In the past 10,000 years what has Australia given us?
Well, my childhood best friend had an Australian father and we always put on his funny military uniforms. And did they manufacture those shoes I had that made me hate sitting ‘indian style’ at school presentations because they made my feet stick to the carpet? They gave us Men At Work and a few Mel Gibson films I enjoyed. About a year ago I was introduced to The Beards, hit “If Your Dad Doesn’t Have A Beard” (post-pending). I suppose they also help us identify where the Pacific Islands stop, otherwise I might think the big white one at the bottom was apart of The Archipelago. But other than that? What have they provided the universe?
Until recently, that answer was pretty concise, however as the world of sailing lands on our shores here in the US, I’m astonished to find they’ve been doing it too, and with a fervor that lambasts our trite dottaling about. Their appetite for the sea, while perhaps a bit stingy, has created a sizeable Bay Area economy this next year, but more importantly, especially here at PaisleyTunes, is Australia’s gift to the musical world of sailing.
Up until the last few decades, sea shanties were the musical outcast of society. Booted off the farm in search of true adventure, sailors had only the fair ears of mermaids and sirens to please, and as we Now Know, neither are as critical as they should be. Alas, tall tall tales told through accordions, jugs and steins left much wanting. A quick PaisleyTunes evaluation of competing sea-worthy styles showed that the Hawaiians choose a classically un-American pitch range while the Parrot-Heads sang lyrics with the complexity of a land-lubber, the reels and jigs from the North Islands required far too much talent, and everything else.. we just didn’t look at them. Until Today (err… yesterday).
During a routine SOS (Search on Sea-Shanties), using a conch-shell while aboard a small keel boat at an undisclosed location of the coast of California, PaisleyTunes intern #11 documented perpetual singing of what we’ve now identified as Australia’s first gift to man-kind; an appropriate sailing anthem, worthy of shanty-status, yet robust enough to be played among shore-folk. Today we present, The Wolverines, and their gift, “What A Bloody Great Day To Go Sailin’.”
The Wolverines are not as one may envision, with beards instead of claws, and do-rags plus aviators over their sun-baked skulls, they’re somewhat of an anomaly of rock that emerged some seven-thousand plus miles away from the Musical Center of the Universe, clamored to the top of the proverbial leaf of grass of the internet and floated on the wind to #11’s virgin shanty-sea-shell. A singing man-band-trio, The Wolverines are Darcy Leyear on guitar, John Clinton on drums, and Chris Doyle on keyboards, this group has succeeded in crossing the ‘pacific-pond’ without changing their trousers. Since releasing their first singe in 1994, they’ve manufactured eight albums, including a best of and remarkably, their sea-ditty was only recently released with the album, “Occasional Course Language” on January 3rd, 2011.
While much of America looks to Radio Gaga and many in this office monitor the Eastern Airwaves, The Wolverines are the answer to those left behind, alone with the fog, the wind, and the waves, master of no-one. What a great day, a bloody great day to go sailing.