Words With The Babe Rainbow

A serious fangirl of The Babe Rainbow since the Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest days back in 2014, WildnFree was in heavenly states of blissdom during the course of this interview about their debut self-tilted album . Speaking to Angus Dowling, who is now henceforth named Captain Wild-Free should he choose to accept the honour, WildnFree hung up the phone feeling blessed. Here’s how the convo went down.

CWF: Hey Annelise, how are you?

WF: I am very excited to talk to you. I am a long-term Babe Rainbow fan, since 2014. I have your t-shirt.

CWF: No way. No way!  Hey, just quickly, I’m outside up on the hill on  park, and there’s a tiny little house covered in shingles, and a man came out right then, and he told me how when he was 18, he moved here (Wategos) from Cairns, to do carpentry on houses here, and there was a weird triangle piece of land over a gully that he was offered for $10,000, and now he has a house here, and there is no more ridiculous place for property in this whole area, and still lives here 50 years later.

WF: And he got it for $10,000, what a legend. Get in good with him and he might leave it to you. 

CWF: He’s probably got a cool bass amp, or something.

WF: Has he got a good view?

CWF: I’m looking right now as far as you can possibly imagine, from so high up, way out across the bay towards the Gold Coast, its amazing, its such a pretty day today.

WF: I’m sitting in an office in South Melbourne looking at the city, not so nice.

CWF: But the city’s so fun at nighttime! It has pizazz! When I was last in Melbourne, I remember going to this place on Sydney Road, I don’t know where that is, but there was like a huge old big hall with a bunch of 70 year old couples dancing to big band music, and people drinking sangria, do you know where that is?

WF: Sounds like The Spotted Mallard to me, was it upstairs?

CWF: Yes! The Spotted Mallard, that’s it!  So cool, do they ever let bands play there?

WF: Yes, cancel The Curtin!

CWF: Let’s get something going. The second Melbourne show is about to sell out, so maybe we do a 3rd there.

WF: You’re selling out shows now? You disappeared for a while? I missed you! Where did you go?

CWF: We totally disappeared. We went and played in America for ages, then we went to Europe and stayed in Europe. We became friends with La Femme, a Paris band, and moved in with them and lived with them. They’ve got houses in the south of France and played music with them. We ended up staying for months and months. Then we came back and rethought our sound.

WF: What about Dr Eliot Love-Wisdom? Has he departed the band? (WildnFree sounds devo)

CWF: He’s departed! He just ascended, he just ascended into the air, he’s gone.

WF: Into another dimension?

CWF: Yes. We’re paying a lot of tribute to his ascension in our next album, which is called Double Rainbow. It’ll be out on October 12, Kool Breeze’s birthday.

WF: Kool Breeze, the blond Jesus? 

CWF: He gets called Sexy Santa too sometimes.

WF: Now you’re just getting around as Angus Dowling, what’s your persona?

CWF: I don’t really have one, no one has created a persona for me and I feel awkward doing it for myself. I’m hoping someday someone will create one for me, but I’m okay with being Angus, it’s fine.

WF: I’ll come up with a name for you, I accept the challenge. Leave it with me.

CWF: That’s awesome.

*names Angus Dowling Captain Wild-Free*

WF: So tell me about this album, especially working with Stu Mackenzie the legend.

CWF: How good is he? He’s crazy, he’s like a weird lizard.

WF: Tell me about this great album, having heard your EPs and being a fan from way back, you’ve obviously evolved. Tell me about it.

CWF: Thank you, it’s nice to feel evolved. I don’t know, they’re weird songs from everywhere and lots of people helped us. It feels like quite a while ago now.

A little bit was written in France, lots of it was inspired by surf movie instrumentals, we were doing the soundtrack for a friend who was making a surf movie. We were driving around filming a movie in NZ, joking around singing them, and lots of them came them.

WF: I love Losing Something, its so Simon & Garfunkel

CWF: Well we love them, they’re such polite gentlemen

WF: Yes, they are, beautiful guys.

CWF: That was definitely a surf movie song, I can’t remember who came up with the line, but someone had lost their favourite girlfriend, or favourite board shorts or favourite boyfriend, or favourite bass player (Love-Wisdom?), but we realised every time we lost something, we found something as well.  Then, someone very wise came up with it, it was lovely. I’ll always remember the moment.

WF: And lovely Peace Blossom Boogy? Sounds so classic Babe Rainbow.

CWF: Yes, classic.

WF: And Monkey Disco? It’s in French!

CWF: We used to play that song ages ago in Paris, before it was French, in English! The original lyrics were

Under the beautiful rainbow

Under the salt of the sea

Um…what else…I think

Like the bear because I love honey

Come sleep in my nest with me

Or something like that. It turned out crazy!

