Line Up: Jerry Fish And The Skeleton Crew
This was the fourth Arthur’s Day and for the third time off I went to the Brazen Head (Ireland's oldest pub don’t you know, dating back to 1198). Arthur’s Day seems to have divided much of Ireland. If you were bothered you could listen to all the naysayers. You know the type, those who believe Arthur’s Day is just a corporate scam by a British company to make more money and get lots of advertising for Guinness. They say it is a made up day to celebrate Guinness and why should they be allowed to have a day specially for an alcoholic drink…blah blah blah…frankly I’m bored of that crap because who gives a fuck? They may be right in part but for me it is a celebration of two of my favourite things; Guinness and live music. If you aren’t interested in Arthur’s Day then don’t go out. Ignore it. On Twitter? Then block it. Simple.
The one downside about the day is that you have no idea where each artist is going to be (unless you are in the know of course…don’t you hate those fuckers and their inside information?). Yes it adds to the excitement but in the past I have really wanted to see David Gray, the Manics, Biffy Clyro and the Stereophonics but instead I saw Lisa Hannigan, Plan B and Paolo Nutini. As it happened I have enjoyed them all and maybe that is what is great about Arthur’s Day…you may just see an artist you wouldn’t normally want to and you may just enjoy it.
The Brazen Head has had a ‘major artist’ every year and so myself and the Mrs thought we would be safe going back there again. Having had the few requisite Guinness and toasting Arthur at 17.59 we stood at the back of the bar ready for the band to come on. Just before 7pm Jerry Fish and the Skeleton Crew took to the stage. Now at this point I must admit to feeling a little disappointed as I was hoping for a ‘bigger name’…but in truth that was forgotten after a few minutes as the quite stunning set from Jerry and his band got into full swing. Now I knew who Jerry Fish was. I was aware that he was in Emotional Fish and they had the huge song Celebrate. I knew that he has had success in Ireland with Jerry Fish and The Mudbug Club, and I was sort of aware that he looked like an older Joey Barton (sorry) but what I didn’t realise was how bluddy (or is it bloody? I never know) great he was.
Not only was Jerry in great form, interacting with the crowd superbly, but the music from his band was quite brilliant. Made up with of a trumpet (Bill), saxophone (Princess Mischa), two guitarists (Cáit and Grum) and drummer (Binzer) the band were all having a blast (I hope I got the names right, apologies if not). Every track was a highlight and that is coming from someone who didn’t know any song except for the very last. The fact is as I write this text I have the Be Yourself album on which I just downloaded from iTunes…and lined up next are the other two albums I found on there (interestingly not much Emotional Fish stuff, licence or distribution issues I guess??). The eclectic and fun nature of the album I now listen to is matched by the sheer entertainment I got from the live experience from Thursday’s gig. For the hour and three quarter set myself and the wife had a great time. Trust me if anyone keeps me away from Guinness for all that time on Arthur’s Day then they are doing something right. It flew by.
If Jerry should by chance come across this then can I just apologise to him as I was one of the people with a camera phone. You said why not ‘Live in the moment’ and forget the phones. I 100% agree with you and it is only because of my web site and book that I take pictures and occasionally (very occasionally) take video clips. Also in answer to your question about how many of us would actually watch what we took…well I won’t watch mine at all because my hand was over the mic and so I had 7 minutes of Jerry Fish and the Skeleton Crew miming. I think I may not bother in the future.
At the end of the set the recently re-recorded Celebrate had everyone dancing. The feel good atmosphere was such a joy to behold and is what this day is all about. I shall certainly be seeing Jerry again in November at the Workman’s Club and if tonight is anything to go by then that should be another night to remember.
To sum up, Jerry is quite superb and a national treasure me thinks.
Ticket: No Ticket Gig
Ticket Price: Free