Review | Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse present ‘Bindi Bindi’

Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse Bindi Bindi | The Ice Cream Factory| 19th February | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Musical duo Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse assembled a company of some of Perth’s most accomplished musicians to launch their new album Bindi Bindi.

The pair have received critical claim for their first indigenous language album Kalyakoorl, and now they unveiled their much anticipated follow up.

Dr Richard Walley joined the band for the opening track Ngalak Yoowart Waahliny, a tune that begins with traditional indigenous instruments before morphing into a contemporary sound.

With a six piece band complimented by flautists, a string quartet and a harmonica player the audience were served up a rich musical landscape. Musicians took to the stage with a changing line up for each track, sometimes it was a full band, other times it was stripped back to just a few players.

Over two hours Williams took the audience on a journey through musical styles which ranged from lullabies to jazz and blues, to country hoe-downs and funky groovers.

Bindi Bindi, which means ‘butterfly’ was a sweet and endearing introduction to the evening, which was filled with many highlights.

Between each song Williams shared the meaning of each song, most were delivered in Noongar language, something that Williams didn’t grow up speaking. She shared with the audience how she began her journey to speaking and writing songs in language by taking a TAFE course.

Early on in the show there was quite a magical moment when the familiar sounds of The Church’s Under the Milky Way appeared but given a new twist by being adapted into Noongar. It’s a song that’s been covered many times but as Ngarda Djinda Kedalak it really became something special.

Koorlbardi wer Wardong, which told the tale of the rivalry between the magpie and the crow was a clever construction with a harmonica representing one bird and a guitar portraying the other. Bilya-k was a funky seventies sounding piece that demanded disco lights.

Williams shared stories about her family, her heritage and her hopes for the future. The combination of storytelling and music was captivating. One moment Williams would have the audience laughing, and with just a few well chosen words the crowd would be in tears, before return to laughter minutes later.

Williams and Ghouse, along with their collaborators, delivered a remarkable performance that was filled with honesty, testimony and inspiration.

Bindi Bindi can be purchased from Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse’s website.

Graeme Watson

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