Born in West London at a time that left him just too young to be a hippie and just a little too old to be a punk, Pat Fish grew up in an era where the Bonzo Dog Band appeared on children’s television, Syd Barrett was on Top of the Pops and the Adult World was represented in shows like The Avengers and The Prisoner. Disappointment was an inevitability. Fish failed to “get” the glam rock thing (probably too much of an excitable wee football fan) and found that the seventies drove him down some fairly obscure musical paths before punk rock came along to save the day. By then, however, all those mad little songs by Eno, Syd Barrett, Kevin Ayers, Daevid Allen, John Cale, Peter Blegvad and Tony Moore were already locked up in his head.
Fish started making records under the name of the Jazz Butcher in 1983 and nobody has quite succeeded in putting a stop to this yet. He has recorded for Glass Records, Creation Records, ROIR of New York and Vinyl Japan of Tokyo. Overall he has written and released fifteen albums of original music, three live albums and innumerable singles and compilations.
In 2016 Fire Records issued the album Last of the Gentleman Adventurers, originally released as a fan-funded project in 2012. In 2017 Fire will be undertaking a major re-issue programme, making several Jazz Butcher albums available once again on vinyl, CD and digital formats.
With the Jazz Butcher, Fish has toured worldwide. As a solo artist, recent shows include Hamburg, Dortmund, New York City, Tokyo, Brussels and London, as well as his adopted home town of Northampton where he still regularly turns out with his acoustic guitar to support visiting artists.
He likes collaborations, too. Apart from his lengthy association with Northampton-based digital hooligans Wilson over the years 2001-2009, Fish has recorded and appeared on stage with David J, Spacemen 3, Bristol’s The Blue Aeroplanes, German band M Walking On The Water, French indie art rock band Chelsea Paris and acclaimed Los Angeles shoegazers, The Black Watch.
The thing about Pat Fish is that he is not tribal about music. Some people know him from his friendship with Spacemen 3, others for his fondness for Nikki Sudden and Dave Kusworth; some know him because he has worked with members of Bauhaus, others regard him as a “classic” independent songwriter in the vein of Pete Astor or Dan Treacy. Fishy just fetches his acoustic guitar and his notebook and heads for the railway station.
His current inspirations: as always, the Velvet Underground, Alex Chilton, Peter Laughner, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Kevin Ayers, John Martyn, Davy Graham and many, many more.
Do you like your melodies sweet and your humour as black as pitch? Would you take a chance on something simple, intimate and direct from an artist who is on record as saying “What I do is not entertainment” but who regularly induces little bursts of outraged laughter from the audience? Do you want to see the real thing? You should maybe go and see Pat Fish.
The sleeve pic for Bath of Bacon was taken at a Tonix gig at the Clarendon, Hammersmith, London in 1981 by myself. They opened for a group called English Subtitles, who I’d just done a single with. This was the first time I met Pat. I asked them if they’d do a track for a compilation LP I was working on, ‘The Wonderful World of Glass Volume 1’ and they did. My friend and former bandmate Ciaran Harte, who was kind of a house producer for the label at that time, had a Teac four track in his flat in a tower block in Plaistow, East London and they recorded it there on the 12th floor or something.
In 38 years, Pat Fish brought a dozen full-length records into the world.
He collaborated with a number of other artists:
- Love Ambassadeux - Black Mischief (single, Rumpo Records, 1985)
- 13 Frightened Girls - Lost at Sea (3 track 12", Foundation, 1991)
- Venus Fly Trap - Pandora's Box (LP, Danceteria 1992)
- Chelsea Paris - Tramway (LP, Virgin France, 1992)
...Maybe one or two other bits.
- David J - Crocodile Tears & The Velvet Cosh (LP, 1985) - Flute
- Blue Moods turning Tail (EP 1986) - glockenspiel
- On Glass (LP 1986) - Glockenspiel, vocals
- Venus Fly Trap - Rocket USA (single, 1989) - Tenor sax
- M Walking on the Water - Pluto (LP, 1989) - Vocals
- Blue Aeroplanes - Beatsongs (LP 1991) - Vocals
- Up in a Down World (EP 1993) - Vocals, co-writing credit on "Meantime"
- Rough Music (LP 1994) - Guitar, organ, co-writing credit on "Whatever Happened to our Golden Birds?"