WF: I love Fall In Love too, it’s got great samples

CWF: That’s a vacuum cleaner making that sound, we were recording in Kool Breeze’s caravan, vacuuming the rug and feeding it through something, and it made that noise. Sounds strange.

WF: Now, all of sudden you’ve popped back up from nowhere and you’re selling out shows? So good. 

CWF: I know, its so beautiful. But I was thinking about it, but I think it’s because for half of them Bananagun’s playing. That’s all I can think of. I was thinking, “Holy shit, here they come. Here they go.”

WF: Fair enough, but I also think it’s The Babe Rainbow charm. I think everyone’s going to think hard about what outfits to wear, everyone’s going to have to hit up the best vintage shops in town.

CWF:  I can’t wait, I can’t wait. I think we should try and theme every night. I love a multiple tone single colour night. It’s like taking The Wiggles to a way better level. I mean, I love the Wiggles.

WF: Who’s your style icon, other than, like, Jeff from The Wiggles.

CWF: You know the red Wiggle used to always go to Frowning Clouds gigs?

WF:No, I didn’t know that.

CWF: Anthony? No, Murray! I’d love to meet Kylie Minogue (he says, tenderly andwistfully). I think we’d get along so well.

WF: I think you would too, I think she’d fall under your spell pretty quickly.

CWF: She’s just so cool.  

WF: Why don’t you write her a song?

CWF: I know, I should. I’m really hoping they let us do that cover song thing on triple j 

WF: Yesss, Like A Version. 

CWF: I’ve been holding out to do Slow by Kylie. I’ve already learned all the words.  

WF: That is one of my favourite fucking Kylie Minogue songs. Let’s get a petition. Let’s get it going now.

CWF: Let’s do it.  Eric sent me so many boxes of the album, yellow and green ones.

WF: Eric? Who’s Eric?  

Eric’s from King Gizzard, from Flightless.

WF: Ahhhh yes, the drummer (and record label boss Eric Moore)

CWF: He’s given us so many records to bring to the show, we’ve never had records to sell at a show we’re going to be so legit. We’re like a real band. We should get a tour manager, nahhhh, we’ll never get a tour manager.  We should get a petition to say ‘no tour manager’.  We’ve met a few weird ones.

WF: Control freaks? Gotta be here at this time at the bus?

CWF: They’re just weird, but I won’t name names. We’re totally anti-tour manager. We want to go to Whole Foods, on our own, and spend all the band money on sandwiches, like a joint venture. We don’t want a tour manager pulling up at Burger King giving us $6USD each that has to cover beer too. Nah.

WF: Tell me about you Angus? 

CWF: I did piano when I was little, my great aunty’s a classical composer, and she used to play for us. Then I started playing then I did Youth Choir, then I met Kool Breeze, then we did weird high school stuff, I was so into skate boarding I could have eeeeeeeasily gone pro, decided not to go pro, nah I wasn’t that good. I used to like going down hills a lot.

WF: Anything else you’d like to tell the readers of WildnFree? Other than the petition for Like A Version to perform Slow? 

CWF: Plus, a petition to play at the Spotted Mallard, even if we just play Elvis colours.  

WF: Plus, we also need people to come to your shows wearing multi-tone single colour? First night yellow?

CWF: Maybe go mustard, pale, pastels, brights. I guess the last thing I’d like to say is, it’s a beautiful day here on Wategos headlands, we’re about to go surfing, and its whale season, and I hope everyone has a lovely day.

So there you go. Pick your multi-tone gig outfit. Listen to the album. Have a lovely day.


The Y.P.S.M.C (Young Peoples Society of Music for Chameleons) proudly presents THE BABE RAINBOW on national tour.

Thursday July 20 | The Northern, Byron Bay NSW *FREE*

with special guest Stella Donnelly

Friday July 28 | Babushka, Perth WA

with special guest Stella Donnelly

Saturday July 29 | Clancy’s, Fremantle WA

with Bananagun & Parsnip

Thursday August 3 | The Curtin, Melbourne VIC *JUST ADDED*

with Bananagun & Parsnip

Friday August 4 | The Curtin, Melbourne VIC *SOLD OUT*

with Bananagun & Parsnip

Saturday August 5 | Exeter Beer Garden, Adelaide SA *JUST ADDED*

with Somnium

Friday August 11 | The Foundry, Brisbane QLD

with Bananagun & Parsnip

Saturday August 12 | The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney NSW *SOLD OUT*

with Bananagun & Parsnip

Saturday August 12 | The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney NSW *SOLD OUT*

with Bananagun & Parsnip

Sunday August 13 | The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney NSW *JUST ADDED*

with Bananagun & Parsnip

Sunday August 13 | The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney NSW *JUST ADDED*


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