A Concert In Support Of David Marama

The Melbourne music family and African communities come together for a massive concert to celebrate David Marama’s brilliant contribution to live music in Melbourne. Dave is a key member of The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra and also performs with many other bands in town, including all of those on the line up.

The event features The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra, Ray Pereira’s Afro-Lankan drum ensemble and the township jazz sounds of the Royal Swazi Spa with all proceeds donated to Marama as he recovers from a recent illness. Tickets are available from moshtix.

Highly regarded and well respected in the community, David is an accomplished multi-award winning artist originally from Malawi/Tanzania and has performed alongside some of the world’s best musicians in Africa and Australia. With an illustrious career spanning over more than three decades, his distinctive and ubiquitous guitar playing style can be heard on many fine African recordings.

The Public Opinion Six support Quarter Street album launch

The Public Opinion Six are supporting the album launch of another band from the HopeStreet Recordings label. It’ll be a fiery night of hot afrobeat and heavy salsa.  The show is next Thursday Sept 3rd and you can buy tickets online.

Quarter Street take you to the heart of classic salsa inspired by the raw sounds of New York in the 70′s and the passion of Salsa luminaries such as Eddie Palmieri and Ray Barreto. Quarter Street revive an era where the music of the streets resonated with the voice of the people. Salsa dura was born on the mean streets of New York in the 70′s now it’s back. Quarter Street take their cues from the seminal record labels Fania and Tico Records and charge straight ahead at the 21st century. There’s been a lot of rough and real analog funk, soul and afro vinyl material released in the last couple of decades but few have flown the flag for the revival of hard-out analog latin music. Quarter Street are doing it. With supports from Public Opinion 6 and Emma Peel, you don’t want to miss this afro/salsa explosion on Thursday 3rd September.

HopeStreet’s Label of Love Show at Shadow Electric

As part of the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival’s ‘Label of Love’ series, HopeStreet Recordings takes over The Shadow Electric for one night only to launch The Cactus Channel’s latest odyssey of late night lo-fi instrumentalism, Woodend, and kick off the band’s national tour. Woodend is equal parts road movie and horror movie soundtrack, and marks the beginning of an ongoing filmic collaboration between The Cactus Channel and Point Cool films.

Joining the Cactus Cuties in celebration will be the kings of Afrobeat/Afrofunk The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra and soul-twang shack shakers, The Meltdown. With Cactus Channel DJs filling in the gaps, the night will bring the full breadth of The HopeStreet Recordings catalogue to The Shadow Electric: from Afro to cinema-soul to country-fried Hammond soul. All written and recorded in Melbourne, all original, all featuring that Super Nice Vibe HopeStreet vinyl is famous for. Good times guaranteed.


Community Cup

We’re proud to announce that we’ll be performing at the Reclink Community Cup on Sunday June 21st.  For those that aren’t familiar with it, it’s a sporting match that sees 2 teams of musicians and music industry types come together for a match that has grown to be huge. Last year they raised $100,000 which goes towards enhancing the lives of people around Australia experiencing disadvantage and targets some of the community’s most vulnerable and isolated people – those experiencing mental illness, disability, homelessness, substance abuse, addiction, and social and economic hardship.

Melbourne & Sydney Shows!

We’ve got a couple of big shows coming up next weekend. We won’t be flying under the flag of the full orchestra however – in Melbourne The Public Opinion Six (formerly The Afrobiotics) is playing with the Shaolin Afronauts from Adelaide as part of the Stonnington Jazz Festival. We’re super excited to be playing alongside this band again. They’re most recent album Follow The Path is out now on Freestyle Records.  The Afrobeat Summit goes down on Saturday May 23rd at the Malvern Town Hall. Tickets available from Moshtix.

In Sydney the following day, some of the orchestra will be touring to play a special Soul of Sydney show as part of Vivid Sydney. We’re taking a 9 piece on the road to play a huge party at a *secret location* – tickets have nearly sold out, but some are still available here. Hope to see some familiar faces at one of these shows!

New 7″ Release from 1/6 & The Public Opinion Six

It’s been a long time between drinks for Melbourne’s mighty Afrobeat juggernaut The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra (The POAO). To get everyone warmed up for 2015’s much anticipated LP release, two of the group’s vocalists, rapper 1/6 and singer / percussionist Lamine Sonko are fronting alternate sides of a split 7” out on HopeStreet Recordings. A highly nutritious Afro freaky snack to keep enthusiasts of all things raw and righteous satisfied till the main course arrives.

