Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: The W&G Instrumental Storydotdotdot
artworkThis CD compiles instrumental sides issued on the W&G label from 1961 through 1964. Most are within the Australian version of the surf sound, and many are very nice.
Picks: Wild Weekend, Theme From The Rat Race, New Orleans Beat, Delilah, Machine Gun, Teen Scene, Royal Whirl, Yippee Hoe-down, What Me Worry?, Dardenela, Amarilla Stomp, 1' North, Walk On The Wild Side, Pink Dominos, Mandrake, Gonzo, Theme From The Great Impostor, The Cry Of The Wild Goose, I Walk The Line, The Rebel (Johnny Yuma), Bajjad, Lost Guitar, The Flipper, Popeye, The Wayward Wind, Stampede, Pedro The Fisherman, Blue Saturday, The Cruel Sea, Fred, Undertow, Like Long hair, The Wheel, The Rumble, Thundercloud

Track by Track Review


Wild Weekend dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

While this is lacking the guttiness of the Rockin' Rebels' original, the Thunderbirds nonetheless used adequate edge and charm. The reverbed almost-surf guitar makes is kinda special too, though it emanates from 1961.

Theme From The Rat Race dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Theme From The Rat Race" sports a very surfable relentless surfish guitar pattern behind a raunchy sax. It has a kind of rumble on the docks grit and snarl. Cool track.

New Orleans Beat dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Typical of early sixties rock instros, "New Orleans Beat" features a nifty guitar line and piano plinkery running down a light hearted path throwing daisies into the air. Simply fun.

Delilah dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This classic song is done as if Perry Mason was walking down Peter Gunn's dock at midnight. Dark and nasty, cool sax lines, and dark guitar. Mighty fine!

Machine Gun dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

The Riptides' classic instro "Machine Gun" rips and rocks as the Thunderbirds romp through it with high energy. Great drums, rapid fire piano glissandos, nasty sax, and very surfable guitar for 1961.

Teen Scene dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Hunters' tasty little number is done with a bit of sauce and funky soul. A nicely done cover with great drums.

Royal Whirl dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

The Thunderbirds cover one of the more fun instros from the Royaltones, one of rock's great instro bands, now sadly mostly forgotten. "Royal Whirl" is a bouncy number that might just as well have been a big band standard as a rock instro. Great piano and saucy sax.

Yippee Hoe-down dotdotdot
Near Surf Country (Instrumental)

Great country hoe-down fun plucked with twangy near-surf guitar and augmented with Ace Cannon-like sax. Just fun.

What Me Worry? dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

"What Me Worry?" may be titled for Mad Magazine's logo character, but the song has none of his twisted humor or simplicity. It's just an R&B riff number.

Dardenela dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This classic song gets a raspy sax and piano treatment, perhaps as if Fats Domino lost his soul, but it also has some stinging guitar whackage, which, when combined with the very cool piano lines, makes "Dardenela" quite enjoyable.

Amarilla Stomp dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a typical backwoods stomp, with a country rhythm and Ace Cannon-esq sax honkin' and squonkin'. It reminds me a lot of the Benny Hill theme.

1' North dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

"1' North" is an R&B honker, a riff rocker without memorability. Fun enough, but it just doesn't rise above background sounds.

Walk On The Wild Side dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Great drum work drives the sax and bass down the wrong street on the wrong side of the tracks. Tasteful, but unremarkable.

Pink Dominos dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Chiyo and the Crescents' remarkably cool "Pink Dominos" is very tastefully done by the Thunderbirds. Less edgy, but very credible, and with a very rhythmic chop to the rhythm guitar at times that adds an infectious edge.

Mandrake dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Mandrake" is nicely recorded live at Prestone Town Hall in 1962. This song has been done before in a semi-surf style, most notably by the Cyclones. Tasteful.

Gonzo dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Gonzo" is a simple instro with a rolling piano line that's quite fun. It's a light weight track with a happy lilt.

