Rebecca and the Wild Bear
Rebecca Ireland has been a local to the far north coast for around two decades – here she has found, amongst other things, her home…
‘I was dragged up out west of Sydney at the end of the train line by a crazy lady running the gauntlet of her own pain. A wild amphetamine fuelled ride, we lived on the outskirts of her rages and raptures. Great music the likes of Muddy Waters, Supertramp, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Joni Mitchell pumped from our place all hours of the day and night giving my fractured childhood a great soundtrack. Mother went madder and I was a runaway on the streets of The Cross at age 14.
‘To this day children are trafficked, raped and abused by monsters in the dark corners of our civilisation. I’d survived it all but life was pretty crap and around my sixteenth birthday in 1991, I set off on the wings of my thumb with a bag of clothes and ten bucks, headed for the fabled town of Nimbin where hugs are free and rainbows abound.
‘It was there round the golden fires and the freaks that I was given my first guitar and the seed of my first born son – Rain.
‘It was in the songs of all the wise souls that I learnt to sing my own song and I found a home in the hearts and hamlets in all corners of the region. They are elders, healers, magicians, fearies, artists, musicians and friends.
‘There’ve been many morphings for me through marriage, motherhood and music.
‘Every day I’ve walked true to my heart and have learnt that even so, things don’t always work out. Life has an element of fate that twists its own way. The compulsion to make and share my music grows ever stronger as I get older. Like puzzle pieces, the songs come together. I feel like I just follow them through conception to release.
‘Living with my mother going mad was nothing compared to living with my son going mad. Somehow the music has been a glowing torch for my soul and I sing for my children but it doesn’t always feel like that as it’s a solitary craft. The making of Wild Bear last winter, just two months before Rain died, was really intense because I couldn’t talk about what it meant to be losing him everyday. I felt pretty broken and producer and friend, Christian Pyle, encouraged me to put down what I really had and not what I thought I ought to. Rattling bones, Wild Bear is a spirit call into the deepest recesses of the universe for the safe passage and gut instinct of the wolf cub trapped in the dark. Wide eyed and bear brave. May we all know our way home.’
Rebecca Ireland in her first local gig in the area for some time, plays the Sheoak Shack this Saturday afternoon from 3pm along with her trio featuring guitarist Alex McLeod and singer Cassie Rose.