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Pila Pila

from Tabaran by Not Drowning, Waving

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David had this lazy Penguin Cafe Orchestra meets Laurel and Hardy piano melody and some happy, tropical lyrics about Pila Pila. Russel added a rhythm on his new instrument, the fridgaphone - a spoon rattling over a metal refridgerator shelf. The Moab guys came down to the studio from Kokopo and laid down the stringband parts - the bass string guitar interweaving between the chords, the ukelele belting a double time and Telek harmonising. The guitar tuning was a bit of a problem - all the guitars are in village condition - old rusty strings and forks for machine heads - but that’s the stringband flavour.


And we lie beneath the kulau tree,
The warm Pila Pila breeze blows thru
As we're gazing out to sea.
Ples bilong yumi.

We all laugh, throw little Ludwig to the sea.
He bubbles up and his smiling face,
you know it’s staring back at me...

Yeah we dance, and the kids all sing along.
The clouds are coloured mauve and red
We all watch the sun go down... and down
And we're here, the Moab boys just strum along, let's go.

Flying fish, they go soaring through the air
And the Ratung people party round
And we all just sing along
They're happy so are we,
Got a carton of S.P.
And they're happy so are we.


from Tabaran, released October 10, 1990
Russel Bradley : fridgaphone, hi hats
David Bridie : piano, vocals
Rowan McKinnon : acoustic guitar, bass
James Southall : cabassa

Helen Mountfort : cello
Hope Csutoros : violin

George Telek : backing vocals
Mosly Wanaot : lead guitar
Minies Bilak : rhythm guitar
Kaul Wartir : rhythm guitar
Wargi Pindiat :bass guitar
Keni Wartir : ukelele


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Not Drowning, Waving Melbourne, Australia

NDW's music was haunting, evocative, brooding, sensuous and a million other words that excite people who type for a living. In record stores, you could usually find NDW filed under ambient or art-rock, ill-fitting labels if ever there were. Though they were often minimalist, they never made background music. Arty by comparison to other acts of the era, but they knocked out some glorious pop tunes. ... more

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