Theme From The Great Impostor dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Another fun and bouncy track, though "Theme From The Great Impostor" is more cute than cool.

The Cry Of The Wild Goose dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Strangers play "Wild Goose" with an eye on Oz surf via echoed guitar. Big twang and charm, with less energy than US surf, but still quite spiffy. Not as gutty as the Intruders' great 45, but excellent nonetheless.

I Walk The Line dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

I've long thought that the Tennessee Three's could easily morph into a surf sound, though none have tried that I can recall. This single from 1964 takes the charming surfable vibrato and classic rhythms and merges them into a very fine instro. Johnny Cash would grin.

The Rebel (Johnny Yuma) dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

The theme to the TV show is very nicely done with rich shallow vibrato and a moody chorus. Kinda cheesy, yet oddly endearing.

Melbourne's Chessmen were formed in '61 by singer Johnny Chester, with Les Stackpol - guitar, Albert Stackpol - piano, Frank McMahon - bass, and Graeme Trottman - drums.

Bajjad dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Tweaky echoed Theremin and twangy spaghetti western guitar and galloping rhythms romp and stomp in the Echos fine "Bajjad." It's a splendid song with an infectious gate and well thought out melody.

Lost Guitar dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Before there was surf, there were these catchy little guitar numbers with somewhat Indian riffs and near boogie rhythms. "Lost Guitar" is such a number, with a catchy guitar line and tribal tom toms.

The Flipper dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Echoed muted chords and fanciful melody lines dominate this instro. Mighty fun and playful, with a very European sound, not unlike Shadows inspired bands, but with a lot more spunk.

Popeye dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Yup, it's THAT melody! Too fun! The Cherokees play it with echoed guitar and a basic beat. Hardly essential, but entirely to fun, and the drums are quite good. Very cool!

The Wayward Wind dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Gogi Grant's "The Wayward Wind" was done by several instro bands back in the day, most notably the Belairs. This is twangy and fun, and runs over a trotting cadence. Excellent!

Stampede dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Stampede" has an Atlantics sound about it, with rolling drums and big echoed twang. The lead and rhythm sound out of tune, which gives it an eerie sound when they play in sync.

Pedro The Fisherman dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Pedro The Fisherman" owes a nod of thanks to Duane Eddy for sound and structure, though it's a lot less intense than his early work. This is not the Saxons of Camel Walk fame.

The Saxons were John Marco - lead, Alan Greenfell - piano, Leigh Houghton - sax, Bob Beetles - sax, Gary Millington - bass, and Bob Graham (and later Danny Finley) - drums.

Blue Saturday dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Blue Saturday" is a soft rocker with a lilting melody and pretty sound. Echoed guitar and light weight rhythms paint a picture of a gentle rain washing over slight sadness. This is a very surfable melody.

The Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

The Phantoms romp through Mike Maxfield's classic. Dirty guitar, echoed and twanged, give this an early Dutch kind of sound. Quite nice!

Fred dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Like a second cousin to "Vesuvius," this is fun and sounds like it could easily have come from California's Central Coast in 1964 when it was released. This is a real honest and fun instro with big twang and a rich attraction.

Undertow dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

The melody line is not very interesting when done this way. The arrangement is kinda childlike. Great drums, though.

Like Long hair dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Chessmen are doing their damnedest to rock out on Paul Revere and the Raiders' classic bouncy pre-Columbia instro "Like Long Hair." It really lacks energy and edge.

The Wheel dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

A groovy bass line plays nicely with the two step rhythm as the Breakaways trip the light fantastic in "The Wheel." Nothing special!

The Rumble dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

The Shadows's nifty "The Rumble" is twanged under the influence of the Atlantics I think. Big echoed guitar and whammy chords.

Thundercloud dotdotdot
Near Surf Country (Instrumental)

"Thundercloud" rocks and twangs with a high energy Atlantics sound. Racing beat, big echoed twang, and lots of energy. Cool song.