This memorial celebration of the life and music of Pat Fish took place at the Dublin Castle instead of the intended actual gig by Pat Fish who sadly passed away before the gig could take place, but as we all know how much Pat hated cancelling any live gigs, So Promoter Jane Barnes and Dave Morgan decided that rather than cancelling the show that Dave was meant to be putting a band together for, he would instead expand the band and hold this wonderful tribute night, for that, all who took part or attended or watched it on the livestream are hopefully as grateful as I am for a wonderful celebration in the spirit Pat has embodied throughout his life and career. The cast included members of among other bands The Jazz Butcher, The Weather Prophets, The Loft, The Jasmine Minks, Scarlets Well, The Monochrome set, The Woodentops, 13 Frightened Girls, Helen and The Horns, Heidi Berry, Blurt, The June Brides, The Wolfhounds etc.
The Dublin Castle was packed before the gig doors opened with loads of friends and faces all of whom had connected with Pat one way or another over the years, I had been a fan since about 1985 when I bought Abstract Magazine Issue 5 that came with a Vinyl LP with The Jazz Butchers cover of John Cale's Leaving It Up To You as the closing song. I met Pat for the first time in 1989 in Paris and remained friends ever since, like many other people at the gig I have a large stock of stories about Pat. Apologies for any imaginary band names.
The evening began with a short speech by Dave Morgan to explain how he ended up as band leader and co-ordinator of tonight's gig as Pat had asked him to help put a band together for this gig to help start the promotion of the new Jazz Butcher Album The Highest In The Land, that's due out on Tapete Records in the New Year. He then handed over the microphone to Jem Price the evenings compere and continuity man to give a brief speech about Pat and why we were all here before he introduced the evenings first act Joe Turner.
Joe had flown in from the USA and was playing solo and sang a rather wonderful version of Olaf Palme the song about the senseless assassination of the Swedish Prime Minister who was the least worthy Prime Minister of such treatment, the wry humor was there as plenty of emotion in Joe's intro and singing.
Next on was Tim Keegan with the new Sikkorskis that included Dave Morgan on Drums, Peter Crouch on the Left wing Guitar, John Silver on Bass, Simon Mawby on Guitar and Jim Shepherd on backing vocals for a quite brilliant version of Next Move Sideways from the ever legendary Fishcoteque album, a song I turned into a poem with Pat's permission that I need to dig out, this was the first song that I saw tears flowing in the audience for.
They then went back to Scandal In Bohemia for a wonderful sing along to Southern Mark Smith that kept all of the songs humor and intent and got us all smiling.
We then had some line-up changes with Tim, Dave and Simon being joined by 13 Frightened Girls and Heidi Berry so Heidi could sing a very moving version of Keeping The Curtains Closed a song about depression and paranoia that feels very current with how things have been in the last couple of years.
The big band was replaced by Helen McCookerybook performing solo, as ever in a checked shirt and jeans, it was great to see Helen live again, ahead of her show at The Troubadour next month, she played one of Pat's favorite Velvet Underground songs and a really nice version of Femme Fatale with the audience providing the backing vocals on the chorus.
Next on was Blurt legend Jowe Head who was joined by Dave Morgan on Drums, Jim Shepherd on bass and David Musker on keyboards to sing the rather redolent Someone To Share My Life With that pulls on the heartstrings in all the right places and Jowe certainly got to the songs spirit.
After a bit of jiggling about it was time for Jem Price to sing as well as compere as he brought together his Basement Cultists that included Jim Shepherd on Guitar, Dave Morgan on drums David Musker on Keyboards and Simon Mawby on Guitar and was it Lawrence O'Keefe on bass for a wonderful version of Peter Lorre that unfolded after a false start or two.
The band then expanded with an additional percussionist, Tim Keegan replacing Jim Shepherd and Peter Crouch coming on as substitute for Bicycle Kid one of the only songs I couldn't sing along with, it sounded great with the band sounding like they had been playing it every night for a month.
They then closed the first half of the show with a wonderful version of Mr Odd that almost everyone in the Dublin Castle sang along too and we all know someone who fits in with the sort of character Mr Odd is about.
After the break where lots of us caught up with old friends and made some new ones too hopefully, we were all ready to hear one of Pat's favorite songs and Matt Sewell was on hand to tell us about hearing Pat play John Cale's Thoughtless Kind late at night at Fishy Mansions after his last home town gig before he played a rather emotional version of this classic whose lyrics only grow more pertinent as we all grow older this was a bit of a tear jerking start to the second half for lots of us.
We then had Jem Price hand over to John Schoneboom for the evenings contest to win one of 4 copies of Uncommonalities Volume II that features a story by Pat in it, that's available on Amazon if you need a copy.
Next on were 13 Frightened Girls who played a song from Last Of The Gentleman Adventurers Saints Prayer that had lots of messages of redemption within it and was quite stirring on an already emotional night, they then added Heidi Berry to the band for Matter Of Time that Sumishta Brahm wrote with Pat, that just seemed to speak to the feelings many of us have had recently, they had a poignancy that was spot on for the evening.
After a quick change around on came Pete Astor and some of the Weather Prophets and they did one of Pat's favorite Kevin Ayers songs Shouting In A Bucket Blues that sounded magnificent and was certainly more together than the last time I heard Kevin Ayers play it live. Pete then introduced his tribute to Pat song that put loads of emotion and loads of memories of the times they had together into a Fine & Dandy tribute.
Next up were The Jasmine Mink Conspiracy with Jim Shepherd, Dave Morgan, Dean Leggett, Simon Mawby, John Silver, Dave Musker and Tim Keegan who were all ready to show us that they were in fact Real Men some of whom came from Hell and some from other places as they got us all singing along to this classic hit and the dual drumming of Dave Morgan and Dean Leggett was quite something including the Adam and The Ants steals.
Sweet Jane had to get played at the tribute as Pat loved to get drunk enough to play it, although I'm not certain anyone on stage was that drunk, they brought on super sub Peter Crouch for this, either way it was a cool version of that classic.
We then got into the evening's dapper section as Bid From The Monochrome set made a suitably grand entrance as if he was emerging from Scarlet's Well once more to be joined by Dave Morgan, Simon Mawby, David Musker and John Silver for a brilliant version of Domestic Animals that brought a big smile to mine and many other faces.
One of Pat's oldest friends and collaborators Rolo McGinty then took centre stage for his new tribute song to Pat Another World that was played by the same band that backed Bid and well they smashed it out the park and damn well stole the show, the song is so on the money and full of the pain of loss of someone who has brought so much joy into Rolo's life as well as everyone else's lives, indeed Fishy has gone to heaven and we all want to own this song on a 12" single.
After the hurricane that was Rolo it was time for Tim Keegan and Jim Shepherd along with tonight's adventurers Dave Morgan, Peter Crouch, John Silver to play a heart-breaking version of Angels to make sure that anyone with a heart had another tear or two rolling down their faces.
David Lance Callahan was given the unenviable task of singing Pat Fish's final single Time off of The Highest In the Land a song full of Pat's thoughts on his inevitable passing, The Hounds backing him up on this task were Dave Morgan, John Silver, Simon Mawby and Peter Crouch, rarely do songs hit quite as many spots as this one does, it was a wonderful tribute and a fitting farewell.
All that left time for was one last big sing along to one of Pat's favourite songs to cover Camper Van Beethovens Take The Skinheads Bowling and the Jasmine Sikkorskis from hell really got everyone singing along to the chorus and smiling at the end of a brilliant night, they had run out of time so we didn't get the final encore of Roadrunner but it didn't matter as this was a perfect way to end a brilliant tribute to everyone's great friend Pat Fish.