Phatfish are a Christian rock, CCM and Worship Band. They live in Brighton, England and have spent many years writing and performing their own brand of worship-oriented rock, as well as leading worship both in the UK and across the world. They have released a number of their own albums and played alongside many well-known worship leaders, and led worship themselves at international conferences. They have also appeared on many worship albums, both live and studio, and on national television programmes such as BBC1's Songs of Praise and on Christian radio and TV networks like GOD TV, Premier and Cross Rhythms. They are active members of their local church Church of Christ The King, home of Terry Virgo, Stuart Townend and other prominent Christian figures and are frequently involved in leading worship and musical projects.
Their worship songs such as Holy, Holy, There Is A Day and Amazing God are sung in churches globally and are featured on many live and studio albums. The band often perform concerts at different international events with an impressive live set. They released a 2 disc best of collection titled 15 - The Anniversary Collection in late 2008, described by their record label as "highlighting the incredible contribution that the band have made to the UK Christian music scene". It is on the back of this album, that was met well with considerably positive reviews, that the band welcomed two new members to the band and returned to the studio to follow up with a new record, In Jesus. The album is being followed up by a tour starting in London, and live appearances at many international Christian conferences and events over the next year, such as New Word Alive, Salt & Light Conference, Newday, Together On A Mission, Forum UCCF Conference and Keswick Convention.
Lou Fellingham (1994 - Present)
Lou Fellingham is the lead vocalist and occasional songwriter for the band. Performing and appearing in every show and on every record, she is recognised for her distinctive and powerful voice that has been described as "wistful", "soaring" and "angelic" and her knowledge of vocal technique and harmonies enables her to train and manage a 50-strong choir at her local church CCK. She has since launched a solo career, however continues to work with the other members of Phatfish and has stated in the 2006 DVD There Is A Day that the release of her solo albums means in no way the end of the band.
Nathan Fellingham (1994 - Present)
Nathan, married to Lou, is the drummer and principal songwriter for the band. His worship songs Holy, Holy, There Is A Day, Amazing God, O God Of Love (written with Lou Fellingham) and Awake, Awake, O Zion are sung in congregations all over the world. He also manages the band under the title of Fishtank Creatives and produces all the Phatfish albums, usually alongside others such as Alan Shacklock, Julian Kindred and Kevan Frost. Nathan uses Pork Pie drums, and has done for sometime.
Michael Sandeman (1994 - Present)
Michael is the keyboardist for the band. He often uses different sounds, techniques and instruments like synthesisers. He also writes poetic and performance orientated songs for the band, such as What Would I Do?, This Year and This Is What My God Is Like. He has also collaborated with drummer Nathan on many. Michael, often referred to as Mick or Bertie, oversees the worship training areas of Phatfish, writing and organising most of the material for their 2006 training release Working As A Band and heading up the seminars on training at conferences such as Mission:Worship organised by Kingsway.
Luke Fellingham (1994 - Present)
Luke, less of a songwriter, is the bassist for the band. He is known for his appearance in the way of a lengthy beard that has grown over the years. Luke set up a company with Nathan entitled Luna Sound, which he oversees and operates out of his own studio in ICC Studios in Eastbourne. He has mastered the past two Phatfish releases, Guaranteed & 15, and Lou Fellingham's Promised Land.
Jos Wintermeyer (2009 - Present)
Jos, part of the live crew for Phatfish for a few years, joined the band along with Ben Hall in early January 2009. He is the rhythm guitarist for the band, using acoustic and electric depending on the song. He has also worked with Phatfish as a guest musician since late 2007 and his first appearance live was in November 2007 in Brighton at one of their Phatfish and Lou Fellingham concerts.
Ben Hall (2009 - Present)
Ben Hall is the electric guitarist for the band, and the first permanent since Alan Rose left in the Summer of 2003. He has worked with Phatfish since early 2008, and appeared at Lou Fellingham's album release party for Promised Land in January. He also appeared at Together On A Mission/Mobilise (annual Newfrontiers conference) and Newday in the Summer, before becoming a full-time member in 2009. Ben writes and plays all the solos in the band and has contributed to the development of the bands rock influence. Ben uses Orange amps, Gibson and Fender guitars, tc electronic rack effects and an array of pedals.
