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DESCRIPTION: Camergue were a Kraut Rock band from Brisbane Australia in the late 1970's



MUSIC GENRE: Krautrock


RECORD COMPANIES / LABELS (Current & Past): Not Signed



Camargue were a Kraut Rock outfit from Brisbane, Australia in the late 1970's who migrated to Melbourne in the hope of being developed by the Clear Light of Jupiter record label working with one of its label owners Jeremy Fiebiger. Featured in the band was Greg Manson along with some of his mates from Brisbane.

CAMARGUE first formed in Brisbane, Australia, in 1972. They were garage standard MC5 and Stooges copyists with a penchant for Canned Heat style endless boogies. Imported copies of Hawkwind, Can and Neu made a huge impact, and soon transformed the sound: by mid 73 they were well on the Krautrock path. This of course made live gigs very difficult to get as the local scene was extremely provincial. The prevailing paradigm of Zep/Bowie/T.Rex was not to be challenged, and the band was hoping to record independently as a way around this, when bassist Greg Manson injured his hand in a fight and ended up in hospital with advanced septicaemia. The hand was saved, but he was unable to play for nearly three years.
A trip to Europe enabled him to catch performances by Can, Magma, Gong and others, so that when the band reformed in 1976 there was even more determination to move towards an improvised and “progressive” musical ideal. This was again not a locally popular option, (even their girlfriends hated them) so gigs were non-existent. The crowds were only interested in fat bores churning out Doobie Bros covers. A couple of times halls were hired and Camargue played to virtually no-one, so they set up a house in the inner suburbs and played every Tuesday and Thursday night to assorted dope smokers, people who would wander in, or young locals who had heard about this “weird shit” being played in their neighbourhood. These sessions were recorded, and form the bulk of this package.
The output of the second incarnation was unashamedly influenced by Faust/Can, and was so categorized by the record companies in the UK who were approached in 1977. They were complimentary, as was John Peel, but Punk had arrived, and they were only signing noisy young bands with green hair. With hindsight, Camargue should have jumped on the bandwagon, but at the time could only see the nihilism of the movement’s socio-cultural context, and had vastly different musical aims. The band was aware of RIO and had seen Univers Zero and others, but they could find no label interested in their direction at the time.
Upon return to Australia the band moved to Melbourne and tried again to get a deal, by playing a few private gigs, at which many rockbiz types checked them out, but no-one had the money or interest, and after a few line-up changes, they faded away. The later popularity of bands like A Certain Ratio and early Hunters and Collectors showed that a market existed, but Camargue weren’t in the right place at the right time.

An attempt was made to reform in the mid-80’s in a more sympathetic musical climate, but members were spread out all over the country in different bands and cities. The untimely death of Les Geraghty finally put paid to the idea, and nothing of note was recorded.

Greg Manson tells the story…

"CAMARGUE, we came to melbourne in 78, see story above, did a couple of showcase parties organised by daniel and jeremy, but the lack of money to record and the fact that even in melbourne it was still a bit 'out there' meant that actually paying our way by regular pub gigs just wasn't on, so then the WAG's started carrying on and wanting to go home etc etc, and we had to make a few line-up changes. We did hang out a bit with the Nth Melb electronic crew but we didn't really fit in, being bastards from the bush so to speak and we did jam with Geoff Green and Ian Mcfarlane ( he's keys on the later track), and our drummer ended up in one line-up of Cybotron…but the band as such was doomed….We had a go though…"


Sound Cloud Page: 'Camargue' -

Parent Catagory Page Links: Local Music Artists - Brisbane, Australia

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