- Spacemen 3 - Recurring (LP 1990) - Tenor sax, flute
- Sonic Boom - Spectrum (LP 1989) - Finger pops, vocals
- Spectrum - Soul Kiss (Glide Divine) (LP, 1992) - Tenor sax
- Indian Summer (single, 1993) - Electric guitar
- Dave Kusworth & The Bounty Hunters - All the Heartbreak Stories (LP, 1991) - Flute, tenor sax
- Chelsea Paris - Tramway (LP 1992) - Guitar, vocals
- The Field Trip - Take to the Streets (EP, 1993) - Tenor sax
- The Black Watch - Jiggery-Pokery (LP, 2002) - Vocals (listen@youtube)
- The Four One And Only's - Holy (LP, 1996) - Vocals
- Stranger Tractors - Vibration (CD single, 1995) - Drums, vocals
- The Purelove - King Pop (Marsh Marigold Records, 1997) - Guitar
- The Purelove - Live (1997 tour of Germany): Guitar
In the early to mid 1990's Pat Fish was exploring what was to be the vehicle for his compositions after the assumed retiring of the moniker "Jazz Butcher".
An early sample-collage effort, The Black Eg, produced an unlikely release on Creation Records and a handful of chaotic absurdist gigs.
The Black Eg sequencer-backed approach was made more accessible in Sumosonic which featured several vocalists and percussion in traditional pop arrangements. There were three Sumosonic releases, which were Pat Fish's final releases on Creation Records.
Formed as the house band of Slurp's Bar, Northampton, The Undertakers feature Pat Fish , Mark Refoy and Jonny Mattock (Spacemen 3, Spiritualized), and Tim Harris (Everything But The Girl, Doctor Didg). They don't rehearse, they only play covers (Can, Velvets, Creedence, Kraftwerk, Plastic Ono Band, etc), and a total of about 43 people have ever seen them play live.
In the early aughts, Pat inadvertently assembled a supergroup - Wilson - with ex-Sumosonic members and well known Northampton musicians. Wilson layered guitar-riffs and shouty-pop over solid sequencing and live percussion. Nearly 100 live shows were played, and a live DVD was self-released at the end of a decade-long run.
While not all side projects produced published material, demos from most may be heard in the listening room.
It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine Pretty Tunes With Sour, Disassociated Lyrics: A conversation with the Jazz Butcher
July 07, 2020Last Day Deaf
April 06, 2017Abus Dangereux #138
April, 2016The Record Collector
February 19, 2016Wine Merchants
February 02, 2015Louder Than War The Butch is Backâ€¦ the return of The Jazz Butcher!
September 18, 2014The Splatter Effect
June, 1994The Record Store Up Front And Center Issue #5 Treading the line between dumb and stupid
May 08, 1992The Ottawa Citizen British Popster Fights The Good Fight To Put Some Literacy Back Into Lyrics
May 07, 1992Les Inrockuptibles
September, 1991New Music Express
March 02, 1985
So long to a great
1phelps1[at]-remove-gmail.com - Charlie, Minnesota
10Sep2022 12:39 PM (18 days 22 hours ago)
Just got the memo. Ugh. Miss you and your creativity. RIP
Bye bye Patrick
Info[at]-remove-triadim.com - Dick Tater
17Dec2021 5:38 AM (286 days 5 hours ago)
So many hours spent listening to one of musicâ€™s geniuses. RIP brother you left your mark on the world and thatâ€™s all anyone can ask. In 5 billion years when earth blows up theyâ€™ll have no record of you. But until then mdy your legacy carry on!
What if there were Angels
a.jasse[at]-remove-yahoo.de - Arne, Hamburg
9Oct2021 2:10 PM (354 days 21 hours ago)
There are no words...
Have fun, wherever you are...
gnoman[at]-remove-pacbell.net - Dave in San Diego
7Oct2021 4:45 AM (357 days 6 hours ago)
Your music and humor truly impacted me at key
points in life. May you rest in peace. The
news/concept of your passing is a blow to the head
and heart. Like standing up quickly in an attic
and unexpectedly hitting my head on a beam. It
hurts. You made the world, my personal inner
world, a richer place through your inventions.
pag1993[at]-remove-gmail.com - PA Boston, MA
10Aug2020 6:06 PM (2 years 49 days ago)
Dear Patrick -
Thank you for all the great music over the years.
