The Jazz Butcher
The Jazz Butcher Press New Music Express
April 08, 1995
Album Review: Illuminate
New Music Express (UK)
April 08, 1995
Credit: Neil Spence

1994 live line-up stumbled through a series of tunes and such under Butcher's direction, aided and abetted by a number of the usual suspects; Alex Lee on guitar, Alex Green on saxes, that sort of thing.
[Illuminate cover thumbnail]
Creation LP;CD
Coming as he did in the wake of the post-punk world and before the havoc that dance culture wreaked, Pat Fish/The Jazz Butcher was the product of a difficult epoch in British music. Now working as The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy, 'Illuminate' is his tenth album and could be seen as an attempt to justify the relevance of that era. So, the second track, ' Sixteen Years ' still laments the '80s blight of privatisation but the target in the '90s is a Labour Party attempting to dismantle Clause IV.

Politics aside, Pat Fish sticks to his '80s musical guns too, as memories of Lloyd Cole, Scritti Politti and The Go-Betweens flood back. Stylistically diverse as 'Illuminate' is, it has none of the pan-cultural appeal that lies at the heart of '90s eclecticism.

Instead, Pat Fishpersists in what he's good at: crafting an album of fragile pop songs best suited to those with fond memories of their '80s glory days. But, for all its merits, 'Illuminate' doesn't shed fresh light on arguments over whether or not The Jazz Butcher was criminally overlooked talent.

(5/10) Neil Spence.

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