1995 - 1997
1998 - 2003
2004 - 2008
2009 - Present
Former band members
Alan Rose (1998 - 2003)
Alan Rose joined the band after the departure of Mike Blow. He was the guitarist, primarily electric but occasionally acoustic, and also helped write some hits such as Heavenbound and Oh, Our Lord And King. His final performance was in Summer 2003 at the huge Festival:Manchester. He has since made guest appearances alongside the band in worship events and one-off concerts and features as a guest musician on 2007's Guaranteed.
Mike Blow (1994 - 1997)
Mike was the lead guitarist for the band for 3 years, featuring on their releases River Of Life, Neworldisorder and We Know The Story. He appeared as part of The Stoneleigh Band lineup with Stuart Townend and Kate Simmonds until 1998.
Adrian Watts (1994 - 1997)
Adrian was the percussionist for Phatfish from 1994 until 1997.
Rachel Head (1994)
Rachel was only with the band for 9 months, but featured on their release River Of Life which was on cassette only. She can be found on the latest 'best of' collection 15, rapping and providing backing vocals on one of the tracks.
Early Years (1994 - 1997)
The band was formed under the name 'Purple Phatfish' by Dave Fellingham in Brighton in January 1994. Dave had a vision for a Christian group that would be excellent musically and be respected by Christians and non-Christians alike. He prayed that it would have an anointing to touch peoples' lives with the power and presence of God.
The founder members were Nathan & Luke Fellingham (Dave's two sons; drums & bass), Mike Blow (guitar), Adrian Watts (percussion), Louise Hunt (she has since married Nathan and become Louise Fellingham; vocals), Michael Sandeman (keyboards) and Rachel Head (rapper).
Musically the band was initially a jazz-funk/rap outfit at a time when Acid Jazz was very popular in England. Purple Phatfish had a vision to be 'salt and light' in the secular world, and spent much of the first year performing their own songs in secular music clubs, mainly in the Brighton area where they gained a considerable following on the local music scene. Most of the early songs were not blatantly Christian in content, but tackled contemporary issues with a Christian perspective. Rapper Rachel Head left the band at the end of 1994, and 'Purple Phatfish' became 'Phatfish'.
In the following few years Phatfish gigged further afield, playing regularly in top London music clubs and in universities around the country. They were also in demand with churches all over the UK who would book them to play at youth events and outreaches. During this period they made a number of recordings which have recently been remastered and repackaged under the title An Audience with God.
In 1997 the band decided to work on some more explicitly worship-orientated songs, and released their first full album We Know the Story.
Purple Through The Fishtank & An Audience With God (1998 - 2000)
In the summer of 1998, guitarist Mike Blow and percussionist Adrian Watts felt that it was time to move on, and left Phatfish. Guitarist Alan Rose ? who had been working with worship leader Paul Oakley ? joined, and the band started song writing again. Phatfish moved further away from the jazz-funk sound, and the new songs had a rockier edge. Demos were made with producer Alan Shacklock, and he was able to catch the attention of Pamplin Records in the US. Phatfish subsequently signed with Pamplin and in spring 1999 Purple Through the Fishtank was recorded with them in Nashville. The album had a broad appeal and increased the profile of the band both in the UK and abroad; Phatfish started regularly travelling in Canada, the US and Europe. In 2000, Phatfish released an album containing some of their older music, titled An Audience With God. Later in the year the band appeared at the 2000 Greenbelt Festival, toured Singapore, the Netherlands, and countries both side of the Atlantic again.
By the beginning of 2001 after a busy year of touring and seeing lots of people having great encounters with God in their concerts, the album Heavenbound was born. Recorded in the UK, the album has a recurring theme of Heaven and man's future with God. With Pamplin no longer involved, the band worked with Word UK (now Authentic Media). Heavenbound has been a best seller and received rave reviews. Phatfish had a busy schedule in Autumn 2001, gigging with Heavenbound all over the UK, as well as at events in Canada.
Hope - Unplugged Live (2002)
In the summer of 2001 they had done an impromptu 'unplugged' gig with minimal equipment on a side stage at Stoneleigh Bible Week. It went amazingly well and it was decided that three unplugged gigs would take place in January 2002 in different parts of the country to raise money for AIDS orphans in Africa through an organization called Hope HIV. The concerts were all sold out and were a great success, raising ?9,500 for Hope HIV. A live album (Hope) was recorded at the gigs and released in spring 2002. Special guests Stuart Townend, Kate Simmonds and Brian Houston joined Phatfish at the gigs. The 2006 DVD release There is a Day includes the Brighton unplugged gig.
