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Top Territory Tunes

By Liz Trevaskis

When I moved to Darwin over a decade ago, I couldn’t believe that once a year we were allowed to blow our hardearned cash on blowing stuff up.

My first cracker night was at the Ski Club. Sun sinking into the Arafura sea, the silhouette of palm trees creating a postcard-perfect backdrop. Locals performed crazy hotshoe shuffles in thongs and bare feet to avoid the hissing explosives that darted across the lawn. There was joy and laughter and community, and the thrill of just a little bit of danger. But then the explosions wore on into the night, and then into the following weeks and months. A broken record. An album with never-ending secret tracks.

Fortunately, there are thousands of Territory sounds even greater than the whiz and crack and pop of colourful explosives. So with cracker night cancelled this year, what better opportunity to fill the night sky with an even better symphony of sound?

Around Australia, the Territory is known for such ground breaking acts as Coloured Stone, Warumpi Band and Yothu Yindi. They blazed the trail for today’s young voices like Emily Wurraurra and Baker Boy. But throughout the Territory, there is so much more to celebrate.

The ancient stories of Borroloola’s songwomen woven into modern masterpieces; a cheeky stone-country take on an Australian classic in Nabarlek’s cover of ‘Down Under’; the voice of Dr G soaring on the wings of the orchestra; the strange and mystical outback tropical noir of Balang Lewis. The genre-bending Caiti Baker, Ted Egan’s misfits, and a cyclone shelter in Stuart Park.

Your mind will be blown with 40 of the very best Territory tunes as we make our way through the first ever Territory Sounds countdown this Territory Day. Tune in to ABC Darwin, ABC Alice Springs and community radio stations Gove FM, TEABBA, CAAMA and 8CCC.

There may not be crackers this year, but there’ll be plenty of bangers!

Territory Sounds Countdown

Photo: Coloured Stone by L. Mackinnon

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