Name: Rufino (a.k.a. Rufino the Catalan Casanova)
Member of Band: Rufino and the Coconuts
When did you first start playing music? The moment I came screaming into the world from my mother’s womb next to a river in the Catalan hills. They are alive with music.
Which artist influenced your music? What! Rufino is not influenced, he does the influencing … but having said that I do quite like Grace Jones and Prince, Nick Cave and don’t mind Serge Gainsbourg, Harry Belafonte, maybe The Clash and … Missy Elliott – amongst others.
Tell us about your latest single/album/tour. The album is called ‘Centroturist’ – I think you’ll quite like it – It’s really very good. You could say it’s like a joyful expedition to a wild tropical island – that all goes a bit wrong.
The single is called Hear the Drum – it is definitely about the part of the expedition where everything goes wrong – but then you meet a beautiful she-devil of a woman by whom you are happily led astray…
The tour has been through the Port of Old Sydney, the People’s Republic of Canberra, The Island of Damnation and now reaches the Grand Duchy of Melbourne where we play on Sat Nov 9 at the Spotted Mallard in Brunswick. Things will continue more next year but let’s not worry about that for now.
Optional question: How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Like a Gumbo, with a bit of Louisiana Voodoo, lots of shellfish, some thickener, various ingredients that take your fancy from the local environment and best served at a big party where everyone spills it on their clothes and faces.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
Actually, it’s just from rehearsal but the other night: 4 rather large young men walked into our rehearsal studio looking full of mischief- they were from the metal band rehearsing next door. And were quite drunk. We just kept playing and they lost their initial bravado and started looking slightly sheepish. At the end of the song we finished playing and I said ‘Hello’ and asked them how they were. They said they had come in to “give us a bit of shit”, but then, “they couldn’t because they quite liked what we were doing”. I thanked them and they skulked out of the room without incident.
What, or who, inspires you?
Which song do you wish you wrote? Why?
Dear Prudence by the Beatles, it just gets me every time (didn’t expect that now did you!)
What is the best thing about performing in Rufino & the Coconuts?
The Costumes, the sweat, the shaka-shuck of percussion, the freedom … and just being with the lovely Coconuts
Why should people come to see you in Melbourne?
You’ll have a bit of a think, you’ll have a bit of a laugh, you’ll have a bit of a feeling of fear, then you’ll have a bit of a dance and then eventually you’ll want to go home and make love to someone – what more do you want?
What’s your scene?
The Jacuzzi – see you there!
RUFINO AND THE COCONUTS launch Rhythm Rich, Tropical Pop Debut Album CENTROTURIST and Announce Tour
A tropical musical explosion awaits when Sydney’s Rufino and the Coconuts launch their debut album Centroturist this October, setting audiences on an island jungle quest for summer.
Inspired by classic surf music, with a touch of 80s post-punk, smooth jungle disco and pinch of B-Grade thriller soundtracks, the rocksteady rhythms on Centroturist promise good time tropical pop.
Sailing on a raft of sixties guitars, seventies synthesisers and a crate of souvenir-junk percussion, Centroturist is entertaining and ridiculously wry, telling the stories of Caribbean dentists, jungle misadventures, cray fishing and near-death love affairs, all delivered with a bone rattling backbeat.
Rufino and his wild 8-piece band of misfits from the rhythm-rich jungles will take to the stages in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne performing at Marrickville Bowling Club, Smith’s Alternative and the Spotted Mallard.
Known best as the Catalan Casanova crooner from Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, Centroturist, Rufino aka Pip Branson leads the eight piece ensemble. Trained as a classical violinist Pip has performed with Something for Kate and was nominated for a Helpmann Award for the score for Kate Mulvany’s Masquerade performed as part of the Sydney and Melbourne Festivals in 2015.
Since 2013, Rufino and the Coconuts have toured and performed special events including the 2015 Sydney Festival, the 2013 Lorne Festival of the Arts and most recently as part of the 2018 Vivid Sydney, as well as their regular packed shows up and down the eastern seaboard in rock venues, spiegeltents, town halls, bowling clubs and fishing shacks.
Spotted Mallard, Melbourne | Saturday 9 November
Centroturist is available from the Black Sea and Spice Tea Trading Company through Inertia Distribution and your favourite record store now.