THE HISTORY SALON #6: UNCLE BART WILLOUGHBY AND UNCLE SELWYN BURNS
Uncle Bart and Uncle Selwyn’s histories are intertwined, through the history of Indigenous rock music in Australia. They’ve performed in numerous bands together, as well as composing and performing soundtracks together.
Their bands include No Fixed Address (Australia’s first Aboriginal rock group), Coloured Stone, and Mixed Business. Both currently perform in the Bart Willoughby band. No Fixed Address will be playing at Deakin Edge from 3.30 – 4.30pm. No bookings required.
Come along to The History Salon to hear their story.
Note: No Fixed Address with be playing the Victorian Seniors Festival, Deakin Edge, from 3.30-4.30pm, prior to The History Salon. No bookings required.
Join members of these iconic bands – No Fixed Address and Coloured Stone, as they chat with host, Kirstyn Lindsay, about their extensive musical careers.
Where: Deakin Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne
When: Wednesday 10 October, 6.30-7.30pm
How Much: Free, but please RSVP here
Bart Willoughby founded No Fixed Address in 1978, with From My Eyes. The musical style was a fusion of reggae music with traditional Indigenous influences. They played their first large concert at The National Aboriginal Day in Taperoo, South Australia. Uncle Selwyn joined the band in 1983, as lead guitarist. Together, they’ve been playing in No Fixed Address at different times during their musical career. Together, they’ve also played in legendary rock band, Coloured Stone and Mixed Relations.
Willoughby has also performed in Yothu Yindi, and formed the band Mixed Relations with Uncle Selwyn in 1989, and has had a solo career since 1997. His band, the Bart Willoughby band, have been performing since 2007. He’s also recorded two organ albums – We Still Live on (2013) and Resonance (2017), which combines Melbourne Town Hall’s Grand Organ with recordings in the nature amphitheater in the Cathedral Gorge at the Bungle Bungles and the sounds of the Federation Bells.
In 2016, No Fixed Address reformed, and they’re currently recording an album with the original members. Uncle Bart also continues to perform in the Bart Willoughby Band.
Uncle Selwyn was there at the beginning of Aboriginal rock music as the ultimate lead guitarist in No Fixed Address as early as 1983. He later joined Coloured Stone where, with Bunna Lawrie, he penned some of the classics of Aboriginal rock music.
He settled down in the mid-Eighties to have as family of five boys and two girls. His sons Tjimba and Narjic now go out as the Hip Hop Heroes the “Yung Warriors”, who he hopes to work with on his next collaboration, and his daughters are painting like their mother, the renowned painter Gabrielle Possum.
As his kids grew up a bit Selwyn revived his musical career and got together with Kutcha Edwards and Grant Hansen to form Blackfire. Later Selwyn recorded some new songs for his solo album Aboriginal Land dedicated to his Grandmother Marge Tucker, the founder of the Aboriginal Advancement League and his mother, Molly Dyer, was the founder of the Aboriginal Child Care Agency.
Selwyn is loved and appreciated by all his indigenous brothers and sisters and his whole community. He recently reunited and is playing with Black Fire, a band for which he was the principal songwriter and musical arranger and continues to perform with the Bart Willoughby along with working as a session guitarist on community and commercial recording projects.
No Fixed Address were inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame in 2011 and the South Australian Music Hall of Fame in 2016. In that year they reformed and are touring the country with a new album out soon.
THE HISTORY SALON
A living encyclopedia of Blak Arts in Australia.
Our Elders created the opportunities we have today. We come from a 70,000+ year lineage of artists in this country, but we have very little written record of the heroes and mavericks that paved the way for Indigenous contemporary arts in Australia.
In honour of our traditions and ways of knowledge transfer, we gather, we listen and acknowledge the hard work that defined, inspired and transformed generations of Indigenous arts practice. The History Salon celebrates and shares stories from our Elders, informing new generations of their place in a long lineage of artistic practice.
Join us for a dynamic yarn with an Elder of the arts.
KNOW YOUR HISTORY