Norman’s Friends: Surfs Up.

23 September 2002 | 12:00 am | Eden Howard
Originally Appeared In

Stormin’ Norman.

Normans Friends play The Healer on Friday.

Instrumental surf rockers Norman’s Friends head up The Healer on Friday night with Hot Rubber Glove and Full Tassle Jacket. Norman’s bassist Tim took some time to answer a few questions.

What’s the story so far? How did the band come together?

“The Norman’s Friends saga began in high school about 1996. We played in competitions mainly before playing under the name The Leftovers around Brisbane. We’ve played in most venues around the city and valley area. We assumed our old name a couple of years ago and last year we made our best decision: to write new and better songs that didn’t require vocals. Now we are an instrumental three piece.”

How’s the sound of the band evolving?

“We are creating music that builds on traditional sounds like surf and slide guitar, funk bass, heavy percussion – and melding them into instrumental arrangements that are up-vibe and surprising. We use some covers of a few well known songs (surf particularly), but our set is mainly original. Our overall feel is pretty funky, with surf featured heavily and rockabilly another prominent style. When we chose to part ways with our last vocalist, many questioned whether we could still entertain at a high level. We feel we’ve answered critics with a new sound that is unique in Brisbane. We don’t rely on vocals or electronic music to make a dance floor move.”

What does Brisbane need more of, and why?

“Instrumental surf n’ country. Just kidding! That would lead to less work for us. Brisbane needs more venues and better band associations. If there were more venues more bands would be getting live experience and creating niche markets all over town, instead of one scene in the valley. Bands need to know more bands. A lot of bands around town are doing it on their own. If bands worked together on more cross promotion of each other and did more gigs together their respective fan bases could double. Some genres of music like punk and ska have set good examples.”

What’s on the horizon?

“We’re constantly recording on an old four-track. It’s been helpful for constructing instrumental music because you play with song parts so much. The recent CD will be available at The Healer. Our music is best appreciated live. We are a loud band, and we aim to blow the roof off on Friday night. We hope to play some shows toward the end of the year at Ric’s and The Zoo.”