Gig Seeker Pro


Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Band EDM Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Red Bantoo - Yesterday to the Rescue"


November 06, 2009 05:19pm

SUAVE, sunny, bright and breezy - Red Bantoo sound like bottled Byron Bay.

Reminiscent of Mo Horizons or St Germain, this debut CD is nothing short of a pleasure.

It could be the soundtrack to a sexy cocktail bar or a day on the lawns at Good Vibrations.

They melt hip-hop rhythms with vintage horns, nu-jazz melodies and smoky blues vocals.

And it is never dull.

Sway a Little Closer travels a soulful jazz path, Breeze leans more on laid back reggae while Soul Pilgrim is an introspective experiment in dub.

4 stars
- The Mercury

"Red Bantoo: Bringing the Byron Bay vibes"

Red Bantoo is the latest project for Simon Durrington, best known for his work with The Bird, teaming up with multi-instrumentalist Dan Brown for an act that’s heavily inspired by the coastal vibes of Byron Bay where they’re based. Their debut album Yesterday to the Rescue has just seen the light of day through Hydrofunk Records, bringing together the sounds of electronica, jazz and beat-driven soul, and at the moment they’re on the road launching it across the country. Here they chat to ITM ahead of their big Sydney gig this week.

The nucleus of Red Bantoo is Simon Durrington and Dan Brown. I know that Simon is probably best known for his work with The Bird, but Google only turns up information about a Dan Brown who is a hack behind a keyboard. Can you tell us a bit more about yourselves?

Yeah, I have played synth bass with the Bird for years. But I have always been interested in electronic production. I still play synth, but in this project I am more focused on playing an MPC – a sequencer sampler, for those who don’t know. Dan Brown has a history of jazz and playing classical music. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, bass and trumpet. On top of that we both have arranging skills. It’s a nice combination.

Who else is involved in the band?

We work musicians based in the Byron area. I had moved here from Sydney and wanted to collaborate with local players. In the band we have two female vocalists Shelly Hughes and Sonia Leeson. Plus a horn section, Stuart Currie on trombone and Jimmy Howard on sax.

Dave Atkins of Wolfmother and The Resin Dogs, and El Gusto of Hermitude, were involved in the recording of your album Yesterday to the Rescue. How did that come about?

El Gusto and I originally wrote one of the beats off the album together. But he wasn’t involved in the albums production after that. The Hermitude boys and I have written beats together over the years. We worked on an album together, but not for release. I think we might put some of it out one day. Dave Atkins and I also write a lot together, and he and I wrote a beat on this Bantoo record. He’s a bit of an MPC guru for me. He and I write a lot of crunk and wobble hip hop. It’s fun.

The music you make as Red Bantoo doesn’t really fit easily into any one genre. Can you describe the Red Bantoo sound?

This first record is chill and down tempo album. We wrote the basic ideas last summer. Following that we began composing more up-tempo material, and quite recently a lot of Latin-style beats and dancefloor material. To be honest, I never really concern myself too much with genre. I am more interested in different grooves. Trying to take the listener on a journey.

How does that translate into a live show?

Good. But downtempo material never works incredibly on a dance floor. So we mix the tempos up for different gigs. We just came back from the York Soul Jazz Fest in WA, where down tempo tunes really worked. It all depends on the type of show.

Fans of The Bird/Resin Dogs and Regurgitator will no doubt find Red Bantoo’s music quite a departure from the music made by those groups. Is that part of the appeal for you as musicians?

Each project has its own concept. I would never really want to do the same thing as the Bird again. However I am still playing synth like I did in The Bird, perhaps the difference is Red Bantoo is more sequenced. It’s a fresh sound for me and a different sense of imagination. More of a jazz sensibility. Red Bantoo has a forward moving momentum, things are moving really quickly and we are all enjoying working together. It’s exciting.

The band is based in Byron Bay. How does that work?

Rather well. Great place to live and inspiring as well. There is an abundance of recording studios and artists here. We have a weekly residency in Brisbane, which is close. Apart from that we just fly when we need to tour. These days, so much can be done with the internet anyway. We just got an agent in Canada, so we’ll be touring OS next year.

I’m interested in the name “Red Bantoo”. Is there a story behind it?

Yes. The name comes from India. It’s a colloquial word for friend. But it kind of reminds me of the Red Baron from Snoopy or something. It has some sense of imagery which is important for me.

Catch Red Bantoo this Thursday 5th November in Sydney for their album launch at The Vanguard.
- In The Mix

"Beat Broker spends 5 minutes with Red Bantoo's Dan Brown"

Beat Broker spends 5 minutes with Red Bantoo's Dan Brown as he tells us how chuffed he is to be a member of the 1 metre high club...

Tell us about the first time you were really inspired by music?
I was sold on playing Piano learning Eric Satie's ‘Gymnopedie’ first time I felt like I was responsible for making something beautiful.

