Warralgurniya and RATSALAD bring WAM awards home to the Mid-West

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Warralgurniya's Darcy Hay, Peter Salmon and Rosie Sitorus won the Global category for their song Warri Yungu, Warri Baba
Camera IconWarralgurniya's Darcy Hay, Peter Salmon and Rosie Sitorus won the Global category for their song Warri Yungu, Warri Baba Credit: Picture: Annie Harvey

Mid West music was up in lights at this year’s WA Music Song of the Year awards, with two local acts taking out a gong each.

Geraldton punk rockers RATSALAD dropped two new singles last week, but it was 2020 releases Gravy and Bloke that were in the running.

While Gravy fell just short in the heavy metal category, Bloke beat out strong competition, including Perth heavyweights Sly Withers, to take the top punk/hardcore prize, their second win in two straight years.

Husband and wife duo Ken and Jaz McCartney made the trip to Fremantle to accept the award, with drummer Erica Trotter watching the live stream, staying home to care for her partner who has a broken leg.

“Everyone puts so much into their music...we’re among such amazing company,” Ken said.

RatSalad. aim to write the kind of music you can sing to at the pub. Left to right: Ken McCartney, Jaz McCartney and Erica Trotter.
Camera IconRatSalad. aim to write the kind of music you can sing to at the pub. Left to right: Ken McCartney, Jaz McCartney and Erica Trotter. Credit: Supplied

Warralgurniya were in the indigenous and global categories with Thiinma language ballad Warri Yungu, Warri Baba. The group is led by 87-year old Warriyangga elder Peter Salmon, who is the last native speaker of the Thiinma language.

The four-piece band was down one member when they performed the song live at the awards night. Singer Jacqui Cook was in quarantine in Queensland. Missing out on the indigenous category, Mr Salmon and pianist Rosie Sitorus accepted the award in the global category.

The song first appeared on WAM’s Sounds of the Mid West compilation album, which featured 10 Geraldton and Mid West artists.

“Without WAM, and without the hard work of (regional officer Nigel Bird) and that whole mob, this song wouldn’t have been recorded,” Ms Sitorus said.

Perth-based singer songwriter Siobhan Cotchin won the song of the year prize, as well as the blues and roots category with Just The Way It Is.

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