Fish For Life


The second half of the 1980s saw an evolution of the culture that had begun with the punk rock and post-punk explosion at the end of the 1970s. Fish For Life were one of many Auckland bands to be found playing the variety of venues that vitalised the inner city up until the end of the decade, when a pre-crash development craze levelled acres of vibrant Victorian brownstone environs to make way for a modern CBD.

The scene had no shortage of weird band names. Nat Curnow: “Later on I tried to find a deeper meaning in the name, a positivity in the idea that one is fishing for life or something like that. Unfortunately people initially thought we were a Christian band, what with the fish symbolism and all. Not quite what we were aiming for, really, I just liked the sound of it. We did a couple of gigs advertised as Poisson Pour Vie, which I thought sounded even better. I was interested in skeletal fish at the time, I had one tattooed on my right arm, so there was a fish theme going on.” 

Barney Curnow, Fish For Life.
Photo credit: Jonathan King
Fish For Life at Mainstreet 1988 (L-R): Nat Curnow, Jeff Eden, Matthew Heine, Barney Curnow
Photo credit: Catherine O'Dwyer
Fish For Life
Poster for Fish For Life at the Rising Sun, K Rd Auckland, with Chainsaw Masochists and The Easys.
Fish For Life - Toast - B-side of The Alice/Toast 7" single from FatalFish records. Recorded in Auckland at BFM studios, 1989.
Poster for Battling Strings, The Warners, The Sheets, Fish For Life.
Fish For Life at The Gluepot; Barney Curnow on guitar. 
Photo credit: Jonathan Ganley
Fish For Life poster, Auckland University cafe.
Fish For Life gig listings.
Onslaught Records' 1988 compilation Chop! Chop! Chop! featuring Auckland bands Albino Slug, Anigma, The Beads, Fish For Life, Bygone Era, The Warners and more.
Fish For Life: Barney Curnow, Nat Curnow, Jonathan King.
Fish For Life, from left to right: Jonathan King, Russell Gibb, Nat Curnow, Barney Curnow.
Pre-Fish For Life poster featuring The Merkins, Nat Curnow and The Suspenders at the Performance Cafe, Auckland, Sunday July 27, 1986.
Fish For Life
Loaded Tapes presents Unloaded, a 1989 cassette release compilation featuring Fish For Life, Chainsaw Masochist, The Beads, S.P.U.D., Greg Fleming, The Osterbergs, Honey Love and more. Cover design by John Pitcairn.
Fish For Life, Bygone Era, Insect, and Paradox at the Auckland University Cafe, Friday 14 August 1987.
Nat Curnow, Fish For Life.
Photo credit: Jonathan King
Fish For Life sharing a bill at the Rising Sun with The Big Fix, Bygone Era, Albino Slug, and Francis Sect, 1988.
Fish For Life live (L-R): Nat Curnow, Jeff Eden, Barney Curnow
Photo credit: Catherine O'Dwyer
Fish For Life
Photo credit: Catherine O'Dwyer
Fish For Life
Photo credit: Jonathan Ganley
Fish For Life.
Photo credit: Jonathan King
Fish For Life - Dog (Onslaught Records, 1988)
Fish For Life, Bygone Era, Insect and Paradox play a fund raiser for Onslaught Records at the University Cafe, Auckland.
Fish For Life
Fish For Life, University Cafe, Auckland (L-R): Nat Curnow, Jonathan King, Barney Curnow
Photo credit: Catherine O'Dwyer
Barney Curnow, Fish For Life
Photo credit: Jonathan King
Fish For Life, The City Hotel, Auckland, 1986: Nat Curnow, Barney Curnow
Photo credit: Catherine O'Dwyer
Poster for the Monk III release party weekend at the Rising Sun, K Rd Auckland, featuring Fish For Life, The Letter 5, Chris Knox and Paradox, March 11-12, 1988.
Fish For Life
"Fish For Life demonstrating that non-smokers are indeed happier and brighter than smokers?" - from a feature announcing the release of the student radio compilation Spins & Needles (Pagan, 1988) -  BiFim, March/April 1988.
Photo credit: Jonathan Ganley
Fish For Life, University Cafe, Auckland, 1986 (L-R): Nat Curnow, Johnathan King, Barney Curnow
Photo credit: Catherine O'Dwyer
Fish for Life - Alice/Toast 7"
Fish For Life
Fish For Life
Photo credit: Jonathan Ganley
Engineer Glenn Eisenhut (Exploding Budgies) adjusts a mic stand for a Fish For Life recording at The Lab.
Photo credit: Jonathan King
Labels:

Onslaught Records

Members:

Nat Curnow - vocals, guitar

Barnaby Curnow - guitar

Jonathan King - bass

Russell Gibb - drums

Matthew Heine - drums

Jeff Eden - bass

Funded by

Partners with