Hope you have the opportunity to put together another collection of new material. Really enjoyed Last of the Gentleman Adventurers.
christopher.m.keen[at]-remove-gmail.com - Chris Hamilton, Ontario
1May2019 10:38 AM (3 years 152 days ago)
I can't get over there. Can you get over here? It's been a long time waiting since you played the Phoenix in Toronto with Blue Aeroplanes opening. Please come back! I've got other things to get to. Toronto or Hamilton, Ontario
salgarza[at]-remove-yahoo.com - sal
27Feb2018 8:22 PM (4 years 214 days ago)
'xican 'merrikkan looking for wotrk
Like a tributary, pale imitators
Ericrhake[at]-remove-gmail.com - Salisbury, nc
20Dec2017 7:46 PM (4 years 283 days ago)
Have loved the butcher since introduced 30 plus years ago in Knoxville tn. So glad to see that stream flow back to the river. Thanks Scott Carpenter for showing me the way to Pat Fish.
Ear to the ground
mivvers[at]-remove-gmail.com - Maureen, Cork
10Oct2017 10:28 AM (4 years 355 days ago)
Pat, first of all, thank you for this webpage, I feel like I'm back in time. Which is kind of how I've been feeling for the past couple of days, because the line "what makes your heart sing" surfaced out of nowhere the other day and I had to google it to find out that it was The Jazz Butcher. I put on the album and realized immediately that it was a long-forgotten favourite album that I have somehow not listened to since around 1989. I was actually screaming with excitement and I've been having an incredible time signing and dancing along. And then I come here and find out you've got Wasted Years coming out next week! Legend! Any plans to come to Ireland?
A patronizing letter
rossisalways[at]-remove-hotmail.com - Ross Smith Vancouver
26Jul2016 7:31 PM (6 years 65 days ago)
The JAZZ BUTCHER. I absolutely love this band. I put a Jazz Butcher conspiracy album (yes vinyl) a least once a month on my pricey stereo, and have been doing so since 1987. This is what music is supposed to be. I prefer this band over Pink Floyd.
I remember just missing out to see them live and the next day an ex girlfriend of mine phones me, says she got to see the gig and then partied (Victoria B.C.) with the band. She said these Brits were brilliant to talk to. She also said they got sick and tired of her boyfriend and kicked him out.
The originality of this band and the awesome lyrics I have always enjoyed for almost 30 years, and never get tired of it. I'm so glad the albums were recorded and mixed well. When put Distressed gentle folk on the turntable and hear that guitar open up on "Falling in love" I get goosebumps. It's my natural air conditioning on a hot day.
Cheers to the band who stamped the musical soundtrack to my 80's life.
Gert.thomas[at]-remove-yahoo.co.uk - Gert South Wales
30Jul2014 12:52 AM (8 years 63 days ago)
Hi Pat, sort of been a Butcherite since the early 80s still have my vinyl copy of Gift . I think I heard you on Radio 1 possibly Janice long but it was one of those moments when the dj name checked the band and my mental note actually worked. ... But even though I have most of your tunes in my collection never actually made to a gig. I did once interview you for a radio show on Radio Wales and confessed to smashing a copy of compilation of yours I bought in Toronto 86. It was booze fuelled madness and possibly some other stuff going on too and nothing to do with the music . You played a couple of songs down the line. Soul Happy Hour one of them .Anyway I'm going to get off my arse and make the trip to Brighton .
fisheh[at]-remove-theycantstopbale.com - pat
4Nov2010 7:11 AM (11 years 332 days ago)
Hi Bob, I remember you, sir. I'm pretty much the same as ever. To be honest, I can't see me making it to Saskatoon any time soon...but you never know. That much I have learned. All best, Pat x
long time no see
redbeardbob[at]-remove-hotmail.com - Bob Rudachyk, Saskatoon
3Nov2010 2:38 PM (11 years 332 days ago)
Long time no see. It's Bob Rudachyk, we hooked up a few times after your concerts in Saskatoon and Vancouver. Just wondering what you have been up to and if you are coming back to Saskatoon any time.
simontowers[at]-remove-btinternet.com - Simon Towers, Northants
25Sep2009 12:47 PM (13 years 6 days ago)
I remember you used to live in Shutlanger (was it)? I think I came to play and was stung by a wasp. You used to write for the magazine at GH, Acta Antiqua? You did a series of science fiction stories about crocodilians, Krok and Jkarta or some such names???
