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My pick for the ‘Sound of Summer’

Caravana Sun’s ‘Guerrilla Club’

By Ian Browne Shamrock News

Well, last year my pick for the ‘sound of summer’ was Papuan born Nimbin lady, LOA. This year tis Caravana Sun and it’s the band’s third CD –‘Guerrilla Club’. I was at Caravana Sun’s recent sound-check at Byron’s Beachfront Hotel gig and I had a chat to ‘on keyboards/trumpet’- Ken Allars, who was interested in my appreciation for the similarity of the dream-state piece Angourie to a 80/90’s ambient-Goth band I adore.

Hailing from my hometown Cronulla, over the years a couple of the guys from Caravana Sun have called Byron Bay home, the band also spending time in WA. Among the many other locations on their busy tour itinerary, which includes trips abroad to as far afield as Europe, I guess their salute to Indigenous culture was inspired by road-trips from Fremantle to the Kimberley’s. Open Up’s film clip communicated my initial interpretation of the song’s lyrics, of someone from an upbringing perhaps disconnected from the Aboriginal heartbeat, then growing a taste for it all when coming into contact with language groups in other areas of Oz, thus a desire to explore this more deeply being further fostered.

Surf-Rock, Reggae-Dub-Pop, now, that is a fusion for success in Byron Bay! Popular with younger crowds they are appreciated by newcomers. My good pal ‘Benny da Gecko’- also from Cronulla- loved them live in Broome on a couple of occasions, and I wasn’t the only one of the older crew vowing for a CD at the Byron sound-check. Trawling for familiarity, I found singer Luke Carra appreciating variation in vocals similar to Jeff Buckley in Whale Song, and a soothing Angus Stone in Cygnet Bay, while Open Up’s keyboards at first suggests Empire of the Sun may come gliding in. But the rest of the time it’s very much all them, the trumpet-flute sounds add a distinct flavour, and all-in-all it’s a kind-hearted sound, peaceful, yet a -‘dying to be danced to’- groove. I having a sneaking suspicion that the chunky guitar roaring in on the SKA-reggae rhythm of Eye of the Storm would get the crankiest of scrooges to their feet. Unknown Warrior has a Brazilian-carnivale spirit, but my favourite is the jazz-funk rhythm of Whale Song: “Like a whale -gasping for air, I’m diving deep” yep, reminiscent of Byron Bay and Caravana Sun’s 2017 OZ/NZ tour being of the same title as this vibrant number.

Certainly, a dangerous pastime during my eight years in Darwin, Cygnet Bay’s “underneath the mangrove tree, is where we lay” is a very gentle, nostalgic reminder of one’s passing of time, while reminiscing of what’s most important in life. I get this band. I grew up where they did, and fell in love with Indigenous Australia even more so by travelling and working among its folk, while maintaining a love and respect for the ocean- Pindan. A healthy, spirited album, which was recorded in Freo, mixed-n-mastered in LA, tis definitely a CD you can

take home to your lovers’ mum; in no time at all she will be up on the table with you!

As may pals in Succotash used to say : “Kick it in the guts Barry!”… & more than once rude-boy!


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