Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) has today announced Tour of Duty, the star-studded live album of 1999’s Christmas benefit concert for the troops, featuring performances from John Farnham, Doc Neeson, Kylie Minogue, The Living End, James Blundell, Gina Jeffreys and more.


Set for release on April 25, Tour Of Duty marks the 40th release of ARCA’s Desk Tape Series, a series created by ARCA to raise much-needed finances for Support Act’s Roadies Fund to provide financial, health, counselling and wellbeing services for roadies and crew in crisis.

Televised by the Seven and Nine networks at the time, the concert at National Stadium in Dili, East Timor on December 21, 1999, was staged as a thank you to the Australian troops serving with the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET), whose duties kept them away from their families in Australia during Christmas celebrations. The show, to 4,000 troops and local civilians, featured John Farnham, Doc Neeson, Kylie Minogue, Gina Jeffreys and her record producer husband Rod McCormack, James Blundell, The Living End, Dili Allstars and the RMC Band, and was hosted by Roy Slaven and H. G. Nelson (John Doyle and Greig Pickhaver).


John Farnham said shortly after arriving in Dili: “I’ll never be able to explain to my family and friends how I felt being transported in a green truck accompanied by a soldier brandishing arms, and looking at children and women on the streets in what’s been a horrendous situation.”


Added Kylie Minogue: “Even if it takes people’s minds off this situation, even for an hour, I’m fully honoured to be part of it.”


Working closely with the Defence Forces for the desk tape release of Tour of Duty, the two organisations share a synergy with a number of ARCA crew members serving in Vietnam or national service, and both associations working tirelessly with members on mental wellbeing and suicide prevention programs. ARCA co-founder Ian ‘Piggy’ Peel recalls how he was contacted by Colin Taggart, a board member of Pro Patria, an innovative multidisciplinary facility in Wagga Wagga which works with veterans and their families. “Colin asked, ‘How do you stop suicides?’ Piggy told them, ‘We put people back together and in touch with each other. They understood that they could talk with their mates about things that happened during their time away, that they could not talk to their families about. Being able to do that takes a great weight off your shoulders. It helps to heal the heart and helps the family bond grow stronger’. It made sense for everybody concerned, and it worked. This is a huge honour for ARCA to be able to release this live show to say thanx to all the troops who keep us safe.”



ARCA also worked closely with Luke Gosling OAM, who served in East Timor and is MP for Solomon in the Northern Territory. The Tour of Dutyaudio was supplied by Rev. Darren Hewitt, a chaplain working with returned veterans in South Australia, spiritually dealing with their depression and anxiety. Twenty years before, Rev. Hewitt planned to set up an audio-visual museum Fields of Remembrance in Queensland to commemorate Australia’s involvement in conflicts and wars. He reached out to Glenn Wheatley about getting an audio recording of Tour of Duty. “Glenn sent me a double CD of AV files.” Soon after Rev. Hewitt moved to South Australia, the museum plan was put on hold and the files were forgotten for two decades until he discovered them in a portable MP3 player. While searching for Archie Roach music on the internet he came across the ARCA website and its star-studded collection of releases. “I learned more about ARCA and was in awe of what they were doing for crews in crisis.” With approval from Gaynor Wheatley, Rev. Hewitt offered ARCA the tapes. “There was such great support for what Australian troops were doing in East Timor, and that was reflected in how the acts were choosing their songs to be directed at them. It was a different story for older vets who had served in Vietnam,” explains Rev. Hewitt. “Called “baby killers” by protesters and cold-shouldered by the nation and even the RSL, you can see why there is so much hardship and mental health problems with them.”


The actual idea of Tour of Duty started with Doc Neeson, and was put together by Glenn Wheatley through his company Talentworks. “Having done my national service in New Guinea and being an army brat myself, I knew how the troops would have felt at that time of the year,” Neeson said at that time. “They would have been homesick, felt disconnected and wanted some real entertainment.”


