Sending out messages through songs

Fighting over the same guitar from the age of five, multi-talented brothers, Delson and Boyd Stokes, known today as Yabu Band, have created a powerful, unique desert rock sound.

More than just an Indigenous band, they provide positive messages through song, a vehicle of inspiration that has encouraged children and adults to achieve all that they can.

And as part of their tour, they are coming to the Walkington Amphitheatre and the Matt Dann Cultural Centre this month.

Originally from Kalgoorlie, the brothers draw their heritage, culture and inspiration from the western desert bordering the Goldfields town.

The band’s highly acclaimed second album ‘Gundula – We Dance’ is recognised as a landmark Indigenous album.

Yabu went on to win a Deadly award in 2009 for ‘Most Promising New Act’.

Gundula features Yabu’s Western Desert language version of ‘I am Australian’ and although their music springs directly from their own Indigenous cultural heritage, Yabu believe this song, in this form, speaks for all Australians.

Yabu have performed at some of Australia’s largest festivals including WOMADelaide, The Dreaming Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, TOO SOLID, Shinju Music Festival and have toured to South Africa and the Pacific Islands.

Returning to the spotlight in 2012, Yabu have released their powerful new single titled Petrol, Paint and Glue sung in both English and Wongutha and puts a confronting spotlight on the desperation of Indigenous youth affected by substance abuse and the impact on Aboriginal families and communities.

The song is an emotional plea for help and sung as seen through the eyes of the songwriter, and simultaneously reflected in the eyes of these children.

Yabu singer/songwriter and 1999 Male Youth of the year Delson Stokes said people are trying to escape the real world.

“Letting it go in the bottom of a plastic bottle or shopping bag.

“You can see in their eyes, they are empty,” he said.

“It’s like a silent killer and it’s important we stop putting it under the carpet and sing about it in a way that you have hope and have life. I am pleading with them.

“This song is like a prayer for them to wake up.”

Yabu believe that there is nothing more important than encouraging today’s youth to have self-worth and chase one’s dreams.

The Yabu Band will be performing at the Walkington Amphitheatre on May 23 and at the Matt Dann Cultural Centre on May 24.

For more information on tickets, contact the Walkington on 9159 6860 or the Matt Dann on 9158 9368.

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