A long journey on a gravel road

A long journey on a gravel road
Image: The Desert Stars. Image: GRAVEL ROAD film still

From the isolated Tjuntjuntjara on Spinifex Country in the middle of the Great Victorian Desert, Western Australia comes a four piece Indigenous rock band called The Desert Stars. They are said to be the remotest band in the world. When this band goes on tour it becomes a journey of epic proportions. 

The Desert Stars. Photo: Facebook/Gravel Road

Gravel Road is a documentary that follows The Desert Stars on their first tour. This is unlike any other band road trip movie you’ve seen. They bump and jolt along unsurfaced, pot-holed, rocky roads through inhospitable terrain, surviving on inherent cultural instincts and lots of humour. 

The Desert Stars performing. Photo credit: Tiffany Garvie

The band, affectionately known by fans as “Blacca Dacca” plays hard rock tunes set to lyrics about the natural and unnatural environment, including the resilience of their people in the face of British atomic testing at Maralinga in the 1950s). 

Tristan, Jay, Mick. Photo: GRAVEL ROAD

Lead singer and songwriter, Jay Minning, is a traditional songman of the Spinifex community, and he incorporates lore, cultural history, and the unique spiritual voice of his people into his songs. 

The Desert Stars also includes: lead guitarist and backing vocalist, Derek Coleman, bassist Justin Currie, and drummer Ashley Franks. The film, Gravel Road s a Flywire Films production, directed by Tristan Pemberton and the Tjuntjuntjara Community and was made in 2022.

The band is currently on a national tour and, along with their exciting, one-of-a-kind shows, they are screening the documentary film. They’ll be playing at the Dendy Newtown in Sydney this Sunday. It’s a great chance to catch the band and see the incredible documentary. 

March 3, 6pm

Dendy Newtown, 261 King St, Newtown


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