Although all the musicians and production crews donated their fees, Glenn Wheatley still had to find $1 million for production costs. “The entire infrastructure in Dili has collapsed,” Wheatley revealed. “There is no electricity, running water, cables, generators, roofing or staging. Everything has to be taken from Australia.” The stage and camera equipment required eight transport planes, Australian companies including Westfield Holdings, Compaq Computer, Qantas, Arnotts and Solo donated cash and in kind. Wheatley reported at the time: “The response from companies has been extraordinary. Their December budgets had been allocated but I was banging on their doors saying ‘I need an answer now’. Most responded within a day.” Compaq Computer provided computers for troops to contact their families and friends by email through the Christmas period, and a dedicated website so cricket fans could check scores, and had their staff on the ground in Dili to help troops have access to the internet. Booths were set up in Westfield’s shopping centres, where consumers could sponsor, for $25-$35, “Dili bags” of food, drinks, magazines and other items for the troops. Calls were made to the artists. Wheatley’s star client, John Farnham, agreed on the spot.


Kylie Minogue, then living in London, was going through an upswing in popularity in Australia, with the Impossible Princess/ Kylie Minogue album spending 35 weeks in the charts and her Intimate And Live tour having to be extended a number of times.


Queensland sheep farmer James Blundell was back in the charts with his sixth studio album Amsterdam Breakfast, was on TV singing the Qantas ad ‘I Still Call Australia Home’, and had just returned from time off driving around Europe in a van, earning money busking. Blundell had military roots too, as the grandson of Captain Peter Blundell of the 2/25th Battalion, who served in the Second World War. After the Dili Stadium show, he stayed on in East Timor to play unplugged shows with members of the Royal Military College Band. During breaks Blundell also assisted with serving drinks and dedicated ‘Blundell’s Bar’ to his grandfather.


At the time, country singer songwriter Gina Jeffreys was heavily touring, playing six shows a week, every six weeks, with country music loving girls taking up her “Girls Night Out” as an anthem.When she got her invitation, she cancelled some Australian shows to make the trip. “I knew what an important event it was going to be,” Jeffreys recalls. “It was exciting but I was also nervous, partly because I seldom go out of my comfort zone, and partly because we were going into a war zone.


In 1999, The Living End were the hottest new band. After breaking into the US and UK charts with their Prisoner of Society, their first album went to number one, was certified 4 x platinum, yielded six hits and won two ARIA awards. “It was definitely surreal to be asked,” remembers singer and guitarist Chris Cheney. “Eighteen months before we were still trying to get our feet in the door, suddenly a heavy hitter like Glenn Wheatley was calling our manager, asking us to go to East Timor and the show was going to be televised, and going to be on that concert were people like John Farnham and Kylie Minogue whom we didn’t know and had only seen on TV.”


For the reggae/ska band Dili Allstars – formed in 1992 and made up of Australian and Timorese expatriates – it was a time for healing. It was the first time the Timorese members returned to their homeland in 25 years. For co-founder Paul Stewart, also with the Melbourne band Painters & Dockers, it was where his brother Tony was among five Australian journalists who were said to have been shot by Indonesian military forces in Balibo, East Timor, in 1975.


Chris Cheney: “It was a different world. Military escorts, jumping into green trucks, all the guys were armed. This was no holiday destination!


Jeffreys: “Each of us was assigned a high level soldier. They were never more than a metre and a half from us at all times, even in the shower and the toilet. They took turns to protect us, even when we were sleeping. The boys slept in one tent, and Kylie and I were in another. Throughout the night, tanks were circling the tents. They never stopped protecting us, they made us feel safe in an unsafe environment.


As to be expected, it was an emotional show, both for the performers and for the audience.


Chris Cheney: “When John hit that really high note at the end, it was spine-tingling. Twenty five years later, I am still transported back to that moment. That voice, the way he hit the note, and the whole atmosphere. You felt very lucky to be there. Seeing the look of joy on the faces of the troops, they were having the time of their lives.”


Gina Jeffreys: “I remember distinctly standing on the stage and looking at the sea of soldiers. This one lady looked up at me and she just had tears streaming down her face and she mouthed ‘Thank you’. They were so thankful that we would be there, and thinking of them at that time of the year, and with TV coverage as well. It was massive and they felt seen and appreciated. I came off the stage afterwards and spoke to her, and she made me cry because she was over there protecting someone else’s children while her children were at home during Christmas. I bawled my eyes out, that really moved me.”


