Wiya! Angela Pamela
by the Super Raelene Brothers & the Little Sisters Collective
Review by Emma Murphy
Wiya! Angela Pamela, a protest song in three languages with an incredibly catchy base and back beat, is the result of collaboration between funk-folk band the Super Raelene Brothers and the Little Sisters Collective, two Alice Springs-based groups.
The song, in Western Arrernte and Luritja, with a smattering of English, is in response to — and part of a campaign against — the proposed Angela Pamela uranium mine.
The mine will be 23km outside Alice Springs, close to the town’s water supply and four Aboriginal communities. Canadian mining company Cameco, on behalf of its Australian partner Paladin, has already begun exploratory drilling.
A vibrant community campaign has sprung up against the mine. Wiya! Angela Pamela has been just one expression. By way of bringing the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal campaign groups together, the song features Arrernte and Luritja spoken word over a funky chorus, also multilingual.
“People being made sick. Don’t wreck country. Don’t wreck Alice Springs”, is the repeated refrain.
Following a successful email campaign urging people to vote for the song, in February it made number one on Triple J’s Unearthed. It is now also played regularly on CAAMA radio in Central Australia.
The Super Raelene Brothers have performed at St Kilda’s Gershwin Room and various festivals. They have supported Paul Kelly, the Cat Empire, Jimmy Barnes and Yothu Yindi.
The new single, as well as featuring the collaborative work with the Little Sisters Collective, also features a deep-funk version of “The World Turned Upside Down”, a song made famous by Billy Bragg.
The two songs are available as free downloads from www.myspace.com/superraelenebrothers , where you can also order the CD. To find out more about the campaign against the uranium mine, visit www.stopangelapamela.org.au .