SUPER Rats is a great name for a band and now the fiery Canberra group who’ve been wowing audiences here with their traditional Romanian and Roma (Gypsy) tunes has been selected into Australia’s top world music festival, WOMADelaide.
The quirky quartet centres around the cimbalom, and bandleader Tim Meyen, who tells us they’re heading for Adelaide on March 6 for their first gig that night, and is one of only a handful of Aussie musicians to have studied the instrument, described as “like the offspring of a honkytonk piano and a xylophone”.
Super Rats, which received a Canberra Critics’ Circle Award late last year, is a self-proclaimed “only-in-Canberra” mixture of next-door neighbours, bandmates from previous groups like the 1990s folkies “Closet Klezmer” and primary-school friends.
One such is Pip Thompson, one of Canberra’s leading classical violinists and a member of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.
The authenticity of the Rats’ approach to Romanian folk music has been enhanced through visits to masters in Romania, and the group has just released a new four-track mini album “DA!” which can be heard at bandcamp.com.
And yes, Meyen says, they’re branching out of Canberra and more festival appearances are scheduled after WOMADelaide.
WOMADelaide 2020, March 6-9, Botanic Park, Adelaide.