Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Board Boogiedotdotdotdot
artworkThis fine comp issues 30 tracks from the Festival archives, most of which have been impossible to find until now. Excellent liner notes, and great mastering, and the first clear vision into sixties Australian surf.
Picks: Board Boogie, Midnite Surfer, The Mean One, Sandy The Surfin' Sandfly, Jaywalker, Swamped, Storm Warning, Panel Five, Gavotte Espresso, Twistin' Drums, Murphy The Surfie, Windansea, Cloudburst, (Theme From) The Ant Hill, Sabre Dance, Smoke and Stack, Surf Carnival, Boots, Saddle and Surfboard, Expressway, Riptide, Barbecue, The Phantom Guitarist, Theme From Dr. No, The Frolic, Prairie, Desperado, Shorebreak, Standin' and Stompin', Sunday Patrol, Adventures In Paradise

Track by Track Review

Board Boogie dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a circular riff rocker, with pounding tom toms and lots of energy. It's not really melodic, but is commanding and powerful.

Midnite Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a lot like a Shadows tune, with Hank Marvin string bending and a similar light weight melody line. Quite pretty in a moderately loud way, "Midnite Surfer" has a liquid line, and sports some echoed damped guitar.

The Mean One dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In some ways, this is like an Indian variation on "Washington Square." the melody is nearly the same, but the Indian motif gives "The Mean One" a different feel.

Sandy The Surfin' Sandfly dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is very much like the Atlantics doing an intense modern surf tune. Hot and fiery, with rolling drums a-pounding, and lots of power. Excellent!

Jaywalker dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Jaywalker" uses a "Green Onions" kinda rhythm, damped and chunky, with an interesting guitar melody over the top. It's a kind of hybrid of surf and Memphis soul. This was covered years later by Kim Humphreys.

Swamped dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Swamped" is an infectious tune with a catchy circular riff and lots of energy in the backtrack. A little like Travis Wammack and the Belairs with glissandos. Very cool!

Storm Warning dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Intense like the Atlantics, warm melody like the American surf scene, raging drums. "Storm Warning" is a powerful and infectious piece of music with great potential. Amazing fast drumming!

Sydney's Nocturnes were nothing like the Southern California band of the same name. Terry Vincenzini - lead, Laurie Barclay - rhythm, John Manners - bass, and Pat Jeffery - drums.

Panel Five dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Waves crash, then the happy adventurous melody circles and curls with unbounded optimism. A little fifties jazzy, some rockabilly thrill, and raging drums. This track was issued on a one sided single. There's no trail left to determine who or what they were, or even if the band is the Surf Riders or Panel 5, and likewise the title could be either. They 'may' have been the house band for the Bandstand or Saturday Date TV shows.

Gavotte Espresso dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Gavotte Espresso" is softer than their other releases. Damped plucky guitar lines give it an almost String-a-longs or Les Paul feel. Bouncy and fun, and light weight liquid.

Twistin' Drums dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Great tribal drums and gutty low-E guitar grunt out a menacing riff before the horns come in. "Twistin' Drums" is not melodic, but is rather in the mold of many of Sandy Nelson's single, with a power riff and lots of tuff drums. Nice track.

Murphy The Surfie dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the single the Surfaris covered. High spirited Aussie surf, infectious melody lines, and spunky playing. This is due out from the masters in a couple of months.

Windansea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Windansea" employs the "Memphis" rhythm as an opener before launching a melody that's certainly heavily influence by "Memphis" in the bridge. Poppy, bouncy, and very cool.

Cloudburst dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cloudburst" is a very spunky instro with guts, string slaps and chokes, a groovy low-E melody line, and a surf feel. Rolling tom toms and lots of energy. An excellent single.

(Theme From) The Ant Hill dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"(Theme From) The Ant Hill" is a very Shadows inspired tune, with bongos and an exotica beat. In some ways, it could have been a Preston Epps tune. Splashy and high energy.

Sabre Dance dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Khachaturian's high energy monster "Sabre Dance" is driven quite differently than others have done it. Unlike Love Sculpture's power thrash, the Playboys give it a surfable edge and a more subtle treatment. Subtle, but not at all lacking in speed or power. Very cool!

Smoke and Stack dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very pretty island surf number with a warm and catchy melody, some damped echoed lines, and whammy chords to add to the tourist's appreciation. Really a nice track. The Aztecs' "Smoke and Stack" was covered by Kim Humphreys a few years back.

Surf Carnival dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very bouncy number reminiscent of the String-a-longs sound, with a melody line similar to "Wheels," but less plucky. Fun track.

Boots, Saddle and Surfboard dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ride 'em cowboy! Spunky exuberant playing, a circular melody line, a playful arrangement, and some fine damped picking. Tuff drums and thumpin' bass complete the picture, along with requisite whoops and hollers.

Expressway dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a low-E cruncher, with a sound closer to surf than the Atlantics, yet very much in their shadow. The melody line is borrowed from "High Noon" is places. Powerful and intense, and full of oceanic promise.

Riptide dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast and rhythmic, "Riptide" sports a great rolling bass line with subdued guitar twang. The melody line is in the Atlantics' mold, but distant enough to be unique.

Barbecue dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

This is actually called something else, and was done by some rockabilly band in the late fifties, but I can't place it. Throbbing and too much fun.

The Phantom Guitarist dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Echoed glissandos up and down the neck, surf whammy, vibrato charm, and a haunting melody line over tribal drums and bass. Wow, "The Phantom Guitarist" is a cool track. Edgy and fluid, and sounding more like a Midwest band than Australian.

Theme From Dr. No dotdotdot
Spy (Instrumental)

John Barry's "James Bond" under the name "Theme From Dr. No." Almost surfy, and more or less as intended. Low-E twang and sultry organ.

The Frolic dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a lot like the Shadows' "FBI," but slightly more melodic. Choppy and rhythmic, with fun in mind.

Prairie dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western Twang (Instrumental)

Spaghetti western themes and catchy twang, rhythmic backtrack and rolling drums. "Prairie" is lots of fun, with a surfable melody riff.

Desperado dotdotdot
Organ Spaghetti (Instrumental)

The organ carries the melody while the surf/spaghetti guitar delivers the rhythm. "Desperado" is pretty cool, in a haunted organ kinda way.

Shorebreak dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Warm whammy chords and the shimmer of fast vibrato on the middle registers. The melody is fluid and islandic, with a sense of evening luau romance. Nice track!

Standin' and Stompin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Well inside the Atlantics' tent, "Standin' and Stompin'" romps and stomps with rolling raging drums and intense twang. Fiery guitar work and a bunch of energy.

Sunday Patrol dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sunday Patrol" would be "Meadowlands" twanged over rolling tom toms. Spunky and cool, and full of liquid twang.

Adventures In Paradise dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The theme to the ABC television series is done about as coolly as I've heard. Where the Challengers did it dry, the Playboys make it swim with chamber reverb and warm guitar tone. Soft and lush, with delicate plucked notes and so much more. A fine cover.