Formed in Brisbane, Australia in 1979, the Riptides became a cult band along the coast with surf audiences, eventually arriving in Sydney where they became the ‘next big thing’. The initial line-up comprised Mark Callaghan (vocals), Dennis Cantwell (drums), Scott Matheson (guitar, replaced in 1981 by Michael Hiron) and Andrew Leitch (keyboards/guitar). Their melodies and pop songs were gems, but somehow the band failed to take the next step to the top rung and, by 1983, had split up after several line-up changes. Main songwriter Mark Callaghan later formed GANGgajang in 1984 and produced an excellent solo album, Sailors And Mermaids (1988). Riptides re-form occasionally for national tours, which are well attended, suggesting that the band had charisma if only lacking in commercial success.
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