Chris Fishlock (aka Fishstock Promotions) is a promoter based in Reading. Having put on great bands like Tyrannosaurus Alan, WIll Tun & The Wasters and Drones, along with a yearly birthday celebration/festival called Fishstock, Chris is one of the area’s most well known DIY promoters.
How did you get into the DIY scene?
I guess by firstly getting into ska music. Going to see bands like Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake led me to seeing more independent/DIY bands like Sonic Boom Six and The Skints, which led me more into smaller bands like Tyrannosaurus Alan. Then in about 2011 I went to a Tyrannosaurus Alan show in a pub in Reading where Will Tun and the Wasters opened, and after that I started going by to more of their shows and hanging out with them a lot which led me into a more DIY way of thinking and into our little DIY scene. We would start having house shows and tiny pub gigs with our mates and other DIY acts such as Let’s Go Nowhere and Ash Victim.
So is that how you essentially got into promoting?
Essentially, yes, the most fun I was having in my life was when I was with these groups of people, hanging out whenever we could, whether a house show or a video shoot or a big ska punk all dayer in London. I ended up getting to know a lot of people, and also got to know bands by interviewing and reviewing them. I thought for a long time about arranging a gig but never quite got the balls for it, then as my 21st was coming up and I wanted to make sure it was something decent and I took advantage of it being a Saturday I thought what better way to spend it by having an epic gig, rather than what most of people I knew from school did and went out clubbing, which I never found enjoyable. So, I took everything I knew from a few years of hanging out with bands, and being backstage at shows a lot, and put it into a gig, and somehow it snowballed from there and somewhere along the lines I ended up calling myself a ‘promoter’.
What was your first show?
My first show was one I dubbed ‘Fishstock’ (a pun a friend of mine came up with) on my 21st birthday, I went a bit overboard and booked six acts before even having a venue. It was a co-headliner with Faintest Idea and Captain Accident and the Disasters, along with Drones, Will Tun and the Wasters, MC Amalgam and one of the first shows from my friends from school who then called themselves Lingering Hands, but now go by ‘Square Glasses’. My friend Aymeric (aka MC Amalgam) kind of guided me through the process of putting it on and helped me sort out the venue – Global Cafe, which is still my favourite place to put on a show.
How’s the scene in your local area?
I wouldn’t say it’s at it’s full potential, although I feel right now it’s improving. I certainly like to feel I make it a bit better providing fairly regular local shows and, luckily, there’s a few others maintaining the scene a bit. There’s a full cool new bands starting up who are putting in a lot of effort, there’s a great band called Rail-27 who are pushing the local DIY scene as much as they can, organising shows, playing shows and turning up to shows they’re not involved with just to support.
What else do you feel can be improved there?
By people not being saps and staying at home watching crap TV shows, but instead by going to as many shows as they can and partying, and getting involved, and by being social and becoming part of the community. Without people and their passion, it all dies.
Shows Chris has coming up:
August 16th: Thee Infidels + Bandits + The Dub Righters @ Iguana, Reading.
September 5th: Cop on Fire + MC Amalgam @ Global Cafe, Reading.
Spetember 17th: BHF + Rail-27 and more @ Iguana, Reading.
“And some really really good and bigger acts across October, November and December which I can’t reveal yet.”