After a period of hungry obscurity, The Jazz Butcher began 1988 with a new LP, the celebrated Fishcotheque for a new label, the equally celebrated Creation Records. With critically-acclaimed albums such as Bloody Nonsense (a compilation of tunes recorded between 1983-86), and Distressed Gentlefolk under their belts.
The Jazz Butcher's new touring outfit hit the concert trail. By Easter Sunday, the band found themselves at the gates of Vienna, speaking an incomprehensive self-styled "Surrealist Rhyming Slang" (it doesn't rhyme) and gabbling darkly about the "Fishpower Uprising".
After completing a highly successful tour across Britian and Europe that took in some 50 cities, the band turned their attentions westward, and the summer of '88 found them on a lengthly club and college tour through the USA and Canada. Some three-quarters of the North American dates sold out.
On return to the UK, The Butcher ducked out of view to work on songs for the next LP, and little was heard from the group beyond a strange "acid shed" single called Spooky (EP).
This was soon followed by a brief but utterly deranged tour of Ireland. Really, nothing new.
As 1989 got under way the band turned to recording, emerging occasionally to confuse British audiences with a batch of previously unheard songs which would eventually come to comprise the Big Planet, Scarey Planet LP. The Jazz Butcher members also engaged in various collaborations with other artists: drummer Paul Mulreany appeared on The Times LP Beat Torture and on the debut single from Joss Cope's Something Pretty Beautiful: Laurence O'Keefe bassists, rehearsed and recorded with Peter Astor . Meanwhile, The Butcher himself worked with Sonic Boom of the Spacemen 3 , both on his solo LP and on the Spacemen 3's Playing With Fire LP and 13 Frightened Girls, and in concert with The Blue Aeroplanes. He also found time to play a handful of solo acoustic shows in London, Paris, Hamburg and Berlin.
Finally, in September 1989, Big Planet, Scarey Planet was ready for release, complete with a custom-made sleeve by Parisian artist Pascal Legras. Half-mad with the unaccustomed summer heat and effects of their own dubious recreational activities, The Jazz Butcher reassembled and started on a string of British dates, which is when things started to get seriously weird.
Kizzy O'Callaghan had to leave. The Jazz Butcher called old friend Richard Formby to help out as emergency guitarist. Richard normally runs a studio in Leeds, where he has engineered and produced such "on-the-way-up" groups as the Telescopes and Cud. Stepping in to contend with the title of "Northerner Of The Group", Richard gamely subjected himself to a ruthless regime of sleeplessness, violence and excess as the band blundered on in a crazed attempt to complete their live English commitments. After only a few dates, it became clear that he was suited to this sort of thing, and then he appeared as a regular member of The Jazz Butcher.
After a long and successful tour of North America, The Jazz Butcher came home...
Cult Of The Basement, Pat Fish's weirdest brain child to date, followed soon after. A Mix of pretty, easy melodies and subversive images with amazing titles and rhymes. The LP got extremely good reviews from extremely disturbed journalists.
The Jazz Butcher, after a unique London gig in July, are getting ready for a new North American tour.
God only knows what they'll be up to after.