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Exile on Princes Street

Introduction: Mark Kelly, writing in the Clutching At Straws remaster sleeve notes: "The rest of the unreleased songs on this disc were all written after we finished touring with CAS in '88. We spent a number of months meeting at Pete's house to write. By this time relations between Fish and the rest of the band had become a bit strained. On the days that Fish did decide to turn up he would usually stay long enough to have a cup of coffee and tell us the music we were working on was 'shite' and then leave. To be fair, we were as complimentary about the lyrics he showed us. In an attempt to move things along a stage further we booked into a demo studio called Tone Deaf to record demos of the material we had so far. Story from a Thin Wall, Shadow on the Barley, Sunset Hill and Tic Tac Toe were all recorded at this time."

Some of the lyrics from Exile on Princes Street appear in Fish's Internal Exile, from his album of the same name.

'A blue umbrella in Princes Street Gardens'
According to Fish in the Masque book, A Blue Umbrella in Princes Street Gardens is a 1986 watercolour by Ken Lockheed, which he and his then-wife saw in Edinburgh one day, and which he seriously considered for the album cover.

I think the artist is probably Ken Lochhead.
I can't find a painting with that title and I emailed Mr Lochhead's website to see what they know about it. Mr Lochhead died in 2006, and I never did get a response, but certainly there are examples of watercolours with blue umbrellas among his work.

Princess Street Gardens themselves are the sunken gardens that run below the volcanic crag of Edinburgh Castle.

'Lothian Road'
Edinburgh is the capital city of the Lothian Region. The Lothian Road, the A700, runs from the west end of Princes Street South to Tollcross, south west of the city centre. There are a number of high class arts venues along the road.

'Evening News'
The Edinburgh evening paper, first published in 1873. It is printed daily, except for on Sundays and covers local and regional news.

'Grierson's spirit... Documentary crews'
John Grierson (26/04/98 – 19/02/72) was a film maker and producer who coined the word 'documentary' in respect of the documenting of the real world. In his role as a film maker for the Empire Marketing Board and later the General Post Office, Grierson produced many films about Britain's heavy industries. In later life, he presented a Scottish TV show that played documentaries.

'The fires of Grangemouth'
Grangemouth is a deep sea port near Falkirk on the south bank of the Firth of Forth (the estuary of the Forth river). Many petrochemical plants (ICI, BP etc) are based there and the sky was always full of the fumes from these plants.

Songs with a link have explanations.

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