FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS...
I first met Djulpa
in a park. It was dark and, as I walked home, I heard a strumming guitar
and cheerful voices.
In the first couple of
years there were several line-up changes and shuffling of instruments,
plus the change of band name, to reflect the Saltwater style of the fast-growing
repertoire of original tunes.
|Djulpa and his brothers were singing songs
of their homeland at Maningrida on the Arnhem Land coast. He told me he
had a band called URK (UnRighteous Kids), that had played its first gig
at the 1993 Barunga Festival. The band had come together at the Fire Escape,
a drop-in centre for young people, particularly Aboriginal youth. A vibrant
music program, run by Geoff Barrett - who also doubled as URK's bassist
- was the catalyst that started the ball rolling.
Based in Darwin
in the Northern Territory, Wild Water has toured the Australian East
coast extensively, as well as being an essential ingredient in the diverse
mix of Territory acts, crying out for national and international exposure.
The band members come from the cultures of Arnhem Land, Central Australia,
Darwin, Southwest of Western Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. Each
member adds his/her own indigenous and cultural perspective to create a
unique Top End style.
has included headlining at festivals, large cultural events and supports
gigs for Yothu Yindi, The Cruel Sea, Tiddas and Sunrize Band. They have
played the Australian Music Day gig in Darwin for the past 2 years and
were featured (July, 1995) on the Australian Music Show on Triple J.
Wild Water has also been featured in "Deadly
Wild Water Milestones
Won the 'Most Promising New Talent'
award at the National Indigenous Music Awards.
"Baltpa" - debut EP independently released
in June '96, gained consistent airplay right around Australia, including
high rotation on national youth radio - Triple J, and was featured on ABC
TV's "Recovery" and Channel V.
Headlined at the Survival 98 concert in Sydney
and the 1997 Woodford Festival in QLD.
Selected as Maxi Priest's special guests on his
1997 tour of Australia.
NT Youth Reconciliation Award for the band's contribution
towards the process of reconciliation, between Australia's aboriginal and
Nominated for 'Band of the Year' at the
1998 Deadly Sounds Awards.
Due to record full length album in 1999.