Scene News: ARCHIE ROACH Opens his Heart and Home for the ‘KITCHEN TABLE YARNS’ and Announces the Launch of the inaugural THE ARCHIE ROACH FOUNDATION STAGE at 2022 Port Fairy Folk Festival

National treasure, Archie Roach is thrilled to announce the launch of the inaugural THE ARCHIE ROACH FOUNDATION STAGE at 2022 Port Fairy Folk Festival. The stage will be curated by Archie Roach and the local Gunditjmara community of southwest Victoria, and will provide the opportunity to share the ancient knowledge of the Gunditjmara people through dance, art, music, storytelling and conversations about native plants and bush medicines.

“It’s very important and culturally significant that we, as the Gunditjmara community in southwest Victoria, can share our culture which has existed for well over sixty thousand years, with the rest of the community, especially those attending the folk festival,” explains Archie. “For me personally, it’s huge! I was taken away as a child from my mother’s country when only two years old. To come back to my community and to be able to present our culture on the Archie Roach Foundation stage would not have happened if I had not found my way back to my people.  The local Gunditjmara community will be programming the stage and that’s what is exciting about this idea. We are only limited by our imagination. I am very grateful to both RISE and Port Fairy Folk Festival for getting behind this, and I’m so stoked and can’t wait to present something exceptional!”

On Wednesday next week, Archie will unveil the first episode of Kitchen Table Yarns – his twelve-part YouTube series initiated to support emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander singer songwriters.  Episode one will see Archie invite the supremely talented Yorta Yorta woman, Allara Briggs Pattison to yarn with him (via zoom) at his kitchen table to share stories about her songs, her community and her language.

With thanks to Creative Victoria and the Australia Council For The Arts for making this project possible, this incredible series will be a story of intergenerational celebration and connection through music.  The first episode is set for release at 5pm AEST on August 4, and the second and third episodes featuring Rulla Mansell & Marlon Motlop will land at 5pm AEST on August 18, and Lydia Fairhall at 5pm AEST on September 1. And then new episodes will drop at 5pm AEST on the first Wednesday of each month thereafter, all available to stream on Archie Roach’s YouTube channel

When I started off in music nobody had much of a clue about who I was and what I was writing about,” Archie explains. “I was considered a curiosity. Yarning at my kitchen table with these young artists will help people understand who they are and give them another platform to promote their music. The kitchen table has always been a place of inspiration for me. It’s a place where I’ve written most of my songs, drank many cups of tea, ate meals, played music whilst my children ran around making plenty of noise. It represents family, community and love. We thought it would be a great idea to have a YouTube series and conversation at the kitchen table.”

It’s important their voices are heard so they don’t have to go through what I went through. They are our future and when the time comes for us older singer songwriters to finish up we know it’s in good hands.”

And it is bittersweet that today Archie has been announced on the lineup for Queenscliff Music Festival set to take place on November 26, 27 and 28 this year, but regrettably also today announces the rescheduling of his nine-date regional NSW tour due to the evolving COVID-19 circumstances in NSW.  All tickets purchased will be honoured for the new dates (which will be announced in the coming weeks), without need for exchange.

We are sorry to inform you that we had to reschedule the NSW regional tour that was going to happen in August – to early next year because of the current COVID situation,” explains Archie,“Please hold on to your tickets, as we are really looking forward to catching up with you early next year. I hope everybody stays safe during these uncertain times. Look after yourselves.

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Further information on the first three Kitchen Table Yarns artists:

Allara Briggs Pattison is a Yorta Yorta, musician, composer, filmmaker, and involved in the climate justice movement. Using a double bass and loop station at the core, she is inspired by ancient oral traditions and is a natural storyteller. Allara harnesses hard-hitting spoken word taking the listener on a journey reflecting cultural, spiritual and environmental empowerment. Gently lulling audiences into a united chorus of unadorned melodies, her sound is unique and soul-stirring.

“The kitchen table series is super exciting and such an amazing opportunity for emerging artists to chat with Uncle Archie about music, life and culture. Even when gigs seem to be cancelled over and over again, this series creates something deadly, ongoing and humbling in a time when there is no stability as a musician. Big love and thanks to Uncle Archie for the opportunity to yarn over a cuppa tea and a Monte Carlo.”

Rulla X Marlon burst onto the Australian music scene in under a year. The two played football together at the Glenelg FC in Adelaide, SA but In the past year have gone from kicking footballs to kicking down doors and performing on some of the biggest stages in this COVID era. From opening for Midnight Oil at WOMADelaide to rocking the stage at the Bass in the Grass Festival in Darwin, the two are backed by an all First Nations band to bring you a sound so compelling it makes you want to dance, with lyrics that make you want to think. Rolling Stone has labelled Marlon X Rulla as an act to “…undoubtedly need, to pay attention to as their careers rise”.

“To be able to share a yarn with Uncle Archie means more than we can put into a small sentence or to even try and summarise. It’s beyond an honour. It’s a moment in time I have no doubt we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives. Uncle Archie means so much to us individually but also collectively to all people. Uncle Archie epitomises the essence of a true authentic storyteller. His being will transcend for generations, long into the future.” 

Lydia Fairhall is a Worimi woman respected nationally as a theatre and film producer, a community arts and cultural development practitioner, a writer, an artistic director, a musician, songwriter and more. She has programmed and produced countless shows, for the likes of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Brown Cabs, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Footscray Community Arts Centre while also producing a run of incredible albums including her most recent – ‘True North’.

“Uncle Archie’s music has got so many of us through hard times and been the soundtrack to our joy and belonging. It is an honour of the highest kind to be joining him at his kitchen table.”

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