"Pat Fish/The Jazz Butcher is one of the most brilliant incisive
pop writers that Britain has produced since the glory days of
Ray Davies and Pete Townshend."
Alan McGee, Creation Records
"Even an average cut of Butcher beats the prime of lesser mortals."
Trouser Press Record Guide
The Jazz Butcher and his unflappable guitarist Max Eider first surfaced in 1983 with the release of Bath Of Bacon on the small London independent label Glass Records. Melody Maker recommended the album to "Anyone looking for something really wild," while The Scotsman deemed it, "Quite good fun, if you don't mind being used in someone else's experiment."
The second Jazz Butcher album in 1984, A Scandal In Bohemia, attracted much more attention, and over the next year Pat and Max (together with the rhythm section of David J. (formerly of Bauhaus) and Owen Jones ) toured the U.K. and Europe in support of the album, which figured for weeks on the independent charts. Sounds called the following album, Sex And Travel, "The best pop record in the world. Seriously."
In the summer of 1986 a compilation of the Butcher's early recordings, Bloody Nonsense, was released in America, where it made No. 2 on the Gavin and CMJ charts. But after releasing a fourth album, Distressed Gentlefolk, and undertaking another European tour, the Butcher and Max parted ways. Max went on to record for Big Time Records, releasing his solo album The Best Kisser In The World in 1987, while the Butcher continued his career by signing with Creation Records.
The Butcher's 1988 album, Fishcotheque, was praised in Rolling Stone as establishing the Butcher as "King of his own particular musical domain," and a sold-out summer tour of North America helped to make the album the Butcher's biggest seller to date. 1989 saw the release of Big Planet, Scarey Planet, which succeeded in topping MTV's alternative chart. Endless touring followed, with only a brief break to record Cult Of The Basement. Described by CMJ as "A peerless piece of Britpop" on its release in September 1990, Basement featured the radio hit " She's On Drugs " and the single " Girl-Go ." Melody Maker found the album to be "As languid and graceful a slice of slush as you could dare to dream." Reviewing the same release, Sounds wondered why the Butcher was not "As big as George Michael."
The Butcher next recorded Condition Blue in 1991. West Coast DJ Deirdre O'Donoghue called it "The work of his [sic] lifetime." The album spawned radio hits like " She's A Yo-Yo " and " Shirley Maclaine ." The Butcher remained with Creation and released two more albums. Waiting for Waiting For The Love Bus, released in 1993, was described by the Trouser Press Record Guide as "Fish at his most seductive and romantic, and it makes for his greatest achievement ...in all, the perfect Jazz Butcher recording, one that would be hard to top for sheer entertainment value." In October 1993 the Butcher was privileged to open for John Cale at London's Forum. Illuminate, the tenth Jazz Butcher album, which former member David J. produced, was released in 1995.
The Jazz Butcher then ended his relationship with Creation in 1996, and began working on other music projects, including acting as evil mastermind behind Northampton-based Sumosonic. But unexpectedly, the Butcher and Max Eider began to perform together once again, although only sparingly at first, and only at occasional live events.
Over the next few years a fervent demand to see the two great co-conspirators began to boil-over. Fans world-wide were amazed and excited by the prospect of a Jazz Butcher Conspiracy that featured both Pat and Max. So it was decided that a United States tour was in order, and in September 1999 Pat and Max arrived Stateside to perform at sold-out shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and New York, where they were accompanied by other old-school Jazz Butcher musicians Owen Jones , and David J. and Kevin Haskins (both of Bauhaus and Love And Rockets fame). It had been thirteen years since Pat and Max last toured the U.S. together.
The response was so resoundingly positive that only one thing could result: Max Eider has officially rejoined the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy! The year 2000 finds The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy - Pat Fish and Max Eider - very busy indeed. A live album entitled Glorious And Idiotic, recorded at a 1999 show in Hamburg, is set for release in February by Reachout International Records (ROIR) of New York. The Conspiracy also has lengthy travel plans ahead, with a spring tour in the U.S., a summer tour in Europe, and dates that will take them to Japan and Australia. In between touring, Pat and Max will return to the recording studio, and fans can look forward to hearing a fresh album of all new material by year's end.