Any how if I hadn't looked at the Jazz Butcher on Spotify I would never have realised that you were the Pat H. whose friend I was back at GH??
pat[at]-remove-jazzbutcher.com - the butcher, nn1
23Nov2007 10:21 AM (14 years 314 days ago)
Yo, you can message me direct via www.myspace.com/patfish77. Then maybe I could explain the song to you. It's dead simple.
Song book? Chords?
rickbruner at gmail dot com - Rick Bruner, NYC
22Nov2007 8:39 PM (14 years 314 days ago)
Long time fan, first time writer. Recently learning the ukulele, and I was humming Love Kittens this evening and thinking how fun it would be to learn and play. But I'm not nearly good enough to figure it out myself, I'd need to see the chords written out. Do you have a songbook? Alternatively, could you help a guy out? Suggestions?
twowheelterry[at]-remove-hotmail.com - seattle
29Dec2005 12:09 PM (16 years 277 days ago)
not sure this is the correct medium for this message but I'll give it a shot. I belong to a bicycle club http://deadbabybikes.org
and we are atempting to cover,copy,rip off the movie easy rider , replacing harley davidson motorcycles with choped out bicycles ect. anyways I wuz wondering if I could use your song bicyclekid in one scene, most likely knobody will ever see this flik and I could of just riped it off too but cha never know, and that song rocks, I do know for a fact bicycle clubs all over the states rock out to it often. so anyone in the know please let me know, and if the song is owned by some huge record lable and theres no way in hell to obtain it or whatever Thanx ,Terry
When are you coming to the states
mbomagee[at]-remove-sbcyahoo.net - los angeles california
20Dec2005 1:45 PM (16 years 286 days ago)
Just wondering when you will be comming to the US
Have not seen you in quite sometime and and in need of a fix of some of your magic. Please come to LA soon. Oh and by the way appearently today is your birthday so Enjoy!!
getting in touch with Pat Fish
mattieu[at]-remove-total-peace.com - Paris - France
22Nov2005 5:28 AM (16 years 315 days ago)
i'm writting to you from Paris, France.
i'm working on a project and that's why i'm
getting in touch with you.
I already have positive answers by Mark Arm
(Mudhoney) ,Barry 7 (Add N To X), Stuart
Braithwaite (Mogwaï), Jean-Jacques Burnel
(The Stranglers), Charlemagne Palestine,
Rhys Chatham, Cosey F Tutti (Throbbing
Gristle), Mark Cunningham (MARS), David
Gedge (The wedding Present), Andrew Gill
(Gang Of Four), Michael Girra (The Swans),
Jennifer Heremma (Royal Trux), Herman
Düne, Jenny Hoyston (Erase Errata),
Jonathan Kane (Swans), KAS Product, Daniel
Johnston, Marlene Marder (Liliput), Glenn
Mercer (The Feelies), Dieter Moebius
(Cluster), The Nomads, Stephen Pastels (The
Pastels), Mark Perry (Sniffin‚ Glue Fanzine),
Pram, Michael Rotter (Neu !, Kraftwerk),
Salaryman, John Sinclair (MC5 Manager /
White Panthers), Sonic Boom (Spaceman 3/
E.A.R), Mayo Thompson (Red Krayola), Daniel
Tracey (TV personalities), Dean Wareham
(Galaxie 500/Luna), Mike Watt (Minutemen /
fIREHORSE), Doug Yule (The Velvet
i'm trying to get in touch with Pat Fish... can
you please give me his contact or forward my
e-mail to him ?
thanks in advance,
susan[at]-remove-jaffe-schlossberg.com - San Francisco, California USofA
16Aug2005 12:59 PM (17 years 47 days ago)
Lost touch over the years. Just wanted to let you know that John, your biggest fan, passed away. I didn't want you to think he forgot about you or your music he so loved.
