Archie Roach’s Tell Me Why – Online Watch Party

Riverside Archives

This event has occurred in the past

Archie Roach’s Tell Me Why – Online Watch Party

Venue Online
Dates 24 October 2021
Category Riverside Theatres Digital – Online Watch Party


This event will unfortunately not proceed due to a change in artist circumstances for the live Q&A. Our Box Office team will be in contact with you in due course about processing a full refund.

This show is available as an on-demand offering. Click here to find out more.

Riverside Theatres Digital and Play On Presents

Be part of the exclusive Online Watch Party of this moving show on our Riverside Theatres Digital platform. You will be able to stream the show and take part in the live chat function. After the show, participate in a Q&A with Archie Roach, a fantastic opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes insight into the show and a chance to have your questions answered. This is a one time only event, you will not have access to the show on demand afterwards.

Chat live after the show with:
Iconic Indigenous Australian singer-songwriter, Archie Roach

Not many have lived as many lives – from stolen child, teenage alcoholic, seeker, lover, father, musical and lyrical genius, to social advocate and First Nations leader – but it took almost a lifetime to find who he really was.

He is Archie Roach.

His new memoir Tell Me Why (Simon and Schuster) is an intimate, moving and often confronting account of his resilience and strength of spirit, and also of a great love story. It’s an extraordinary odyssey of love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal – and the healing power of music.

The companion album Tell Me Why (Bloodlines), considered Roach’s 18 song ‘magnum opus’, re-imagines eleven songs which have defined his extraordinary career, together with two songs, previously written but never recorded, two songs of early-influence and three brand new recordings.
Roach voices the joy, pain and hope he found on his path through these songs to become the legendary singer-songwriter and storyteller that he is today – beloved and respected by fans worldwide

Book tickets on this page for the Online Watch Party on YouTube. If you’re looking for the On Demand offering click here.

How You Can Access
We are holding an Online Watch Party for this show on Sunday 24 October 2021 at 2:00pm AEDT into your home. The link will be available on this date only and will be streamed on YouTube and will not be available to view online after the event.
You are welcome to share and watch the show as a group or couple. If you are going to share this with your family or a group in your household, please consider purchasing the household ticket.

There is no transaction fee for this show.

Need Help?
If you’re having issues connecting to our stream, click here to download our Streaming FAQ’s to help you.


Promotional Photos by Adrian Cook

The music of singer-songwriter Archie Roach has given voice to the pain, hope and pride of a generation. His talents have earned him a place among the most treasured musicians this country has produced.

Born in Mooroopna in 1955, Archie’s family lived on the Framlingham Aboriginal Mission near Warrnambool. He is one of the Stolen Generations, taken as a child from his mother, Nellie, a Gunditjmara woman, and father, Archie, a Bundjalung man from New South Wales.

Archie passed through several foster homes before being settled with the Cox family, who he acknowledges as having looked after him well. He learned the basics of keyboard and guitar from his foster-sister, Mary Cox. Too young to understand his situation, he was left to assume his biological parents had died.

The truth about his forced removal from his family was discovered when he was a teenager, in a letter from a sister he didn’t know he had. It brought news of the recent death of his mother. The revelation triggered an identity crisis that manifested itself in over a decade of alcoholism and periods of homelessness.

While living on the streets Archie met Ruby Hunter, a Ngarrindjeri woman from South Australia. He credits her as his saviour. Ruby was also of the Stolen Generations and a talented musician. The two soul mates embarked on a journey of healing through music. Years later, when they were married with a family of their own, their house would remain open to disadvantaged young people in need of the support they themselves had found in each other.

Archie caught the attention of musician Paul Kelly and his Messengers’ band mate, Steve Connolly, in 1989, with his song, Took the Children Away. An act of personal catharsis, its plaintive account of the removal of Aboriginal children from their families resonated across Australia and internationally. Many identified closely with Archie’s searing lyrics; many more could not help but be moved by them.

In 1990, Archie released his debut album, Charcoal Lane. Kelly and Connolly were producers. The album took its title from a laneway in Fitzroy — the heartland of Melbourne’s Aboriginal community — where Archie had, in more troubled times, idled away the hours drinking.

Charcoal Lane won two ARIA awards, a place among the US Rolling Stone’s top albums of 1992, and a Human Rights Achievement Award for Took The Children Away. It was the first time the award had been presented to a songwriter.

Over five additional albums – including Jamu Dreaming and Sensual Being – Archie continued his exploration of the issues affecting Aboriginal people in modern day Australia. This he does without judgement or agenda. As Archie tells it, “”I’m just saying this is what happened, you can take it or leave it.””

As a member of the Stolen Generations, Roach had a direct line to the pain and suffering indigenous families endured when children were taken from them. He condensed those emotions into a few minutes of music that stands as one of the great Australian humanitarian artistic statements. – The Australian

In the best singer-songwriter tradition, Charcoal Lane is deeply moving in both personal and political terms – US Rolling Stone

I’ve known Archie since the mid-90s, and we began working together in 2002, when he and Ruby Hunter created Ruby’s Story for the Australian Art Orchestra. He is an inspiring man: deep, thoughtful, taciturn. His songs ring with clarity, his voice richly textured; it is extraordinary to witness the magic he casts over an audience. We played a concert in late 2018 at UKARIA Cultural Centre, a beautiful room made for music in the Adelaide Hills. Archie told stories and sang and I accompanied him. Afterwards we talked late into the night; he had much to impart, as his memoir was occupying his mind. Everything he says is deeply considered. We returned to UKARIA a few months later to commence work on Tell Me Why. Those days spent with Archie are etched forever on my mind, and this album is my response to the enormity of his story and its resonances, and to the quiet pride and generosity of this remarkable man. – Paul Grabowsky

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1 hour 23 minutes + livestreamed Q&A after the show

Ticket Prices

Riverside Members: Individual $18
Non-Members: Individual $20
Household Group $25