‘The Concert Collection’ Pre-Order NOW

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In November 2012, Archie Roach walked on-stage at the Playhouse Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, for the Australasian World Music Expo. 

And so began his extraordinary return to the concert stage. 

With a thirteen-piece band and ten-voice gospel choir, Archie launched Into The Bloodstream, his first album of new music in five years.

In the two years preceding the release, the singer faced unimaginable challenges, including a stroke, lung cancer and the loss of his partner in life and in music, Ruby Hunter. 

Hailed by many as a rebirth, Into The Bloodstream was acclaimed as his strongest in years and Disc 1 of this collection combines live recordings from both the Arts Centre Melbourne concert in November 2012 and from the State Theatre for the Sydney Festival in January 2013.

Then in 2016 Archie made another triumphant record with a title that resonated everywhere – Let Love Rule – entirely written around the concept of love, “a willingness to love all people”.

The Let Love Rule concert was recorded live in May 2017 at the inaugural Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival at the Playhouse Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, a concert that had audiences mesmerised as you will hear on Disc 2, and featured the sublime voices of both the Dhungala Children’s Choir and Short Black Opera.

Then in May 2018 the beloved and award-winning Australian trio Tiddas reformed especially to honour the unearthing of Archie’s new album, Dancing With My Spirit, a pre-production “demo” album recorded over two decades earlier by producer/musician Jen Anderson that had been shelved and virtually forgotten.

This album saw Archie exploring his spirituality and showcased the sublime voices of Archie and Tiddas - Amy Saunders, Lou Bennett and Sally Dastey.

The Dancing With My Spirit concert on Disc 3 was recorded at their Hamer Hall performance at Arts Centre Melbourne on May 6th 2018.

This album will be available to purchase physically from May 17th, however, it will available to purchase earlier by anyone who comes to Archie’s upcoming shows throughout April and May.

Zoo Twilights Show Recap - Jan 26th 2019

January 26th marked my return to the stage for the first time in 2019. What a memorable night! The deadly lineup included Alice Skye, Briggs, Birdz, Philly, Kobie Dee, A.B. Original, Jayteehazard & Ecca Vandal. A big thank you to my crew, Sally Dastey, Craig Pilkington & Bruce Haymes. One of the highlights of my set was when my dear friend, Jack Charles joined me to sing ‘We Won’t Cry’.

Another highlight for me was joining Briggs on stage during his set to sing his incredibly powerful song, ‘The Children Came Back’. Check out the images from the night! All to benefit Zoos Victoria’s important cause against wildlife extinction.

Read this insightful concert review written by Kate Streader for Beat Magazine.

Photo Credit: Zoos Victoria

Photo Credit: Zoos Victoria

Photo Credit: Zoos Victoria

Photo Credit: Zoos Victoria

Photo Credit: Ian Laidlaw

Photo Credit: Ian Laidlaw

Bangarra Dance Theatre: Dubboo - Life of a Songman

A still from Dubboo - Life of a Songman

A still from Dubboo - Life of a Songman

Last week Archie joined Bangarra Dance Theatre's deeply moving tribute to David Page, the company's music director, who sadly passed in 2016.

Dubboo - Life of a Songman celebrated the life and works of David considered the “musical heartbeat of Bangarra Dance Theatre.” He reinvented the art of the soundtrack to encompass traditional language, song and instruments with the sounds of electronica, hip-hop, classical and the natural world.

The show was a tribute and a memorial, but most of all an overwhelmingly joyous celebration of his life.

Archie performed two powerful songs from the 2000 Bangarra production of  Skin/Spear.

Archie Roach wins Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dreamtime Awards 2018

Archie accepting his award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2018 Dreamtime Awards.

Archie accepting his award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2018 Dreamtime Awards.

Archie was recently awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Dreamtime Awards held in Sydney in November. Archie took to stage to accept this award and to acknowledge the sacred bond that unites First Nations peoples. "I just want to let people understand, the great love that we (First Nations Peoples) have for each other and how that love has kept us strong,” Archie said in his speech. "Doesn't matter what anybody says, our love will always keep us strong and our love will always lead the way.” 

