Fremantle groovers The Bambuseae Rhythm Section are gearing up for a massive month. After starring in the finale of RTRFM’s Harbour Sundays series this Sunday, February 23, they’re launching a new single Til the Day I Die, joining Sydney’s The Soul Movers featuring Murray Cook from The Wiggles at The Sewing Room on Thursday, February 27 and heading down south to perform alongside a wealth of national and international acts at the Nannup Music Festival between Friday, February 28 until Monday, March 2. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with vocalist and guitarist Cameron Charles and found him boiling over with excitement about what’s coming up and why their motto “the people must dance” continues to inspire everything they do.

So what’s been going on in the world of The Bambuseae Rhythm Section since we last spoke?

Man, so much has been happening. In the last year or so we have gone through a really cool line up change and have solidified the band into a performance and songwriting power house. We’ve been writing a heap of new songs and incorporating them into our live set. Within our new and improved line up we have all been working so well together in coming up with more interesting and tasty songs.

We’ve managed to record a new single ‘Til The Day I Die at RADA studios with Dan Carroll at the helm and plan on doing more with him in the coming months. We’ve also played some really awesome shows lately, most notably Blues at Bridgetown festival, Karnidale Circus Festival and supported eastern states band Bootleg Rascal on the western leg of their national tour.

We’ve gotten together some new merch including stickers and t-shirts that are now available at all of our gigs and even have a sparkly new website: thepeoplemustdance.com. In the next few months we will also be playing both Nannup and Fairbridge music festivals. It’s all very exciting mate and it keeps us very busy.

It takes quite a few musicians to complete the band and create the sound that you have. How many people are in the group now and what do you think is the common factor between you that keeps everything and everyone together?

You’re so right, and it takes a lot of hard work behind the scenes to pull off any band. There are six solid core members in TBRS these days and we all share the load of organising, planning and executing the operation. We have all taken on extra roles within the band to make it happen. We all have specific talents, skills and experience outside of playing and performing that keeps us moving forward.

Creatively speaking though, the six of us have a few things in common; we are honest with each other, we are humble enough to take on each others’ honesty and we all agree that The People Must Dance. We believe in each other and the music we make and that’s one main thing that really motivates us and keeps us moving forward together.

So about the new single ‘Til The Day I Die… what do you feel is different about this song compared to the ones that came before?

‘Til The Day I Die represents who we are as this new band line up. Compared to our earlier tunes it is more refined and less cluttered with more sophisticated production techniques. Sonically it has a lot more space in it. Dan Carroll at RADA Studios is a local legend and he totally gets the vibe we are going for with our new musical direction.

It also gives a broader perspective of our musical diversity within the band and hints to the vintage old school vibe that influences us all as musicians. I was inspired to write the song after so many great live gigs of ours where people in the crowd would be fully in the moment dancing and loving life in general. I believe this song really captures the feeling you get from a really awesome gig.

And is there a particular message in the song or through your music generally that you want to share with people?

Hopefully by now our message is coming through nice and strong. The People Must Dance. The new single, however, is a bit more psychedelic. It’s about feeling groovy and dancing with one or two political thoughts thrown in for good measure. We want our music generally to be a space where people can come together to celebrate life actively and to bring a sense of balance to people’s lives. We live in interesting times and we want to remind people of the importance of celebration and dance.

You’ve got a really cool show coming up with Sydney’s The Soul Movers, featuring Murray Cook from the Wiggles! What can we look forward to at that show? It must feel weird but exciting playing alongside such an Australian icon?

We can’t wait for this show. It will be such an honour to play alongside the likes of Murray Cook and his band. My kids couldn’t quite comprehend it when I told them! And I look forward to learning a thing or two from such a seasoned performer. We have been itching to play this show and the people can expect us to play a hard sweaty set. It will get loose. No two TBRS gigs are the same though so as always, expect the unexpected.

And is he your favourite Wiggle? It’s okay to lie if you have to!

(Laughs) Years ago when my kids and I used to watch the original line up of the wiggles together I was always so impressed with Murray’s guitar skills. I’m always listening and learning from other guitarists no matter what style of music and that man has some damn tasty licks. The Soul Movers seem to like to get sweaty like us and I appreciate that immensely. So yes, Murray is definitely my favourite Wiggle!

I’m sure you’re just as excited about the Nannup Music Festival, are there any acts coming to that you’re looking forward to that we should look out for?

We are almost wetting our pants with excitement for Nannup. It is our first time as TBRS playing this festival and I look forward to getting down there to party with everyone. I personally look forward to catching Archie Roach, Lincoln MacKinnon & The Wrecking Train, Web Rumors and The Struggling Kings to name a few. There are so many amazing acts at this years festival. Phaedra (Watts) and the entire event crew do such a stellar job. My hat goes off to them.

And finally but most importantly, why must the people dance?

I’m glad you asked. Firstly, there are so many different ways to dance and maybe that is reflected in our broad style of music that we choose to perform. Music is magic in the sense that it can bring the best and worst out of us. But years ago I witnessed first hand one aspect of the true power of music. I was working behind a bar on a New Year’s Eve event. There was a very aggressive heavy metal band playing over the midnight countdown and a fight broke out on the dance floor. It eventually spilled out into a brawl on the streets outside the venue. Things took a turn for the worse when someone was killed after being punched repeatedly. He couldn’t be resuscitated. He was a newlywed on holiday from out of town.

Now, I don’t have anything at all against heavy music but that night was meant to be a celebration not a tragedy and I believe the style of music that was chosen had a massive impact on the overall vibe of the crowd. From that moment on I vowed to myself that I would be someone who strived to bring only positivity to people through music and I know for certain that every member of Bambuseae holds the same vision.

Dancing brings people together, it allows space for everyone to express themselves freely, to celebrate life to the fullest and to release their inner tensions in a healthy and safe way. To sweat is to live, to dance is to love! This is why The People Must Dance. Since TBRS has been a thing I have witnessed countless beautiful and powerful moments both on and off stage between members of the crowd as well as with my fellow musicians.

To see so many people jumping and dancing, getting down and dirty and singing along to our songs brings so much joy to everyone around, it’s infectious! As a band it spurs us on to keep writing more and better songs. We have so much gratitude for everyone that comes to any of our shows and we want everyone to be a part of it.

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