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!


Espy Show Aug 16th

Since our last headline shows have been in Brunswick, we thought it was time to head back southside.  Get down at the Espy for a FREE show with two bands that represent our 2 great loves – old school hip hop by way of The Psyde Projects and the afro-funk styles of The Seven Ups.


 Things kick off at 9pm.

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)

The Age Music Victoria Award Nominiation

We’ve been nominated for the AWME Best Global or Reggae Act category in The Age Music Victoria Awards this year! Very exciting to be in there alongside so many other great artists!

The announcement was made in The Music today – the winners of these genre categories will be announced next Thursday Oct 10.

Headlining AWME closing night at The Hifi Bar

After a long winter, we’re happy to be able to announce our next Melbourne show at The Hifi as part of the Australasian World Music Expo on Sunday Nov 17.  We’ll be headlining the closing night, which is always a huge party with artists from all over the country celebrating the diversity of music from Australia and our neighbours.

It’s a super afro-funk line-up starting of with the Shaolin Afronauts (Adelaide) who made major waves with their groundbreaking album Quest Under Capricorn, awaking the sound of spiritual jazz amongst a backdrop of afrobeat.  A sterling release to say the least!

Up next is Dereb the Ambassador (Sydney), a singer hailing from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, famed for flying the flag of Ethio-jazz sounds with a gritty, soulful sound, following in the footsteps of the greats such as Mulatu Astatke and Mahmoud Ahmed.

The Cactus Channel (Melb) are the main support and one couldn’t hope for a better introduction.  Fresh off the back of a national tour for their second album Wooden Boy, this instrumental band is renowned for their incredible musicianship, their amazingly cinematic songwriting and the fact that they’re a little shy of 20 years old and already have 2 killer albums to their name!

Plus, Chris Gill from Northside Records will be making sure y’all stay funky all night long.

What can we say? We’re excited! Get your tickets to this one now!

Espy Front Bar with Papa Chango and Karate Boogaloo

Three great afro-funk and soul bands


The front bar at the Espy will see the stage extensions pulled out from storage again to make room for us!  We love the vibe in the front there, with the dancefloor right up close.  We’ll be joined by Papa Chango and Karate Boogaloo (who comprise part of the rhythm section in The Cactus Channel).  Our last show at the Espy was cookin, no doubt this will be the same.  Free entry, what more can you ask for?