Liyarn Ngarn documentary released in 2007 Now Available for sale all proceeds to archie roach foundation

Archie’s story behind his 2007 album, JOURNEY and the companion DVD, Liyarn Ngarn.

“I think it was in 2005 that I was sitting at my brother-in-law’s place in Adelaide waiting for my friend Bill Johnson and others to arrive from Western Australia. Bill had contacted me earlier that year to talk about an idea he had for doing a film about the life and tragic death of his adopted Aboriginal son, Louis. When Bill arrived with two other gentlemen I greeted him warmly introducing him to my brothers-in-law, Wally and Jeff, as he in turn introduced us to his companions, Steve and Pete. 

It was the bloke called Pete who we took particular notice of. There was something oddly familiar about his face, a face full of character. As I shook his hand I could not take my eyes off that face. Where have I seen that face before I thought? Only it wasn’t a thought it was a question. “I don’t know,” he replied with a cheeky glint in his eye. “Where have you seen me before?” Bill interrupted our puzzling as he outlined what he would like me to become involved with and why they were there. The film was going to be not just about his adopted son but also about race relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia - how it was, where it was now and where it was heading. They wanted me to accompany Pete, an Englishman, and guide him through certain parts of Aboriginal Australia to see first hand what many tourists might not.

The other bloke, Steve, would be the scriptwriter. When Bill finished explaining we still could not help passing curious glances at Pete, wondering where we had seen this Englishman before. When they left Jeff said “I saw that fella on The Bill. That’s it I have seen him on some British TV series or film his face was so familiar.”

It wasn’t until we started our trip and filming at Bill’s place in and around Perth’s exclusive beachside suburbs that I realised that Pete was the famous English actor, Pete Postlethwaite who acted in films such as In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off, Romeo and Juliet, Last of the Mohicans and many more.

We filmed as we talked of Louis’s life, when and where he was adopted, about his growing up and when he started to paint. We also talked about his tragic death, which was racially motivated, by the roadside where he was beaten and run over. Then it was time for Pete and I to head to Fremantle to visit Fremantle Prison where poet and singer songwriter, Robbie Walker, died in custody in 1984. Pete read one of Rob’s poems in the cell where Walker spent his last night on earth while I sang a song, a Kevin Gilbert poem I had put a tune to. 

Next we travelled to Alice Springs where Louis was born and visited the town camp where his birth mother was from, the Little Sisters town camp. Pete was filmed talking to Louis’s family about how they felt when Louis, who was born Warren Braeden, was taken to be adopted and if they thought it was the best thing for him. 

The travel and the film’s content was starting to take its toll on Pete and myself. We were feeling pretty knocked around by what we had seen and heard. Thank God we took a break now and then and retreated to the beautiful suburb of Wattle Grove, where we’d frequent the Kalamunda Hotel in the hills overlooking Perth and feast on their famous Guinness Pies.

After resting and planning our next move we travelled to Broome where we met up with Aboriginal leader, Patrick Dodson, who also appears in the film, giving it the political power it needed. After Broome we travelled to Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley and into the desert where we met up with some tribal elders at a place called Lumpu Lumpu. We were invited to sit around the fire that night while they sang songs in their language, a most memorable night. We slept out under the most amazing star-studded sky and next morning we were shown a beautiful painting. It was a painting of their country, which you could sit on and walk through while each of the elders would speak of their particular land. It was used as their native title claim. We then left the old people and went back to Broome where we finished filming. 

I wrote a few songs while travelling and filming the story. One was in Alice Springs called Little Sisters, three at Wattle Grove, Lighthouse, Too Many Bridges and Spirit of Place, and one in Broome called Liyarn Ngarn which also became the name for the film. Along with some poems I had put tunes to, these songs became the album Journey that was released in 2007.