Angelfish © 1994 Radioactive Records J.V.
Angelfish was a short-lived early 1990’s project created by former members of the Scottish indie rock group Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie. The alternative rock group, originating from Edinburgh, Scotland, is famous for introducing the world to Shirley Manson, vocalist for the band Garbage. After Manson, the keyboardist and backing vocalist, was signed as a solo artist to circumvent the Mackenzies’ existing record contract, Angelfish was born. The band released a self-titled studio album, an EP, and one single. Their debut EP spawned a minor college radio hit with “Suffocate Me”.
Although initially Manson played a limited role in that band, she quickly assumed the role of lead singer and frontwoman of Angelfish. Meanwhile, guitarist and former Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie vocalist Martin Metcalf, bassist Fin Wilson, and drummer Derek Kelly took somewhat of a back seat to Manson’s blooming persona. In a short time, Manson’s charisma soon became the group’s centerpiece. Manson’s image alone was featured on the cover of Angelfish’s self-titled debut album, and she became the primary subject of the band’s music videos.
While never landing on any mainstream Billboard charts, “Suffocate Me” was well received on college radio and was followed up in 1994 by the release of the band’s full length self-titled debut album. The music video for “Suffocate Me” aired on MTV’s alternative program, “120 Minutes”. It was on this very program that renowned producers Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, and Steve Marker happened to catch an airing of Angelfish’s first and only video.
The producers still needed someone to front the group they were forming, and intrigued by Manson’s unmistakable stage presence, a phone call was soon placed to Manson. During a break on Angelfish’s first and only North American tour in the spring of 1994, Manson took a brief detour to Vig’s Mushroom Studios in Madison, WI. After recording several demos with the band, a tentative partnership soon blossomed, and Manson was invited to join what would become Garbage. The Angelfish side-project was dissolved, while Goodbye Mr Mackenzie continued for another two years without Manson.
Although wide success escaped the quartet, the band’s legacy continued with renewed interest in 2002 when Garbage performed “Suffocate Me” on two separate dates during the BeautifulGarbage tour. To date, the band’s final performance was in Glasgow, Scotland at the world famous SWG3 in 2015.
Source; Wikipedia, setlist.fm, Spotify
Pandemic Retro Artist Spotlight: Angelfish