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Fishmongers Arms

 


 

The Fishmongers Arms was situated at 287 High Road. Closed as a pub, it is of all things, now a police station. Formerly known as O'Rafferty's, an Irish themed pub, the original name is displayed on a gable. The building is on the Register of Local Listed Buildings of Merit.
Source: T C
This pub has music history second to none. It was in my family's ownership for around 40 yrs.
Bands that have played there include Jethro Tull,Led Zeppelin , Pink Floyd ( twice ) Elton John was refused a record deal in there . Rod Stewart and the Faces used the venue for three days to finish off " Maggie May" before going on to the studio to record it.
In its jazz days Acker Bilk, Ronnie Scott, Lonnie Donnegan (skiffle)
Many more top artists have played the venue. The list goes on. This building without any doubt should have a blue plaque on it.
Tony Fagan (October 2015)
 now 78. I used to go Trad dancing there in 54/56 and I even played their with my Skiffle Group one time. What I remember was the night that Acker Bilk was there on a Friday night and they were holding a Fancy Dress Contest. I went to some hire shop in the West End to hire some getup and all they had left was a Gustapo Uniform or an Arabs Dress, so I hire out the Arabs outfit and when I was getting ready to go making a force beard, sandals,sunglasses etc, it come to me why not go as the Sheik Of Araby, which is a great Trad Jazz song., so I made up a sign to hang around my neck saying "The Sherk Of Araiba" and off I went. Only there was a bus strike at the time, so there I was trying to thumb a lift from Green Lanes, Highbury to Turnpike Lane.
At last someone stopped and picked me up. They could see I was very young only seventeen with a bushy beard. I told them I was going to a fancy dress do, and they laughed seeing me in my outfit.So the contest started and we all had to walk around the floor for them to judge, and of all the fancy outfits I saw, not one was about Jazz, only me. And believe it or not I won the Contest. My price was a Trad Jazz LP, and I still have it.
Peter Abbott (September 2016)
My friend and I used to drive there regularly between 1968-70 from our homes in St Albans (borrowing Dad’s car of course) for gigs in that little, atmospheric room at the back. Bands we saw included Jethro Tull, the magnificent Taste, Chicken Shack with Christine Perfect on piano, Patto, Savoy Brown, Steamhammer, Colosseum and a number of visiting American blues artists including the great Freddie King and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee. As I recall it was generally around 6 shillings (30p) to get entry and sit on rows of wooden seats. Used to enjoy Stan Webb of Chicken Shack wandering down between the rows of seats with his extended lead and playing a blistering guitar solo as he went. One night the room was raided by police looking for drugs. It was in the middle of a cracking set by the late, great Duster Bennett and by the time they’d finished searching and questioning everybody it was either too late to resume the show or possibly the police prevented it.
Paul Young (April 2017)

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