I first encountered Jerry Fish in the crappy little room at the side of the stage in the Rock Garden (now Eamonn Dorans) about twenty years ago. We somehow managed to get a support gig with An Emotional Fish and we'd just come off stage. We were greeted in the crappy little room by the members of the band and they all seemd a little bit worse for wear. They'd all had a few shandys too many and their bass player had done a Brian Wilson and had somehow forgotten how to play his chosen instrument. They were trying to pressgang our bass player into going on stage with them. I'm not sure how it all turned out in the end. From my perspective they didn't need me on stage so I wasn't hanging around.
I was out for a few drinks in The Rumble Club in Thomas Reads in Smithfield last night. It's a rockabilly club that has been on in a few places around town for the last number of years. When we got there, there were already a 100 or so 40-something rockabilly guys and gals. It was like a scene out of the diner in Back to the Future or worse still, an episode of Heartbeat. It reminded me of growing up in the eighties, there was a local council estate that had about a dozen rockabilly dads living there. You'd see them stroll up and down the road getting their quiffs blown all over the place. A bunch of wannabe Elvis impersonators going about their daily business. I thought then what I'm thinking now. Why do people want to dress up like someone from fifty years ago. I guess its some kind of role play thing or just dressing up for adults. I reckon its a bit nuts, but what do I know?
Whilst having a smoke outside I got chatting to Olu Jacobs who is currently starring in the 'Playboy of the Western World' in the Abbey Theatre. Apparently its had a reworking by Roddy Doyle and Bisi Adigun. Olu had come down to the gig with Phelim Drew after the show and he was able to tell me that he'd starred in a Brendan Behan play, Richard's Cork Leg, with Phelim's father, Ronnie, about 35 years ago. I've only met Ronnie Drew once and that was when he asked me for a look at my race card at the Laytown Races about fifteen years ago. I remember it well, Val Joyce was doing his 'Airs and Races' outside broadcast for RTE just behind us. Anyway Mr Jacobs was a delightful character to chance upon.
The evening took another turn for the better when Jerry Fish showed up. Jerry used to live around the corner from me for a few years before he moved himself and his family to the country. He's been a friend of my missus and I've gotten to know him over the last 7 or 8 years. I can't remember what the fuck we were talking about last night but I do remember him getting me to hum a bassline for about five minutes whilst he sung me one of his new tunes. You'd think he'd have sorted out a new bass player by now.
P.S. I don't know why I think this but I reckon FAI Chief Executive John Delaney is beginning to look more like Wayne O'Donoghue everyday. It's the haircut and the guilty look.