Fish's final album Weltschmerz, which was released on Friday, would be happily resting at No. 2 in the Official Chart Company midweek chart listings - a good pointer to where an album will end up in the charts. If Fish wasn't an entirely independent artist.
Having taken the decision not to partner with any record label or pander to the chart rules which require distribution through official channels, he has entirely self-funded, marketed, created and distributed the album from his home in Scotland.
Nevertheless the sales have been through the roof and if the album had been chart-registered he would currently be sitting at no.2 on the UK midweek charts behind IDLES and well ahead of Prince, Michael Kiwanuka, Machine Gun Kelly and Deftones. That would have been his highest chart position since his 1990 debut A Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors, which reached No. 5.
"It's disappointing that it won't be officially recognised but we know ourselves what we have achieved and in amongst the 'forest' of cardboard packaging strewn throughout our house there are people with big smiles today," Fish explains.
"I've been operating as an independent artist since the mid 90s and we have adjusted to living without the machinery of the major music business with our small cottage industry since then, constantly adjusting and refining how we sell and send albums out to fans," he explains. "With a retail sector in tatters and particularly at this moment in history when there's little footfall in stores, having a mail order set up operating out of the studio where we live has been a life saver.
"Perhaps some might find it highly unusual for an artist to be so hands on but the music industry has substantially changed since I signed to EMI back in 1982 and I realised a long time ago that I had to evolve and become a lot more self-sufficient if I was to continue my career.
"We were nervous at the pre-ordering and servicing of my new and final studio album Weltschmerz due to the huge global interest and had taken on the services of leisure management system provider Fuse Metrix to create new software to deal with the ever more complicated postage and customs demands worldwide. All copies of the album are packed and mailed out by myself, my wife Simone and a small team of helpers.
"It's a lot of work and a lot of organisation but the levels of satisfaction are immense. I'm proud that as an independent operation based in Scotland with a small dedicated and enthusiastic team and with tremendous support from my fans – who are incredibly engaged with me through social media – that we have managed to achieve the equivalent of a 'phantom' number 2 midweek position for the Weltschmerz album in the UK national charts."