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REVIEW: KING TIDE - BEGGARS WALTZ
Beggars Waltz

KING TIDE
Beggars Waltz



Coolites - Water Walls R Calling (Single)

KING TIDE
Coolites - Water Walls R Calling (Single)

Golden Crown (Single)

KING TIDE
Golden Crown (Single)

Hey Spaceman! (Single)

KING TIDE
Hey Spaceman! (Single)

El Bad Man - Digital Single

KING TIDE
El Bad Man - Digital Single

Summer Vibration Pack

KING TIDE
Summer Vibration Pack

Roots Pop Reggae

KING TIDE
Roots Pop Reggae

Scared New World

KING TIDE
Scared New World

To Our Dearly Deported

KING TIDE
To Our Dearly Deported

Rave Magazine, 2008


If the telltale Jamaican green, yellow, red and black artwork doesn¹t give
it away, the first ten seconds of Beggars Waltz will. Kingtide is a band
with their hearts overflowing with heritage reggae. If you¹ve got a ticket
to the upcoming Ragamuffin festival, now might be the right time to go throw on one of your Inner Circle singles, because this is the sort of reggae that¹s more concerned with finding peace of mind than a piece of tail.
From the get-go, an almost-crackly old school production makes it obvious that reggae circa 1970s is on Kingtide¹s mind ­ the genuine sort that 2008 Queensland WASPs like me, and possibly you, I¹m not sure, really only come across on compilations of Joe Strummer¹s radio shows, that sort of thing.
It¹s almost odd then to discover that Kingtide are a new band from Sydney,
though their international sound is validated by their signing to UK record
label Urban Sedated. I¹ve never heard of it either, so it¹s probably
actually cool. Currently just doing the NSW circuit, fans of reggae or
dancehall should keep their peepers on the gig guide, because if Beggars
Waltz is anything to go by, Kingtide should be an ace live act.


Brett Winterford, Metro SMH 2009


There is so much to marvel at when rocksteady royalty take the festival stage. From out of the fattest, deepest grooves come brooding horns, delay warped keys and steady muted stabs of electric guitar.Within a few bars, a silver haired Tony Hughes joins in. Dressed in his faded grey suit and bowler hat, Hughes slips into ska step, laughing, throwing what was left of the bands rider to the crowd. He takes the mic, points to the sky and delivers his mantra.“I loooooooove hip hip!” he wails, to roars of the crowd. “But reggae is my life!”Hughes is compelling viewing. How did a white man, closer to 50 than 40, get such an authentically hoarse, gutsy, reggae voice? How did Bondi produce anything so rootsy?Hughes won’t tell me his age. Just that he is “older than Ben Lee and younger than Bruce Lee” Cheeky.“Tony Hughes is…not easy sometimes warns Glenn Wright, owner of King Tide’s Australian label, Vitamin Records.Wright has an emotional investment in King Tide. Hughes fronted several bands that passed through Wright’s bar, The Harbourside Brasserie, before its closure. He then asked Hughes to put together a new act for a night at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel – the result being King Tide.Hughes says he “gets away with a lot as a result”. He takes great delight in reading aloud some notes Wright had sent him moments before out interview.“Tony, be on case on this one. Point number one, don’t bullshit about your mum’s ethno-librarianism.”Hughes discovered reggae, so the story goes, via his mother, an ethnomusicologist at the municipal library in London. The family would play “world music and dance around in the dappled garden light.”The only problem with that story Hughes says, is that it is “complete bullshit”Hughes immigrated to Australia from Liverpool when he was 12 years old.“Back then in the UK, reggae was pop music:, Hughes says. “You would have these steel bands coming in from Trinidad and it was mainstream pop. Reggae wasn’t a marginalised music then, like it is in Australia. We would never have gone around calling it world music.”Hughes has performed with numerous reggae, dub, dancehall, ska and rocksteady acts over the years – but its only with King Tide that audiences are catching on.“I guess (now) with the internet and festivals, people are making up their own minds about music,” Hughes says. “The blues music of America was copied to England in the 60’s . It took 30 years to cross that ocean. And now we’re playing rocksteady music that came from Jamaica in 1973 – it took 30 years for the kids here to get it!The band include Terepai Richmond (D.I.G, The Whitlams, Missy Higgins) on drums one night and (singer songwriter) Declan Kelly the next.Hughes original co-frontman was Jamaican toaster Sean Collins (toasting is a rhythmical chanting popularised by Jamaican music). Collins was deported while the band were recording their first album, which was then entitled ‘To Our Dearly Deported’.Several Years and another album on, King Tide are the first band of ‘white’ musos to be picked up by British label Urban Sedated. It’s a feather in the cap for an outfit who have always taken a relaxed approach to making music.“I never meant King Tide to be a job,” Hughes says. “I mean we never rehearse. I turn up on the night, hand out some grooves…and we improvise the rest. That’s how we got started on Thursdays nights at the Beach Road Hotel; that’s the way it will always be.”