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Gig review: The Atlantics at The Vault


Whenever you see a legendary band, there’s heaps of excitement, though it’s mixed with a tinge of nervousness – what happens if they’re just a bunch of old blokes going through the motions, with no mojo or stage presence? This was in the back of my mind last night when I checked out The Atlantics, and I’m stoked to say they were AWESOME!

The venue for the evening was The Vault in Windsor. I banged on about the place after I saw Ash Grunwald there, so I won’t bore you with the details – suffice to say it’s a great venue and the food is tops.

Proceedings  were started by Glenn A. Baker, Aussie rock guru. He introduced the band and hyped up the crowd. He reminded us of the historical significance of the band, and how we were privileged to see some living legends perform right before our very eyes. And yes, he was wearing his trademark funny little hat.

The Atlantics set was fantastic. I think what really hit me was how powerful, how primal the music was live – cranked up and hitting you right in the chest. Sure the guitar was amazing, but the pounding drums rolled out an intoxicating and hypnotic surging rhythm. You know those days at the beach when there’s a storm front coming through, the wind is picking up and the waves are pounding onto the shore? There’s a tangible sense of energy and foreboding in the air, and man the sound just keeps coming. That’s the vibe you get right in front of the stage at an Atlantics gig. You could almost smell the salt air!

Some of the great covers included an awesome rendition of Pipeline (complete with dueling lead guitars), the Hawaii 5.0 theme, and the most beautiful rendition I’ve ever heard of Wedding Cake Island. As well as playing some of the bands newer stuff, they also delved into the back catalogue and pulled out classics like Come On, recorded in the bands ‘garage punk’ era (and it even included singing!). Of course Bombora got the crowd’s attention, and was definitely one of the highlights of the night. Finishing it all off was Saturday Night, with The Crusher as a fitting high energy encore piece.

And with that it was time to head off into the darkness in the search of home, drums and guitars still pulsating in our chests.

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ABC Radio: Sunday Performer – The Atlantics

Sunday Performer – The Atlantics (15/5/11)

15/05/2011 , 10:58 AM by june cowle

f9af1494351654e9ad9d9f87801447ad_resized California may have had the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean, but back in the day when Surf Music was all the rage, Australia had the Atlantics.

Download the audio file

They split for several years but reformed back in 1999 thanks to guitarist Martin Cilia.

This month, the group released their latest album  “The collectibles”  a collection of  their songs between 1966 and 2010, including a couple of rare recordings.

On Sunday Original Atlantic Drummer, Peter Hood and the boys spoke to Philip Clark about those early days.

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Legendary Aussie surf rockers The Atlantics return to Coogee

DID you know one of Australia’s surf rock classic songs, Bombora was written by Jim Skiathitis and Peter Hood (from The Atlantics ) in a house that Skiathitis lived in with his parents in Oberon St, Coogee in 1963?

Back to where it started. The Atlantics will play at Coogee Diggers later this month, almost 50 years since writing the classic surf rock anthem 'Bombora' on Oberon St.
Back to where it started. The Atlantics will play at Coogee Diggers later this month, almost 50 years since writing the classic surf rock anthem ‘Bombora’ on Oberon St.

The instrumental Bombora shot to number one for a record eight weeks in 1963 and charted around the world.

In 2000 Bombora was given the accolade of being used in the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

The band itself had decided to reform only a year earlier with a line-up featuring original members Skiathitis, Hood and Bosco Bosanac along with new guitarist Martin Cilia.

In a strange twist of fate they discovered Cilia lived just around the corner from Oberon St when he wrote The Atlantics comeback album Flight of the Surf Guitar.

The Atlantics journey has now come full circle with the band back in Coogee as part of the tour for the new release, The Collectibles, a memorable collection of songs between 1966 and 2010.

See them at Coogee Diggers on May 28. Bookings

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Announcing Ultra Words

news-ultra-wordsPeter Hood and Jim Skiathitis have written a great number of The Atlantics’ releases including Bombora, Crusher, War of the Worlds, Rumble and Run and many others. However, their collaborations were not just restricted to song writing. They worked on many other projects together and in 1990 began developing an idea for a board game called Ultra-Words.

For a variety of reasons, this project was set aside for a number of years and it was not until late 2012 that they resumed development work on the game.

Now most of the work is done and they will be looking at marketing Ultra-Words as a board game and app in the near future.

