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National Indigenous Music Awards

Held every year under the stars at Darwin’s historic natural Amphitheatre, the National Indigenous Music Awards brings performers and audiences from all over Australia together to recognise and celebrate the country’s incredible ever-burgeoning Indigenous music scene. 

By Anna Dowd

Since it’s evolution in 2012 from an NT focused event to a national celebration, the NIMAs has become ‘the’ awards night for Australian Indigenous musicians. If you want it all on one stage on one night, this is your ticket. From the piercing husky songs of legendary Pitjantjatjara songwriter Uncle Frank Yamma to the uplifting R&B harmonies of local Tiwi man band B2M, 2015 promises as diverse an evening as ever.  

Intergenerational collaboration seems to be a theme this year, with The Painted Ladies and The Genesis Project both showcasing partnerships between musical mentors and young Indigenous artists.

Headlining the evening with songs from their new EP, The Genesis Project is an exciting merging of Arnhem Land bands East Journey and the iconic Yothu Yindi. Touted as one of the most significant releases of 2015, the night will also include some of Yothu Yindi’s greatest hits and a special performance of contemporary ballet by East Arnhem dancers. Expect a fresh take on that infectious rock, rhythm, and traditional Yolngu music sound and some serious entertainment.

Nurturing the next generation of Indigenous artists will continue to a big part of the night with the triple j unearthed competition winner performing on the big stage. Watch that space to see who joins the rising stars of previously uncovered gems Robbie Miller and Thelma Plum and hip hop artist Philly.

When Brisbane-based musician Luke Peakcock stumbled across a little known recording of Bidjigal singer songwriter Vic Simms, he knew it was nothing less than a national treasure. Recorded in one hour in the notorious Bathurst Prison in 1973, The Loner is said to be Australia’s first black protest album.


Interview with Nick Peacock of The Painted Ladies

Who are The Painted Ladies?

We’re a kind of collective, a band, that’s been put together to revisit and recreate the songs of Vic Simms. Coming up to Darwin, the group will include myself, Kahl and Jhindu from the Medics, Dan Mansfield from You Am I on keys and – this is pretty rare – Vic himself will be there.  

What was it about the songs on The Loner that made them love at first listen for you?

I just thought they were amazing, honest songs. As a songwriter I was really impressed. They’re such a clear, observational insight into the life of a unique Indigenous man and the time he lived.

What made you want to bring these songs to a wider audience?

I agreed to do this because the songs really hadn’t been given the time of day they deserved, I guess because of the circumstances of the time. They kind of appeared, were given one hour to be recorded, and disappeared in the space of a year or so. I just thought, these deserve to have more time and love into them, and to be heard.


When: Sat 25 Jul 2015 | 6:00pm

Where: The Amphitheatre, Darwin Botanical Gardens

Cost: $35 | $28 Conc or groups of 8 | Kids free

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