June 13, 2018 08:00:24 It’s a Saturday night and Ripple Effect are singing, dancing and hyping themselves up backstage. The band is about to front one of its biggest live audiences at Barunga Festival, the annual Indigenous music, sport and cultural festival that draws large crowds each year.

“We’ve been travelling a long way, it took us eight hours,” one band member shouted as they took to the stage. “And tonight …

everyone enjoy and have fun,” she said, to an eruption of cheers from people who’d travelled to see them. Over the three-day festival, the stage was shared by some of the most well-known contemporary Indigenous bands to emerge from the Northern Territory — Yirrmal, Lonely Boys, B2M and more.

And with a few notable exceptions, many of the performers have been men. Ripple Effect is a group of seven Maningrida women led by manager Jodie Kell, who is based in Sydney but has lived in the West Arnhem community.

Its songs switch between a handful of Indigenous languages and members swap instruments between songs. And while an eight-person Indigenous girl group is something of a rarity, the formula seems to be working; it’s grabbing the attention of tastemakers, getting some airtime on triple j, and will release an EP in coming months. Read more from…

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