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Manly Daily: 30th October 2009

The old wave – Boatshed sixties’ reunion

news-manlyMusic has long been synonymous with the surfing culture. But like the trends in surfing styles and the lifestyle surrounding it, music styles in the genre have also changed.
For next weekend’s first Festival of Surfing in Manly the evolving beast of surf culture will be revisited and celebrated.

Possibly the most broad representation of this is the three bands over three nights at the Old Manly Boatshed. They’ll be hanging from the rafters like the old days,” organiser Heritage Surf’s Chris Moss joked. The reason it’s at the Old Manly Boatshed is because it brings back together the guys who worked on the Delightful Rain project. So Delightful Rain does the Boatshed”.
It’s on for three nights in a row, beginning on Wednesday with the Celibate Rifles, The Atlantics on Thursday and Tamum Shud on Friday.  The Atlantics are known internationally as a surf band, especially with their massive hit Bombora. In Sydney, it was number one for eight weeks in 1963.” guitarist Martin Cilia said. “Then after a couple of singles the disc jockeys who were playing our songs realised we were Australian and stopped playing our records. They thought we were American. They thought ‘we shouldn’t be playing them because they’re from here’.”
Cilia said he was looking forward to playing in Manly. He could not remember when the Atlantics had played here last but was adamant they had. We’ve noticed a resurgence in the great surf bands over the last four-or-five years.” he said. It’s a fresh sound to young people,. something new.” For the gig on Thursday, Cilia said he is expecting a cross-section of ages in the audience. “Certainly people from the 1960s, but also younger people coming along to check it all out,” he said.

Surfers, especially of the late 1960s-early 1970, will remember Tamum Shud for their inclusion in surf films of the era, such as Abe Falzon’s Morning of the Earth. The band, now based in Queensland, have not played in Sydney for “no one can remember how long”. Tamum Shud guitarist Tim Gaze said the band’s founder wrote music that really tapped into what the young people of the era wanted.  Lindsey Bjerre knew how to write the kind of music pertinent to what was going on at the time,” Gaze said. “Some of the Shed stuff can get a little psychedelic.” Gaze said the four-piece was really looking forward to coming to Sydney to perform.
Written by: Rod Bennett
Picture: Simon Dean



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Adelaide Advertiser: Rips & Riffs review

 1st Annual Australian Guitar Festival, November 2007
Patrick McDonald

IT’S hard to tell where the programmers’ heads were at with this concert, billed as A Celebration of Australian Surf Music.

Only 1960s headliners The Atlantics seemed to fit the bill, finally bringing some twanging electric guitars to the stage.

Guitarist Jim Skiathitis shredded his way up and down the fretboard and Martin Cilia worked the whammy bar overtime while drummer Peter Hood kept beats rolling like waves on a beach. The Atlantics also covered a lost gem, Midnight Oil’s instrumental Wedding Cake Island, while their trademark hit Bombora sounded like the cavalry arriving to save the day – in more ways than one.

Otherwise, only opening act Dan Rumour’s band came close to a tremelo-laden surf sound, although it was driven more by keyboard than guitar, and soon gave way to American soul.

Surfer Beau Young might have sung about “waves of change” but sounded more country-folk, backed by Kerryn Tolhurst’s slide guitar, while acoustic strummer Matt Walker and drummer Ashley Davies’ improvisations would have been more at home at Womadelaide.

Richard Clapton offered a scant two unplugged songs, while the Pigram Brothers also played folksy acoustic arrangements. For those wanting a surfin’ safari, the chilly night was pretty much a wipeout.

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Adelaide Now: David’s mates on crest of a wave

LOCAL businessman David Minear three years ago created a company and a record label called Bombora.

Music producer and surfing enthusiast David Minear.
Music producer and surfing enthusiast David Minear.

Named after a chart-topping Australian surf song from iconic 1960s band The Atlantics, David had little idea where the company would lead.

He certainly did not expect it to lead to Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club on the North Shore of Sydney.

That, however, is where David and music producer Kerryn Tolhurst ended up this year with some of Australian music’s biggest names, including The Atlantics themselves, Richard Clapton and members of Midnight Oil to record an album of great Australian surf songs.

The Atlantics were the first band to sign on to the project, rerecording their hit for the album Delightful Rain.

“Peter Hood the (Atlantics) drummer said, ‘Hey, there’s a lawsuit going to go on here’,” David says.

“But no, they were very happy. They understood my seriousness to the whole thing.”

As a youngster, David grew up on Jetty Rd, learning his surfing basics at Glenelg. The music he says was all just part of the surfing lifestyle.

