November 85 -
Myself (Mark Adams) and Mark Narkowicz. 6 months or so of busking in Launceston
and Hobart, Tasmania. Gospel tunes, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, The Incredible
String Band etc, and a splatter of our own songs all very trashy and bent
out of shape.
First show as The Fish John West Reject is at the Warm Sporron folk club. Llyods Hotel Launceston. Endless rent parties at the legendary 'Muse'. (Condemned). The Black Stump festival in Sydney organized by 'God Squad'!
The Muse, Launceston
Nov 86 record 'Canned' on a 4 track in a house at Boat Harbour Tas. Andrew Viney, on Bass, plays his first shows at a week long festival called 'Peace Unearthed' in Canberra where we open for The Slaughtermen. We met Andrew at a gig in a tent at the Devonport Show. He fed us awesome mixed tapes. Got to hear Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, T Bone Burnet, Jonathan Richmond etc. A huge year of gigs in Tas. Gotta love The Doghouse.
A year off - 1987. Although Mark and I went busking a bit in Melbourne. Got together for 3 shows in Hobart in July 87.
Move to Melbourne from Tas 1988 . Tim Gleason didn't come to Melb. Graham Rankin becomes drummer. We slid from "neo folk river filth" to "Acoustic pop Trashabilly" or so the press blurb said...
First shows: Adelaide Festival, 21 gigs in 3 weeks...
Coelacanth Tour august 88 selling "Shy but Wild"
Played over 100 shows this year.
First LP Swim '89 Recorded and mixed in a weekend with Mark Woods at sing Sing. Launched in July at The Club, Melbourne, with Captain Cocoa. 600 payers. Swim LP sold 5000 copies (LPs) or something...
Huge Perth tours - Stoned Crow, Seaview, Old Melbourne, Paddingtons Boulevard, packing out The Shenton Park. Other shows/tours with Hunters and Collectors, Weddings Parties Anything, Shows with the Pogues, etc. An awesome St Kilda Festival show.
March 1990 I am out of dog vitamin the band. Personal and musical differences. Not too sure of the Fish journey from here. Others soon leave. A year and a half later it's all over. As one writer puts it "...the group had evolved, to the surprise, and perhaps dismay of many of its early fans, into a technicolour power pop group with a finger in the sampling / studio-tricks pie...".
Last gig October 1991. My band, Hurdy Gurdy is the support. Actually, come to think of it, we did get together in maybe '93 for a tour of Tasmania with emphasis on the original 'river filf' feel. Much fun!