The Jazz Butcher
The Jazz Butcher Press - October, 1989
Published: Spiral Scratch (UK) October, 1989 Credit: ;;
Album Review: Big Planet, Scarey Planet


The Jazz Butcher is ready to hack your limbs off with his social observations and political satire. But don't fight back and box him into a pseud's corner, because Big Planet\, Scarey Planet is a devilish smalltown pop extravaganza.

Two words always spring to mind when listening to Pat Fish and the Butchettes - Lloyd Cole. They cause a real commotion on tracks like New Invention , with its Rattlesnakes guitar sound. Lyrically, this song is a wonderful critique of England - Fish despairs at "Sex On The Phone" and "The Hit Man And Her" (but do you blame him?) This is Thatcher's real Britain: all mod cons, alcoholism - a Tory twilight zone.

Line Of Death initially about life in West Virginia, ingeniously electrifies Deliverance's dueling banjos and turns into a kind of Arab chant with echoing vocals.

This album sounds like it took years of meticulous composing and recording, rather like Cole's work, yet the JB's last album, Fishcotheque , was released only a year ago!

A bit of jit git on The Word I Was Looking For mixes with sax and Housemartins small-pop to produce an up-tempo criticism of society's shallowness: "If ideas were legal tender, lots of people would be broke."

Fish has carved himself a real singer/songwriter niche for the nineties. Outstanding tracks including Bicycle Kid - a Hitchcock-esque (Robyn Hitchcock, not Alfred) look at growing up and new parental treatment. Fish almost despairing at the family. Musically simple. Lyrically superb. Exciting overall. Lloyd Cole And The Commotions are dead.

Long Live The Jazz Butcher.

Big Planet, Scarey Planet
Early 1989 was, indeed a strange and desperate time after all that triumphalist Tory looting that had been going on. We listened to a lot of hip-hop and soul music at the time, and I think that we considered ourselves sufficiently HARD to take the whole fucker on in an l.p. Possibly with a more "clued-in" producer and a bit more self-discipline we could have come up with something like what we were looking for.
[Big Planet, Scarey Planet cover thumbnail]
creation_records, Genius

Visitor Feedback
Visitors' comments for this page [Add your own]
  • Dominic Mohan.... - OFFSIDE TRAP DRUMMER - NN4
    24Apr2006 1:34 PM (17 years 226 days ago) Virgin Radio DJ and gossip writer for The Sun ???
  • Wa-hey!
    Fish Boy - NN1
    9May2003 7:24 AM (20 years 212 days ago)
    Never saw this review until today. Lloyd Cole dead? Long live me? Marvellous stuff, COME ON...