Tom E lewis

Tom E lewis

BandWorld

Tom E Lewis and band is a live music performance from one of Australia's best known Indigenous actors. Tom's musical performance is not stereotypical Aboriginal it is a performance that fuses Tom's love of Gypsie/Jazz, Blues and Folk Music.

Biography

Tom was born at the Roper River Mission in 1958 (south-east Arnhemland) to a Mara woman (Gulf of Carpentaria) and a stockman of Welsh descent. He was raised traditionally at Roper (Ngukurr) by his mother’s family.

At the age of 15 he was working as an apprentice mechanic at a community near Darwin, sent to Melbourne to gain formal certificates, he was spotted at Melbourne airport by Fred and Rhonda Schepisi who asked him to screen test for the now famous Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith (1978).

Since then Tom has lived a life in performance. His film and TV credits include roles in We of the Never Never, A Town Like Alice, Robbery Under Arms, Naked Country, as well as theatre roles for Nimrod, Playbox, Melbourne Theatre Company, Melbourne Workers Theatre, Arena, and Handspan.

After shooting The Naked Country in 1984, Tom moved to Melbourne where he stayed for 16 years. There he co-wrote and performed two semi-autobiographical theatre works: Thumbul in 1995 and the internationally successful Lift Em Up Socks with Handspan Theatre (Montreal 2000 and Vienna 2001).

Throughout the nineties, Tom was the didjeridu half of Lewis & Young, the internationally acclaimed jazz duo, touring Europe, Asia and Australia for major arts and music festivals. Tom also played didjeridu for Uli Klein, Jane Rutter, Eve Duncan and composer George Dreyfus, playing and recording in Australia, Germany and Israel. Tom first picked up a guitar in the mid nineties in Melbourne and started writing songs. His $2 Song won the Lawson Paterson songwriter’s award at the Port Fairy Festival in 2001. Sunshine After Rain is his first album.

Since 2001, Tom has lived in Wugularr- Beswick, southern Arnhemland, directing, devising and performing works in Aboriginal communities throughout the Top End. He recently established Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation to help maintain cultural practice; he directs the corroboree season in Katherine, performing with traditional songmen and dancers. He is also the Artistic Director of the annual performance event Walking With Spirits.

2005 saw Tom return to the big screen as “Two Bob” in the new Australian feature The Proposition written by Nick Cave; and SBS TV will broadcast his new documentary Munan (Director Ivan Sen) as part of the Loved Up Series, Tom was also heavily involved in the animated series Dust Echo’s.

Tom belongs to the Murrungun clan (Numbulwar); he is Balang and speaks Mara, Rittharrngu, Nunggubuyu and Kriol.

Tom is about to embark on the next stage of his music career with the release of his debut album, Sunshine after Rain. This album reflects Tom’s thoughts on his culture, his people and his personal journey. Tom speaks to all of us through songs like Two Dollar, Sunshine after Rain, Weronica and Rats of Tobruk.

“The Beautiful thing about music is people coming together and listening to one another”
Tom E Lewis.

Tom’s contribution to Australian life is significant, he is a strong voice for all of us to come together and work on the common issues that affect us all. He is a significant role model for both black and white Australia. Sunshine after Rain is a means of promoting Tom’s view that music is an important vehicle for bringing people together.

Lyrics

White Dress

Written By: Tom E Lewis

hey girl with the white dress on
could you be the one I’m looking for
find a girl that’s crazier than me
her hair is swinging in the breeze
turning her with such an ease
walking down the road without a care
come on baby kai-yai with me now
come baby kai-yai with me now now now now now
I’ve got a crazy crazy plan
about a wild woman an this wa-thu man
if you would turn around we could really paint this town
in the middle of the night she’s so cool
like a sweet little beamer in an in-ground pool
in the middle of the night she gonna to soothe my soul come on baby kai-yai with me now

I’ve got a crazy crazy plan
about a wild woman an this wa-thu man
if you would turn around we could really paint this town

hey girl with the white dress on
should you be the one I’m looking for
find a girl that’s crazier than me
her hair is swingin in the breeze
turning her with such ease
walking down the road without a care
come on baby kai-yai with me now come baby kai-yai with me now now now now now
I’ve got a crazy crazy plan
about a wild woman and this wa-thu man
if you could turn around we could really paint this town paint it up now girl come on

Red Dust

Written By: Tom E Lewis


Red dust country with the blue skies burning
like there’s no end to this kind of life I’m living
Got no bags to pack just a shirt on my back
use it as a pillow on the ground tonight

