An Emotional Fish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
An Emotional Fish
Origin Dublin, Ireland
Genres Alternative rock
Years active 1988–present
Labels Mother Records
Atlantic Records
Members Gerard Whelan
Martin Murphy
David Frew
Enda Wyatt

An Emotional Fish is an alternative rock band from Dublin, Ireland. An Emotional Fish were formed in 1988, and consisted of Gerard Whelan (lead vocals, percussion), Martin Murphy (drums, percussion), David Frew (guitars, vocals), and Enda Wyatt (bass, vocals, keyboards). Their musical influences include David Bowie, Iggy Pop, T. Rex, and Dolly Parton.


The vocalist Gerard Whelan met bassist Enda Wyatt in a band that Whelan was auditioning for. Whelan joined the band, but it broke up soon after. After the break-up, Whelan and Wyatt formed their own band. They originally performed alone, and recorded their works on a four-track tape recorder. After a year, Whelan brought his friend David Frew into the band. Whelan and David Frew had attended the same school and lived in the same housing estate. In 1988, they decided to name the band An Emotional Fish. For a few months, they performed with a drum machine, but soon added drummer Martin Murphy as the final member of the group.

In 1989, they signed to U2's independent Mother Records label to release their eponymous debut CD. "Grey Matter" was a mild local hit, but it was followed by "Celebrate", which hit the top 10 in the Ireland charts. It also peaked at No. 46 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1990, where it remained in that listing for five weeks.[1] College radio stations began to pick up the song. It received significant airplay, and eventually reached the top 5 in the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. Atlantic Records signed the band, and re-released "Grey Matter" in the US, where it became a lesser college rock hit. Atlantic released their debut album internationally, where it received generally poor reviews but sold well in Ireland.

"Celebrate" was covered in Italian by the singer-songwriter Vasco Rossi in his 1993 album Gli Spari Sopra which went platinum 10 times. The song lyrics are largely a phonetic translation of the original (prominently the chorus verse this party's over is changed into the eponym gli spari sopra, whose meaning "the shots above" is entirely unrelated).

After a tour to support the debut album, An Emotional Fish returned to the studio to record Junk Puppets. The songs were recorded over eight months, and four of the songs were produced by David A. Stewart. In 1993, the album was released, and An Emotional Fish opened for U2 on the Zoo TV Tour. However, the album sold few copies outside Ireland. In 1994, the band released Sloper, but only secured a distribution deal in the UK. The album was released in the US two years later.

David Frew performed on The Marigolds Abbey Street EP which was released in 1998. More recently he has been playing with former Marigolds frontman Paul Woodward. David performed a series of low key gigs in Scotland at the end of 2011.

In 2002, Whelan created a new band, Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club, with a new style and musical presence, where he can still be seen to work with Enda Wyatt.

On March 30, 2012 the band played in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin at a concert in aid of Barretstown alongside such other Irish bands as Engine Alley and Republic of Loose. Drummer Martin Murphy died in January 2017.[2]



  • An Emotional Fish, 1990 - UK No. 40[1]
  • Junk Puppets, 1993
  • Sloper, 1994 (UK), 1996 (US)

Live albums[edit]

  • Celebration Live, 1991
  • Live Bait, 1991


  • An Emotional Fish, 1990 (VHS edition)


Year Title Chart positions Album
Irish Singles Chart US Modern Rock
1989 "Cry Like a Baby" 23 - non-album track
"Grey Matter" 28 - An Emotional Fish
"Celebrate" 10 4
1990 "Lace Virginia" 4 -
"Blue" 30 -
1991 "Grey Matter" (remix) - 18
1993 "Rain" 11 15 Junk Puppets
1994 "Time Is on the Wall" 22 - Sloper
"Aeroplanes" - -
1995 "Superman" - -
"Summertime" - -


  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 23. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^

External links[edit]