The Jazz Butcher
The Jazz Butcher Press Pop News - September 28, 2019
Published: Pop News (France) September 28, 2019 Credit: Vincent Arquillière Source:
The associated Gig: 2019-09-28 Item added: 2021-11-22

Visiting Jazz Butcher

CAUTION - This is a robotic translation of the original French publication

It is a singer and sonwgwriter rare in France that we will be able to go and applaud on Saturday September 28 in Malakoff, south of Paris. Pat Fish, aka The Jazz Butcher, still performs regularly, alone or accompanied, in London and elsewhere in England, but has not performed often with us. Across the Channel as here, he obviously remains a cult artist. Who has done nothing to maintain the cult in question, but also nothing to make themselves known to a wider audience. Listening to his discography, most of which was reissued last year in two boxes at Fire records which also released his latest album, the delicious “Last of the Gentleman Adventurers”, we say to ourselves that his work is full of catchy popsongs, which would have deserved a better fate. The fact that the Jazz Butcher has only signed with independent labels (Glass then Creation), and the somewhat disconcerting versatility of most of his albums, where light pieces à la Jonathan Richman rub shoulders with raging rock titles with texts sometimes subtly political and heartbreaking ballads, will undoubtedly have limited his exposure. In March 2016, we met him in London, passing through (he lives in Northampton), happy to see “Last of the Gentleman Adventurers” reissued by Fire records after a first self-funded pressing of 1000 copies, quickly sold out. He came back for us on his beginnings under the alias The Jazz Butcher:
“It was the time when something like the third generation of post-punk was starting to turn into bad goth. Okay, I'm friends with ex-Bauhaus guys and I don't have a problem with goth rock, but I was getting a little tired of all these pale copies. So the music I was making then was in reaction to all that seriousness, but in retrospect I think it was less whimsical than it sounds. It was more like a mask.Take a track like “Girls Who Keep Goldfish” [on the first album “Bath of Bacon” in 1983, Editor's note]. At first glance it seems absurd and comical, but it expresses a strange form of hostility. At the time I wrote it, I must have been 24 years old, I had already been part of bands that had brought me neither money nor real pleasure, and I felt like I was about to give up. I think that well hidden, there was in these songs an anti-social feeling, the desire to be apart from the world. A bit like Syd Barrett… Like, “really, this guy is reduced to talking about fish in a bowl!”
Note, on this same album without much equivalent in the English pop of the time, a pastiche of the minimalist electro-punk track “Warm Leathrette” by The Normal (interpreted a little later by Grace Jones), under the title… “ Gray Flanellette ”, a nod to“ Born to Be Wild ”(“ Born to be fried ”on“ Poisoned by Food ”), the moving“ Partytime ”which seems straight out of a Jens Lekman album, as well as an improbable song in French, “La Mer” (“But what there are elephants here!”), which the Little Rabbits will resume a few years later. Pat Fish had produced in the early 90s “Tramway”, the second album of another French group, Chelsea, and the current was not always perfectly passed between the musicians and him:
“They wanted a quartet of strings,I was trying to force feedback on the guitars to them! He remembered in the half-light of a London pub.
In April 2017, we finally discovered him on stage in London , during a too brief opening act of other indie veterans, the Jasmine Minks. Two and a half years later, Pat the butcher should offer his fan club during this Parisian evening his best pieces - and there is no shortage of them. At the same poster, we will also find with great pleasure Tim Keegan, the singer of the group Departure Lounge, whose POPnews had distinguished the album “Too Late to Die Young” in his time (2002). This will be the first of the meetings offered this season at the Barbusse neighborhood center (MQB) in Malakoff by Artsolis. Until June, at the rate of almost one per month, will alternate concerts labeled pop and folk (with the idea of bringing together musicians with similar aspirations to have them play together) and meetings devoted to chamber music, baroque, tango, traditional Scottish songs, etc. We will therefore have the opportunity to come back to it.

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