Tributes to Northampton musician Pat Fish, The Jazz Butcher

Pat Fish.

Friends and musicians paid tribute to Pat Fish who sadly passed away last week, describing him as “a true artist” and “a great songwriter”.

One of Northampton’s most influential figures in the 1980s, Pat formed and was also better known as The Jazz Butcher.

Born in London, Patrick Huntrods moved to Northampton after studying at Oxford, forming The Jazz Butcher in the early 1980s with Max Eider.

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While he would continue to perform under that moniker, it was Pat’s willingness to write, record, and perform with others, which meant that the band’s formation included dozens of musicians over the years. .

The Jazz Butcher released a series of albums on Glass Records in the first half of the 1980s before signing with Alan McGee’s Creation Records.

In a recent tribute to Fish on Instagram, label boss McGee said, “(Pat was) one of the first people to believe in creation.

“At that point in 1986/87, when we signed Pat, nobody would come to Creation other than unknown bands and he was a big deal.

“Him and Lawrence Hayward (Felt) – we had these guys and we could do international licensing deals and even though he didn’t sell millions, and he should have, he was part of the reason we have done well. “

Sometimes also known as The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy or The Jazz Butcher And His Sikkorskis From Hell, the band’s sound was rooted in indie and alternative.

Jazz Butcher’s debut album on Creation was 1988 Fishcotheque and they released numerous albums on the label.

McGee added, “You need these artists to make labels, and there were these guys, especially Pat, who were never concerned with money, it was just about releasing his records.

“I’m disgusted with Pat. Such a good human being, such a true artist, such a great songwriter and such a nice guy. Rest in peace.”

Besides The Jazz Butcher, Pat has also performed in bands such as Wilson, Black Eg, Sumosonic, Spacemen 3 and most recently The Drones Club.

Alex Novak, who runs the Spiral Archive record store, has performed in numerous bands in Northampton over the past 30 years, including Venus Fly Trap, Religious Overdose and Tempest.

He said musicians like Pat played a crucial role in “cross-fertilizing” the acts of Northampton, which at the time included the Bauhaus.

He said: “It was when Pat moved to Northampton that the genesis of The Jazz Butcher really began.

“We were on the same label, I was in Religious Overdose then Tempest and that’s where the whole connection started.

“There were also the ties to David J and Kevin Haskins from the Bauhaus, there was a lot of cross-fertilization on the Northampton music scene at the time with Glass Records in the middle.

“As Tempest we did quite a bit of gigs with The Jazz Butcher and then later Pat played saxophone on one of the Venus Fly Trap records and produced Pandoras Box which we recorded in France.”

Mr. Novak explained that if some bands and musicians do not work with others, it is the opposite for Pat, adding: “He had no brothers, sisters or children and I think other musicians have become. close family members.

“I think people get complacent and think people will be there forever, it’s important that we like people while they’re there.”

While Pat would continue to perform as The Jazz Butcher, one of his most recent projects was as a bassist in The Drones Club.

The Drones Club, which has its roots in the folk scene and plays ancestral and improvised music, reunited in 2014 and was formed by Ian Clabburn and Russell Cooper – the latter with whom Pat had previously performed in Wilson and Sumosonic. . Pat replaced the group’s lead bassist and they were later joined by guitarist Steve Gordon on guitar.

Mr. Clabburn said: “Pat has been very generous with his expertise.

“It’s a great loss. There was no pretension, he took you at face value and there was never any subtext. “You can’t say that about a lot of people.

“It was Pat who took a disparate group of musicians and cheerfully molded them into a cohesive group with his own sound.

“I have learned so much and feel like I am a better musician, for which I will be eternally grateful.”

The Drones Club continued to meet weekly until Pat’s recent death, to repeat, Mr Clabburn admitting it was “often more of a social gathering, peppered with seemingly endless anecdotes from Pat” .

“It was an honor and a privilege to play with someone with so much talent, so much drive and so much determination. He will be sorely missed, “he added.

In addition to playing music, Pat also hosted the indie music show Transmission which aired on ITV in the late 1980s.

In recent years, Fire Records had launched an extensive series of Jazz Butcher reissues from his time on Glass and Creation records.

Pat had also become a regular online artist, hosting numerous ‘Fishy Mansions’ concerts.

It is understood that Pat was also working on a new album which should be released in the future.

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