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Sep 07 1996 @ Tattoo '96 Toronto, ON

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On Stage

Angelo C. Moore (v, sax, thr, per)
John Norwood Fisher (eb, b, v)
Walter Kibby III (v, t)
Philip Fisher (d)
John Bigham (eg, g, key, v)


Knock It
When Problems Arise
Give it Up
In The Cube
Skankin' to the Beat


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1 review
Review from the Nuttwork's archive 

I doubt that Fishbone will forget their gig in Toronto. It has been gorgeous weather here for the last 8 weekends and all the weather reports looked promising, until Hurricane Fran hit the coast and kept on going. For everybody in New England and Southern Ontario, you know what the weather was like and this was supposed to be an outdoors concert. When we got on the site at historic Fort York it was pissing rain and windy as hell. There were several hundred brave souls there, huddled under 3 tents. I helped put up a fourth: which was very interesting with the wind blowing as it was. Over at another corner of the site was the abandoned stage; looking very forlorn. Since one of the concert sponsors was Guiness, there was a beer tent where you could get Guiness, Smithwicks, and Harp ale on tap. Well, with the elements looking as though they were holding a personal grudge, most people were downing pints like the end of the world was upon them. Finally word got around that although over half the bands had cancelled, that the Mahones, Fishbone, the Irish Descendants and Spirit of the West would play. It took some time but finally the first band, the Mahones took the stage that was set up in what was probably going to be the beer tent. Now, I'm not a real fan of celtic style music but if these guys couldn't get you moving, well, as they say in Cape Breton, "you,ve got a piano tied to your arse". The crowd loved them too; real drinking music. There were several hundred people in this tent, just a' moshin'. A few people tried to crowd surf, but thank god it didn't work out, as it was just too crowded and I didn't relish a Wellington in the face. Up on one of the picnic table bleachers, my wife, Linda, had to put this uptight cunt in her place. She was told that our almost six year old son Eric had no place at this concert. This young women was soon informed (with the scruff of her shirt being held and Linda doing her harpie thing) that her opinion was misguided. As the Mahones played you, could see Norwood and Walt checking them out from the side of the stage, with bemused looks on their faces. After the Mahones, we had a small conference, because Eric had fallen asleep, the weather was still raging and even though Fishbone were next, it would probably be at least half an hour until they were set up. I thought that I could drive Eric home, pick up the babysitter, put him to bed and be back before Fishbone finished. We all agreed it was a good plan except for Eric, who woke up and refused to leave until he had seen Fishbone. He's a true believer, so we all stayed. Surprisingly soon, Fishbone were announced and hit the stage declaring that they were going to play acoustic for the first time ever. And damned if Norwood didn't have an Ovation acoustic/electric bass and John had an acoustic guitar. Fashion-wise, Norwood was wearing a green garbage bag raincoat and a bright pink fringed rubber women's swim cap. Angelo had this cool Elvis stylee plastic molded wig. Way cool. Appropriately enough, they began with "Alcoholic" and then "Beergut". John was playing his acoustic into a microphone and they just couldn't get enough volume from it. Norwood kept calling for more guitar, Angelo was laughing and John was getting pissed off.

Someone else will have to tell you all the tunes and their order; I tried to commit them to memory, but I was distracted by having Eric up on my neck, and then in my arms as he fell asleep again. (It was well past his normal bedtime by then) Anyways, for sure, "In the Cube" was next, then? ..I know they did "Give it Up, When Problems Arise, Housework, Cholly, Knock It, Pressure, Skankin' to the Beat". I'd have to check my CD's for the other songs and I'm at work right now. John didn't do guitar solos because he couldn't cut through, but he would sometimes hum or doodlee-do one. Norwood was mighty funky still, but had tuning problems, which he explained was due to the fact that, "I'm a professional!". They seemed to be having fun on stage, but they didn't have that, in your face, sound pressure level which I was hoping for. It was kinda mellow, in a weird way. Kinda hard to explain. Not exactly what I was expecting, but I,m sure it's unique in the Fishbone concert history. John finally got a different acoustic/electric guitar and for the last tune we could really hear some guitar. Fish was just the great drummer he is. They finished playing the last tune and everyone walked off the stage except for Angelo who kept playing his "juice harp". The roadies began picking up the instruments and breaking down the drum kit. The crowd was calling for more and Angelo kept a thrummin'. He went on for a least three or four minutes then he left with a wave. That was it. As we left the tent we found that the storm had abated; the wind had died down and it was just lightly misting. We had seen Fishbone and we weren't about to stay for anymore celtic madness. Anyways, the young dude was getting heavy to carry. Out in the parking lot I saw Walt by their bus and I had a brief chat with him. He seemed kinda subdued. He wasn't talking about how the tour was going; he said, "Todays a new day, that was yesterday." He seemed to dig that Eric was there just to see them, but I didn't want to intrude too much. I'll bet that this Canadian leg of their tour wasn't that great for them, although I would love to be told otherwise. Anybody? Vancouver, Banff, Calgary,? London tonight? It must be weird for them to be on tour, and be playing these small clubs in relatively small market cities, or playing third on the bill on this predominately celtic/folk/rock line-up, after all their years of playing. I hope it's not getting them down. They deserve better. Oh well,.. got to go home. It was a weird but wonderful.



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Fishbone & Tattoo '96

Fishbone is not scheduled to play Tattoo '96 anytime soon.


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