Artist info

Genre

Indie, Pop, Rock


Sounds like

An Horse, Best Coast, Sonic Youth


band members

Scott Mercer - vocals/guitar, Cool Eric - guitar, Angela Hibbard - bass/vocals, Ash Shanahan - drums/vocals


Influences

Screamfeeder, Sonic Youth, Neil Young


Website

gogofish.bandcamp.com/

Bio

Go Go Fish were an indie pop band from Brisbane that formed in 2010 and played their final show in March 2015. Singer/guitarist Scott Mercer (then playing guitar for The Better Mousetrap Treatment) started the band with childhood friend William Hickey on keyboards. Drummer Ash Shanahan was recruited from the classifieds section of Rave Magazine. The band were initially known as "Scott Mercer and the Cobweb Gallery" (ugh, yeah) but then this was a time before all band names were required by law to be single word plurals. Scott's songs initially took influence from such disparate sources as Something For Kate, Split Enz and Neil Young. The music was a bit confused. Like many bands, they took a few years and lineup changes to find their sound.

The Cobweb Gallery played many low-stakes gigs around town, often at The Music Kafe in West End, where Scott had first cut his teeth playing solo at open mic nights. There they could be guaranteed a drink, a hot meal and thirty crisp dollars for the band kitty. Scott once found a woodchip in his spag bol before playing a set. The Music Kafe isn't there anymore. Set highlights of this period included the folky "Strange Reaction", kind of catchy "Horsey Come Home" and a dark, brooding take on PNAU's dancefloor hit "Embrace" that had been inspired by a drunken walk back to the campground after Scott and William saw them at Splendour in the Grass.

After a few months the awful band name was changed to the much better Go Go Fish, inspired by the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where the swim team are transformed into sea monsters. They self-recorded an EP in Scott's bedroom titled "Grande Velour", was named after a label on a pack of discount batteries. With Scott's production skills leaving much to be desired, the EP didn't sound very good. He was still mixing the damn thing up to the morning of the EP launch, where it was distributed on cheap CD-Rs.

Shortly before the launch of "Grande Velour" William left the band to commit more time to his legal career. Scott and Ash played as a lean two piece over the summer of 2011-12, racking up gig after gig and honing their chops. It was decided to bring a bass player on board to toughen up their sound and another ad was stuck in the back of Rave. There were two respondents: Ash's friend Angela Hibbard and a mysterious entity known only as Cool Eric. Both auditioned and rocked the bells so hard that it was decided to bring them both on board: Cool Eric on bass and Ange on keys, percussion and backing vocals. For several months this new incarnation rehearsed in Scott's bedroom, taking a break to play a covers set at the wedding reception of Scott's sister in what would be their first interstate show. Tragically, there is no surviving footage of the band playing Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" and Bryan Adams' "Summer Of '69". Finally, the new lineup was properly introduced at a show at The Zoo in the winter of 2012. The new sound was more defined, new songs "Guest List" and "Prophecy Girl" taking cues from hometown indie rock underdogs Iron On as well as early 90s-era Sonic Youth.

Much more gigging followed. In December 2012 Go Go Fish recorded the single "Vulpine" with producer Donnie Miller (No Anchor, Roku Music, FOREVR) at his home studio/cat ranch Nowhere Audio Trading Company. Film student Ange directed a taxidermy-themed music video for the single, securing ridiculously high production values by passing it off as a class assignment. The single was launched in July 2013 at the band's favourite venue, The Waiting Room.

In mid 2013 Go Go Fish were selected (maybe possibly because another band pulled out) to take part in the Indie 100 Project, in which bands were given a free recording session with a producer at Gasworks Studios and 100 songs were churned out in 48 hours. Ash being unavailable, the Fishies recorded their song "Little Wings" with guest drummer Alex L'Estrange (Bilby, Denpasar, Mid Ayr). With only a morning to practice with the band, Alex did a bang-up job on the recording, though Scott had to sing through a horrible cold.

