Sun Salute

Sun Salute Returns to its North Queensland roots

When Sun Salute comes to North Queensland this weekend to perform it will be a homecoming of sorts for the band – and in particular their drummer Jarrah Kurth.

The roots-reggae collective formed in Airlie Beach after Kurth and singer Tane Tokorangi met while snowboarding at a ski resort in Victoria.

Sun Salute will wrap up the Australian launch tour for their new album Time Has Come with shows in Airlie Beach (Friday December 20), Magnetic Island (Saturday December 21) and Port Douglas (Sunday December 22).

“Airlie Beach is a bit of a hometown show for us so we’re looking forward to playing there. Port Douglas is my home town where I grew up and we’ve played up there a few times over the years,” Kurth explains.

“We’ve played Magnetic Island once before. It’s such a beautiful place so we’re looking forward to getting back there and getting a crew over from Townsville and putting on a good show on an awesome island at a great venue.

“We’ve built a pretty solid following over the last three or four years touring in North Queensland. I’m really looking forward to heading north into the heat.”

Kurth, who now lives near Byron Bay, says Sun Salute’s music resonates with fans in tropical areas and beachside towns as their sound matches the “vibe” of those coastal communities.

He cites large and enthusiastic crowds at gigs at Byron Bay and Manly Beach, where “everyone came out and got down”, as being “awesome shows” of the current tour.

“Living in Airlie Beach for a while and being up in Port Douglas and growing up on the beach the reggae sound definitely has a huge influence on that lifestyle, and our music does suit the laidback atmosphere of those areas,” Kurth says.

“I find our music fits really well and people just want to come out and dance and just have fun.”

Sun Salute is on a mission to spread positivity through its brew of reggae, hip hop and funky roots music. The seven-piece group has performed at the world-renowned Woodford Folk Festival and shared stages with Katchafire, Xavier Rudd, The Beautiful Girls, Tiki Taane, Salmonella Dub, Tijuana Cartel and Nicky Bomba.

Reggae icon Bomba played a big part in the making of Sun Salute’s new album, Time Has Come. The band tracked their new material at Bomba’s mountain cottage with legendary engineer Robin Mai (John Butler Trio, Melbourne Ska Orchestra).

Refining and finishing the tracks with reggae maestro Paulie B (The Beautiful Girls, Bobby Alu), Time Has Come captures all the classic reggae rhythms, dubs, grooves and jams of Sun Salute’s energetic live show.

“We’re so stoked to get the album out and we’ve had a great response to the release and we’re loving all the feedback,” Kurth says.

Lyrically, Time Has Come ranges from the socio-political observations of tunes such as “No More” to energetic party jams like the new single “Dancehall Riddim”.

Kurth says two other tracks from the Time Has Come album – “Out of This World” and “Morning Light” – are the songs he most enjoys playing live on the current tour.

“Dylan (Hammond) sings those songs when he swaps over from the bass and on to the lead vocal and they’re the newest ones that we’ve been playing,” Kurth says.

“It’s nice to have something fresher because a lot of the other songs we’ve been playing for quite a while now. It’s exciting to bring these new songs out. We’ve only played them on the shows for this tour and they’re sounding great live.”

Time Has Come is out now via Firestarter Distribution.

Sun Salute will perform at Northerlies in Airlie Beach (Friday December 20), X-Base on Magnetic Island (Saturday December 21) and Yacht Club in Port Douglas (Sunday December 22).

Lee Oliver

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