The Truth Tour & Nothing But The Truth (2002 - 2003)
In November 2002, the band embarked on The Truth Tour, a series of concerts around the UK using specially-written new songs with the theme of living by God's truth. This was a much bigger multi-media style production than they had used before; the concerts were in larger venues with thousands attending and meeting with God as well as enjoying the rocking live show. The band were supported by Cathy Burton on most nights, with events taking place all over the country and the tour is Phatfish's biggest to date.
As soon as the tour was over the band retreated into the studio to record the songs which had been used on the tour. The resulting album is called Nothing But the Truth and was released in May 2003, to more fantastic reviews. The band continued touring and playing at festivals through that summer and autumn, including Festival Manchester and YC Newfoundland in Canada.
It was with some sadness that the rest of the group said goodbye to Alan Rose in August 2003. The remaining four members took some time out and spent a year or so concentrating on other non-Phatfish projects. Apart from a couple of summer festival gigs, there were some BBC Songs of Praise appearances and worship leading engagements with Matt Redman, Stuart Townend, Martyn Layzell and others. Nathan and Luke produced an album for Kingsway?s Survivor label called Soul Sista. The three guys also worked on music for a dance production based at their church in Brighton.
Faithful (2004 - 2005)
Phatfish in 2004
In 2004, Phatfish released an album called Faithful - The Worship Songs which featured fresh studio arrangements of many of their more 'congregational' worship songs. The band also appeared at the first Newday and Together On A Mission conferences run by Newfrontiers. Following on from the Stoneleigh Bible Weeks and recent Soul Survivor appearances, the band worked with Matt Redman at Newday, an event for youth aged 12?19, and with Stuart Townend, Kate Simmonds and Evan Rogers at Together On A Mission (with Mobilise). Phatfish performed at a special one-off gig at Newday; due to bad weather previous gigs by other bands had been cancelled. The event was moved into the main hall, where the daily meetings were held, and songs from the Truth Tour were played due to the album release of Faithful being after the summer event of Newday. A live version of Stepping Out, recorded at the concert, appeared on the Newday 2004 album.
In 2005, Phatfish embarked on "The Faithful Tour" which took them across England and Scotland, supported by guitarist Dan Wheeler. The band also appeared on GOD TV performing "The Cross", a version which later appeared on the 2006 DVD release "There Is A Day".
Trinity, Treasure, Working As a Band & There Is A Day (2006)
Drummer Nathan Fellingham was the driving force behind the album Trinity, released 2006. It is a compilation of tracks from many artists including Phatfish; the songs focusing on the Trinitarian nature of God.
In late 2005, band member Lou Fellingham recorded her debut solo album Treasure, which was released in January 2006. The band appeared several more times on the BBC's Songs of Praise. They also supported lead singer Lou and friend Stuart Townend on a Stu + Lou tour taking them to various locations around the UK.
At the end of 2006 a Phatfish resource CD called Working as a band was released. It gives practical teaching and advice for local church worship musicians, and explains some of the basics of making a cohesive band sound that will work in a church setting.
There Is A Day - The Video Collection was also released at the end of 2006, incorporating music videos, an unplugged concert and interview footage, with wordsmith Andy Back. The video content was created by Quirky Motion and Fruit Media.
Guaranteed (2007 ? 2008)
Phatfish performing at New Word Alive in April 2008
Main article: Guaranteed
Since Alan Rose's departure, there have been rumours that Phatfish had disbanded. In a concert planned for late 2006, Phatfish were due to appear alongside Noel Richards and Yfriday in what was being marketed as their final appearance together. The concert was cancelled, and Nathan Fellingham started the Phatfish MySpace, to reassure fans that Phatfish were still an active band, even though they were making fewer public appearances. The band headed into the studio to record an entirely new collection of songs, and came out with their critically claimed new studio album.