At the end of 2013 Go Go Fish recorded three tracks at Incremental Records with Cam Smith (Mt Augustus, Tiny Spiders, Ghost Notes). "A Little Like You", "Fifteen Hours Behind" and "Guest List" were all banked as potential singles. On holiday at the end of the year, Scott began writing new songs including "Monkey" and "On The Beach". The new material leant itself to a more muscular, guitar-heavy sound, taking cues from bands like Screamfeeder and Tape/Off. To fulfill this sound, Ange ditched the keyboard and took over on bass while Cool Eric strapped on a second guitar to complement Scott's own playing. Phaze III of Go Go Fish was born.

In March 2014 the band took on a new role as the backing band of singer-songwriter Harley Young, newly returned from several years spent living in Québec. They embarked on a joint tour together, releasing a split cassette single with "A Little Like You" on one side and Harley's "She's On The Wires" on the other. On the tour, Harley would be accompanied by his fiancé Phillipa Perrott on violin and vocals for most of their set and then Go Go Fish would come out for a few songs to back him before playing their own set. The personal chemistry between all six was immediate and following the tour it was decided to have Go Go Fish operate as Harley's backing band full-time. They were christened The Haymakers. From July to November Harley Young & the Haymakers undertook a long-planned project of Harley's: a concept album about his home suburb of Sandgate. Recorded with Sean Cook (Yves Klein Blue) at The Plutonium and Cam Smith at Incremental Records, it was a big undertaking. In October the two (or maybe one-and-a-half?) bands smashed out another east coast tour supporting new Go Go Fish single "Guest List" and Harley's freshly-recorded "Margate GF". After the tour, mixing of Harley's album "Flinders Parade" was finalised and the Fishies went back to Cam's to record their own EP.

The Go Go/Haymakers parade was rolled out for one last tour in February-March 2015 to support the "Flinders Parade" album. Go Go Fish's second EP, "If I Go Down I'm Taking You With Me", was released shortly after. Go Go Fish had a career highlight in March, being invited to play at the second Sonic Masala Fest. During their set they brought Dale Peachey of the legendary Dollar Bar onstage to cover Sonic Youth's "100%" in a show that was recorded for posterity by 4ZZZ's Live Delay programme. Harley, Phillipa, Ange and Cool Eric all had plans to move overseas in April so after playing one final show together at the Beetle Bar on March 28, Go Go Fish and Harley Young & the Haymakers both broke up.

Scott now plays bass with Tim Steward's band We All Want To. Ash has started a new solo project called Hands On Heart and in February 2016 released her debut album "Emergency Picnic", produced by Scott. Harley and Phillipa continue to travel the world and make music together. Ange is based in Japan and Cool Eric was last heard from riding a motorcycle into the jungles of Central America.

DISCOGRAPHY
"Grande Velour" EP - November 2011
"Vulpine" single - July 2013
"Little Wings" Indie 100 compilation - August 2013
"She's On The Wires/A Little Like You" split single - March 2014
"Guest List" single - September 2014
"Graduation Day" single - February 2015
"If I Go Down I'm Taking You With Me" EP - March 2015

All releases available from Bandcamp except "Little Wings", available from iTunes.

VIDEOS
"Vulpine" - dir. Angela Hibbard
"A Little Like You" - dir. Angela Hibbard
"Guest List" - dir. Angela Hibbard/Scott Mercer

All videos available on YouTube.

Review

Review by Max Quinn Max Quinn

10 Feb 2015

Triple J
40

I expected to be a big fan of this, and lo and behold, I am. "we joined the army, then we joined arms" is perfect a lyric as they come.

I expected to be a big fan of this, and lo and behold, I am. "we joined the army, then we joined arms" is perfect a lyric as they come.

Review

Review by Max Quinn Max Quinn

07 Sep 2014

Triple J
40

Geeky, clever, and sweeter than a Monte Carlo. I want to dunk you all in milk.

Geeky, clever, and sweeter than a Monte Carlo. I want to dunk you all in milk.

Review

Review by Dave Ruby Howe Dave Ruby Howe

11 Apr 2014

Triple J
35

A sweet pop hook hides beneath this beat up jangle.

A sweet pop hook hides beneath this beat up jangle.