Sand Tracks 2011 – Nabarlek and Sunshine Reggae Band

Country Arts WA

Sand Tracks 2011 – Nabarlek and Sunshine Reggae Band

The 2011 Sand Tracks program presented Arnhem Land legends Nabarlek, who toured the central desert region with emerging artists Sunshine Reggae Band.

Nabarlek formed in 1985 using two busted acoustic guitars and upturned flour tins. They have since performed with Yothu Yindi, supported Midnight Oil and played with Silverchair and Powder finger on their Across the Great Divide national tour. As well as their two Shows on the Go tours in 2004 and 2008 they have toured nationally and internationally on several occasions.

Nabarlek in concert. Picture by Matt McHugh.

Their music reflects the strong traditional beliefs and customs of the rock country people of central Arnhemland seems to instantly connect with people from remote communities everywhere.

The members of Sunshine Reggae Band are from Ikuntji in the Northern Territory and play their desert reggae-driven songs in both Luritja and English. The lyrics are often about their homeland and country, Dreamtime, staying healthy and keeping off the grog.

Both bands were very proud to be inspiring the next generation of musicians in the central desert region through their performances and workshops. The touring party travelled 3,435km through the central desert region on top of the combined 3,090km they travelled to and from the start and the end of the tour.

Sand Tracks 2011 travelled 6,525 km across three states and employed 16 people over 28 days. The bands played to some 4,168 people over five performances and provided 29 workshops to 173 particpants.

Shows were locally presented in Alice Springs by RedHOT Arts, Amata by the Amata Community Council, Yulara by Artback NT and Ayers Rock Resort, Wanarn by NG Media and Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku and Warburton (Mirlirrtjarra) by Wilurarra Creative and Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.

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