The Saltwater Music Festival: The Sound of the Kimberley.
What is it about a region that creates a unique music associated to it? Is it the geology? The isolation? The cultural mix of our forbearers? Or a bit of everything?

Cities and regions around the world have spawned music with a distinct sound: Seattle produced the Grunge bands Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the South Americas influenced the world with Latin sounds, Jamaica gave us Reggae and Tamworth and Nashville are home to Country Music, and there are many more examples.

Those in the know assert that a Sydney sound (Midnight Oil) is different from a Brisbane sound (Powderfinger) which is different to a Melbourne sound (Nick Cave) as opposed to a Perth sound (The Triffids, The Panics). Then there’s the world famous Melbourne Shuffle style of dance and it’s thick synth electro ‘Melbourne sound’ born from the Dutch House influence.. and the styles and their regions go on and on around the world from the Appalachians to Africa.
Well, music lovers are discovering that Kimberley music and song-writing is a similar kind of cultural phenomenon that has it’s own distinct sounds. Bands from the Fitzroy Valley, Halls Creek and further into the desert love to use a particular casio sound for their keyboards which make their ska rock songs atmospheric and gives them a unique groove. Dampier Peninsula bands like ‘The Billard Boys’ have a happy dance sound that only they can make. Derby’s ‘Red Alert’ have a great rock reggae vibe that sounds like the country they come from, alive and fresh. You can hear Barramundi, Boabs and the mighty Fitzroy River in Danny Marr and Patrick Davies songs from the heart. Albert Wiggan’s songs reflect sea eagles and traditional canoes, and like Kerrianne Cox, are beautiful postcards from Beagle Bay about aspirations for the nation. Steve Pigram’s sound is of old Broome: pearling life, family life, mangoes and tides, and the Pigram Brothers continue to fascinate the listening world with their unique sound.

The Saltwater Music Festival evolved naturally as a place to give these unique and hugely talented artists from the Kimberley a platform to perform. Broome audiences responded in kind to sell out proportions. Now in it’s second year, festival director Tonchi McIntosh has decided due to popular demand to hold the festival twice a year, one in wet season and one in dry season. The next festival is at Divers Tavern on the 8th and 9th of August and includes local artists Danny Marr (Fitzroy Express), Naomi Pigram, 42 Decibel, The Mexicans, John Bennett, Trevor Ishiguchi, Nelson O’Reeri and the Billard Boys, Manny Manolis, Susie Quicke, Red Soil Band, Albert Wiggan, and special guests jjj’s Tracey Barnett, ex-Xfactor Matt Gresham, rising star Morgan Bain, the seminal Neil Murray (Warumpi Band), and Splendour in the Grass/ East Coast Blues Festival favourites “The Re-Mains” (East Coast). Tickets $30 or $50 for both nights.


6:00pm SUZIE QUICKE (Awesome Broome Diva)
6:30pm TREVOR ISHIGUICHI BAND (Bidyadanga’s crooner)
7:00pm BILLARD BOYS and NELSON O’REERI (Awesome Beagle Bay Band)
7:30pm THE MEXICANS (Not very good but very expensive)
8:00pm MANNY MANOLIS (Brilliant young local songwriter)
8:30pm 42 DECIBEL (Sideshow freaks who ate their drummer)
9:15pm THE RE-MAINS (Rawk!)
10:15pm MATT GRESHAM (WA’s superstar)

6:00pm TRACEY BARNETT (as featured on JJJ)
6:30pm ALBERT WIGGAN (Heartfelt intelligent song writing)
7:00pm NAOMI PIGRAM (Local saltwater daughter)
7:30pm NEIL MURRAY (‘My Island Home’ / Warumpi Band legend)
8:15pm MORGAN BAIN (Up and coming brilliant Western Australian star)
9:00pm RED SOIL BAND (Pindan rock)
9:30pm DANNY MARR (Legendary front man for ‘Fitzroy Express’)
10:15pm THE REMAINS (Smoking Kings of Country Rock and Roll)


2014 Saltwater Music FestivalGet ready for the 2014 Saltwater Music Festival!
Special guest artist this year is legendary entertainer, ARIA award winning songwriter, the one and only: Mick Thomas (Weddings Parties Anything)!

Playing at the Divers Tavern on 2 stages – Sunday 2nd February!12pm to 9.30pm!Great food!

15 bands for $30! Great Value!


  • Steve Pigram – Saltwater son
  • Mick Thomas- Cool!
  • John Albert – Former ‘Scrap Metal’ frontman
  • Matt Gresham – Fremantle singer songwriter, x-factor star, pocket dynamo!
  • Naomi Pigram – Last year’s festival favourite!
  • John Bennett – Bidydanga based winner WA music awards
  • 42 Decibel – Local Broome original act destined for big things!
  • Mervyn Mulardy’s “Yantangal” – new album features the oil’s “Bed’s are burning
  • Family Shoveller Band – Bidydanga family of incredible entertainers!
  • The Mexicans
  • Kevin Birch – Freakishly good acoustic instrumentalist!
  • Brian and Liz Hunter – Beagle Bay duets will melt you heart!
  • Seaside Drifters – Broome fun loving talent!
  • Trevor Ishiguchi
  • Sand St Blues – Salty Leadbelly
  • Tonchi

plus many more!