Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, April 9
Reviewed by Lincon Boyd
Close to 200 people turned out at Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre to immerse themselves in a day of music, culture and art at the second edition of Narana Unplugged with visitors soaking up the relaxed atmosphere on picnic rugs and camp chairs in the native bush garden surrounds.
Deadly Duo got the crowd involved early with a mix of classic covers as well as new original material. Joined by didgeridoo player Lyndon Perry who, once again, proved to be the hardest working muso at the festival collaborating with popular local Geelong acts Olly Friend and Alister Turrill onstage during their crowd pleasing performances.
Olly Friend won many new admirers on the day with his solo stint even leaving the stage to join the crowd at one point mid set. Alister Turrill’s swampy slide guitar and stompbox infused set sent Narana’s resident emus into a frenzy as well as keeping the audience absorbed with his humble, down to earth approach to his chosen craft.
Jayden Lillyst’s performance engaged gig goers with his story laiden set drawing on a diverse range of musical influences from rock, roots and blues to more mellow country numbers. With Cherrywood’s Josh Seymour joined by Andrew Walker on violin offering a stripped back take on tracks from his recent solo release Rope Tied Hope.
Headliner Yirrmal, the rising star of the indigenous music world, had the crowd hanging on his every word with his unique blend of traditional language and stories with a contemporary folk roots edge. His set featured many new songs off his eagerly anticipated debut EP release due midyear.
Closing out the day Yirrmal moved the crowd with his own rendition of Yothu Yindi’s 1991 hit ‘Treaty’. A poignant reminder as past, present and future intercepted carrying Narana’s powerful message of Listening and Learning and promoting positive messages of Reconciliation.