The Jazz Butcher


International caller on my line;
Tomorrow's just another distance.
Put in a call to a friend of mine
Just to say hello
What if there were angels?
Oh, sometimes i swear that I can see them there:

Making jokes and wearing black
And speaking English just like me;
Bright and kind and young and good,
So come on, you,
I know that we could still be that way.
What do you say?

It's two a.m. and I'm feeling fine,
Staying up late with these men of mine.
I've seen the angels and the things they do and every one
Just makes me think of you.
So come on.

Making jokes and wearing black
And wearing black and wearing black
And they're right and good and wearing black
And just like you
Always on my mind.
Just the whole time.

I can see them.
Here they come now.
There's thousands of them.
They're bearing you up.
They're holding you up.
I want to hold you in my arms.

Found On

Buy These Records
Distressed Gentlefolk
We were deeply confused young men when we made this record. Max, Jones and I had all been drinking dangerously for over a year now. Generally, we had it down in concert. In just about every other department, however, we were coming to bits, individually and collectively, and to me this record actually shows the morbid state of things at the time.
Purchase Now
( )
[Distressed Gentlefolk cover thumbnail]
glass_records, BigTime Records
[Angels cover thumbnail]
Glass Records 12"
One of the better Creation-era compilations. Canadian release.
[Unconditional cover thumbnail]
Western Family
For loonie completists only, for sure, though, if you listen through the muck, you'll see that we did our bit.
[Western Family cover thumbnail]
creation_records CD
Draining The Glass
Glass Records era compilation.
Purchase Now
( )
[Draining The Glass cover thumbnail]
Fire Records
[Angels cover thumbnail]
BigTime 7"
The Wasted Years
Featuring ‘Bath Of Bacon’, ‘A Scandal In Bohemia’, ‘Sex And Travel’ and ‘Distressed Gentlefolk’.
Purchase Now
( )
[The Wasted Years cover thumbnail]
Fire Records 4xCD
Dr Cholmondley Repents: A​-​sides, B​-​Sides and Seasides
Four CD box set gathering A-sides, the would-be hits along with B-sides, tangential 12-inch tracks (the C-sides), and an excellent session for Los Angeles radio station KCRW from 1989.

Includes over a dozen indie chart hits including ‘Southern Mark Smith’, ‘Girl Go’, ‘The Human Jungle’, ‘16 Years’ plus a host of truly eclectic Butcher tunes from his early Glass recordings through his time at Creation.

Purchase Now
( )
[Dr Cholmondley Repents: A​-​sides, B​-​Sides and Seasides cover thumbnail]
Fire Records 4xCD

Pat Says

The Butcher Says..
Written on the morning that news broke about Reagan's bombing of Tripoli.
This is still one of my favourites. I wrote it in 1986 (the day they bombed Tripoli, in fact) about things that would only come to pass three years later. Or something. Oh God, I never make any sense when I start to talk about this tune. The lyrics just showed up, like automatic writing or something. I love it anyway, and I hope you love it too. Source: Unconditional liner notes

Live Stats

112 documented performances (click to explore)
1985 1 (JBC)
1986 7 (JBC)
1987 23
1 (Pat Solo)
22 (JBC)
1988 9 (JBC)
1989 15
5 (Pat Solo)
10 (JBC)
1990 7 (JBC)
1991 3 (JBC)
1992 18 (JBC)
1993 7
4 (Pat Solo)
3 (JBC)
1994 3 (JBC)
1995 1 (JBC)
1997 2 (JBC)
1998 1 (JBC)
1999 7
1 (Pat Solo)
6 (JBC)
2005 1 (Pat Solo)
2009 2 (JBC)
2011 1 (Pat Solo)
2020 1 (Pat Solo)
2021 1 (Pat Solo)
2 (Tribute)


