Chasing Ghosts have announced a one-off headlining show for the Naarm/Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda, described as their ‘Survival Day’ show.
The name references a title some First Nations peoples ascribe to January 26 – when the show will take place – which is commonly known as ‘Australia Day’.
It marks the day captain Arthur Phillip raised the British flag in New South Wales in 1788, beginning a process of colonisation and displacement for Indigenous communities. For that reason it is also often referred to as ‘Invasion Day’.
The forthcoming Naarm show will honour the significance that January 26 has for First Nations peoples. It’s set to take place at the Espy in St. Kilda, and will feature an all-Indigenous lineup rounded out by Yorta Yorta rocker Scott Darlow and local indie artist KIAH.
According to Chasing Ghosts frontman Jimmy Kyle (a Goori man of the Thungutti people, from the mid-north coast of New South Wales), the gig – tickets for which are on sale now via Moshtix – “will speak to one’s humanity and to your soul”.
He said in a press release today (December 10): “It’s a night our fans, allies, supporters, and all mob who like big riffs and punk rock [to] come and commemorate a day of mourning together, while celebrating those still here in the struggle and the many allies that stand shoulder to shoulder with us.
“As the Warumpi Band would say, Blakfulla, Whitefulla, it doesn’t matter what your colour as long as you a real fulla, as long as you a true fulla. So to all those true fullas out there we’ll see you at the Espy! Bring a friend or someone new to the community, all are welcome!”
Darlow echoed Kyle’s sentiment, adding that “January 26 is a day to learn, heal and draw strength together as a Blak community with our allies, and to celebrate the fact that we are the oldest surviving continuous culture on the planet. I’d love to spend Survival Day 2022 at the Espy with all our mob and our allies, healing, learning and celebrating our culture and our survival!”
In announcing the record, Kyle explained that each of its six tracks are based on real-life events. It touches on the ongoing colonisation of First Nations people, detailed in chronological order from the English invasion in 1788 through to the present day.
Kyle admitted he “was scared to write these songs,” given that “a lot of the topics are challenging.”
“That’s how I knew I was onto something: It made me feel nervous,” he said. “I know people are going to come after me with some of these songs, but I know in my heart that telling these stories is right. Telling them in the way I do is the right thing to do.”
“I know my audience is predominantly non-Indigenous, so I have to engage them in a way that engages their heart. That way, they’re not going to be judged… they can put themselves in an empathetic position to go on the journey.”