Nicky Bomba's BUSTAMENTO

Nicky Bomba's BUSTAMENTO

 Victoria, AUS

Nicky Bomba has jumped on his musical boat again to deliver a party filled island adventure with BUSTAMENTO. A tropical shaking six piece that pays homage to the upbeat rhythms of the Caribbean, covering the Calypso, Mento, Early Reggae and Ska styles.


Nicky Bomba is one of Australia's busiest and most highly respected musicians. He has built a solid reputation in the music industry via many projects including writing and performing with his band Bomba, conducting the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, playing drums on John Butler's award- winning "Sunrise over Sea" and "April Uprising" to being the Artistic Producer for the Multicultural Arts Victoria 'Visible' project. He has a discography of over a dozen albums and has been a composer/performer on many more.

Nicky Bomba has jumped on his musical boat again to deliver a party filled island adventure with his new band BUSTAMENTO. A tropical shaking six piece that pays homage to the upbeat rhythms of the Caribbean, covering the Calypso, Mento, Early Reggae and Ska styles.

And so the story goes... While attending his first musical expo in Essen, Germany in 2003, Nicky's GPS ears stumbled upon a sound that put a smile on his face. "I reached my destination and there before me was Stanley Beckford and his Mento group. The music had a happy familiarity. They were making words up on the spot and it immediately reminded me of my Maltese heritage where we would do the same thing. Island music eh?"

Nicky and Stanley talked together about the cheeky nature of the music style and how important it was to their musical legacy. Hooked on the sound it launched Nicky into the first part of his musical pilgrimage - Jamaica, tapping the source of the music he loved so much. Arriving alone with guitar in hand, Nicky found himself, within 24 hours, in a studio recording at the Twelve Tribes compound in Hope Rd, Kingston. Days later he was adopted into the Hendricks family from the hills of Christiana and immersed himself in the music and culture.

"Soon after arriving back home, I rang Barry and said I wanted to start a Mento group and he became a little giddy. We needed a name to kick it off and he mentioned Prince Buster, one of Jamaica's recording pioneers and I had just read that he was named after Alexander Bustamente, the island's first prime minister. It wasn't too long before one of us said Bustament..o?

Bustamento. Sounded good, and for added value, a bustament in the Maltese language means "a very big boat". We love boats. There it was."

At the time, funk reggae outfit, BOMBA, was touring nationally and it seemed a natural organic flow to form the band with the same brothers. After sourcing some sweet old tunes they worked up a repertoire that developed into something really special. It was the type of band that could work at a totally acoustic level and still sound fantastic. The harmonies, the grooves, the fun element, the spontaneity, it all came together beautifully. Intrepid Adventures to the Lost Riddim Islands, had begun. Nicky started writing songs that lent themselves perfectly to the genre and early this year (2012) the fruit was ripe for the picking.

"We really wanted to capture the essence of the music referencing all the good things we loved about the form. We realised that you have to play this music together in one room, soaking up all the harmonic overtones and energies that fly when a band that has been playing together a long time do their thing."

BUSTAMENTO called upon their good friend and award winning engineer Robin Mai and gave him the brief. He smiled and said "Old school eh? I mean real old school eh? Are you up for it?"
The band replied..."Hey buster... we'll kick it.. you just catch it!"

In what was a totally fun and inspiring experience, BUSTAMENTO recorded 23 songs in one weekend and realised they had something special... Jungle drums, sweet harmonies, banjos, ukuleles, double bass, piano, trumpets, saxophones, steel drums, mbiras, jazz guitars and a healthy dose of looseness was the order of the day. The band has an amazing chemistry and with brother Nicky And Michael side by side again, it was a winning combination.

"There's a thing that happens when you've been eating, living and playing music together for such a long time. We both love the happiness that music brings. We often stopped and said... 'Would Mum like this?" She's a bit of a party girl so we kept that in mind. Makin music with Barry, George and Paul has its own history via the Bomba and Overtones incarnations and that shines on this record. Peter, the relative newcomer, has added a wealth of talent and musicality that puts the icing on the cake. I'm really diggin these recordings and the fact that we tracked 23 songs in a week kinda says it all."

Some songs they developed a little further but the essence of the tunes had the spirit of the music that put the spring in their shoes. Coconut Woman, Freeman and the first single 'Maana' (pronounced Man-yana) pays tribute to some of the great classics. Livin the Dream, Let's Start Again and the classic mento form of Deep Sleeper Man Nicky wrote only recently when the vision became clearer.


"Intrepid Adventures to the Lost Riddim Islands" (2012)^

* ABC Radio Australia 'Album of the Week' (May 2012)
* Sydney Morning Herald Metro 'Album Of The Week' (Fri, 6 July 2012)

"Deep Sleeper Man" (2013) from the album "Intrepid Adventures to the Lost Riddim Islands"
"Maana" (2012) from the album "Intrepid Adventures to the Lost Riddim Islands"

^ ARIA nominated 2012 'Best World Music Album'

Set List

Coconut Woman
Deep Sleeper Man
Livin' The Dream
Eternity (Gozitan Love Song)
Lets Start Again
Penny Drop
Sing Along Day
Ghamillu Karta
Soon Come
Free Man
Automatically Man