Speaking to me from his car on top of a cliff, overlooking the surf, sun and “swimming dolphins” is the very relaxed Angus Dowling from The Babe Rainbow.
The Babe Rainbow who you may be familiar with from their 2013 hit Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest have found success in the short year and a half they have been together. Their success has come from their quirky, strange and infectious feel-good sound, a sound that has not come about or been forced for the sake of creating music, but simply because that is who they are.
The band is made up of three mates; Angus Dowling aka Arrow, Kool Breeze and Dr Elliot Love Wisdom who has now been renamed Blue Spirit. They all hail from Rainbow Bay in the sunshine state, and now cruise about in Byron Bay. According to Dowling, the band came together after the three guys were working together in a bookstore.
“We use to think it was our job, even though we sold nothing, and we would just listen to records and play around and then we just started making songs and playing and people seemed to like it when we played – now we’ve been going for a year and a half. It’s so fun.”
Perhaps it is because the boys have spent too much time in the sun, but The Babe Rainbow and their music are nothing but a ray of sunlight. Dowling admits living in places like Byron Bay has definitely taken its toll on the music.
“We’re more open to the sun hitting us in the head like lightning.
“It’s sunny and the ocean’s always there, it’s pretty. I guess it just kind of filters through and gives you a good feeling, and when you are playing something that makes notes, you’re more inclined to make happy notes.”
Big things are happening for the group, as they continue to spill their colourful sounds to the world.
The guys just dropped their newest song Ash May and Dr Lovewisdom and on Friday August 7th will drop their funky new self-titled EP in the form of a baby pink 10 inch vinyl.
Later this year will also see the release of an album from The Babe Rainbow, which Angus says was written and inspired while driving around the hills of New Zealand.
“We were just driving around in this really cool old bus around both islands, playing sunny shows on the beach and we would throw ideas around and see how it would turn out… And we were just spending all day everyday together at the back of this bus, with these funny little instruments and singing together.”
“(The record) was all recorded in Byron Bay out in the hills in this studio that we’ve got and a couple of guys from King Gizzard flew up and helped us lay all the tracks down, so that was really cool,”
“It was great having them around, because they’re very trained musicians and it was cool getting their ideas to help on our music and we’re all great buddies.”
After their recording adventure the boys flew down to join King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard for a gig, and will enjoy further collaborations in their music in the future.
“It adds a lot having more people, but there will always be the inner circle of the Asparagus Trio.”
Once again The Babe Rainbow prove that nothing is out of the question as Angus tells me what we can expect from the sound of the new album.
“We love the old Eastern instruments. Kool Breeze is really good at playing the sitar… We’ve been experimenting lots with drummers and African percussion stuff, we’ve definitely got this more African tribal thing happening and it really fits with the weird western music core,” he says.
“It’s still in the form of short songs but we went about recording them in different ways than before, so that’ll be really exciting when that happens but it will probably be in October.”
The Babe Rainbow trio, which Angus describes as three men becoming “one poet”, will be sharing all of their psychedelic and joyous bliss in their East Coast tour this July. The Babe Rainbow’s music can be likened to floating on a blissful, psychedelic cloud. When asked how he hopes people will receive their music, Angus had this to say:
“We definitely want people to feel like they are in a blissful, psychedelic cloud, that sounds so fun,”
“We just want to bring the jitter bug dance party to everyone.”
You can expect big things from their Splendour In The Grass show.
“We are really excited about it, it’s definitely the biggest stage we’ve ever been asked to play. We’ve already started working on it,” he says.
“We’ve recruited the super group. It’s got like a doo-wop vocal harmony four piece boy band that will play with us, and we have this amazing older African woman and she’s going to sing with me, and we’ve got some tribal percussionists, Kool Breeze will play the sitar, and we’ll play the wrangle jangle bells.”
They also have the visuals planned out too, so you can really experience the “jitterbug boogie”.
“We’ve been experimenting with these funny oil light things that we’re hoping to get going as well, where it projects the colour in blobs.”
But like their music, The Babe Rainbow like to keep an element of unexpectedness to their shows and prefer to go with the flow.
Angus tells me about one of his favourite gigging experiences.
“We played down at this surf camp and we played on the beach with a generator and everyone was surfing right in front of where we were playing… and then out of no where these four wheel drives all pulled up and there was like hundreds of fisherman and they hauled all of these black fish out of the water right in front of us, and then they all just started opening beers and dancing… it was like we were playing this crazy party with these surfers in the water… and all these fisherman were so into it.”
It is the honest, unexpected and natural nature of The Babe Rainbow and their music that has fuelled their success, a success that still takes Angus by surprise.
“We always wanted to travel together and play music and now it’s some sort of reality,” he says.
“We are just growing every time we make a new song.”
Love forever for these guys.
The Babe Rainbow East Coast Tour
THURSDAY JULY 02
Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
SATURDAY JULY 04
Sunhouse Surf Shop, Coolangatta
WEDNESDAY JULY 08
Sosume – Beach Rd, Bondi
THURSDAY JULY 09
Moonshine, The Steyne, Manly
FRIDAY JULY 10
Sweaty Betty’s, Miranda
SATURDAY JULY 11
Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
FRIDAY JULY 17
Karova Lounge, Ballarat
SATURDAY JULY 18