Special Guest added to Ross Wilson Presents Living in the Land of Oz – a Rock’n’roll Live Show Celebrating Our First Nations People and the 50th Anniversary of “Eagle Rock”
Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project joins Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks and Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission for unique show, January 26 2021 at Melbourne Pavilion Live Outdoor
Australian Aboriginal singer and cultural practitioner of Indigenous song, Jessie Lloyd, has, together with her Mission Songs Project, been confirmed as Special Guest appearing with Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks and Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission at Ross Wilson Presents Living In The Land of Oz, a special concert to mark both Survival Day 2021 and the 50th Anniversary of Daddy Cool’s “Eagle Rock”. The concert takes its name from the Melbourne music icon and ARIA Hall of famer Wilson’s first solo single, “Living In The Land of Oz”, which was the first white rock record to address Indigenous issues. It will take place in the afternoon and early evening of Tuesday January 26 at Melbourne Pavilion Live Outdoor on Racecourse Road, Kensington (just minutes from the city),
Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project is an award winning show which has toured globally. Melbourne-based Lloyd, originally from North Queensland and the daughter of influential Indigenous musician Joe Geia, conceived the project to collect and bring new life to songs that were composed and sung on Aboriginal missions and settlements during the 20th century. In 2017 the Project produced an album, The Songs Back Home, which featured guests including Archie Roach and Lou Bennett of Tiddas, and which The Age described as a collection of “Islander rhythms, campfire country and defiant humour celebrat(ing) simple joys” and “melancholy ballads (which) chart a journey of blood, sweat and tears…”
Ross Wilson Presents Living In The Land of Oz will be a unique and one-off event, about which Wilson says: “I’m looking forward to playing my songs in context on Survival Day in support of First Nations people. ‘Living In The Land Of Oz’ was released in 1976 and sadly its lyrics of dispossession & institutional racism still resonate today. #changethedate”
The concert is also an opportunity for more personal reflection for Wilson; it will be the first show in a year that marks the 50th anniversary of his signature tune “Eagle Rock” and the record-smashing first album by Daddy Cool, the band he formed with his lifelong friends, the much-loved Gary Young and the recently departed Ross Hannaford and Wayne Duncan.
Ross Wilson is a man whose influence on Melbourne Music is without equal. A significant presence in the’60s and early ’70s with the Pink Finks, the Party Machine and Sons of the Vegetal Mother, he went onto smash all records with Daddy Cool, and then smash those same records again with the band he discovered, developed and produced, Skyhooks. He also worked closely with Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Sports, Jane Clifton’s feminist rock outfit Stiletto and others before taking to the stage again himself and achieving huge success in the ’80s and beyond with Mondo Rock and as a solo artist and songwriter.
“Living in the Land of Oz” is a significant song in Wilson’s repertoire and his first solo single. Written and first recorded in 1976, it was not only first white rock record to address Indigenous issues, but also the theme song to the 1976 feature film Oz (a.k.a. Oz – A Rock ‘n’ Roll Road Movie) by Wilson’s old mate Chris Löfvén.
Its bright, celebratory vibe veiled brilliantly dark and subversive lyrics. Lyrics like “150 years ago the black man lived in peace and the land was still / Now a city of millions covers the soil and the blacks have all been killed” and “Now I don’t know how it happened but it happened just the same / Now the whites are rich and the blacks are dead and no one seems ashamed”.
The song also addressed our nation’s then still-recent White Australia policy: “The government of this wonderful land, they sent men all around the world / Just to tell everyone it was the perfect place to raise their boys and girls / If you’re white you can come alright but if you’re black you’d better get back / Because they took a lot of trouble just to kill ’em all off, don’t wanna have to do it again.”
And no it wasn’t a hit. But while the song predated similarly-themed material by the likes of Goanna, Midnight Oil and Paul Kelly by half a decade, it has endured. In 1989 it was featured on the groundbreaking collection released by CAAMA entitled Building Bridges (Australia Has A Black History) collection alongside the aforementioned artists and the likes of No Fixed Address, Yothu Yindi, Coloured Stone and others. And it remains in Ross’ set, alongside classic material from Daddy Cool, Mondo Rock and his solo work.
Joining Ross Wilson & the Peaceniks and Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project will be another iconic Melbourne artist known for both his strong sense of social justice and his feeling for Australian history (he featured with Weddings Parties Anything and his song “Hungry Years” on the aforementioned Building Bridges collection), Mick Thomas & his Roving Commission. Mick’s appearance follows the release of last year’s See You On The Other Side album, and his latest single, a summery cover of Cold Chisel’s “Forever Now” with guests including Tim Rogers and Angie Hart, and it precedes the formal announcement of his new album – his second recorded in COVID Lockdown, entitled City’s Calling Me – which will be out in March. Mick’s live set includes solo classics and WPA hits ‘Away Away’, ‘Monday’s Experts’ and “Father’s Day”.
Ross Wilson – “Living In The Land of Oz”
Ross Wilson Presents “Living in the Land of Oz”
Starring Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks, Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission and Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project
Presented by Triple R
Tuesday 26th January 2021
Doors Open time 2pm and Showtime 2:30pm
Melbourne Pavilion Live Outdoor
135-157 Racecourse Road, Kensington VIC, 3031
Ticket prices :
Seats A – $72 + b/f
Seats B – $62 + b/f
GA – $42 + b/f