The Riptides: Tombs Of Gold

People often talk about the fickle nature of the music business. Mark Callaghan, the former GANGgajang leader who has spent a long career in music publishing, knows it better than most. “It seems like everyone’s career is supercharged,” he says. “It happens really quick, but it’s also got great potential to be over really quick. It’s like the whole life cycle has been accelerated.”

Callaghan is talking about the present, but he could be easily talking about his first band, Brisbane’s much-loved Riptides. Playing a giddy mix of ska,surf and power pop, the band shot across the Australian music landscape like a meteor in the early 1980s, but a cocktail of line-up changes and bad deals meant they never reached their full potential.

A mini-album called Swept Away, a handful of brilliant singles (including the legendary Sunset Strip, one of the first releases on the Go-Betweens’ Able Label) and a compilation on Regular Records were all that appeared at the time, along with a live album, Resurface, which documented one of the band’s regularly riotous appearances at the University of Queensland Refectory.

Until now. Thirty years after the Riptides’ unseemly demise, Callaghan is issuing the band’s first album independently, thanks to a crowd-funding campaign that reached its goal within a fortnight, a testament to the enduring appeal of the band.… Read more..

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