Sunday Music – Wedding Cake Island

Posted on Sun 02/22/2009 by


This Sunday’s music video is ‘Wedding Cake Island’ from Australian Band Midnight Oil.

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This video was posted to You Tube by wilsonmcphert

Surf Music is a large section of the music industry, and has been with us from times before before Jan and Dean, and on a bigger scale The Beach Boys. Surfing music is one of the few genres that actually evokes images of what the music relates to, and there have been many mainstream hits from this genre.

It was also a big thing here in Australia, right from the dawn of surfing as it started to become really popular. There are numerous surfing songs that were quite popular in Australia that never really made it big in other Countries.

Midnight Oil is a distinctly Australian band and have been around in the punk and heavy metal music area since the late 70’s and up until they finally disbanded in 2002. The voice of lead singer Peter Garrett was always as easily recognisable as was his image of his shaved head. They had numerous hits here in Australia, and were quite popular also in other parts of the World, the U.S. included. They were a controversial band and a lot of their songs contained ‘messages’ mostly in the environmental area, so the fact that they had their own independent label made it easy for their music to be recorded, as mainstream studios may have balked at some of the content of their songs.

In 1980, they produced an obscure little EP called ‘Bird Noises’, very difficult to find, and even more difficult to find on CD. All of their other music was performed on their own Independent label, and this small release of four songs was released on a different Independent label, hence the dearth of availability.

This track ‘Wedding Cake Island’ was one of the tracks from that EP, and in the main was probably used just to fill it out to 4 songs. The band originally wrote the song in their formative days, back in 1975, and this was the first, (and only) place it appeared on any of their albums or music releases. It was the only ‘real’ instrumental the band performed that was readily recognised, and is probably played more now than when it was first released. It was also their only foray into music other than was perceived to be their main genre, and it is easily recognisable as a piece of surfing music.

So. The title itself. ‘Wedding Cake Island’.

Wedding Cake Island is an actual place. It is a tiny little piece of land poking its head above the surface in Coogee Bay, arguably one of the most readily recognised name among those famous Australian beaches. There are a few ideas as to why the Island is named as it is. One is that it looks like a wedding cake rising out of the water offshore from this popular surfing beach, but by far the most evocative is that it is a popular place for seagulls and other sea birds in their thousands to roost, and doing what all birds do, the huge amount of their white droppings make it look like icing on top of the small brown island, looking like an iced cake.

In this video, the small offshore Island shown in a couple of places is the actual Wedding Cake Island.

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