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The Pilbara will get an injection of Kimberley country when soulful storyteller Adele Oliver comes to town

Xander Sapsworth-CollisNorth West Telegraph
Adele Oliver will perform at the Odyssea - Hedland Music and Arts Journey.
Camera IconAdele Oliver will perform at the Odyssea - Hedland Music and Arts Journey. Credit: Philip Thompson

Famed Kimberley country singer Adele Oliver is coming to perform in Port Hedland and is looking forward to the opportunity to further hone her craft among the other big acts headed this way.

With music that is inspired by the rugged landscape of her homeland and lyrics that are characterised by soulful storytelling, Oliver is set to feature on the first weekend of the new Odyssea - Hedland Music and Arts Journey.

With some new music just released and further tunes on the way, the timing of the festival is perfect for the Broome musician who will bring her talents to Hedland for the first time.

With a style that was created among the deep ravines and free-flowing rivers of the Kimberley, it’s not hard to see how Oliver became a musical storyteller.

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She moved to Broome at seven and said she was immediately captivated by the landscape and the intimate musical scene of the North West.

“I pretty much fell in love with the Kimberley from my childhood,” she said.

“Growing up in Broome there is always music around you and all of the town events that I went to always had music.

“The musicians that I heard growing up made the landscape even better.”

Adele Oliver will perform at the Odyssea - Hedland Music and Arts Journey
Camera IconAdele Oliver will perform at the Odyssea - Hedland Music and Arts Journey. Credit: Matthew Adams

Oliver grew up listening to Casey Chambers and also the Waifs, who spent a lot of time in the Kimberley, but she said that the biggest influence on her music was when she lived in Fitzroy Crossing.

“Fitzroy had a more profound impact on my music,” she said. “ I started to find my genre while I was there, what I liked in music, and started to experiment more with my writing.

“I had some incredible mentors when I was there.”

While her mentors had a profound impact on her career, Oliver said that the natural beauty of the Kimberley was what captivated most musicians who visit or live in the region.

“The landscape is poetic almost, it’s just so rugged and beautiful,” she said.

“It just lends so well to wanting to write about. The camping experiences and the powerful river, it all means so much to people.”

While the Kimberley has been Oliver’s musical inspiration and hub she said she hadn’t performed much in the Pilbara making her appearance at the Odyssea festival more exciting.

“Even before I knew what the line-up was I was just really excited to get to play in Hedland because I’ve never played in Hedland before or really in the Pilbara,” Oliver said.

I’ve always passed through on the way to somewhere else. It’s only somewhere that I have stayed overnight so it’s cool to go there for a gig.

“It’s something new as well and I will get the chance to play with some really cool artists.

Adele Oliver
Camera IconAdele Oliver Credit: Philip Thompson

The Oddysea - Hedland Music and Arts Journey, which will take place over the two weekends from August 18 to 27, will feature artists from around the State and country including burgeoning musical icons King Stingray.

Oliver said that she was excited to hone her skills further among the great local musicians as well as the massive touring acts.

“These festivals are a good way of promoting the local talent and being able to expand your talent as a musician,” she said.

“I’m getting the opportunity to grow my skills alongside some of these bigger acts which is really valuable for my experience.

“And there is a bit more focus on regional music so you get a crowd that is really appreciative of music and they really buy into it.”

Oliver said that Oddysea was a great chance to hear original regional music that often doesn’t get a lot of attention at country events.

“I think that one of the most valuable parts of this is the original music,” she said.

“When you live in the North West, or the regions in general, a lot of what you hear is covers which is a bit more for the pub crowd.

“If you get a chance to play this music on a bigger stage it’s a great chance for these smaller regional artists.

After Oddysea, Oliver has a residency at El Questro Station to work on her music and said she was looking to get more gigs outside of Broome and get back out on to the road.

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