INTERVIEW: The Smokin’ Coconuts | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Richard Bilton

Given their reputation for originality and liveliness, new music and new live dates from ‘world punk’ beat combo The Smokin’ Coconuts is certainly something for music lovers to get excited about.

Modern, striking and at times radical, the Coconuts’ blend of reggae meets calypso meets Latin, under-pinned by a psychedelic garage rock energy, has seen them stand out as true originals. Visually striking (check out their Bandcamp site for a neon-filled idea of where they’re coming from), slightly gnarly and prone to swearing in interviews, the Coconuts may well be the closest thing to a modern day KLF as we could hope for; humourous, inclusive, artistic and owners of serious rebellious intent.

Flying the flag for inclusivity, originality and a belief that everyone has the ability to create impactful artwork, the Coconuts are clear about their intention of how they wish to affect people, as the improbably named Mr Manly Banister explains. “When people hear our music and/or see us live or even come across the concept of world punk they will say a mahoosive ‘FUCK YOU’ to the over-powering Anglo-American dominance in the world of pop culture.”

This call to arms for originality is central to their music and entire brand. “The world is huge and every town and village has their bands and musicians who divide time and the octave differently. With the internet they can now be easily be found, so go seek.”

With their recent EP release gaining national attention, it’s likely that this call to arms will be heard by an increasing audience. Asked about the intent of the record, their response is traditionally contextualised in ideas of inclusivity and diversity. “Ultimately it’s supposed to be fun and ideally contain all of our personalities, reflect what goes on around us and the influence of the music we’ve listened to since the last EP.”

Shortly due to head out on tour, the spectacle of the band live continues the overarching anti-establishment, anti-conforming, stance. Loud, energetic and full of life, the band clearly aim to shake things up and bring the noise. “When we play live we want to have a party and you are invited to participate. We have coconut scented smoke machines, we have lights, we have bubbles most importantly we have fun. We want you to have fun too.” It’s an invitation which is rarely turned down and shows have known to be wild indeed.

Building on their current momentum, it’s promising to hear that new material is already on the horizon and that plans are in place to follow up their recent work with new tunes later this year. “Winter is for finding new things to complain about and new musical ways to torture ourselves. So yes, new EPs to write and record in the winter.”
With their desire to inspire others, and their wish that we all find people to collaborate with and learn from, the best piece of advice is to go and check them out. And don’t forget your dancing shoes.

The Smokin’ Coconuts play Bar Loco, Newcastle on Saturday 4th and Coquetfest at Druridge Bay Country Park on Thursday 16th-Saturday 18th August.


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