Pink Talking Fish bring unique tribute act back to Northeast Fair in Pittston Township
PITTSTON TWP. — In the realm of tribute acts, Pink Talking Fish is a different animal.
Combining the musical catalogues of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish, the New England-based quartet delivers a unique show that melds songs from all three celebrated groups together rather than treating them as individual compositions. Pink Talking Fish plays two shows, one at 7:30 p.m. and one at 9 p.m., June 23, on the concert stage at the Northeast Fairgrounds.
Started in 2013 by bass player and founding member of Particle, Eric Gould, Pink Talking Fish has grown in reputation in three short years, drawing crowds at music festivals, theaters and club venues.
Guitarist Dave Brunyak said setlists are constructed to not play one song in its entirety before moving on to the next.
“We’ll take a piece of one and mash it up with a piece of another and come back out into the third band, and then we’ll move back into the Phish song that we started it all off with later in the set,” Brunyak said.
Examples include fitting Pink Floyd’s “On the Run” into Phish’s “You Enjoy Myself” and larger medleys where a whole set worth of songs from all three bands segue into each other.
Brunyak said the breadth of the three catalogues keeps performance fresh for band members.
“You can go very deep into these catalogues, and you can always find new ideas by just adding one tune,” Brunyak said. “It’s also cool, because it gives us a lot to look forward to.”
Brunyak and drummer Zack Burwick came from New England’s premier Phish tribute, The Phreaks, who played from 2010 to 2014.
Joining Gould and keyboard player, Richard James, in Pink Talking Fish, Brunyak and Burwick had about 150 Phish songs committed to memory.
The band’s skillful performance of music from three such legendary, innovative and complex soundscapes, Brunyak said is a testament to the players in PTF.
Brunyak’s on-stage chemistry with Burwick has developed over six years. He calls James the best keyboard player he’s played with, and Gould’s previous success with jamtronica pioneers Particle cannot be overstated.
“We use this phrase when everything is going well and clicking, and it’s ‘aces up,’” Brunyak said. “The lineup is ‘aces up’ so it helps bring that level of craftsmanship to the music.”
Pittston resident Ryan O’Malley has booked entertainment for the Northeast Fair for 13 years. He booked PTF last year for a show where drummer Burwick had to be absent and Kung Fu’s Adrian Tramontano filled in.
“The next day JamBase wrote an article about the Northeast Fair in Pittston,” O’Malley said. “It shows the caliber of artists in Pink Talking Fish and the people they play with.”
O’Malley said last year’s crowd seemed to enjoy the PTF performance, and he hopes mild weather will bring in a much larger crowd this year.
Brunyak said last year’s Northeast Fair show was one of the most unique on the band’s 2015 tour, and he is excited to play in Pittston Township again.
“I wasn’t sure what kind of audience we were going to get there, but I guess it goes without saying that people coming to the fair are coming to have some fun, and we’re there to provide a great musical performance to go with the sights and sounds of the carnival,” Brunyak said.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts
If you go:
What: Pink Talking Fish play the music of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish
Where: Northeaset Fairgrounds, 20 Freeport Rd., Pittston
When: Two shows take place at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. June 23
Additional information: A fair admission of $10 covers all shows and exhibits.