Who’s that fooling
hear that dingo man crying in the night tonight
Fill me up like I’ve got no tomorrows
Fill me up and I got no more sorrows
Meet me somewhere
I might go dancing with you

Done a lot of crazy things in this world I know
paid my dues the best way I know
All these feeling you get
they get taken by the way

Who’s that out there
can you hear that dingo man crying out
Fill me up like I’ve got no tomorrows
Fill me up and we’ve got no more sorrows
Meet me somewhere
I might go dancing with you

Time and time again
who’s that out there closing all the doors
I don’t know who you’re playing for
big deal I’m riding again, lets go

Fill me up like I’ve got no tomorrows
Fill me up and we’ve got no more sorrows
Meet me somewhere
I might go dancing with you

Time and time again
I can hang out til the end of time
Singing out for something new

Red dust country with the blue skies burning
like there’s no end to this kind of life I’m living
Got no bags to pack just a shirt on my back
use it as a pillow on the ground tonight

Fill me up like I’ve got no tomorrows
Fill me up and we’ve got no more sorrows
Meet me somewhere
I might go dancing with you

Two Dollar

Written By: Tom E Lewis

Hey cuz you got a two dollar ?

Najing, I nomo garrim
Well gimme that short one, that
smoke
Najing na, I’ve chucked it away, I just gave up
Where you goin ?
I’m gone dijei, yu wanna gaman ?

Let me take you down where that spear grass been burning
Cask of wine, packet of Winnie Blues
I’m doin all right again
Drunk in the dust one too many times
Fightin’ all night again
Catch that girl, she’s been and gone looking for my money

I see my brothers on the back of that paddy wagon
I see my sisters you know they been through all kinds of crazy things
I hear my mothers crying, they’ll be crying til the break of dawn, they say
this is where my son comes to drown, feeling no sorrow left behind me
This is where my son comes to drown
they say
This must be the toughest town this side of the world
One road leads to hell the other one goes out of this town.

Standing outside that Kirby’s hotel well I’m on the
outside looking in
Everybody will be dancin’ tonight in different coloured thongs and all

Who’s that out there crying in the night while we’re stomping it in this pouring rain

This must be the toughest town this side of the world
One road leads to hell the other one goes out of this town.

This must be the toughest town this side of the world
Even I can see the signs on the ground

Turn a phrase on a five cent coin, you can walk down the aisle with a preacher man and cry
Who’s that out there fooling in denial while we’re stomping it in this pouring rain

This must be the toughest town this side of the world
One road leads to hell the other one goes out of this town.

This must be the toughest town this side of the world
Even I can see the signs on the ground

Sunshine After Rain

Written By: Tom E Lewis

saddle up them horses boy
do you know how to put that reins on
don’t you forget the girths are loose
reach out for that stirrups
put it under your arm for your own length
come on for a ride now
we can go for a long way
tighten up the reins
you are going to have a trip of your life
you can feel that horsepower riding beneath your soul
you may never pass the grids and the boundaries put on your life
but you can ride over them any way you like
look around hey, up in the sky there are spirits walking walking, colours in your eyes changing every time

leave me the sunshine after rain

laws, laws and laws and always laws do they change
justice, what does it bring for me now
all my lawyers all were broken
poisoned in water they say
poisoned in soul deep somewhere
feeling easy when you open up your life
you can feel something deeper in your heart
turn around
look around
there are people on the ground

leave me the sunshine after rain

freedom in your heart in your soul feel it
it’s like water to your mouth
tracking me to somewhere
tracking me somewhere
I don't know
over the hills
everywhere
there’s a story hidden in the place
turn around look people
family picking up things just to eat
I said just to eat don't you understand just to eat something from the ground
you say you don't hit nobody in the back
hey, all my family’s on the ground
and they’ve been shot
playing from you
your justice your law your deceits and your lies

give me the sunshine after rain

time and time again I say give me the sunshine after rain
people they are still walking on this land
who will never smoke their hands no
there are people on this land who will never smoke their hands
where’s your law your justice
just the same always shaming you
always shaming you shaming you shaming you shaming you

leave me the sunshine after rain
leave me the sunshine after rain
leave me the sunshine after rain

Discography

Sunshine After Rain award winning album released February 2006.

Set List

sunshine after rain
white dress
red dust
cafe del wugularr
two dollar
rats of tobruk
cry my country
weronica
riverdown
whisper
boomerang

set time 90 minutes