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Riptides, The

I first came across The Riptides at the legendary Trade Union Club in Surry Hills, Sydney (Australia) in the early ’80s and was instantly besotted.

When I think back to the early ’80s and venues like Manning Bar at Sydney University and the Governor’s Pleasure in the Rocks, it’s this band that springs to mind.

Before moving to Sydney, The Riptides had earned a reputation as being Brisbane’s most popular live act.

Although by no means a punk outfit, their sound embodied the spirit and naiveté of the time and all of their songs contained catchy melodies.

Headed for Sydney in June 1980, they became one of the biggest pub acts of the day and darlings of the inner city. Dogged by line-up changes, their own naivety became replaced by cynicism about the whole industry.

As Mark Callaghan’s songwriting matured they became less power pop and more structured and sophisticated. But, plagued with record company problems and a lack of radio play, the band eventually split up.

Lead singer and songwriter, Mark Callaghan, found himself in GANGgajang.

Mark Callaghan 
Vocals, bass
Andrew Leitch
Guitar, keyboards
Howard Shawcross 
Bass, vocals
Michael Hiron
Guitar, vocals
Dennis Cantwell 
Scott Matheson
Graeme Hutchinson 
Russel Parkhouse 
Keyboards, vocals
Alan Reilly