I have to be truthfully honest and say I have taken on a lot bigger job than I thought and we are both realising that we have been overly optimistic on timings. That’s not to say we are struggling for ideas; in fact we have too many but none of them are anywhere near ready for performance. This could result in having nothing new to play live in December. That may sound disappointing to some of you but there’s a huge ‘Yang’ in all this.

As you know I have nominated ‘Weltschmerz’ as my last studio album and I have always intended this to be special. There have been fragments of elusive lyrical ideas floating in my mind for quite a while but now I am in a position to start catching and pinning them down to create frameworks that make sense.

Steve has given me around 15 musical ‘doodles’ to play with and from them I think we have the seeds of about 4 songs and a number of pieces that can be added to structures that are becoming more elaborate as we enter into the writing sessions proper.

My problem is that I am writing screenplays or short stories and creating huge challenges for myself.

I’ve already been documented as saying that I don’t want ‘Weltschmerz’ to deal with the big business/ corporate/ kings and queens/ empires/ world perspective but to pull it down to focus on people dealing with the current world we live in and their struggles, trials, pain and anger. I’ve developed a few characters with their own scenarios, all different but all linked by ‘Weltschmerz’.

For example I want to write about a young woman who is self-harming because she can’t vocalise her pain and anger and other issues. I wanted to bring in an older male character that is preying on her vulnerability and in fact ‘grooming her’, disguising himself as a younger person when he contacts her online. Steve has 2 musical pieces that both fit the characters but they are very different and I was trying to find a way to work them together. I wasn’t comfortable relating the second character in first person and needed to relate both in third character in a similar way to the ‘Zoe 25’ lyric. As the 2 musical “characters” weren’t compatible I realised that this was a 3 act play and it was only today I realised what I needed to complete the triptych and provide a resolution.

It has evolved into a very dark neo Gothic horror tale and it is still being added to. There’s so much scope to play around sonically with and there’s all sorts of things to be added to the mix as it develops. At the moment the only musical input has come from Steve and we are both genuinely excited at what others can bring to the feast. The working title is ‘The Cutter’ but that will definitely change. ( ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ already used it).

I’ve also not made it easier for myself as I have decided that every song on ‘Weltschmerz’ must be associated with or have a link to a flower as gardens and growing will play a symbolic role on the album.

‘Market Garden’ is another title for a lyric about an old Dutchman living in Arnhem who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and who is clinging to his memories from youth when Allied paratroopers dropped on the city during an ill-fated operation with the same name as the title.

The man is still married but can’t remember his wife who is heartbroken at “losing “him and who is now a stranger in their house. His days are spent wandering the streets always ending up at the bridge that was brutally contested in 1944 and where it was the last time he saw the body of a young Scottish paratrooper who crashed through his father’s greenhouse at the during the initial parachute drops. The memories for those days anchor his life and everything else, even the writing on a page is forgotten once it’s turned. The lyric has to take in his memories, the relationship between man and wife from both sides and his struggle coping with a modern world that’s been built around him and which he doesn’t recognise or relate to. The flowers related to this lyric are ‘forget me not’s’.

Again it’s a difficult and delicate subject matter to deal with in a simple song structure and lends itself to a palette of sounds and musical movements identifying the characters and timelines. I started work on this with Steve Vantsis and John Beck but we have only just scratched the surface.

‘Man with the Stick’ a lyric about aging and about how we use sticks throughout our lives ( conductor, pipe band leader, riot control, boys fishing rods etc etc), ‘Guardian of the Flowers’, inspired by a Channel 4 documentary about a gardener in Aleppo, are another 2 ideas in progress. All stories with characters and as I have said many a time in the past ( and which I should have copyrighted as so many people use it these days) I find myself writing movies for people’s ears.

There will be other musicians involved in the writing process of ‘Weltschmerz’ with John Wesley willing to contribute as well as Romain Thorel from Lazuli who wants to get involved at some point and who has already worked with me earlier in the year on an idea which as yet is untitled.

And here is the ‘Yang’ of it all. I may be struggling to get songs together for the tour but with the door now opened and the first 5 months of 2018 dedicated to writing with a wealth of material starting to bubble up and out I am now looking at signing off with a double album. I discussed this with Steve when he was up and after a few glasses of wine we are both convinced this is achievable having been only 30 minutes or so short from one with ‘Feast of Consequences’.