Chris Cheney: “Years later I still meet people who tell me they were in the audience, and how magical it was. We were a lot more raw and aggressive than the other acts, and I think we were chosen to appeal to the younger crowd. It worked, they were singing along to all our songs and even threw in a couple of ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi! Oi!’ in for us!”


Tour of Duty Live at National Stadium is set for release on April 25 via ARCA’s Black Box Records.

Watch: I Still Call Australia Home live at Tour Of Duty benefit concert



John Farnham

Doc Neeson

Kylie Minogue

Gina Jeffreys

James Blundell

The Living End



Lisa Edwards

Stuart Fraser

Joe Creighton

Chong Lim

Lindsay Field

Angus Burchall

Steve Williams

Jack Jones



Grant Walsh (front of house)

Chris Newman (lighting director)

John Henderson (monitors)

Gary Radbourne (keys tech)

Harry Woods (guitar tech)

Frank Iskara (drum tech)

Frank Greer (World Stages)

Tom Wilkins (stage builder)

Greg Romans (audio tech chief, Jands)

Glenn Williams (lighting chief, Jands)

Michael Kent (rigger safety officer)

Ross Clunes (rigger safety officer)



​You’re The Voice – Everyone

​I Just Wanna Be With You – Doc Neeson

​Shadow Boxer – Doc Neeson

She’s So Fine / Sorry – John Farnham and Doc Neeson

​No Secrets – Doc Neeson and Living End

Mambo No.5 – R.M.C. Band

Silent Night – Rachael Starkey (RMC Band) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Gina Jeffreys

Dancing With Elvis – Gina Jeffreys

Libertade – Dili All Stars

Way Out West – James Blundell

Chain Reaction – John Farnham

Have A Little Faith – John Farnham

Playing To Win – John Farnham

Sadie (The Cleaning Lady) – John Farnham

That’s Freedom – John Farnham

You’ll Never Walk Alone – John Farnham

Shout – John Farnham & Kylie Minogue4

Santa Baby – Kylie Minogue

All Torn Down -The Living End

West End Riot – The Living End

Jingle Bell Rock – Kylie Minogue and The Living End

It’s A Long Way To The Top – Everyone

Take A Long Line – Everyone

Will I Ever See Your Face Again – Everyone




Primal, moody and inescapably moving, the powerful new single Who Gave You Permission? out today from Australian powerhouse Greg Gould is a potent blend of pop, soul and searing intimacy. With an accompanying music video slated to land next week, and also set to captivate crowds with his latest release live in action throughout 2024, including onstage at SYNTHONY, Australia’s biggest orchestrated dance party this June, Gould also vigorously tackles exceedingly difficult narrative terrain via Who Gave You Permission? with unwavering finesse and poise.


Opening with a melancholic piano line, Who Gave You Permission? swells alongside Gould’s cogent vocals, ultimately building into a formidable primal pop anthem. Equally gripping musically as it is lyrically, Who Gave You Permission? weaves nods to the likes of Benson Boone, Rag’n’Bone Man, Teddy Swims and Sam Smith while also profoundly detailing an exceedingly personal experience for Gould himself. To be honest I’m only just starting to feel comfortable to talk about this,” shares Gould. “The first time I performed the song live I burst into tears. I have been a victim of sexual abuse on four separate occasions in all very different circumstances from when I was 10 years old, right up until I was 30. Each time left me feeling so violated, so powerless, paralysed. Nobody has the right to touch you without permission. No means no. It was a very emotional, heart wrenching and confronting experience to write this song to be honest as I’d pushed a lot of those feelings and experiences down and hadn’t dealt with them – it took a while for me to be ok to admit it. There is a stigma around sexual abuse in general, and I do think it can be really difficult for men who are the victim – whether it be at the hands of another man or a woman. In my case, it was both on separate occasions. I want other men to feel comfortable to talk about this and speak up too.”