What do you consider to be your greatest skill?
A good balance of dedication and playfulness

Name two albums you keep very close to hand.
I've been digging Bonobo's Animal Magic, So sonically splendiferous. And my new release ‘Yesterday to the Rescue’ by Red Bantoo, a shameless plug as we on the release promo war-path :)

The road to musical success is often long and hard. What is one lesson you have learnt along the way that changed the way you saw things?
Enjoy being nervous before a gig, It won't always be like that and really makes you feel great when it's all done

Who inspires you? (Both in life and in music)
Monkeys, mushrooms, cooking, undersea creatures, small pleasures, the humbling expanses of nature.

Tell us a quirky fact about yourself no one else knows!
As a 3 year old I fell out of a moving car onto a pillow.

If you could have two wishes come true what would they be?
1) My loved ones to be happy/world peace
2) A new MacBook Pro (is that shallow)

Before you step on stage for a gig, what do you do to prepare?
I like to know what key the tunes are in and have a good monitor mix.

What do your parents think of what you do? Have you ever taken them along to a gig?
I come from a very supportive artist-friendly family, so I feel I'm doing them Proud. I'm happy seeing my folks groove along at gig.

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Even if it was in total anonymity, to make the world a slightly more joyous place through music is a wondrous legacy.

Having spent so much time on aeroplanes, are you an official member of the mile high club?
I'm pretty much chuffed any chance to be in the meter-high club! -I'm not greedy. - Beat Broker - Connections through Music

"New Year's Eve at Woodford 09-10"

Festival highlights include Doc Span Blues, Timbah, John Butler Trio, Hungry Kids of Hungary, Vince Jones, The Medics, Street Warriors, Red Bantoo, Kerry and the Couch featuring former prime minister Bob Hawke, The Great Green Debate, Deep Blue Orchestra, Miguel, The Middle East, The Audreys, Bonjah, The Red-Eyes and The Panics.

Audiences were treated by Ember Swift, Mr Percival, Rich and Famous, Graeme Connors, Angie Hart, The Borderers, Juke Baritone and the Swamp Dogs, Bonjah, Miguel, The Audreys, Chocolate Strings, Red Bantoo, The Rooftops, The Perch Creek Family Jugband, Vince Jones, James Blundell, John Butler Trio, Kaki King, Dallas Frasca and Afro Dizzi Act. - ABC Sunshine Coast


Debut Album - "Red Bantoo" 2009
Album - "Strip Club Etiquette" 2010

Film Clip: 'Green Honey'

Kafka Remixed. Released: Feb 22, 2010. 2010 Mighty Highness.



Approaching Soul and Jazz from the Style of hip hop and electronica, Red Bantoo is an ingenious and charismatic intersection. Red Bantoo Based In the Byron Bay area of northern NSW, drawing on the wealth of talent present as well as relishing the casual vibes and verdant landscape of the Area.

Film Clip: "Green Honey" 2010

Formed In early 2009, They have already enjoyed playing at some of the Nations finest Festivals, Receiving an amazing reception for their late night Shows at the 2009-2010 Woodford Festival, these gigs that were listed as festival Highlights By ABC Radio. Red Bantoo's Closing slots at the Island Vibes and Peats Ridge festival were similarly enjoyed by many.

September last year saw the Release of debut Album "Yesterday to the Rescue" on Hydro Funk Records (distributed by MGM). Featuring a number down-tempo chilled grooves, instrumental jazzy hip hop. The Song "breeze" has enjoyed National airplay on JJJ and other tracks have been on rotation at RRR SBS and as well as enjoying local support in northern NSW.

In May 2010 Red Bantoo enjoyed it's first International appointments, rockin' The CAMA festival in Hanoi and Slamming a club date in Saigon.

Producer/Keys Player Si Durrington (founding member of The Bird and guest musician with The Resin Dogs and Regurgitator) provides the beats, samples and Bass, Dropping the luscious MPC based rhythm beds.Dan Brown Is the keys player coming from a tradition of Jazz and Classical Piano as well as a strong appreciation for Funk Organ. Dan's key parts and compositions provide a core harmony and groove to the ensemble.

Red Bantoo with Dave Atkins (Wolfmother / Resin Dogs)

The Group incorporates the rich Vocal stylings of Sonia Leeson and Shelly Hughes, drawing on the strong R & B , jazz and reggae roots, these two fine singers intersperse glorious harmonies and spine-tingling leads and hooks. Red Bantoo Is proud to feature a brass section consisting of Stu Currie (also playing in Fyah Walk), Stu's mellifluous 'bone work and horn arrangements add a dynamic live element. On Tenor Sax is Byron Bay's James Howard laying it down with finesse and style.

Live, Red Bantoo brings their years of experience to the table resulting in a dance floor friendly and rich musical experience. The band take a seasoned mixture of sequenced and live music to create sets that are guaranteed to impress.

YouTube Links:

Film Clip: "Green Honey" 2010

Red Bantoo with Dave Atkins (Wolfmother / Resin Dogs) 2010

Live at Island Vibe Festival 2009

CAMA Fest Hanoi, Vietnam 2010

Red Bantoo: