THERE was a time in the hazy days of the early ’70s when hippy surf films like Morning Of The Earth encapsulated the free spirit of the day.
It was a very Australian connection between the ocean and culture. Just as era-defining as the seminal 1971 film was the soundtrack, which featured songs by Brian Cadd, Mike Rudd and Newcastle psychedelic pioneers Tamam Shud.
While Tamam Shud are remembered due to the legacy of Morning Of The Earth – voted one of Australia’s 100 best albums – another surf film they were involved with is less known.
For the first time in more than 40 years the Bob Evans film Family Tree will be publicly aired during Tamam Shud’s east coast tour.
A reel containing the film was recently uncovered under Evans’ daughter’s bed and it features footage of late Redhead professional surfer Col Smith and a theme song written by Tamam Shud frontman Lindsay Bjerre.
It’ll be a long overdue homecoming for the Northern Beaches-based band. Tamam Shud last played in Newcastle in 2002 on the Long Way To The Top show after skipping their old home town on the 2016 tour to promote their first album since 1994, Eight Years Of Moonlight.
Tamam Shud have kept the momentum going by releasing their sixth album Resonate this week.
The album features a collection of unreleased songs written across the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s.
“We called it Resonate because there’s shades of Pink Floyd on one track, The Beatles, Crosby, Stills & Nash and then it moves into the ’90s and it starts to sound like the big ballads of The Smashing Pumpkins,” Bjerre said.
“It’s more of a listening one. You could listen on a Sunday morning and it wouldn’t be too punishing.”
Tamam Shud were one of the first Newcastle bands to write their own material.
After starting out as the Strangers and The Sunsets the former Merewether Boardriders Club members settled in Sydney and became Tamam Shud and released their groundbreaking debut Evolution in 1969.
The album is believed to be the first entirely-original Australian album.
The four-piece enjoyed a loyal following in Newcastle and were recruited by the likes of English bands The Kinks, Manfred Mann and The Searchers to support their local shows.
However, the biggest moment of their career came in 1972 when they played with The Beach Boys and The Easybeats in Wollongong.
“Just watching the Beach Boys was something else,” Bjerre said.
“A another level. What people don’t realise with the Beach Boys was the rhythmic aspect of them. Everyone thinks of the vocals and the harmonies.”
Tamam Shud play the Northern Star Hotel on Friday.