In July 2007 Phatfish released Guaranteed, the first to contain all-new material since 2003. Receiving positive reviews and high sales at Christian events, the album contains ten songs described as having "intricate but driving, compulsive rhythms". The release of the album was followed up with a series of gigs titled Phatfish and Lou Fellingham and a TV appearance on Premier TV. Phatfish also led worship at international conferences in England, Scotland and Wales. The band were runners up at the Christian Web and Blog Awards, attended by the Bishop of London, in the "Most Original Worship Blog/Website" category. They came second to Tim Hughes' and Al Gordon's win for their website worshipcentral.org.
In early 2008, the band performed two more Phatfish and Lou Fellingham concerts in connection with Hope 08. The first event was in Brighton, as part of "Soul By The Sea"; the second in Gloucester on March 14. Lou Fellingham led worship at the Kingsway's Children's Ministry conference in January, and the band gigged and led worship at New Word Alive in Wales alongside Stuart Townend. There were five more concerts in 2008; Keswick, Crawley, NEWI, Danbury and Bognor Regis Bible Week.
Phatfish will be worked with other worship leaders such as Simon Brading, Evan Rogers and Stuart Townend at worship events such as Newday, Together On A Mission, Radiant, Keswick Convention and are due to appear at Mission:Worship in November.
Promised Land, Fishtank Creatives & 15 (2008)
Lead singer Lou Fellingham released her second solo album, Promised Land in May 2008, and an exclusive launch night at the Clarendon Centre was planned with only 150 tickets where Lou, backed by Phatfish, performed each track from her new album and talked about the inspiration behind them. An article appeared on the Cross Rhythms website with similar content of Lou talking about the songs from the album. Michael Sandeman, keyboardist, released his instrumental album "Worship Reflections" in May as well.
In an interview recorded at New Word Alive in 2008, drummer Nathan Fellingham explained he would be starting up Fishtank Creatives, influenced by the name of the band and their 1999 studio album Purple Through The Fishtank. This will be the management company to draw all the works of Phatfish, and it's individual members, together in one place as a cohesive resource.
Main article: 15 - The Anniversary Collection
In December 2008, A Best of Phatfish two CD album was released. The album is titled 15, though the band celebrate their official fifteen year anniversary in January 2009, it was decided to be available before Christmas and New Year.
The tracklisting includes songs from Phatfish's previous 8 albums, "remastered and sounding better than ever".
Worship songs such as "O God Of Love", "Awake Awake O Zion", "There Is A Day" and the recent "Amazing God" feature, amongst more performance orientated tracks like "Heavenbound", "Rise Up", "Stepping Out" and "What Would I Do?". There are also two new tracks which haven't previously featured on Phatfish CDs; "There Is A Day" which was recorded for the DVD release of the same name, and "The Call", which was featured on the 2003 Festival:Manchester release On The Streets.
Christian music journalist Mike Rimmer has written a piece, included in the album, talking about the band and its history. The CD cover was designed by Jules Burt, and is predominantly red, with the new Phatfish logo that featured on There Is A Day - The Video Collection and Guaranteed alongside a cassette, snapped CD and white headphones making up the number 15. The official description of the album is "The Fifteen year anniversary collection".
The CD was chosen as album of the month for January 2009 in Wesley Owen shops across the UK. It was given a 9/10 rating by Tony Cummings, broadcaster, at Cross Rhythms. He stated in his review that the album was "a piece of British Christian music history".
In Jesus (2009 ? )
The CD cover for the latest Phatfish album In Jesus, featuring the band's new logo
Main article: In Jesus
In early January 2009, Ben Hall and Jos Wintermeyer, guitarists, both officially joined Phatfish. A new studio album is in production, and has just been recorded in London over January and February.
Kevan Frost, who worked with the band on Heavenbound and Guaranteed, is producing the album and Julian Kindred, who worked with them on Faithful: The Worship Songs is engineering alongside Kevan and Luke Fellingham.
The album will be available in the Summer. To promote the album, Phatfish are headlining the Pentecostal Festival in London at an evening concert at Leicester Square alongside The Gathering Band, Jahaziel and 29th Chapter. They also performing concerts at Bromley, Brighton, Woodbridge and Peterborough.
On May 20 2009, Phatfish released the title track from the album, called In Jesus, as a download single. The song was downloaded over 800 times in the first week, and is to be followed up with the release of the album on 4 June 2009.