Keep on keeping on....
hey, pat... long time! frum... mark helm
17Apr2005 10:31 AM (17 years 169 days ago)
pat! hey, misplaced yer e-mail addy (and a year or two of my life). explanations and sordid details await. drop a line, suggest an anti-depressant. hope all's well w/ you and yers.
mark helm (once of radioblue, late of not lame recordings)
Licensing request for an alternative 80s compilation
torsten.mueller[at]-remove-emimusic.de - Cologne, Germany
12Apr2005 10:10 AM (17 years 174 days ago)
I'd like to use a Jazz Butcher's track for a compilation. To whom I have to send the request, who is the repertoireowner of the "Big time" recordings? Many thanks for your help
Completely off the fucking point
beckajarvis[at]-remove-yahoo.com - Becka (Newell) Jarvis
22Feb2005 2:57 AM (17 years 223 days ago)
Good to see you still out there. She's On Drugs is one of my all time favourite tracks.
But that's beside the point. Where's Gabriel? I lost sight when he left Uni, he probably turned sideways. If you see him please mention this message.
Love to the cats,
Greetings from the old brunette
e_beaumont[at]-remove-yahoo.com - EricBlowtorch
18Jan2005 3:01 PM (17 years 257 days ago)
Great to see you are still in action! How many of your recent releases are available on vinyl?
kdamsell[at]-remove-globeandmail.ca - Toronto, On.
6Jan2005 8:56 AM (17 years 270 days ago)
Dear Mr. Fish:
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing you way back in 1990 for my university paper before a JBC Toronto show. The chat was a blast and the gig a regular hootenanny, dontcha know.
Please head across the pond for another show soon -- it's been far too long! All me brood will come!
All the best and thanks for the music
formbysound[at]-remove-yahoo.co.uk - Leeds UK
28Oct2004 3:59 PM (17 years 339 days ago)
Builth Wells. Was that wise?
Holiday Compilation Looking for Material
volrecords[at]-remove-aol.com - Pennington, NJ
8Oct2004 4:35 PM (17 years 359 days ago)
Hello. Back in '94 I published a tabloid in NJ called The Splatter Effect...We did an interview with Pat...I no longer do that; I work as a volunteer Coordinator for a hospice...As an awareness and benefit project for hospice, I am putting together a second holiday (Christmas or Chanukah or New Years) compilation and am wondering if you have any appropriate material to include...Or know of anyone who does...More details are on my simple website: www.hohohospice.com...I would be honored to have you a part of this project...This will be a limited-edition and you keep the rights to your material.
--Spiro Ballas / Volunteer Records
PO Box 381
Pennington, NJ 08534
lazure[at]-remove-videotron.ca - Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
27Sep2004 9:03 AM (18 years 6 days ago)
You may know your most popular album among your following here in Canada is the Bloody Nonsense compilation, and yes, that's my favourite of yours, along with Distressed Gentlefolk. My dream is organizing a concert, maybe in Toronto, and calling on JBC fans from all across North America to attend, where you'd play your old and more recent music.
So in all seriousness, I'm wondering if we couldn't organize a concert here for your Canadian/North American fans. It's basically a pipe dream of mine at this point, but I thought I'd give it a try - would you be interested?
Your wife (are you still married?) is Canadian, hopefully (maybe?) you come to Canada once in a while to see her family. I'm dead serious about this and would volunteer to do all of the legwork in putting this together. E-mail me at lazure[at]-remove-videotron.ca, I'd love to start putting wheels in motion if you're interested...thanks!
Jean Lazure, attorney
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
andrew.bova[at]-remove-sympatico.ca - Ottawa, Canada
19Sep2004 8:15 AM (18 years 14 days ago)
Please come to Canada...We'll be nice, I promise.
cats and bogs can't get along, cos they sink
you[at]-remove-188.8.131.52 - Sawtell, Oz
29Apr2004 5:11 AM (18 years 157 days ago)
Hi ya Pat, Lee hear (inter-waffle) how you going old friend?? Think about you with many a hazed memory. Living in Oz at the moment, getting married in 2 weeks time. You coming?? Give my love to all
Nico[at]-remove-184.108.40.206 - Hamburg, Germany
27Dec2003 1:53 PM (18 years 280 days ago)
Hallo Pat,just listened to your live record of onkel Pö in Hamburg. It was a great gig. It really was a part of my youth. Will you have a gig in hamburg next year? Greetings from hamburg Nico
NEED "In Bath of Bacon"
felfie[at]-remove-hotmail.com - San Francisco, CA
26Nov2003 10:27 AM (18 years 312 days ago)
...mine was stolen and I am heartbroken. It is just unavailble anywhere. Any help?
manatee1018[at]-remove-hotmail.com - Pat Manning
21Nov2003 11:58 AM (18 years 316 days ago)
Cak Butcher- I'm desperately trying to get Bloody Nonsense on CD. Is it available anywhere?? Can you help?? Are you ever coming back to Minneapolis? Drop me a line.
