An Emotional Fish are an alternative rock band from Dublin, Ireland. An Emotional Fish were formed in 1988, and consisted of Gerard Whelan (founding member, lead vocals, percussion), Enda Wyatt (founding member, songwriter, bass, vocals, keyboards), Martin Murphy (drums, percussion) and David Frew (guitars, vocals).

Their musical influences include The Clash, The Doors, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and T. Rex.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, An Emotional Fish were signed to Mother Records in Ireland, Warner Bros Records in Europe, and Atlantic Records in America. They were personally signed to Atlantic by Ahmet Ertegun after seeing them play a sold-out concert at the Baggot Inn. An Emotional Fish supported U2 and Simple Minds on tours of Europe, also supporting Blondie, Depeche Mode and others.


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 independent Mother Records to release their first single "Grey Matter". It was followed by "Celebrate", which hit the top 10 in the Irish 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. Atlantic released their debut album internationally.

"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. In 1994, the band were signed to German label ZIX Records and their third album Sloper was released in Europe. 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.

Enda Wyatt founded Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club, with Jerry Fish co-writing the first album “Be Yourself” and three songs on the second album “The Beautiful Untrue”. In 2012 Enda worked with The Radiators From Space to produce the album Sound City Beat.

He has written and produced three albums with Veshengro, a folk project with Nick Malicka, entitled “Trees in Your Window”, “After Rain” and “Lost Times”. Enda has written and produced four albums with Jangaleros, a space music project with Steve Coakley, “Moonjuice and Meteor Moss”, “Dirty Snowball Recordings”, “Tales of the Adjacent Possible” and “A Glorious Elsewhere”, the latter web only at present.

His solo albums include an album of country songs as Wyattsville called “Spirits of the Desert”, and a solo CD of songs called “Shadow Horses”.

His latest album From Another Time by Enda Wyatt’s 18 Reptiles was released in September 2018 on Vinyl and CD and he is currently working on new material to be released in 2019.

On 30 March 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

  • 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. ^ "The former An Emotional Fish drummer, Martin Murphy, has passed away". Hot Press. Retrieved 19 August 2020.

External links