The Floating Bridges: Learning From Their Elders

  • Written by  Nick Atkins
  • Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:48
The Floating Bridges The Floating Bridges

Nestled in the hills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, rootsy rockers The Floating Bridges mirror the mellow atmosphere of their surroundings.

“The Hinterland of the Coast is so relaxed and picturesque and that really has an influence on our music,” explains singer/ percussionist Dale Mallett. “We've got our upbeat influences but then you mix that with the relaxed attitude of the Coast life and it brings our music back to being a bit more easy listening.”

Involvement with the local community is essential to the band’s way of life. Dale himself is a youth worker and runs outreach activities with local kids, while a close relationship with the Gubbi Gubbi tribe influences not only the band’s cultural attitude, but also their songs. “We would go out 'on country' and have a yarn and share stories with the local indigenous elders, and they really respond well to our music. They’ve given us permission to write about a few Dreamtime stories as well. They actually told us a story and allowed us to use it in our music.”

The band feels duty-bound to share their message of solidarity and they find themselves in a unique position to do so. “We are all about respect and equal rights and opportunities. We have the microphone and that spotlight where we can raise those issues.”

The message is well received in their local area, but they strive to make cultural connections throughout Australia, which can pose more of a challenge. “I suppose on the Coast it has been a good progression for us but we are still working to connect with other communities … Going away and travelling, we are not so connected, and the whole culture is different, there are different nations in every community.”

Guitarist Johnny Curran is the newest member of the band and weaves in his distinctive licks as if he has been there all along. “As most bands would know there was that teething period of ‘where’s your sound going to fit?’ where he pieced his own sound and style into ours … He’s definitely settled in now and we are really excited about the next passage for the band.”

In the middle of their tour for the new single ‘Eloquence’, a show supporting reggae heroes Katchafire this November will be a source of cautious excitement for Dale who has been a long-time fan of the all-Maori band. “I think it might turn into a bit of nerves on the night, but our music has been influenced immensely by Katchafire and their connectedness to their culture … We want to meet them as people. As much as it is about the music we want to connect with them personally, say ‘G’day’ and get to know who they are and their stories.”

Plans of (very peaceful) world domination are next on the agenda following the March, 2015 release of the new album, ‘Creatures Of Leisure’. “The boys are heading over to Europe next year so we are currently planning a run of shows over there … In 2012 we went to New Zealand for a month, but this is the next step in terms of taking the band overseas. This is going to be huge for us!”

The Floating Bridges Tour Dates

Fri 26th Sep - The Motor Room (Brisbane)
Sat 25th Oct - Dusty Day Out (Murgon)
Sat 8th Nov - Mary River Festival (Kandanga)
Fri 14th Nov - The Hoey Moey (Coffs Harbour)
Sat 15th Nov - Pacific Hotel (Yamba)
Thu 20th Nov - Kings Beach Tavern (Caloundra, supporting Katchafire)
Fri 21st Nov - Bar Open (Melbourne)
Sat 22nd Nov - Baha Taco Joint (Rye)
Wed 26th Nov - Yours And Owls (Wollongong)
Sun 30th Nov - The Maclean Hotel (Maclean)
Sat 20th Dec - Sol Bar (Maroochydore)


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