Archie Roach and Tiddas team up for a one-off national tour

Archie Roach and TiddasAward winning Australian trio Tiddas will reform to join acclaimed singer/songwriter Archie Roach for a series of one-off shows around the country in May and June, commencing at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on Sunday 6 May, in celebration of Australian music’s greatest lost album, Dancing with My Spirit.

Across the 90s, Tiddas won the hearts of the nation and the world with their beautiful harmonies and songs. Now the trio, Amy Saunders, Lou Bennett and Sally Dastey, are back on stage to support the unearthing of Roach’s album Dancing With My Spirit – recorded over two decades ago by producer Jen Anderson.

The demo disappeared into the annals of time and only now are these songs emerging into the world. Featuring the sublime and and bold vocal harmonies of Tiddas, tracks on the album include A Child Was Born Here, Dancing Shoes and the title track Dancing With My Spirit – all capturing Archie’s voice at its best and affirming that he is one of the best voices in the world.

The album’s musical lineup features Bruce Haymes (keyboards), Dave Steel (guitars), the late Stuart Speed (bass) and Archie Cuthbertson on drums. Musicians Bruce Haymes and Archie Cuthbertson will join Archie Roach and Tiddas on stage during the national tour.

“The combination of these 3 women and Archie singing together created a magic that’s rare and precious, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have witnessed this creation,” says Jen Anderson. “I suppose it’s just that Dancing With My Spirit has been waiting for the right time to reveal itself to the public.”

“That time has now come, heralded by the Tiddas’ announcement that they are reforming especially to sing with Archie once more, and to showcase the songs from the album via a series of performances around Australia… Some things are truly worth waiting for.”

Inimitable Australian singer-songwriter Archie Roach emerged in the early 1990s. His ARIA-winning debut album, Charcoal Lane was named one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 50 albums of 1992. It was centered around Roach’s heartbreaking song, Took the Children Away – a deeply affecting ballad about his own experience as one of the “Stolen Generations” of First Nations children who were often forcibly removed from their parents and communities and placed in non-indigenous institutions and homes.

The song’s impact was immediate. It went on to receive a Human Rights Achievement Award, marking the first time that such an honor had been bestowed upon a songwriter. Over the coming decades, Roach and his longtime musical and life partner, the late Ruby Hunter, established themselves as leading lights of the Australian music industry. Archie Roach is a founding patron of the recently opened Australian Music Vault at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Internationally acclaimed Melbourne based trio, Tiddas, also made their mark in Australia during the early 1990’s, releasing their debut EP Inside My Kitchen in 1992 and receiving two ARIA nominations for ‘Best New Talent’ and ‘Best Indigenous Talent’. Their debut album, Sing About Life achieved gold record sales and won an ARIA award in 1994.

Tiddas quickly became live favourites, touring with Sweet Honey In The Rock and Midnight Oil. In May 2000, Tiddas broke up, spending months on a national farewell tour and were awarded a Deadly Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal Music’.

The one and only Melbourne performance will take place at Hamer Hall on Sunday 6 May, before playing the Enmore Theatre, Sydney (Wednesday 9 May); The Tivoli, Brisbane (Friday 11 May); Canberra Theatre Centre (Sunday 27 May); State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth (Friday 8 June); Odeon Theatre, Hobart (Friday 15 June); and the Dunstan Playhouse – Adelaide Festival Centre (Friday 22 & Saturday 23 June). For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Archie Roach and Tiddas (supplied)