Words Ben Horvath. Photos and clip by sproutdaily.com
Left Sydney late morning on a gloomy early spring Sunday September 6, 2015.
For me the best time of year to escape Australia is spring, a time when the winter swells dry up, the waters at its coolest, and the onset of mid morning seabreezes erode wave quality.
I flew the 8 or so hours to Singapore via the ultra comfy Singapore Airlines proud sponsors of The Perfect Wave’s Surf Music In Paradise series.
The flight connection was ideal, the changeover swift, less than half an hour spent at Singapore Airport awaiting my connecting flight to Male.
The Singapore to Male flight is barely 4 hours in duration. You are then met by the smiling faces of The TPW Kandooma Resort team at Male Airport, transported to a slick, oversized fast ferry and enjoying the pleasant, scenic night ride in calm seas to Kandooma well before midnight on Sunday night.
We were checked in quickly, handed a cool mocktail and driven by comfy buggy to retire in our room by The Point.
Slept tight in a slick, air-conditioned villa I was sharing with Sprout Daily’s Murray Fraser from Manly.
Rose pre-dawn, excited by the prospect of surfing Kandooma Right and seeing the legendary Tex Perkins perform later the same day.
I paddled out at Kandooma Right in the dark and was joined by Murray Patterson, Tex’s guitarist a frothing surfer from Lennox Head.
Fun, fast, punchy 2 – 3 foot right runners kept us more than entertained in two separate sessions before joining the crew at the Deck Bar for the first of 3 sunset shows Tex Perkins and Murray Paterson were performing.
The first show kicked off about an hour before sunset.
Around 50 of us kicked back in bean bags, hooting and whistling post-song, continuously shaking our heads in disbelief at the intimacy of this surreal setting. Waves peeled off in the distance as Tex hollered and harmonised in his unique, entertaining, storytelling way. Murray and Tex have a unique chemistry, the professionalism and quality of sound hard to beat. The Dark Horses Word to Come, She speaks a Different Language, Snakes and The Cruel Sea’s Anybody But You were the highlights for me.
Today was Rob Underwood’s birthday. Rob heads up The Perfect Wave’s surf guiding and yoga team on the ground at Kandooma. Rob’s partner Jolie heads up the yoga with assistant Mel, whilst Rob and Liuttey have a team of great surf guides to take you to Tucky Joe’s, Riptides, Quarters and several other nearby breaks if need be.
Today I opted for a couple more fun sessions out front at Kandooma Right. There were some punchy 3-foot sets. I was joined by old boss Peter Morrison for a while, Murray Fraser, Murray Patterson, Mel, Glen, Richard and a few other TPW guests at times, but never more than 6 or 7 crew at a time.
Late in the day to celebrate Rob’s birthday, we took Tex and his family and all the TPW crew over to Treasure Island for a snorkel, wakeboard and swim.
It was a great afternoon and evening in the paradise.
Early rise as per the routine now established.
Again, Murray Patterson and I are in surf sync, paddling out at first light. A couple of punchy 3ft plus sets wet the appetite and have us frothing for more, but unfortunately the swell actually eased in the afternoon.
Regular TPW guest and friend Glenn Jeffs married his sweetheart Jackie this afternoon on the beautiful surrounds of West Beach and in an incredible impromptu scenario, Tex invited them onstage and belted out a romantic version of The Kiss classic, “I was made for loving you, baby.”
Neil Young’s On The Beach, a humorous version of The Eagles’ Hotel California, The Dark Horses’ Paychecks and Halo were tonight’s set list highlights.
More drinks and quality dining at The Kitchen and The Deck Bar.
Early at the Riptides: a super fun, wedgey, right semi-bowl. Both Murray’s Paul, Luke and the surf guides the only crew in the water.
A quick late out front at Kandooma Right – some 3ft sets. Quiet night in watching Australian TV on the box.
The wind has swung offshore. The swell smaller, though much cleaner at 2ft with light W winds. Gig 3 back at The Deck Bar.
This time, the light show was almost as impressive as the gig itself. A dramatic sky filled with pink, orange, grey and blue tones.
Several Tequila shots and numerous beers loosened Tex and Murray up.
The set list was fun –Hotel California, Rod Stewart’s Tonight’s the night. The Cruel Sea’s The Honeymoon is Over had everyone up dancing. The Dark Horses’ To Us the finale.
Dawned undersized, but clean. Offshore winds and sunny skies combined yet again for a fun session out front.
A fourth un-scheduled gig went down, this time on The Point.
Tex, Murray and fam were having so much fun they threw in an extra gig to show their appreciation to hotel staff, TPW staff and their loyal fans.
A great time had by all!
Woke early to enjoy one last uncrowded surf out front at Kandooma, followed by one last epic breakfast whipped up by Eddie and then a seamless 45 min speedboat transfer to the airport with our new friends.
What can I say?
Ensure you put Surf Music In Paradise top of your bucket list. Tex at Kandooma was all time. I’ve seen hundreds of epic live gigs over the years, but Sitting less than 10 metres from the stage on a bean bag, a cold drink in hand, friends and family nearby, socializing and surfing with the musos and like-minded fans is unbeatable.