The Union - Fish Forum

Update on Spain and thoughts on music sales

Yatta contacted the Spanish promoters last night about replacement shows but so far has heard nothing back from them after close of play of this business day.

Interestingly I asked Elspeth to give me the numbers on sales of “Feast of Consequences” in Spain through the website. I was very surprised to hear the figure was less than 40! There’s only been 2 downloads of the album in Spain in the last 6 months and direct Amazon CD sales are also negligible.

I have to admit this is pretty disappointing and well below the ticket sales on the Madrid and Barcelona dates so far which the promoters were reasonably happy with.

With a festival in Barcelona earlier in the Summer where I played a well received set to a couple of thousand people it’s difficult to come to terms with such lack luster sales on an album that got fine reviews in elements of the Spanish music press.

It would appear that most of the people that bought the album commented here on the canceled shows and that the other 300 plus ticket holders across the 2 shows either - have no interest in buying recorded product or plan to buy on the night from the merchandise stall or have managed to find other ways outside the only legal outlets available to get the album or have only heard it on streaming sites.

I recently came across a clip on You Tube which had 147 000 hits on the album audio of “Perfume River”, the track accompanied by a couple of stills from the Feast artwork.

This isn’t the only example as the rest of the album tracks are up there on other sites with the same kind of numbers. If that translated to album sales or even track downloads where I was paid then it would be a hell of a lot easier to operate. As such this means of listening to music delivers me practically nothing. On a recent publishing statement after deductions on one stream of one particular track from a nameless provider it would take 8 million of those streams to buy me a pint at the Tyneside tavern!

And the argument

If I don’t provide songs for streaming then no one hears them and I lose a promotional tool as there’s a likelihood that someone might buy the track or the album if they hear the material and they are more
likely to buy a ticket for a gig.

But when gigs get more expensive to negotiate , when age dictates more staggered shows to avoid vulnerabilities and venues reluctant to book out with weekends where does that leave touring artists at my level of attraction?

Before anyone starts with the " here’s another whinge from Fish!" routine - it’s not. It’s passing on a reality check which I accept with grace. The future is most definitely uncertain and without support from fans who respect what others and I do decisions will have to be made that disappoint genuine music lovers.

The music business has dramatically changed over the years I have been involved and the attitude to listening to music has also changed.

The passion for music in general I believe is diluted in some quarters on both sides of the 4th wall and I for one will be exiting stage left when I can’t either deliver or receive that element that makes it all worthwhile and meaningful for me.

The money I derive from music is important as that is what continually sustains my musical creative output and provides me with a living but it’s not the driving force or the goal in my life, there’s other things more enticing and exciting entering my horizon that are also quite scary to contemplate as a journey and a move towards.

Please don’t deride me because you think I don’t respect individual loyalties and make the effort to travel thousands of miles to a city to earn a couple of hundred quid - or less on this rescheduling- living on a bus away from home and loved ones, stressing out completely on whether I can deliver a show of worth and how long I can keep this up.

I’m still game but eventually , to quote myself, the game will be over and without your support, which I am sincerely and eternally grateful for over the years, the whistle will blow with no extra time.

I keep my fingers crossed that Madrid and Barcelona will occur as dates in the Jan/ Feb itinerary and trust me we are trying. Please understand the dilemma and try and get some perspective on what I am dealing with in the big picture.




Come to new markets! :slight_smile: Moscow and Petersburg are waiting for you!
There were no any problems for good old-fashioned rockers as you are.
As to Spain - the most active buyers of CDs are your fans, and between listening/watching to the video on Youtube and actual buying is the long distance now.
In the 80-early 90s - records were the way of life. You are what you are listening to.
Now world is completely changed and I believe that exlusive selling of Mark Wilkinson’s images inspired by your songs could bring you more real income than CDs.
Though I’m real CD fan and trying to buy as much as possible.


I think that most visitors here feel this way. It’s interesting to see some comments on the Fish Facebook page asking why they should buy music.

CDs all the way for me. I realise that that makes me a dinosaur in this day and age, but I don’t care. Buying CDs now is as cheap as it has ever been so the argument about cost is bogus. That said, if people can listen to music for free then that is what the majority will do. Easy come easy go. Music as background sounds with no actual attachment or involvement.

It leaves me cold…

1 Like

Well it’s a tough one too i must admit i guess with so many people copying or downloading it’s one of those situations that can’t be helped. With the internet and all of the free streaming is it a good idea to have bands and artists putting a sample of one of their new songs all over the net? I think in some respect it helps the artists to reach a much larger audience, now once they hear their new song will they buy the album once it’s released? Or find a way of copying the whole album hence the artist get’s nothing in return, with all of these file sharing sites all over the net i would imagine it would be difficult for the artist to make any money what so ever except playing live and selling merchandise to me there is nothing better than having your own physical copy whether it’s vinyl/bluray/cd.