It’s with a heavy heart that we bring you news of the death of Martin Murphy, the man who drummed up a storm in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s with the highly rated Dublin band, An Emotional Fish.
The band were fronted by Jerry Fish and also featured Dave Frew on guitar and Enda Wyatt on bass and keyboards. Signed in 1989 by U2 to their Mother label, the four-piece later transferred to Atlantic Records and, in addition to charting here, dented the UK top 40 with their eponymous debut album, which was released in 1990.
They also did well in Italy and other parts of Europe. For a while, it seemed to be a matter not of whether they were going to break through to the highest level – but when. However, they never quite got the required momentum going to make it on the biggest stage and wound things down after the release of their third album, Sloper in 1994.
Jerry Fish went on to become a major star in Ireland, following the release of the Jerry Fish & The Mudbug album in 2002.
During their hey-day, An Emotional Fish were regulars for over four years on US Modern Rock radio, but despite incessant touring never scored the commercial breakthrough in the US that they deserved.
Their biggest hit, ‘Celebrate’, which reached the Top 10 in Ireland in 1989, and also reached No.10 in the US Modern Rock chart, is still a radio staple and went ten times platinum when it was covered in 1993 by Italian superstar Vasco Rossi.
An Emotional Fish made a long called-for return in March 2012, when they played a concert in aid of Barretstown, along with Engine Alley amd Republic of Loose.
Martin is survived by his daughter Holly and by his father and brothers.
Pic: An Emotional Fish on the front cover of Hot Press with Martin top right.