Archie Roach opens Queensland Music Festival and headlines both Umbrella: Winter City Sounds in Adelaide and Dashville Skyline in the Hunter Valley.
Australian living legend Archie Roach opens this year's Queensland Music Festival (QMF) with a special presentation 'Let Love Rule', a re-imagining of his repertoire from the past 30 years.
'Let Love Rule' draws on Archie's latest release 'The Concert Collection 2012-2018', which is the first time he's produced a live recording. For 'Let Love Rule' at QMF, Archie will be accompanied by the Tinalley String Quartet, vocalist Sally Dastey and pianist Bruce Haymes.
“We're really looking forward to these shows, and it's good to do something different,” Archie says.
“Recently I've done work with Paul Grabowsky and a string section, which was a bit bigger than a string quartet, but it feels really good to be able to present your music a little differently than what some people have probably been used to in the past.”
Joining Archie and his ensemble will be Jessie Lloyd presenting The Mission Songs Project, which reveals the everyday experiences of Indigenous Australians living on Christian missions and state-run settlements around 1900-1990.
“The songs that they wrote are about their life in these places, the missions and settlements,” Archie says.
“The way [Jessie's] produced it, it's such a beautiful show and I'm so proud to have been involved with that show.”
Archie goes on to reinforce the importance of preserving culture through oral tradition and its significance in telling the stories of our shared past.
“The Mission Songs Project and what we do, it's sort of a continuation of what the old people did a long time ago,” he says. “The songs were all about country and people, and that's what The Mission Songs Project is about and what my music is about as well. It's interesting… what they got up to back in the day.
“That's the great thing about music and oral history, tradition and handing down knowledge through story and song, and it's been going for centuries… it's great to be able to continue in that tradition, and see what people get in 100 years time if they decide to continue that oral tradition.”
There's plenty more Archie Roach to go around as he heads south in October to headline Dashville Skyline in the Hunter Valley, among other live commitments.
Archie says at this stage of his storied career, the greatest pleasure for him is to still be able to get out there and perform his music to people who are more than fans, but close friends and family in Archie's eyes. “It's more than just getting up in front of people and playing songs and they come and listen,” he explains.
“It's actually a relationship I have now with people who come and listen to me.
“They give me as much as I probably give them, and you feel it, it's tangible. You can feel this relationship that you have with people and I really enjoy that, being able to interact and continue this relationship I have with people who come and listen to my songs. It's a shared moment that we actually have when I do what I do,” he laughs.
Archie Roach performs 'Let Love Rule' at The Tivoli Theatre (Brisbane) 5 July as part of Queensland Music Festival. He also headlines the Umbrella Opening Street Party that takes place at Topham Mall (Adelaide) Friday 12 July and Dashville Skyline (Hunter Valley) 4-6 October.