Do you remember.....
emma.harris[at]-remove-highway-insurance.co.uk - Emma Harris (Harry's little sister)
13Oct2003 4:46 AM (18 years 356 days ago)
I'm Harry's little sister, and whilst surfing the web came across your website. My brother toured with you around USA and if I recall correctly, played guitar on one of your albums.
He often used to talk about his time with you, however he died christmas day a few years ago. I am so proud of what he did and still have afew of his keep sakes from the tour, plus tapes from when he was with the Basement Fish.
Keep your music going
Trip to San Francisco?
ingrid_whitehead[at]-remove-mcgraw-hill.com - New York, New York
1Oct2003 10:36 AM (19 years 3 days ago)
Hey Pat. I know you're a busy man, with many
activities and two cats that need much
And yet, you've played at a special wedding
before. Could you be coerced to bring JBC to
San Francisco November of 2004? What
would it cost? These are the things I wonder.
Credit where credit is due
aoxq26[at]-remove-dsl.pipex.com - TheEntirePopulationOfStocktonOnTees
2Jul2003 4:01 PM (19 years 93 days ago)
Thanks for existing and doing what you do.
cardboardbadgerhat[at]-remove-nickpynn.co.uk - Brighton, England
1Jul2003 4:17 PM (19 years 94 days ago)
Merci boucoup pour le CD avec East-Ham Bull et Des Personnes avec Qualite.
A great listen.My daughter says it's cool too.
Was great to meet you in Kilkenny last whenever.
andyhilton[at]-remove-mac.com - Co.Cavan,Eire
29Jun2003 3:59 PM (19 years 96 days ago)
Oi Fish,probably won't remember moi,but i spent a lot of
time ingratiating meself with you lot at Mackenzie Rd
and on European jaunts 84\85.Great times for me,never
forgotten-sorry to read about Kizzy,had good craic with
him too.All power to yer sikkorski,noone atLSE could
ever get what you were about either!Good Luck mate.
Gillian Barclay saying hello
28May2003 2:14 PM (19 years 128 days ago)
Just thought i'd post a greeting to you both.
are you gigging, any london dates? though i am prepared to travel for a good time. Sorry to say am not connected to the internet, but the post office will deliver traditional mail to gillian
barclay [at]-remove- 29 monmouth street, covent garden, london wc2h 9dd. yours in eager anticipation*x*
Hey Patrick, it's me Patrick...
tuttyman[at]-remove-hotmail.com - Vancouver, B.C.
17May2003 2:28 PM (19 years 139 days ago)
Pat, if you can, drop me a line. It would be great to hear from you. Last saw you in NYC, but I'm back in Canada now and might be coming to England this summer. Would be good to hook up and have a pint.
lytical [at]-remove-zebrakitten.com - lytical
2Jan2003 4:13 PM (19 years 274 days ago)
What sort of Rubber Animals?......Have you ever tried Leatherette?
djerob[at]-remove-aol.com - Djerob
21May2002 1:17 PM (20 years 135 days ago)
Distressed Gentlefolk passed through my
transom years and years ago, stuck as it was
part of the great CD conversion of '91. I know
NOTHING of the remaining body of work.
6Apr2002 3:29 PM (20 years 180 days ago)
good 2 c you´re doing stuff
betsyslu[at]-remove-aol.com - Riverside, CA, USA
14Jul2001 3:00 PM (21 years 81 days ago)
I'm moving and rediscovered records I've forgotten about. Among them were albums by The Woodentops. I swear that's you singing. Is it?
p.s. Upon re-reading this message, I must say that I'm glad I rediscovered these albums. When I listen to them once again, a hole in me is filled. Are you guys ever going to re-release some of your earlier stuff on cd (aside from live versions)? I have lots of holes that need filling.