Delightful Rain
The Story

  Although The Celibate Rifles continued to pursue a musical path successfully established with their first release, by early 1985 The Riptides had evolved into the group GANGgajang, scoring a series of Top 40 hits in the process. One of these was the quintessential Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia), a tune that undeniablyestablished the group at the forefront of Australian contemporary music. An extended instrumental remix of the tune was also featured in the 1987 Australian made surfing film MAD WAX, the entire soundtrack of which comprised GANGgajang related material. This serendipitous twist of fate was directly responsible for the group, certainly not a surf band by any stretch of the imagination, becoming perceived as a “surfers’ band.”

  The Celibate Rifles similarly amassed a prodigious catalogue, often flaunting their fascination with things “surf,” while also taking on the mantle of Sandy Piles & the Beach Bums for three of the four 100% Mambo Battle Of The Surf Bands extravaganzas held in Sydney, circa 1986-1989.

   With such a surf music related career behind them, it was only fitting that both GANGgajang and The Celibate Rifles, each sporting original members, were invited to join in the celebration of DELIGHTFUL RAIN. For the occasion, the Rifles recorded a new interpretation of Lazy Sunshine, a tunefrom their 2004 CD BEYOND RESPECT, while the Gang provided the brand new composition Surfin’ ‘Round The World, the lyrics for which were still being written by Mark Callaghan on the beach prior to the session!

   Another ‘80s band whose connection to what many now refer to as “coastal consciousness,” together with a concern for indigenous rights and the environment, was Midnight Oil.  Developing a strong following along Sydney’s northern beaches peninsula, The Oils cut their live teeth playing to sell out crowds at North Narrabeen’s The Sands Hotel (formerly The Royal Antler) and rose to commercial fame via their first release, BIRD NOISES, a four track 12” EP that featured Wedding Cake Island, an atmospheric instrumental penned by group members Martin Rotsey and Jim Moginie.

  More than anything, Wedding Cake Island reflected an obvious appreciation of ‘60s styled surf music and surfing in general, a topic covered more openly in subsequent tunes by the Oils such as Surfing With A Spoon, Koala Sprint, Section 5 (Bus To Bondi) and of course the group’s 1997 single Surf’s Up Tonight!

  Oil members Rob Hirst (drums) and Martin Rotsey (guitar) agreed to participate in the DELIGHTFUL RAIN project and together with renowned blues guitarist and Backsliders stalwart Dom Turner, recorded the new tune Big Wave. If you close your eyes, you can almost hear the sound of surf and smell the salt air reminiscent of an Oils’ experience  at The Sands!

  And speaking of a saltwater sound, it would be amiss not to include The Pigram Brothers (formerly members of the indigenous band Scrap Metal) within the DELIGHTFUL RAIN framework.

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