Memoir of love, music in Tasmania | Photos, video

It was the late 1980s.

The world, including Australia, was recovering from the 1987 stock market crash.

Fashion was split somewhere between Princess Diana and Madonna.

And in Launceston, a band with a peculiar name was starting to find its feet, and its fan base.

Angela Dawson first met the boys from The Fish John West Reject when they were just starting out, about 1988.

Dawson was a young woman, in Australia on a working visa, from her home of Manchester. 

She met and fell in love with the band’s vocalist Mark Narcowicz, and followed the band as they played shows intra- and interstate.

At the time, she didn’t know she’d one day pen a book about that period in her life, and in Tasmania’s musical history.

She stopped and started writing it, several times. But finally, she decided, it was time. Dawson dedicated 2016 as her “writing year” and earlier this year, she finally launched Like Two Mexicans Dancing, a memoir of music, love, and Tasmania.

“I thought that people really had to know about the band, how hard they tried. [They were] one of those little Tasmanian bands that meant a lot to a lot of people,” she said.

The Fish would go on to release two albums with moderate success, before breaking up in 1991.

Like many Tasmanian bands, they’d made the leap over the Strait, to try their luck in Melbourne. Dawson followed them, and still lives there today.

“They had regular gigs at Fitzoy, The Tote, the Punters Club. They used to tour quite a bit to country Victoria, Sydney, Perth, and of course, back to Tassie,” Dawson said.

“Touring was everything that you imagined it was going to be. Those were the days of the good gigs, when you would come out of the show, and wring your shirt and it would drip sweat.”

As well as her memories, Dawson as collated more than 100 photos and memorabilia to help tell the story of The Fish.

Visit angelajdawson.com for details on where to buy Like Two Mexicans Dancing.