Every career has its ups and downs, for us it seems there’s been more downs than ups. We decided to rank our highest and lowest career points, with our own rating system e.g fishes, with +10 being the highest point in our career and -10 being the lowest. Were you there at any of these points? Time to find out. Here they are, our ten career defining moments.
1. Our First Gig- 0 Fishes
Initially one of the greatest nights of our lives. It was December 2010 and Graeme and Joe were still high off the buzz from their performances in the school musical Grease. With three songs in the tank it was the boys chance to show the world what they had. The prize included a free days recording in a professional studio. A chance to lay down our first tracks in proper fashion. We were allowed to play 2 out of our 3 songs which at the time were ‘Start Normally’, ‘Take My Heart’ and ‘Chemical Town’. Foolishly, nay madly we opted to play ‘Take My Heart’ over the fast paced future fan favourite ‘Chemical Town’. Start Normally went well and as planned the crowd went wild as we unleashed a fireman Sam beach ball into the crowd. Stewart wowed the fans with his Ray Mysterio mask and girls wept with Graeme’s vocals. Coming off stage we were buzzed. Could we actually win? No was the answer. We lost out to a band called Caspers Friend who have since split up. This left us devastated and set us back about 3 years in the recording process. Despite this our first gig had been played and we got this great photo with our pals. Overall a neutral night – 0 fishes.
2. Headliners – 4 Fishes
Two months later and its a new year and a new gig. Another battle of the bands at Exodus Coleraine, however this time we weren’t competing. Called by Tim Robinson to be the headline act of the night and with the opportunity of actually being paid this was an offer we couldn’t refuse. It was the first of a very limited number of paid gigs and so is always remembered fondly by the boys. The gig went well and the fans were pleased. A decent night – 4 fishes.
3. The Vibe – -6 Fishes
One of the worst nights of our career. A year and many average gigs after our headline gig at exodus its May 2012 and we’re playing in yet another battle of the bands. This time its hosted by Simon (Band Manager) Alleyne’s church North West Fellowship in Coleraine. The event was called The Vibe. At this point we served up a new classic anthem ‘We’ve Got Time’ and it met with rave reviews. Having received largely positive reviews from the judges we felt our chances of progressing were high. Not to be. It seemed the judges had lied through their teeth and felt we weren’t good enough to reach the second round. Upon realising we had lost out to a Northern Irish rapper we considered calling it quits for the first time. The only consolation for Joe being that he felt he looked pretty slick in his campaigners uniform. Overall one of the worst nights of our career – -6 fishes. Luckily for you it was all captured in an episode of memoirs of Goldfish Jones. You can watch it here:
4. Rugby Concert – 6 Fishes
Just days after the crushing night at The Vibe the boys were brought back from the brink with a call from their school teacher and rugby coach Mr. Beggs. It appeared the school was having a fundraiser to provide funds for an impending rugby tour to South Africa and Mr. Beggs was offering the boys the chance to be the in house band. Obviously they accepted the offer. It turned out to be a great night. They played their go to ‘Start Normally’ and enjoyed backstage chats with international rugby stars Andrew Trimble and Johann Muller along with Ulster defence coach Johnny Bell and Sports commentator Steven Watson. The band reached an all time high when each member of this group agreed to be in an episode of their self filmed documentary series ‘Memoirs of Goldfish Jones’. A great night – 6 fishes.Don’t believe us? Watch it here:
5. Summer Madness – 8 Fishes
In June 2012 we made our summer madness début in the exodus tent. We were a small unheard of band with a simple 40 minute afternoon slot. However this was to be the gig that changed the course of our career and began a four year love affair with Summer Madness that culminated in a 200 person prime time gig in a packed out Exodus tent in June 2015. That first gig in 2012 was calm and relaxed and the moment we fully embraced the comedic aspect of our performances. At the start no one knew who we were but by the end they didn’t want us to go. What an afternoon – 8 fishes.
6. Ballymoney Ground – -10 Fishes
Undeniably the worst night of our career. No question. Our friend had asked us to play at a youth event he was organising. The gig was to be in Ballymoney Ground and we were informed sound equipment would be provided. We turned up to find this was not the case. We were left to perform to the 6 people that had turned up, without any microphones and an uneven amp system which left us deaf to what we were doing. Needless to say the audience wasn’t impressed. To top off what was already a horrible night for Graeme he was consistently misnamed Greg throughout. A horrible night – -10 fishes.
7. Graeme Leaves – -4 Fishes
A sad day for everyone involved with Goldfish Jones. The emotions involved as Graeme bade farewell to Coleraine and hello to Norwich were great. They led us to write some questionable songs drenched in emotion. Although only leaving on a temporary basis his departure still stung like an African Bee. It was death. Stewart and Joe continued to campaign under the GFJ banner but it wasn’t the same and if anything their poor vocals did more damage to the bands reputation than good. Despite a lovely meal out at the Ramore Wine Bar the previous night it was still a horrible day – -4 Fishes.
8. Chart Toppers – 10 Fishes
In December 2013 we released our first single on to iTunes. As we prepared the release of our first single, Funky Christmas Party, little did we know that we stood on the precipice of greatness. In one 24 hour period all was turned on its head, fear and despair became hope and happiness. Minds were blown as we watched ourselves climb up the highly competitive comedy music chart. 167th became 41st. 41st in turn became 30th. From 30th we went on to reach 16th. 16th then lowered to 10th. 10th became 3rd, 3rd became 2nd and on the stroke of the hour, what was thought to have been beyond hope became a reality as we over took “How do I craft this again(feat Yogscast) by In the little wood” to become the top comedy music hit. This story will be passed on from generation to generation of the Livingstone, Livingston and Fulton families. You can still purchase this single on iTunes for a mere 79p. Best day of our career – 10 fishes.
9. Through the Seasons – -8 Fishes
March 2015 and things never really kicked off after the success of Funky Christmas Party. After releasing ‘Trains’ to a fairly mediocre response the boys decided they had nothing to lose and so released previously unheard ‘Through the Seasons’. We’ve already done a blog on this song so not much more to say here. It was one of the songs written the week Graeme first left for university and hits on themes fairly different for the regular GFJ fan. Without any of the trade mark laughs or charm normally present in their songs this came across as uncharacteristically flat. Needless to say it was a commercial failure and was removed from iTunes a mere year after its initial release. A poor decision and a poor song – -8 fishes.
10. A Night Inside the Bowl – 0 fishes
It was a night to celebrate 5 years of our Life as a band in December 2015. The first gig we ever organised for ourselves was held were it all began, in Exodus Coleraine. We set up a Van Morrison style table and chairs in order to hide the low numbers we predicted. However our expectations were exceeded as around 70 people turned up. The proceeds from the night were donated to Tell Romania and Christ Church central in Sheffield. The night started well, the venue looked nice and the crowd enjoyed a warm up from David Mills. Then the boys turn. They decided to take the fans down memory lane and perform an initial set of old classics they had left behind. It wasn’t long however before they remembered why those songs were no longer played. They were terrible. On top of this due to Graeme living in Norwich they hadn’t really prepared and so often found themselves forgetting lyrics and chords in these songs. It was brutal. Absolutely brutal. At the half way stage it had the potential of being a career ender. Fortunately the boys pulled it back with their second set of greatest hits and new bangers. This brought the night back up and ended on a high with the classic closure ‘I know’. Most fans said ‘Aye it was decent’. All in all an average night – 0 Fishes
Hopefully there will be more big nights in store for Goldfish Jones. Share your favourite or least favourite memories of the band below!