Q&A Scene: Track by Track ~ RUFINO & The COCONUTS

Rufino and the Coconuts – Album ‘Centroturist

Some song notes – by Rufino

Side 1

Hear the Drum (4:14) – This is where our adventure begins, you’ve stumbled on a little hut in the jungle where they are serving Rum. They have a fire in the middle of the room, the drums start up and people start dancing around it, you start sweating, feeling feint and then a seductive stranger beckonsyou from the other side of the room… and all the while the drums..

Castaways (2:57) – A Sea Shanty. Tells the story of each of the Coconuts – how they came to be the castaways they are and end up on raft in the tropics with me. We often perform it as a line song or tramp around the venue while singing and stomping it out.

Evening Star (4:08) This one is a delightful, carefree number, by our guitar player Franklyn Franklin, and is about sailing around the Caribbean on our little boat The Evening Star. We ‘move stuff around’ to keep it all going… smuggling is an ugly term, I prefer not to use it … but musicians gottamake a little money somehow.

Dentist Zubar (3:45)In this beaty ditty – the closest the Coconuts come to Hip Hop (perhaps a live-mangled version of an early 2000s variety) – The mysteries of the Dentist Zubar are laid on the table. Who is this mysterious oral physician – heralded with an eastern melody – and why does he command so much fear and respect. What – you’ve never heard of him?! Ah but you will, my friend…you will.

Conga (3:29) – What I love about this number is that it was inspired by my kiddies. Infact they feature at the beginning of it in a field recording I made of them singing the chorusrefrain – they made up the backing vocal and the song was built around it. Conga is about as cruisey, smooth and goodtime dancey as we can get without wanting to make it all messy. It’s about those special places and special evenings ..you know the ones.

Coco Macaque (3:22) A thumping swampy, analog-synth driven beast about a special Haitian Vodou stick called a Coco Macaque. The stick can apparently go on errands for you if you are familiar with how charm it. Not to be messed with as the story tells.

Side 2

Jungle Jungle (3:03) – story of a jungle expedition gone wrong, all delivered with an angular new wave punk pop back-beat. A little bit of B-52s in the Jungle. Shake and jerk your thing!

Rendition Extraordinaire (3:54) – Evoking James Bond villains and mad militias hidden in the jungle this is a spy story set amidst a conspiracy of tin-pot dictators and CIA operatives. They’re coming for us – look out!

Young Coconut (3:46) – A good time tropical party tune written by my good friend and Black Sea Gentleman comrade Mikelangelo – equal parts wrong and ripe! Rocksteady rhythms to eat tropical fruits by.

The Cray (3:26)Rufino’s ode to those fisher-people who seek something a little darker and more royal in the depths of the Ocean. But to catch a Cray … you have to think like a Cray … and at what point does the hunter become the hunted? Like a soundtrack to the greatest B-Grade movie never made.

Tonton Macoute (4:03) – A story of narrow escape and survival set in the madness of Haiti during the 1970’s. Papa Doc’s security force the Tonton Macoute terrorised the nation. This number is the Coconuts at their greatest stomping intensity ala. Nick Cave and the Birthday Party. Based on a book by Graham Greene.

I’m Disgusting (6:03) – A bit of delightful Jungle Disco to finish off the selection. Come ‘fly fly’ with Rufino and the Coconuts, the suavest dressers in the room but the most joyously disgusting on the dancefloor! Starts sultry and seductively but then – Oh yes you want to get down!

Option 3

Side 1

Hear the Drum (4:14)

Rendition (3:54)

Dentist Zubar (3:45)

Evening Star (4:08)

Coco Macaque (3:22)

Conga (3:29)

Side 2

Jungle Jungle (3:03)

Castaways (2:57)

Young Coconut (3:46)

The Cray (3:26)

Tonton Macoute (4:03)

I’m Disgusting (6:03)

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.

About Mary Boukouvalas 1442 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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