They performed at Newday, on the 5 August 2009, and lead worship in the mornings. They will also be leading worship at Together On A Mission, appearing at the Big Church Day Out, Bible By The Beach, the Church of Christ The King Worship School and at a special Easter Concert at Dorking Halls on 27 March 2009. One song from the new album is also to feature on a Church of Christ The King Live Album, being recorded on the 26 and 27 March 2009 at the Clarendon Centre, alongside Stuart Townend and Simon Brading. Further gigs can be found at Phatfish's official site phatfish.net
Phatfish has always been composed of a drummer, keyboardist, bassist and lead vocalist with backing singing from various members of the band. Until 2003, there was an electric guitarist present, and in recent years that place has been filled by guest musicians, namely Dan Wheeler, Alan Rose or Martin Cooper. More recently Ben Hall and Jos Wintermeyer have played with the band. The band's general musical style consequently consists of rock/pop worship sound, utilising the keyboards and guitars and upfront vocals of lead singer Lou Fellingham. The band plays fairly tight in a live setting, accompanied by backing tracks in concert or additional musicians in live worship, often alongside other worship leaders. Phatfish use programming in both a worship, concert or studio setting, often organised by Michael Sandeman. Lou Fellingham sometimes harmonises whilst leading worship, attempting to lift certain parts of the songs such as in "There Is A Day", taking up the word's "Air" and "Yeah" into a higher key.
Phatfish's studio albums, however, vary, depending on the producer and members of the band at the time of recording. Purple Through The Fishtank has an acoustic driven sound; it was recorded in Nashville, whilst Heavenbound makes more use of electric guitars in a heavy rock manner, accompanied by vocals described by Cross Rhythms magazine as "soaring". Nothing But The Truth is pop rock, with a slightly jazz feel toward the latter part of the album, pointing to the band's earlier acid jazz days with We Know The Story. It was produced solely by Nathan Fellingham, and the electronic sound that fairs popular with his productive style is noticeable. On Faithful - The Worship Songs, Alan Rose is no longer with the band and producer Julian Kindred, who worked on Delirious?' World Service album, brought forward the keys and synthesisers more, similar to Phatfish's live worship where the keyboards are noticeably prominent. Phatfish have recently honed a more worship orientated sound on their latest studio albums Trinity and Guaranteed; the latter focusing on Luke Fellingham's driving bass, with the addition of strings and hammonds to give the album "brooding soundscapes". The band pull the different styles they have worked through over the years together in their live settings, changing renditions and compositions and sounds to suit the song. For example, Lou Fellingham sings the live version of "Pouring Out", featured on Newfrontier's 2007 album Amazing God, in a higher key than on the studio rendition. This is also the same with "Amazing God", from Mission:Worship's A New Day Of Worship.
Phatfish have toured Europe, USA and Canada extensively. Their biggest tour was the Truth Tour in 2002 and 2003, taking them all over the United Kingdom, supported by Cathy Burton. The Faithful Tour took place in 2005, with Dan Wheeler supporting and large attendance for the band. More recently, concerts have been titled Phatfish and Lou Fellingham, with songs from Lou Fellingham's debut album Treasure and Phatfish's recent Guaranteed being played as well as older songs. As well as organising their own tours, Phatfish regularly perform in one-off appearances at different events around the world. The largest so far has been Festival:Manchester in 2003, where 50,000 delegates attended the week, and other notable concerts have been performed at Stoneleigh Bible Week in the 90s and early 00s, at Newday, Soul Survivor, events organised by radio and magazine Cross Rhythms and other Christian organisations like Greenbelt Festival,Newfrontiers, Keswick Ministries, New Wine, Bognor Regis Bible Week, New Word Alive, Spring Harvest and Souled Out, and conferences overseas such as Worship Together and YC Newfoundland. Moreover, the band will often do worship seminars or teaching at various events or Churches throughout the world, or will lead worship by themselves or with another worship leader at a conference or festival by day, and perform on an evening.
Mike Rimmer of Cross Rhythms noted in his review of Faithful - The Worship Songs that the "influence of the Phatfish guys on the British worship scene should not be underestimated. Whether as songwriters or as part of the Stoneleigh worship band, they have played a major part in the last 10 years." Phatfish have contributed many worship songs into the modern Church, nationally in Britain and internationally around the world.
