Barred bard in­spired

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music -

LO­CAL in­dige­nous en­ter­tainer Phil Walleystack has de­scribed how a mo­ment of racism in his home­town in­spired his big­gest song, Walk With Me.

The song has be­come an an­them, a ral­ly­ing call for in­dige­nous pride couched in the shape of a glo­ri­ously catchy pop song.

Late last month, Walleystack per­formed the tune in front of 35,000 peo­ple, at half-time in the West Coast Ea­gles’ win over Gold Coast.

But while the song’s re­frain is won­der­fully up­beat, it has a dis­turb­ing ori­gin.

“We did a ma­jor show here in Perth and af­ter the show, we went out to cel­e­brate,” Walleystack said.

“I got re­fused en­try. I ques­tioned the bouncer, asked him why and he said ‘there’s too many of you in here’.

“I said ‘what do you mean by that?’ He said ‘you know what I mean’.

“I bit my tongue and walked away and on the way home I started singing that tune in my head.”

‘You know a change has to come’, Walleystack sings on Walk With Me, and it’s part of the rea­son his show at the As­tor Theatre on July 7 for Naidoc Week is so im­por­tant.

The show is the only in­dige­nous con­cert tak­ing place in Perth through­out the week, which runs from July 3-10 and cel­e­brates the cul­ture of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ples.

It fea­tures artists such as Richard Wal­ley, Stephen Pi­gram, Bradley Hall and The Merindas, bring­ing to­gether tra­di­tional song and dance from all over Western Aus­tralia and pair­ing it with con­tem­po­rary mu­sic.

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