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the online live music gig guide for the midlands

Tower Of Song Cafe Bar (Cotteridge)
Surge Music Gig Guide

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30 March 2017

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Band Info


Okay, this was written back in the 90's, when Trotsky was still in the Citizen Fish drum throne, before Silas. Still, it's an interesting snapshot:

'For a decade Citizen Fish has been touring the world: turning gatherings, benefits, and social gigs into an international never-ending weekend. These four dudes from the UK, Dick (vocals, motormouth, idealist, one set of clothes for each tour), Phil (guitar, facial hair, soccer, model for BEAR magazine), Jasper (bass, sweaters, cigarettes, ladies man) and Trotsky (drums, one time proprietor of a worm farm, possibly the only member of the band who can drive a van or bench his weight) have created a blend of punk, ska, and straight up rock'n'roll that appeals to the sing-a-long music fans and even the "muso" musician types that typically dismiss punks as not being able to play their instruments.

But it's not so much the fact that these dudes are the most talented musicians in England, it's what they say and how they say it. In a fun loving, all inclusive way, Citizen Fish (and their previous outfits Culture Shock and the legendary Subhumans) have brought working class radical politics to generations of questioning minds. Leaving aside the typical screaming rants of boring political punk bands, the Fish offer a hopeful, danceable alternative. Whereas other bands have fans, admirers, and flavor-of-the-month teenyboppers hoarding to their concerts, Citizen Fish have established an open and always growing family. The idealistic unifying tone of Dick's lyrics, coupled with the catchy driving riffs of the band, allow the Fish to appeal to a wide variety of folks. Heck, they are the only punk band my whole immediate family has seen play live, twice! My mother still partially blames the band for my father's unemployment. After hearing Dick's ranting prelude to "Call in Sick" at a Philly gig, my father burst out applauding and shouting "Yeah now that's a good one! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!" and took another 6 months off.

Touring the USA with the Fish is more like a good family vacation than working as a cog in the ugly and never-ending corporate world of rock'n'roll promotions. Roadies Richard, Karoline, Pete, Paula, and the rotating AK Press bookseller roam the halls, dance up a storm, and fill up floors on punk houses ranging from the grimy squat in Etters to the hot tubbed palaces of Los Angeles. Everywhere the Fish goes, a bottle, a smoke, and a friendly conversation is sure to follow. Familiar dancing faces in every town, beers and vegetarian meals, and local activists filling the gig halls with information, ideas, and inspiration for positive change is what Citizen Fish are all about.'

Craig O'Hara Author, 'The Philosophy of Punk '

Genres: Punk Ska

Citizen Fish Gigs


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