Nathan Fellingham is the principal worship songwriter of the band, his works including Holy Holy, There Is A Day, Awake Awake O Zion, Jesus Christ Holy One, Amazing God, To You King Jesus, and O God Of Love; written with wife Lou. Michael Sandeman has also contributed with his compositions The Cross, Jesus Loves The Church and Here Is The Risen Son. Before his departure in 2003 (though he regularly makes guest appearances with the band), Alan Rose wrote hits such as Heavenbound and Oh Our Lord and King. Despite calling herself a "new to songwriting" in 2006 on Phatfish's There Is A Day - The Video Collection, Lou Fellingham is rapidly increasing her contribution to songwriting in the band, especially with the release of her debut album Treasure and second album Promised Land. Her compositions You Give Rest To The Weary (I Will Say), Sing To The Lord, Amazing Love and Build This House are growing in popularity.
The band are also known for their potent contemporary songs, not necessarily designed to be used in a congregational setting. Some are written to be used in performance for concerts or for personal pastoral use, or written to tackle issues of the modern world. These include Stepping Out, Rise Up, What Would I Do?, This Year, Best Thing, Annoy and Lou Fellingham's God Of Mercy (Prayer Song).
Nathan Fellingham's Holy Holy is described by himself in an audio interview at New Word Alive as being their most popular tune that has "travelled furtherst around the world". It also featured on Tim Hughes' When Silence Falls and The Livingstone Collective's Portrait Of Worship. The band's songs feature on many compilation, live, studio and instrumental albums that are available internationally, with non-Phatfish versions of songs such as There Is A Day, Amazing God, and Awake Awake O Zion being available on iTunes.
The band's most critically acclaimed song is There Is A Day. Featuring on dozens of live worship albums, and three Phatfish releases, the song talks about the day of "Jesus' return", and it's potent theological content is a talking point for many Christian musical lovers and reviewers.
Since their formation, and even before, Phatfish have been called upon as a worship band to lead and assist others at conferences and their local church CCK. Their largest crowds were at the Stoneleigh Bible Week, where in its final year of 2001 it had a record 26,000 delegates in attendance. More recently, the band regularly lead worship alongside high profile worship leaders like Matt Redman, Kate Simmonds and Stuart Townend at Newfrontiers organised conferences Together On A Mission and Newday, where crowds of up to 6,000 are gathered. They have also appeared at events such as Spring Harvest, Soul Survivor, Keswick Convention, Bognor Regis Bible Week, Radiant, Women Walking With God, Kingsway Children's Ministry, Cheltenham Bible Week, Mission:Worship, Festival Manchester, New Word Alive and Worship Together in America and Canada. Lou Fellingham either leads herself or is a backing vocalist to the main worshipper, often harmonising or using her voice as an instrument rather than just singing the melody. The technical skill of Phatfish in a live setting is why they are regularly called on to lead worship. In addition, they offer practical advice about Christian music and leading worship on their recently released Working As A Band double-disc CD. They teach this material at worship seminars and one-day events, as well as the annual Mission:Worship conference in Eastbourne.
The band often appear on BBC1's Songs of Praise, leading worship or performing worship songs. Stuart Townend has been present at some of the recordings, although Lou Fellingham performed his In Christ Alone in 2005 when it featured in the "10 most popular hymns in Britain" list.
The band have featured on three albums which have won the coveted CBC Praise & Worship Album of the year award; two Stoneleigh albums Ruach and Beautiful Saviour, and Stuart Townend's Best Of Stuart Townend Live.
The band have appeared leading worship or performing at the following events, and usually more than once
Stoneleigh Bible Week
New Word Alive
Kingsway Children's Ministry
Together On A Mission
Soul By The Sea
Bible By The Beach
Bognor Regis Bible Week
Women Walking With God
Cheltenham Bible Week
Origin of band name
The band was originally called "Purple Phatfish", a name that came from a small purple keyring featuring a little fat fish that blew air out of its mouth when you squeezed it. The keyring was given as a present by Nathan's sister-in-law and she suggested that Purple Fat Fish would be a good name for a band. A picture of the fish may be seen on the 'What's in a name?' page on the band's website.
All Phatfish lyrics
All lyrics are property of their respective owners and are strictly for non-commercial use only.