The A Side, “Cosmetic Love,” is a rumination on the nature of relationships by one of Australia’s leading rap lyricists 1/6. The track’s life began as a jam session that went to tape in the early days of the Hope Street studio, based on an idea by PutBacks guitarist Tom Martin. The session lay unused for years till 1/6 came across it and threw down these inspired rap verses. Public Opinion producer and musical director Tristan Ludowyk laid in some organ, additional percussion and brass and suddenly “Cosmetic Love” wasn’t just a song, it was an A-side. An A-side born of happy accident.

On the B side: The Public Opinion Six, formerly The Afrobiotics. The rhythm section behind the POAO, start with the same idea and re-imagine it, creating a whole new song.With lyrics wfritten and performed by Lamine Sonko, “Jappo,” in the Senegalese language of Wolof means “unite”. Behind Lamine’s straight-out-of-Dakar vocal stylings, The Public Opinion Six bring a heavy 1970s Lagos influenced groove, creating a pumping Pan African mélange – sure to get motors running everywhere, from West Africa to worldwide.

Between them, Namibian Australian 1/6 (aka Aaron Stephanus) and Senegal born and raised Lamine represent the cream of African Australian vocalists and songwriters. 1/6 has won numerous plaudits in his decade long rap career, from the Hilltop Hoods award in 2010 to a critically acclaimed solo album Electronic Mail released by Pang Productions in 2012. Lamine grew up in Dakar in a lauded family of the griot tradition and is has followed been training in traditional Sabar music and dance forms since childhood. Now the unofficial Southern hemisphere ambassador of the Sonko clan, he brings a fresh angle on Afrobeat direct from Dakar to Melbourne. Both 1/6 and Lamine are at the vanguard of the new generation of African music makers and makers of African music in Australia.

Meredith Music Festival

  We are super excited to make our debut appearance at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre. We’ll be performing on Saturday afternoon, with our label mates and generally great people from The Bombay Royale appearing Friday night! HopeStreet represent!

Unfortunately tickets for Meredith are well and truly sold out, so if you’re lucky enough to have one we’ll see you there!

Howler Show with Remi and The Let Your Hair Down Girls

We’re putting on a show on grand final night, Sept 27th, delivering a slice of the tropics to Howler Melbourne. Boogaloo-funk heroes The Let Your Hair Down Girls will get the dancers warmed up and young buck hip-hop tyro Remi will be rocking with Sensible J and Dutch.  DJ Manchild on the decks and MC 1/6 on mic duties rounds out one hell of a party! Get down people

Pre-sale tickets only $15 from Moshtix with doors open at 8, don’t miss this one!


Back at Howler!

After playing alongside the legendary Sean Kuti and Egypt 80 at Bluesfest recently, Australia’s premier afro-beat group is firing on all cylinders and ready to bring the party to the people. The gigantic funk ensemble will be channeling the spirits of Fela, taking their incredibly powerful live show to the back streets of Brunswick on Saturday May 31st. Expect plenty of heavy new grooves and moves alongside dance floor favorites. Get down to three of Melbourne’s finest bands, with DJ Manchild and guests keeping the room rocking all night long.


Tickets only $15+bf – book now




Australia Day Show at Howler


Buy Tickets Online


This Australia Day take a trip to the tropics with The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra.  The 17 piece afrobeat powerhouse takes the stage for the first time in 2014 for a huge summertime jam at Melbourne’s newest venue Howler.  The band will be your guide taking you at breakneck speed through the backstreets of West African funk, detouring via the hip-hop and beat driven sounds from the blocks of Brunswick.  TPOAO have just been announced at the Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival in April this year.

Bringing the heavy funk vibes will be instrumental soul behemoth The Cactus Channel.  These guys are firing on all cylinders on the back of causing serious waves with their sophomore release ‘Wooden Boy’ and completing their first solo national tour.

With sweet neo-soul and lush vocal harmonies The Do Yo Thangs are a band to keep you eyes on.  Featuring members of Saskwatch & Sex On Toast, they will be making a lot of noise in 2014.

The Public Opinion’s own DJ Manchild will also be inviting his favourite funk, afro and tropical DJs to join him in the beer garden all day alongside live percussion and MCs.

This will be one serious percussion-driven, dancefloor-burning party you do not want to miss!


Beer garden DJs

DJ Manchild & The Public Opinion Sound System, J Love, Mohair Slim (PBS), Kano, Chris Gill (RRR)