King Stingray @ The Gov, Adelaide 14/10/2022

Remember the name King Stingray because we’re going to be hearing a lot more from this band as they continue their upward trajectory hot off the heels of their debut album. Blending indigenous culture with surf, indie and funk to create Yolŋu surf-rock they have captured the hearts and minds of a legion fans looking for something different than what’s out there right now. Their Australian tour which is pretty much sold out completely, with two sold out shows in Adelaide, is a testament to the spirit and energy they have been able to create with their music that has resonated with fan base that will continue to grow as people start to catch on.

Playing for a second night at The Gov it was a full house with the Friday night crowd looking to bring in the weekend in fine style. This was one of those shows we will be talking about for some time to come when King Stingray play bigger venues on future tours where we will be say “do you remember seeing King Stingray play The Gov?” The crowd were even more excitable singing Midnight Oil’s Beds Are Burning and John Williamson’s Home Among The Gum Trees waiting for the band to take the stage. With the intro to launch Stingray the band built things up to opening tune Sweet Arnham Land.

The messages behind the music are as equally important with vocalist Yirrŋa Yunupiŋ and Roy Kellaway continuing the legacy that their father’s Mandawuy Djarrtjuntjun Yunupingu and Stuart Kellaway established in Youthu Yindi but in a very uniquely King Stingray way. Raypirri, Camp Dog and Let’s Go are strong songs from their album. Lupa was written and dedicated to Yirrŋa’s brother and Warumpi Band tune Wura (Fire) was given the King Stingray touch up.

The band engaged the crowd feeding off the energy in the room and seemed overwhelmed by the reaction of fans their music. It was great seeing the smiles on their faces as they watched the crowd sing these songs back particularly when they asked the crowd to raise their arms like the sunset. Songs such as Malk Mirri Wayin, Get Me Out and the extended Mala Wangany would be up their as set highlights. Set closer Hey Wanhaka was brilliant.

The band returned for an encore after much applause and noise to encourage their return and the Triple J Like Version cover of Coldplay’s Yellow was a standout moment in their set. The crowd was full of voice coming together as one. The final song of the night Milkumana was epic and an awesome way to finish off the show. There’s no doubt King Stingray could have done another two more shows and sold them out as this group of fans would have gone back for seconds and thirds. Remember the name King Stingray, they are set for a massive twelve months.

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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