May 27, 1992
Credit: Tom Harrison
Jazz Butcher Feeling Moody, Blue
Expect a dark show tonight
This isn't a warning to bury your Kenny G records (although it's a good idea) but to serve notice.
The Jazz Butcher returns to the Commodore tonight for an evening of whatever color has invaded Path Fish's soul. Lately, he indicates, it's a moody kind of blue.
Yet the new album is called Condition Blue and arrives after a low period which Fish describes himself as crazy as a loon.
And, for every irreverent and charmingly clever rocker (such as Shirley Maclaine , with its key lyric, "I've had a thing about Shirley Maclaine since I was so high"), there is the obverse - Shirley Maclaine on Condition Blue or Sister Death on the previous Cult Of The Basement.
This - the introspective side that is wet with electric guitar - is the one that this edition of the Jazz Butcher has chosen to explore.
"Unh-unh," Pat says gleefully.
Pat Fish established himself as an engaging... character... rather like Ray Davies of the Kinks but with a particular fondness for the epic, rhythm-driven stories of the Velvet Underground. Jazz Butcher records tended to be as much examples of fan worship on Fish's part as they were documents of his own credos and confrontations.
With Cult Of The Basement and especially Condition Blue, the band has come into its own. These are the best-produced of JB's records. Whereas Cult Of The Basement is fragmented and retains some of the self-indulgences of old, Condition Blue has a cohesive sound and, Fish figures, was the first to capture the real personality of the band.
Given its history and Fish's love of rock'n'roll, it's no wonder that the band has become the eminence grise of Creation Records, original home to House Of Love, The Jesus And Mary Chain and many shoe-gazing acts since Fish met owner Alan McGee in 1984.
And given Creation Records's enormous influence on U.K. independent rock, it's no wonder that Fish has some misgivings about the direction the label has taken. So to a certain extent, he guides its conscience.
Not Kenny G.