Official Video
30 Second Teaser
7 Recorded Live Performances
2021-11-27 The Dublin Castle - London, England
Credit: pfjones70
2021-11-27 The Dublin Castle - London, England
Credit: Ozmosis UK
1989-11-06 J.C. Dobbs - Philadelphia, USA
Credit: Brian Kelly
1997-09-19 Bob & Anne's Wedding - Seattle, USA
Credit: David Whittemore
1992-05-09 El Mocambo - Toronto, Canada
Credit: David Whittemore
1989-11-28 Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, Canada West Coast '89 Cassette
1988-06-12 Odd Rock Cafe - Milwaukee, USA
Credit: Douglas Buege
Visitor Feedback
Visitors' comments for this page [Add your own]
  • Angels
    yadda[at] - pat fish, NN1
    25Nov2018 8:17 PM (4 years 304 days ago)
    Al, thanks! That'll do for me. Cheers, Pat x
  • The Beauty of Angels
    alblair3191[at] - Al Edinburgh
    23Nov2018 3:40 PM (4 years 306 days ago)
    Can't say I know much about The Jazz Butcher, never quite got the vibe way back...except Angels. Was and remains a very firm favourite. Drinking brandy, listening to The Jacobites, Cowboy Junkies and Dylan, the night rounded off with Angels. Heavenly days.
  • Video Version
    Scottlebowski[at] - C.C. 95
    12Dec2016 1:31 PM (6 years 287 days ago)
    Video Version is a truncated version of the song...
    And in my opinion, the edit removes all the build and punch that the full version has. (For maximum impact)
    A gorgeous tune.
  • angels
    annakin40[at] - mark smith, braintree
    1Dec2008 7:54 AM (14 years 300 days ago)
    absolutely amazing track, i lost the original in a house fire and would love to get a copy
  • funny?
    jgibbin[at] - want
    8Feb2007 1:26 PM (16 years 232 days ago)
    funny, I made a somewhat similarly obscure connection with "Wings of Desire"
  • lynch, soul coughing, modest mouse
    clentlocon[at] - clentlocon, tacoma
    1Apr2006 10:02 PM (17 years 180 days ago)
    "workin' on leavin the livin'" off the album "building nothing out of something" by modest mouse also contains the lyric "in heaven, everything is fine," with the addition "in heaven everything's alright.
    some vague connections to lynch and soul coughing: the girl in the furnace who sings "in heaven.." looks somewhat familiar to a girl on the cover of "ruby vroom" an ablum of soul coughing. i've found intuitive connections between this album and "mulholland drive" i.e. references to los angeles and cadillacs "overturning down a cliff on televsision." these connections are more subliminal, or superliminal at that, but interesting none the less.
  • Angels - the video
    Griffon - Michigan
    27Oct2005 8:43 PM (17 years 336 days ago)
    The video for Angels was memorable - black & white if I recall. I wonder if it's viewable on the web these days.
  • angels!
    jeremy[at] - New York, USofA
    20Dec2004 10:03 AM (18 years 282 days ago)
    i love this song!
  • never heard it.
    jsv909[at] - The Armpit, America
    5Aug2004 12:53 AM (19 years 55 days ago)
    Who here wants pancakes?
  • Angels
    dougenglish[at] - Arlington, VA
    25May2004 5:52 AM (19 years 126 days ago)
    I like your comment about it being one of the top ten most beautiful songs ever. I listened to two live versions and the studio version yesterday and was thinking it was the most beautiful song ever written and WAY underappreciated, and then I see your comment today. Nice.
  • ...
    duc.l[at] - Paris
    24Feb2003 1:16 PM (20 years 217 days ago)
    Une des 10 plus belle chanson pop jamais écrite. Il faut la rééditer et surtout tourner un VRAI clip vidéo.

    One of the 10 most beautiful pop song ever written. It needs to be republished and made into a video.
  • Angels
    spence - Birmingham
    6Jul2002 3:40 PM (21 years 85 days ago)
    It will be at my funeral, no question, and I so
    want to cover it, but will I do it justice?
  • Angels
    Dave - OH
    10Jun2002 12:54 PM (21 years 111 days ago)
    RE: *Why does everyone seem to love the song 'Angels' so much? It drips with cloying, finger-down-the-throat sappiness, and there are so many better Fish cuts out there*

    I used to think that. Keep listening... You'll get it one day. (Hint: Afghanistan.)
  • Angels
    tissue_tiger[at] - Yokohama, Japan
    14Oct2001 12:04 AM (21 years 351 days ago)
    I like this song. Ater all I like the whole songs of the album, 'Distressed Gentlefolk'.
    21Nov2000 10:37 PM (22 years 312 days ago)
    I said goodbye to a great friend last Saturday.
    Jon Howard (some may have known him as Doug Mallard) Music was a large part of his life, especially the JBC, it got him through some rough times. I will never forget him.
    "Angels" was played during his service and a letter was read that butch wrote him a few years back.
    Thank you for writing such a beautiful song.