Many Australian bands have taken their influence from surf music, with Midnight Oil going on from their surf music beginnings to represent Australian rock to the world.

On Delightful Rain drummer Rob Hirst teams up with guitarist Martin Rotsey to record a cover of song Big Wave.

“When I explained the concept to Rob, he was in straight away. Given the timing, that they’ve just been made ARIA Hall of Fame we couldn’t have asked for anything better,” David says.

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ABC TV: Studio 22


The Atlantics
Thursday 9 March 2000
Presented by Clinton Walker

The seeds of what evolved into the quartet known as The Atlantics were sown in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Musically The Shadows and The Ventures were the group’s early heroes and this blending of American and British influences provided a foundation on which they built their individual style. Swept up in by the surf sound from the US, the most famous, and biggest, hit by the Atlantics was “Bombora,” a tune still recorded in the `90s by current surf bands.

Bosco Bosanac – Bass
Martin Cilia – Guitar
Peter Hood – Drums
Jim Skiathitis – Guitar

The Crusher
Fight Of The Surf Guitar
Saturday Night
Thunder Down Under

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Long Way to the Top

Band: The Atlantics

Stories and Highlights from 1961 – 1969 and 2000

  • The Atlantics were from the eastern suburbs of Sydney, not far from Little Pattie’s stompin’ grounds of Maroubra and Bronte Beaches. They were the first Australian band to pick up on what was classified as ‘surf music’, which was all the rage in America.
  • Billy Thorpe describes The Atlantics in his autobiography, ‘Sex and Thugs and Rock n’ Roll’ as, “a good strong instrumental band with a style somewhere between The Surfaris, The Ventures and a Greek folk band. The surfing crowd in particular loved them and when they played their big hit ‘Bombora’ the whole joint went beserk”.
  • They were Peter Hood on drums, Theo Penglis on lead and rhythm guitar, and bass player Bosco Bosanac. Original guitarist Eddy Matzenik, was replaced very early on by Jim Skaithitis. This line-up never changed.
  • Peter recalls, “We were walking around one day trying to think up a group name. We went through names such as The Eagles, The Falcons, and The Jet Streams . . . you name it. Then we saw a sign . . . ATLANTIC PETROL’.
  • Many people thought they were an American band which actually was an advantage. Deejays have confessed that if they’d known they were Australian they wouldn’t have played the records.
  • Agent Joan King took the group on and convinced them to give up their day jobs.
  • They appeared on Channel Seven’s New Faces show and were voted ‘Most Promising Group of 1962’.
  • Joan King managed to get Sven Libaek, AR Manager at CBS Records to hear a demo tape that had been rejected by the major labels. They were signed.
  • Their debut single was an original, ‘Moon Man/Dark Eyes’ which was released in February 1963. Moon Man paved the way for one of the classic hits of Australian music, the instrumental Bombora.
  • ‘Bombora’ was a massive hit written on a rainy day. Peter and Jim had decided against going to the Royal Easter Show because of the weather, so instead they decided to write a song which was ‘Bombora’. The single was released July 1963 and in the space of four weeks went to the top of the charts, and held the number one position for eight consecutive weeks. ‘Bombora’ is an Aboriginal term for large waves breaking over submerged rock shelves. The Atlantics won the 2GB and Macquarie Broadcasting Network Tune Table Award of Top Australian Instrumental Group of 1963-64 and were also honoured with the 3UZ Instrumental Band of the Year Award.
  • The success of Bombora propelled them into the studio to record an album of the same name.
  • The second album was titled ‘Now It’s Stompin’ Time’ – to take advantage of the ‘stomp’ dance craze – and appeared in the stores just in time for Christmas 1963.
  • In the following years, Bombora was covered by many bands in many countries.
  • In 1998 Bosco Bosonac opened the vintage record café in Annandale, Sydney. It was here that he realised, through people hounding him at the shop, that The Atlantics were folk heroes. This prompted a reformation.
  • In 2000, three decades later, The Atlantics re-surfaced and released a new album ‘Flight Of The Surf Guitar’ complete with a run of live shows.
  • They performed on ABC TV’s Studio 22 and 10.30 Slot. After the 10.30 Slot they received a flood of e-mails from young kids that thought they were awesome.
  • ‘Bombora’ was used at the Sydney 2000 Olympic closing ceremony to compliment the image of 100 lifesavers dragging an oversized lifesaving reel into the arena.

Atlantics Web Sites

The Atlantics Official Web Site at

The Space Back to ABC Online

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