Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Warumpi Band and Yothu Yindi Live

Many thanks to New Race over at the Aus Rock forum for
this radio quality live material from the Warumpi Band
and Warumpi Yothu Yindi Live at an unknown time and
place in the early 90's.
If anyone knows any information I would be happy to
hear it.
Theres some classic Warumpi songs here
with Jailanguru Pakarnu, Fitzroy crossing,
No Fear, Waru (Fire), Blackfella/Whitefella,
From the bush plus 5 Yothu Yindi tracks.

Heres a bit of Warumpi Band history.

The Warumpi Band originated in the Aboriginal settlement of
Papunya in the central desert region of the Northern Territory
in the early eighties.

The band's name derives from the honey-ant dreaming site
located near the settlement of Papunya which is 260 ks west
of Alice Springs. Original founding members were
Sammy and Gordon Butcher, Neil Murray,George Rrurrambu
assisted by other young fellas in the community.

The band was formed in 1980 by Neil Murray, a Victorian
"whitefella" working in the region as a schoolteacher
and labourer, George Burarrwanga, from Elcho Island,
and local boys Gordon and Sammy Butcher.
Over the years, many different people played in the band
at various times. The only consistent elements were
Murray and Burarrwanga, with Sammy Butcher generally
being available so long as band commitments didn't take
him too far from home for too long.

In 1983, the band recorded "Jailanguru Pakarnu",
the first song using an aboriginal language in a rock'n'roll format.
This created some mainstream media interest,
and the band made a few trips to the big cities of
Melbourne and Sydney for gigs and TV appearances.

In Sydney, they built up a loyal following in the Sydney
northern beaches pub rock scene, and played as support
to Midnight Oil. In 1985 the band released their debut album
"Big Name, No Blankets", featuring the track "Blackfella/Whitefella".

In 1986, Midnight Oil and the Warumpi Band embarked on the
"Blackfella/Whitefella Tour" which brought one of Australia's
biggest bands to some of the country's remotest locations.
The resulting Midnight Oil album, "Diesel and Dust"
was an international hit and brought the issues of land rights
and aboriginal reconciliation into the national spotlight.

The Warumpi Band recorded their second album, "Go Bush!"
after the tour, but the strain of balancing family commitments
with the band took its toll and they were unable to capitalise
on the groundswell created by the Blackfella/Whitefella tour.

Neil Murray embarked on a solo career in 1990, though the
band still reunited when it fitted in amongst their other activities.

1996 saw the release of their third and final album
"Too Much Humbug", and a renewed (if brief) commitment
including a European tour. Burarrwanga is reputed to have
arrived in Paris and been amazed that people in this
so-called civilised nation couldn't even speak English -
after all, he himself spoke nearly a dozen different
languages of the north of Australia.

In the following years, reunion gigs were sporadic,
generally for festivals and other one-off appearances.
In 2000, Neil Murray decided enough was enough
and retired from the band for good, concentrating on
his solo career which by that time had produced several
critically acclaimed albums.

George Burarrwanga continued to perform as a solo artist,
and released an album. In 2007, he returned to his
"Island Home" when lung cancer took him,
and he died on June 10th of that year.

Sammy Butcher remains heavily involved with a recording
studio in Alice Springs, bringing the opportunity to record to
outback youth. He has also recorded an album of
instrumental guitar songs.

Download Here
Part 1,
Part 2


Newrace said...

Forgot to mention Bob, the Warumpi Band were a class live act, as you can tell with this live recording, even my kids sang along to some of their tunes..goes to show they young and old.

I would say the Warumpi Band would have been one of the best Live touring bands in Australia..always a good gig when they played

Cheers mate..

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Thanks again New Race
The warumpies were one of those bands I always wanted to see but missed. They actually played at one of the earlier dreaming festivals and I pasted it up and regretted it as there will be no more warumpi gigs.
I have seen Neil Murray play a number of times, but missing the warumpie's was one of the main reasons I couldn't miss No fixed address this time, you just never know. I have a video somewhere of the warumpie's at stomping ground and they went off alright.
Talking of bands you see doing reunions that you never through you'd see, you'll appreciate this, I saw Radio Birdman when they reformed for the big day out shows, oh that was so good
ciao bob

Mr. Pop said...

Hello, thanks very much for this post, but both download links are dead.. mr, can you please reup this record again?
Thank you again

blankblackoutvacant said...

I second the re-upload request.

Anonymous said...

Great site. I found it after spending a lot of time to find some live material of Warumpi Band. I am french and spent for my job 2 and 1/2 years in Sydney back in 1983. I remember how thrilled I was when I heard Warumpi Bnad for the first time. I don't remember when and how but I rushed the next day to try to find their record. Nothing was available and only a few months later I was able to buy their LP "Big names, no blankets". I still listen to that great record.
The links you posted no longer works. Any way to change that? or to send me the zips?

Bob said...

I seem to have lost this file sorry, if anyone else has it contact me thanks