13.6 C
Byron Shire
June 18, 2021

Out came a (Thelma) Plum

Latest News

Bad news

Raphael Lee Cass, Byron Bay I’ve taken umbrage with the expression, ‘fake news,’ – proud of our Echo – but...

Other News

Three men stabbed in Goonellabah

Police say a man has been charged and will face court, while three men remain in hospital following an alleged stabbing yesterday.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The End of an Era

As the Entertainment Editor I have interviewed some very interesting people. Like the multi-orgasmic man; a Dutch orgasm coach living in a yurt, and Tim (Pricasso) who paints with his penis. I have also interviewed musicians. Probably not quite as interesting as the aforementioned group, but whose stories and chats have formed a wonderful part of my week over the last two decades. I have had the privilege of talking to some of my heroes.

Will Multiple Occupancies rise again in Byron?

Could Multiple Occupancy housing developments be reintroduced in the Byron Shire as a way of addressing the growing housing crisis?

Nurses and midwives rally during Health Inquiry in Lismore

Nurses and midwives will be holding lunchtime rallies across the Northern Rivers calling for nurse-to-patient ratios and highlighting widespread issues being exposed at the rural health inquiry, which is due to hear submissions today in Lismore.

Healthy Minds Club powering ahead

Since The Echo last spoke to Lennox Head's Jackson Connellan, from The Healthy Minds Club, things have become even...

Sailor rescued from ocean in overnight operation

In a dramatic overnight rescue far offshore North-East of Yamba, Marine Rescue IIuka Yamba volunteers were able to bring to safety a woman who fell overboard from a dismasted catamaran in the dark.

Mandy Nolan

One of the very special artists at Boomerang Festival is the recently unearthed indie roots artist Thelma Plum. Dug out by Triple J, this woman, who cites Marianne Faithful as a major influence, has an effortlessly beautiful mind-blowing, ear-thrilling voice, and a presence that will transfix you. Seven spoke with Ms Plum on the eve of her Boomerang show.

What is the music that has most influenced you? My parents had amazing taste in music, still do. Paul Kelly was a major influence when I was growing up. He was always on the radio. Also Slim Dusty and lots of country, especially Australian country.

What was it like winning Triple J’s Unearthed? Everything started happening when I won the NIMA (National Indigenous Music Awards) competition so that was very exciting and I’m really grateful.

How have things changed for you since then? Twelve months ago I was nannying and dog-walking; I was playing gigs at anywhere I could get. When I won the Unearthed competition that was really unexpected; I didn’t even know about the competition!

thelma-plum-This year you’ve won a NIMA Award and a Deadly for Best New Talent. How important is the support of the Indigenous music community to you? It’s been really important to me. My Indigenous culture is very special to me and very much a big part of my music and my life. It’s an amazing thing that they’ve been so supportive and are continuing to be so supportive.

Do you ever feel any expectations as an Indigenous artist? Do people expect that because you’re Indigenous you should be writing about Indigenous themes? Sometimes people tend to put not just me, but a lot of other Indigenous artists, into a little box, as in ‘That’s Thelma Plum, she’s an Indigenous artist’ as opposed to ‘That’s Thelma Plum, she’s an artist’. I think that makes it a little bit difficult sometimes, but I don’t think there’s any difference between an Indigenous artist and a non-Indigenous artist.

What have been the highlights so far? When I was on tour [with Emma Louise] and we were in Adelaide the audience were singing along really loudly to Around Here. And then I started to mess myself up because I thought it was the reverb bounding on the back of the wall coming back at me and I was trying to sing quietly so I could figure out if it was just me being a crazy person or actually people were singing! And then I forgot the words because I was trying to focus… How do you forget la-di-da? I forgot the words and stuffed it up but then I heard that people were singing and it was awesome.

THELMA-PLUM_by_Carine-ThevenauWhat are you looking forward to at Boomerang Festival? I think it’s great that we have something [such as the Boomerang Festival] that can showcase so much Indigenous talent at one time, so I think it’s pretty special. It’s also a really great way to expose more Aboriginal and Torres Strait artists and bringing it more to mainstream attention, instead of just being in a separate Indigenous music world.

Thelma Plum, one of the many amazing artists playing this weekend at Boomerang Festival, celebrating the power and the majesty of indigenous art, music and culture.


Find this and many other great gigs in Echonetdaily’s North Coast Gig Guide.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Tender to build rail trail from M’bah to Crabbes Creek awarded

The debate over the tender for the building of the rail trail between Murwillumbh and Crabbes Creek was ultimately held behind closed doors, Mayor...

Massive multi-dwelling Paterson Street DA before Planning Panel

The Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP), an unelected consent authority that overrides Council decision making, will be considering a 14 townhouse DA for Paterson...

Backsliders coming to Lennox

Australian music legends the Backsliders are coming to Lennox Head for the first time, to play at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre on Saturday 26 June 2021.

Youth stage features at Byron Music Festival

Byron Youth Service says it is proud to be partnering with Byron Music to host the first ever Youth Stage event at the Byron Music Festival, to be held around the CBD and beachfront from June 18 to 20.