An Emotional Fish – In session for Dave Fanning – RTE-Dublin – 1989 –
An Emotional Fish in session from 1989 tonight.
Every so often, when there’s the urge to go exploring, seeing what else is out there, what other websites are doing what, you run into something really interesting that makes you want to go back and do more digging. There’s this site, an unofficial site dedicated to the Irish DJ Dave Fanning, who has a regular program on RTE, the Irish radio network out of Dublin. The site is called, appropriately, The Fanning Sessions and it’s worth checking out. There are gems to be heard and bands that range from the familiar to the totally unknown.
One of those bands who are familiar (and I admit to not hearing all that much about them in recent years) is An Emotional Fish, a band out of Dublin who got started in 1988 with this session one year in, in 1989.
Here’s a little background, excerpted via their own site:
The An Emotional Fish band, formed in Dublin in late 1988, is composed of 4 members:
GERARD WHELAN- vocals, percussion
DAVID FREW – guitars, vocals
ENDA WYATT – bass, vocals, keyboards
MARTIN MURPHY – drums, percussion
Lead singer Gerard Whelan and guitarist David Frew spent their teen years living in the same housing estate in Dublin, and attending the same school. “We always knew, somehow, that we would get a band together, ” states Dave. “We had some kind of sixth sense.”
David Frew, who had recently returned to Dublin to Find his bearings, bumped into Enda, a distant acquaintance, quite by chance. Frew was hired because he was very handsome, had wonderfully kept hair, and played lots of mean, blues-streaked guitar. Frew, whose influences included Steve Miller, early Bowie, and U2, picked up the guitar when he was 17. David Frew, a guitar player who didn’t quite trust his own ability, had spent all of his life wandering. He’d lived in various tips in London, played in a German strip-club, and cut hair in Liverpool, Aberdeen, and Paris to buy bread and crisps.
Gerard Whelan, who loved Marc Bolan form T. Rex, was also influenced by Lou Reed, Patti Smith, The Doors, and especially Iggy Pop. “I like the aggression and dry wit in a lot of his songs, ” Gerard explains. When he was 19, Gerard met Enda Wyatt, who was playing bass in a band that Gerard was trying out for. Gerard passed the audition, but “Enda and I left the band soon afterwards, ” he explains. Previously, Gerard had laid bricks in London, slept rough in King’s Cross, waited on filthy rich eighty-somethings in America, made cheap jewelry in Egypt and Iran, and was now back in Dublin and restless as hell.
They came together quite by accident when Gerard Whelan and Enda Wyatt decided that they had enough ideas in their heads, music in their hearts, and feel in their shoes for some songs and some innocent and inexpensive fun.
In the spring of 1989, the group played a handful of live shows in Dublin and recorded a now-legendary demo-cassette for 75 pounds. The word got out. An Emotional Fish, with its dirty guitars and its elastic lead singer who sprayed his audience with party streamers and words about travel, space, people, trains, and traffic-lights, was happening.
Suddenly, the band was getting offers right and left, but wasn’t sure which company to trust. At this point, Mother Records, the label formed by U2 to foster Irish bands, stepped in. “They heard about us and offered us a singles deal”, Dave states. “That’s why Mother was set up, as a stepping stone for bands like us”.
Initially nurtured by U2’s independent label, Mother Records, the band was subsequently inked by East West U.K., to make their worldwide premiere with the release of their self-titled debut album. Soon afterwards, the group was inked by Atlantic Records.
And that leads us up to this session, recorded presumably in the spring of 1989.
Crank it up and be reminded or get familiar.