Article: Phish Off To Europe

February 12, 1997
Edited by Jaan Uhelszki
Phish On A Stick

Photo: Danny Clinch

Phish left for Europe yesterday on a quick three-week
assault, beginning with a sold-out show on February 13
at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London. Immediately
following that show, the guys will hop on a plane to
spend Valentine's Day in Brussels, Belgium =F3 one of
the preeminent chocolate capitals of the world. Then
the band will wind its way through Western Europe,
ending up munching on Danishes in Copenhagen on
March 2, just before heading back home to appear on
the Late Show With David Letterman on March 5.
In addition to all this gourmet nibbling, the band
members have written two new songs using their
idiosyncratic left-brain approach to creativity, which
they call a "rotation jam." Each of the members
switches instruments with the next guy, unleashing some
untapped potential that they don't normally access. Not
only do they do this in the privacy of the recording
studio, but the wacky foursome also employs this
musical, uh, chair technique in some of its more
inspired concerts. You know, the ones where Trey
Anastasio switches from guitar to keyboards,
keyboardist Page McConnell sits in on the drums,
drummer Jon Fishman picks up a bass, and bassist
Mike Gordon plays guitar.
Once Phish recuperates from its European vacation,
the band will head into the studio, importing Steve
Lillywhite from his London abode to lay down some
tracks. After which, the band will return to Europe in
June to do the festival swing and a few individual dates.
The group has already booked the Royal Albert Hall,
which was propitious, since the guys recently added "A
Day In The Life" to their repertoire. You know, the old
Beatles song with the line about "how many holes it
takes to fill the Albert Hall."
The band hasn't abandoned the homeland for the
charms of the Old World, however. They'll tour the
U.S. in late summer, and it looks like that tour will
begin in the Deep South.
Meanwhile, back in the band's hometown of
Burlington, VT, Ben and Jerry, the infamous ice cream
makers, are busy at work in their laboratory cooking
up a new flavor in honor of their famous musical
neighbors. So far the band has rejected their first
offering, which went under the disgusting rubric of
Phish & Chips. But we have high hopes. After all, this
is the company that invented the scrumptious Cherry
Garcia, named after the late Grateful Dead guitarist.
Not only are these ice cream maestros Phish fans,
they're friends, and they appeared at the band's
Clifford Ball concert last Labor Day, singing
background vocals to "Brother," an unreleased gem
that Phish does in concert.
By the way, there are rumors that Phish will stage a
second Clifford Ball next summer in Maine after
Plattsburg, NY, refused to allow the band to stage
another concert there.

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