After 20 long years and seven albums, Coloured Stone stand proud as the longest surviving Aboriginal band in Australia. Bunna Lawrie and the boys have probably seen more of this country than any other band, too, performing in major cities and remote communities alike, often camping out in the scrub after shows.
Coloured Stone formed in 1978 and began building up their repertoire of original songs, which they played at parties and football carnivals.
In 1984 they released their first single, “Black Boy”, which topped both the Alice Springs radio request list (for nine months, no less) and Radio Australia’s playlist in the Pacific Islands.
Later that year they recorded their first LP, Koonibba Rock, named after the sacred rockhole corroboree ground at Koonibba Mission in South Australia.
In 1986, they were awarded Best Indigenous Album at the ARIA Awards with their fourth album, Human Love. This award was presented to them by Elton John, and the album appeared in the Village Voice Top 10 Album list in New York.
Bunna Lawrie was elected chairman of his community, the Mirning tribe in South Australia’s Nullarbor Plains, in 1994.
In 1995 the Australia Council presented him with a Brian Syron Scholarship Award for his contribution to Aboriginal music. This enabled Bunna and his band to undertake a 12-month Ausmusic Industry Skills course in Canberra.
In 1996 he was re-elected chairman of his community, but stepped down in 1998 to concentrate on his song writing. The upshot of that was the album Rhythm Of Nature. Featuring everything from dance beats and didgeridoo to country and traditional sounds, Coloured Stone’s eighth LP is undoubtedly their best yet.
1999 saw Bunna Lawrie awarded the Don Banks Music Award for his outstanding contribution to Australian music the first time the award had ever gone to a rock musician or Indigenous artist.
Coloured Stone released their latest track and accompanying video clip, “Australia”, in 2000.
Coloured Stone’s music is an expression of their passion for environmental conservation, and justice for all Aboriginal peoples. They continue to sing loud and proud, telling the world about Australia’s need for Reconciliation.
1984 Koonibba Rock
1985 Island Of Greed
1985 Black Rock From The Red Centre
1986 Human Love
1988 Wild Desert Rose
1989 Crazy Mind
1991 Inma Juju
1997 The Best Of Coloured Stone Vol 1
1998 Rhythm Of Nature