Kamerunga Borneo


Local band Kamerunga head out onto the world stage with some hi profile festival shows in their sights..

Kamerunga are pretty much a Cairns super group, chock full with diverse musical talent, all with very cool pedigrees. Broadcaster and writer Tony Hillier and the many many stringed and supremely talented Peter Ella hail from long time band Snake Gully. Will Kepa, multi-instrumentalist and the band’s very smooth bassist is also the go-to producer and teacher on the T.I. and Indigenous music scene. Dave Martin, vocalist and fiddle-man supreme has a career that spans the legendary Frogs Sunday Nights to most some most unusual corporate performances. Andree Baudet has brought the funky sax, sweet cello and keys to many FNQ line-ups. Drummer and studio wizard Nigel Pegrum was a member of British folk rock group Steeleye Span and is a long time producer in many genres.

As you might guess these guys on their own are always in demand so the rare earth that is Kamerunga is often rare indeed. They basically get together to play big festivals nationally and international, and now have a couple of choice gigs coming up. They will be appearing at the National Folk Festival and at the Fairbridge Festival in Western Australia over the next couple of weeks. FNQ Music Press spoke with Tony Hillier on the eve of their southern voyage and heard about their preparations and plans.

Kamerunga will be playing for an unprecedented third time ( in the last five years), at the National Folk Festival in Canberra and as well as material from their The Push (2009) and Worlds Kaleid (2012) albums they’ll be playing some new songs. Its been some six months since they’ve played together and their often complex song arrangements mean that rehearsals have been intensive.
After Canberra they journey to Pinjarra, an hour from Perth to play at the Fairbridge Music Festival now in its 22nd year. The band also have their sights set on mega music industry expo and showcase WOMEX (World Music Expo) held each year in Europe. This event is like the South by South West Expo in Austin, Texas where bands can showcase their material for industry insiders and score good contacts for international touring and album distribution. Australia has only been represented once in WOMEX’s 20 year history so Kamerunga getting to perform there would be a real coup.

The band is very pleased that a composite album made up of tracks on their first two albums is to be released on respected British label Arc. Check their website www.arcmusic.co.uk to see that Arc is right on it with world/ folk music. Kamerunga also have a track on a new compilation album from highly esteemed world music label Putumayo and will also be part of the coming World Cup coverage. Watch out for that on your TV!

Kamerunga’s unique sound takes in world music and folk but also encompasses jazz, funky stuff, reggae, middle eastern, jazz and much more. Dave, Peter, Nigel and Tony have played lots of folk music but with this band the genre has been beautifully mutated, capturing the intimate story telling of folk music while giving some it world music scope. This fusion sounds fairly epic at times, and combined with some mighty production it often gives Kamerunga a very cinematic quality. Tony notes that their new British label Arc is good at placing songs in films and TV series so it’s very possible that we’ll hear some of their compositions on the silver screen.

Kamerunga will be appearing at

National Folk Festival April 7th-21st, Exhibition Park Canberra

Fairbridge Music Festival April 25th -27th Pinjarra, Western Australia

Album Terra Australis out August on Arc Records

Check out 5 of their wonderful tracks here at http://www.sonicbids.com/band/kamerunga/