A staggering #100,000 is raised...

Veteran rockers Marillion have raised #100,000 from fans’ donations to record their next album.

The band raised the cash through an email whip-round directed to the 30,000 fans on their database.

They offered the Marillion diehards the chance to pre-order a copy of their new album before it had been recorded in order to meet production costs. Within three weeks the cash was in place, enabling the band to cover costs without the need for a repayable record company advance, and so allowing them also to hold on to the rights of the music.

In addition to receiving a copy of the album, fans who stumped up the #16 advance will also receive a commemorative CD-Rom with video clips and other Marillion rarities. The fans will also be individually thanked on the sleeve notes.

Of the donations lead singer Steve Hogarth said: “It’s not just about the money – the Internet allows us to communicate directly to our fans worldwide in a way that’s spontaneous and instant. It’s a two-way communication process that’s changed everything for us – the fans feel like a worldwide family now. Faith moves mountains so watch out.”

EMI have also now agreed to license the album, taking care of worldwide marketing and distribution.

Marillion have sold an estimated 14 million albums during their 11-album career, including releases when former singer Fish fronted the band before his departure in 1989.

The five-piece hope to release their as-yet-untitled new record in February 2001. They are still in studio in Aylesbury with producer Dave Needham – the man behind the recent Animalhouse album.