The Legend Lives On
| Coloured Stone was formed in
1978 at a little community called Kooniba, 50 km west of Ceduna, South
Australia. Over the years they have been based in Katherine, Alice Springs
and Darwin in the Northern Territory, and Townsville in Queensland.
Awarded the Don Banks Music Award in 1999 for his outstanding contribution to Australian Music - the first time this award has ever gone to a rock musician, let alone an indigenous one - Bunna Rupert Lawrie is the original founding member. From the start he was the original drummer for the band, but went onto rhythm, when his brother, Neil left the band over ten years ago. He then became the lead singer/songwriter and rhythm guitarist.
The band has had many changes in line up over the years. Presently, the other members of the band include Bunna's son, Jason Scott, playing lead guitar, while another young relative, nephew Duane Lawrie, is on drums, with brother, John John Miller, handling the bass. Joseph Williams and Darwin-born Ash Dargan, who is from the Larrakia Aboriginal Nation, alternate on didjeridu and percussion.
Constantly touring Coloured Stone has been a big drawcard at festival throughout the year, including the Woodford Folk, Big Day Out and were headliners at the Laura Cultural Gathering on Cape York.
Bunna at the Bundawuthada
| At a recent gig Bunna Lawrie sat
cross-legged on the stage as he began the Coloured Stone set with "Mouydjengara",
a traditional whale-dreaming song of his people - the Mirning.
Playing what he described as the oldest
musical instrument on the planet - the bundawuthada or gong stone - Bunna
created an eerie, ringing percussion, over which the wailing lead guitar
feedback simulated the song of the whale.
| Bunna and the boys took
the dampened, dancing crowd on a trip through over two decades of his distinctive
music. The opening number was one of several new songs, which is featured
on the latest album, "Rhythm of Nature". Most of the tracks on the compilation
CD, "Bunna Lawrie's Best of Coloured Stone", were covered.
The audience was soon leaping about to classic tunes like - "Dancing in the Moonlight", "Black Boy" and "Love is a Medicine", while country flavoured songs, including "Stay Young", harked back to the band's early days.
Coloured Stone has recorded around eight albums and although touring had begun in 1978, the band didn't start recording until 1983.
A "Best of Coloured Stone" came out through CAAMA Music in 1998, incorporating tracks from the albums "Kooniba Rock", "Island of Greed", "Wild Desert Rose", "Human Love" (winner 1986 ARIA award), "Crazy Mind" and "Imaj". There are, for Bunna Lawrie, "some really good favourite songs on there."
In 1999 the band released the deeply spiritual album entitled "Rhythm Of Nature", which features the haunting and evocative "Whale Dreaming".
(these tracks are samples only - 1.5 minutes and recorded at 64kbs)