Si plans to amp up the vibes at Cooly
Energetic British performer Si Cranstoun rolls into town to rock your socks off, writes
I Cranstoun has already determined how he will win over his audience when he plays on Australian soil for the first time. ‘‘I want to go beyond the music and lift people’s spirits. It’s an emotional thing – there is a vibe, an electricity that I want to convey to the audience,’’ he says.
Cranstoun and his band bring their lively show to the Coast for the Cooly Rocks On festival, which plays streets and venues in Coolangatta and Tweed Heads from tomorrow until June 11.
The energetic performer, who has conjured the spirit of vintage rock ’n’ roll and combined it with soul, rhythm and blues, says he’s a big believer in vibes.
‘‘They can travel in the air, you can feel them in a room,’’ he says.
‘‘You don’t know why you feel them, you just do. No one understands it. When I am performing, I can feel the vibes. I can feel a sense of control and I can change the vibe.
‘‘Five songs in (to a show) and you can feel people get into it. Cheers get louder. I want to win the crowd over by dancing my arse off and singing my heart out and having a huge smile on my face because I am happy. ‘‘I want to have a great party.’’ Before allowing his solo career to take its own direction, Cranstoun and his brother, Tyber, formed ska duo The Dualers, known for the hits Truly Madly Deeply, Kiss On the Lips and Don’t Go, in 1999. Cranstoun puts his vast musical influences down to his mum and dad, who met at a ska club in London.
‘‘Dad was a promoter of ska music in the ’60s in London,’’ he says.
‘‘Ska clubs were the first rave clubs in those days. My parents’ old records were left lying around the house for my brother and me – they were like toys we were given quietly. There was jazz, reggae, ska, soul, rhythm and blues. We loved all of it.
‘‘I would play it when I was nine because I enjoyed it, not because it was on TV or trendy.’’
When it comes to creating his own music, Cranstoun says he and his band enjoy making uplifting tunes.
‘‘I love the pulse of vintage rhythm and blues. You can jive to it, swing to it, my music and dancing goes hand in hand,’’ he says.
‘‘We do rock ’n’ roll and we love it. People love it. We are slightly different. My vocals are higher, it’s louder and more melodic.’’
Cranstoun will release his latest album, Dance Hall and Supper Clubs, in July.
‘‘We became a vintage dance band by chance. But our sound is leaning on the two – you can sit down and listen to it, or there’s the driven, upbeat side,’’ he says.
On the whole, Cranstoun says, his lyrics are about relationships.
‘‘There’s a bit of philosophy in there too. It’s about lifting people’s spirits with a pulse. There is a positive message in the album – nothing negative or downbeat in the lyrics.’’ For Cranstoun, music needs to offer hope. ‘‘It should put you in a frame of mind that you are happy and you want to celebrate. There’s a medicinal flavour in my lyrics which I put there deliberately,’’ he says.
‘‘I want to pull people out of the sadness they are feeling. It’s feelgood music. When I am writing I do it for people who need hope.
‘‘When music was first sung, it was an opportunity for celebration and to offer people hope.
‘‘It’s important for me that when I hand someone a CD I know it will make them feel good. It’s the foundation of what music is and what I stand for.’’
The Cooly Rocks On Festival runs from tomorrow until June 11. Si Cranstoun plays festival shows at the Coolangatta Hotel on June 8- 9 and June 11. Visit youtube.com/user /SiCranstoun to see Cranstoun’s videos.
Cooly Rocks On star Si Cranstoun