A double album gives us space to breathe and for solos and other ingredients to be played with and extended upon. The subject matter abounds and I’m being provoked every day into new ideas and directions. It’s a big call and I am very aware that this will become a very expensive project as session musicians, studio time and producers’ commitment all increase accordingly. It’s more than just a serious consideration just now but I have an underlying confidence that I can pull this off.

Mark Wilkinson is excited as he too has been developing ideas and is totally inspired by the subject matter bouncing around. He is confident he can put together a phantasmagorical collection of images and present them in a package that is fitting for my last call.

I may have to look at crowd funding to finance this as the commitment will be a huge drain on finances but I want to bow out with a big statement. With the lyrical content blossoming into near film scripts and bona fide stories you could perhaps call this a crossover album.

copyright Derek Dick 2017


Double album sounds great to me and a perfect way to say goodbye to his fans…
Bring it on👍


Probaly some time 2019 the way things are progressing.

I’ve thought for a while that the December ‘Clutching/Weltschmerz’ tour may be lacking some Weltschmerz, and this confirms it.

No worries. Now we get a ‘Clutching’ plus ‘best of’ tour, with a Weltschmerz farewell tour somewhere in the future.


Hope you’re right Steve :wink:


I sign for a double album!!!


I’ll crowd fund it, or pre-order, as with previous releases. I’m in no rush. Just want the best abum that Fish can give as a fitting farewell.


Quality before Quantity " Good things come to those who wait" Really Up for this Double Album and the Crowd funding. A fitting End to a Brilliant Career!


And if the quantity is quality,then it will be even better :muscle:



Am I the only one that would rather not hear any new material live and half finished? Much rather wait till the album comes out and then see it performed on tour. - I’m pleased it’s looking like we’ll be getting a full set-list of ‘old stuff’.


So for the last time the excitement and anticipation of a new Fish album is triggered by one of those posts from the man himself that give a fine insight into the creation of a work of art. The determination Fish is showing to make this project special leaves me in no doubt that it will be a fine (double) album.

Loving the approach being taken thematically of both looking at things from individual perspectives, and the horticultural aspect.

The stories with the flowers reminds me of a meeting I had with a wonderful lady some years ago. I am involved in a voluntary society that looks after the remains of a long-closed colliery. She had been born just down the lane from the mine in 1919 , her father was manager and mother the village nurse. She lived in the cottage for 10 years and then left the area in 1933. When she got in contact with me having seen an article in a magazine and I suggested she come and visit she was over the moon and eventually persuaded her son to bring her along.

It was a fantastic day as her memories flooded out , made even better that she was able to go into her childhood cottage . Amongst the charged memories of going underground with her father and her mother bandaging injured miners, the one recollection that hit me hardest was of how , when it was the summer holiday, the pit ponies were brought to the surface and were allowed to run free in the fields. She used to brush the dust from their coats, and made daisy chains to hang around their necks.

Gwynneth passed away some years ago and I have a letter from her written a couple of weeks from the end, when she knew her time was short. In the letter she wrote again of her ‘special’ visit back to the mine and that she was eating jam from the damson tree in the garden of her childhood cottage (the owner had sent her some just before for Christmas).

Sorry for rambling but Fish’s post made me think of this, and while I don’t frequent this forum to often at the minute I’ve always found the Company tolerant of this sort of post

Looking forward to seeing the album bloom from the seeds



Ramble all you want Jon! Great read.

Hard to believe it’s all coming to an end with this album. Just been part of my life. The music will always be there.


A great post and good to read.

Jon, where is it you live / were born.

I’m originally from Pontypridd, right in the centre of the south wales valleys coal mining industry. My brother was a miner and was part of the strikes during the 80’s when the government destroyed the industry.

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Steve, I will be in Treherbert in December 2017 and February 2018. If you are still living near we should have a beer if the hecticality allows.

I’m with you on this Paul, I’d much rather hear the finished product live . Exciting times ahead and as previously mentioned Quality is the priority. No rush big man, :wink:


I remember hearing those 2 or 3 Feast tracks for the first time. Was it at the Convention? Can’t remember! - They were interesting, but obviously unfinished.

On Saturday Leamington Convention 2012
Crucifix Corner
All loved up

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The recent PSB album certainly catches the spirit of the mining strikes and how it was destroyed by the tories…
I wonder how those communities ever recovered from such hardship.

Didn’t he play The Other Side Of Me too?

You are right. On Sunday.

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Thanks Steve.

Although I’m now in Northants I’m originally from near Stoke which is where the old colliery is. The demise of the coal industry hit the area pretty hard over the years, but I’m sure not as hard as in South Wales where the pits were everything to the communities.