Bush Bands Program 2018

The Bush Bands Program brings together two of Central Australia’s premier music industry events. The Bush Bands Bash and Bush Bands Business provide specifically selected Indigenous musicians from remote communities across Central Australia an opportunity to hone their music and performance skills, gain industry knowledge and put it all to practice at an impressive concert in front of thousands. The program runs annually and has resulted in a number of great outcomes for Indigenous music including identifying and supporting young Indigenous band managers and creating opportunities for Bush Bands to tour nationally.

The line up for Bush Bands Bash is:

Southeast Desert Metal
The most isolated metal band in the world, Southeast Desert Metal, are from Santa Teresa, a small Aboriginal community in central Australia.  The band initiated the Rain Maker Music Festival in October 2015 to launch their debut album. The event in Santa Teresa was attended by over 500 people, including Australian TV presenter Adam Hills. The concert was recorded and broadcast in the UK. Their sophomore album will be released in the third quarter of 2018 and is destined to catapult the band to new heights!


Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect are an all woman’s band coming from Maningrida in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. The band reflects the multilingual nature of Maningrida, singing in their languages of Ndjébbana, Na-kara, Burarra and Kune. Hailing from an area where both ceremonial and more contemporary musical forms have been almost entirely the domain of men, these women are forging new ways of musical performance as composing, playing instruments and forming their own band. The Ripple Effect women have a vibrancy and excitement that is not to be missed as they share their stories and culture through the universal language of music.

Barkly Drifters

Boasting some serious musical talent and family lineage of the legendary Tableland Drifters. The Barkly Drifters take the tradition of fusing country blues and rock to tell tales and stories of the Barkly Tablelands through vivid, compelling lyrics and music that reflects the landscape and towns that inspired it. Currently recording their debut album with Winanjjikari Music Centre, Barkly Drifters have already enjoyed success within the Barkly music scene and beyond. The Barkly Drifters have built a strong following from the characters and communities whom their songs resonate the strongest with.


Simpson Desert Band

Simpson Desert Band started out with a young Titjikala locals Kenneth Hayes, Darren Wilyuka, Llyod Wilyuka and Leroy Wilyuka watching the Tapatjatjaka Band playing their own original music and thinking ‘maybe we should get some young fellas together and start doing that’. Darren started writing songs with charcoal on a piece of cardboard while he was still in school and recruited a few other young fellas to the band. The Simpson Desert Band is well known by surrounding communities and is often asked to perform far from Titjikala.

Coloured Rainbow Band

Formed in 2014 in Yuendumu, Coloured Rainbow are a slow-jam reggae band with elements of rhythm and blues and rock, heavily influenced by Lucky Dube. The five-piece band are dedicated to their craft, rehearsing weekly at PAW Studio in their hometown. In 2015 they took out top place at three Battle of the Bands events; Yuendumu, Finke Desert Race and Lajamanu. The money from their winnings was distributed amongst band members and injected into further endeavours, like touring and merchandise. The Coloured Rainbow live experience has drawn in fans across the Western Desert and further south, creating a great positive buzz and word of mouth that precedes their arrival.

Mimili Yanku

Mimili Yanku Band is a collective of experienced Musicians and songwriters from Mimili Community. The band frequently plays shows in the community which are often put on and run entirely by the band members. Mimili Warpa Studio is a constant meeting and practice space for the Mimili Yanku Band. Various band members have recently been involved in a recording session run by UBK out at West Boar near Fregon. During this overnight stay the track “Mimili” written by Harry Shannon was recorded and produced. The second track submitted “wati kutju” was recorded at a home studio in Mimili and they look forward to showcasing some of their recent work at the 2018 Bush Bands Bash.


In addition to the six bands selected through the application process, two bands join the line up as part of the Country Arts WA ‘Sand Tracks’ tour.

The headlining band Saltwater Band was selected through community voting and the emerging band Black Rock Band was selected from the previous year’s alumni of Bush Bands.

Saltwater Band 


Black Rock Band 

This year MusicNT presents Jessie K from Alice Springs, Casii Williams from Ntaria and Patsy Coleman from Darwin as our three Divas who will participate in Bush Bands Business and go on to perform at Bush Bands Bash.


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