Seeking to empower fellow survivors through Who Gave You Permission?, Gould co-wrote the compelling new single with Benedict, working alongside Gould to unpack his trauma and ultimately pen a connective and sonically robust ode to survival, along with production by Sydney duo Cressbrook, with live strings composed by Ryan Youens. With a striking music video set to accompany this deeply powerful song on April 20, filmed in Gould’s home state, the clip for Who Gave You Permission? flourishes with its sonic elegance alongside poignant visuals to further amplify the driving message at the track’s core. “The music video features a protagonist moving through an old house,” shares Gould.” As they enter each room, a different storyline unfolds, each scenario reveals as we move back and forth between the rooms. I wanted to highlight that sexual abuse can happen in many forms and in many ways…without over-dramatising or sensationalising it.”


A creative cauldron from way back, Greg Gould began singing the moment he could talk; a talent which ultimately followed him to securing the runner up slot at the grand finale of Australia’s Got Talent in 2013. Following his Australia’s Got Talent success, Gould has gone on to generate millions of streams as well as views of his award-winning videos, perform multiple sold out shows and festivals, tour the globe and ignite charts at home and abroad; and all while continuing to foster and grow an authentic connection with his fans through his heartfelt creations. From snagging the #1 spot on the iTunes Albums charts via his 2020 album 1998, through to collaborating with En Vogue’s Maxine Jones (“a real pinch me moment”, Gould shares), Gould’s proudest moment to date remains releasing his first-ever self-directed music video, a cover of En Vogue’s 1996 smash single Don’t Let Go (Love) with the song’s heart wrenching video having amassed an impressive 20 million+ views. Fast-forward to 2024, and Gould has embraced the mixture of excitement, anxiety, nerves and relief to unveil the vulnerable yet hopeful Who Gave You Permission?, with the latest track also offering a hint as to what’s to come from Gould’s debut album of original songs, Strings Attached, set for release July 12, including his duet with one of the Philippines’ most successful artists, Morissette called Love It All Out (co-written by Bachelor Girl’s Tania Doko) which recently hit over 1 million views on TikTok. Gould has also written and performed the main song for the credits of a new Australian feature film getting its theatrical release later this year, which is set to debut at the Berlin International Film Festival.


Set to perform Who Gave You Permission? at an array of events this April and June, fans can expect to hear Gould’s latest track live in action alongside many other original songs. As to what fans can expect in the not too distant future? Whether the subject matter is darker or lighter, guests at my shows can expect big vocals, big moments and lot of fun,” Gould enthuses. “I love to perform and I’m excited for the next 12 months! I’ve got big plans and even bigger dreams. I am so proud that Who Gave You Permission? is out now and I’m moving forward both personally and professionally! I would love if even one survivor of abuse feels stronger as a result of hearing this song. I want people to know they are seen, they are heard and they are believed. We won’t be broken.

Who Gave You Permission?
is out now.

Strings Attached is out July 12.






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A fantastical journey welding art rock, progressive rock, synth pop and more, the brand new single Bimbo’s Inferno out today from boundless Melbourne creative Ohms is an intricate and unpredictable ride that marks a first single ahead of a, yet to be announced, full length album.

Peeling layers of oscillating genres and foreboding yet playful theatricality, Bimbo’s Inferno also dazzles with starry-eyed melodics interplaying between sudden sinister stylistic shifts. A pop song at its core immersed in woozy vocals and intergalactic instrumentation, Bimbo’s Inferno never wholeheartedly commits to any one genre for long, instead finding Ohms, aka Melbourne artist Hugo Ivers, exploring inspiration from a galaxy of sonic corners, including R. Stevie Moore, MGMT, XTC, The Cleaners From Venus and the early works of of Montreal. “I think I was just so attracted to the intricacies, both subtle and glaring in all their respective works, it made me think to myself “hey, great music doesn’t have to follow a particular formula if I don’t want it to!”. It excited me deeply to think that I could try my hand at composing something simultaneously pop-centric, and completely unconventional.”

With instrumentation performed dominantly by Ohms himself, who also took on the producer’s role, Bimbo’s Inferno also brought together additional instrumentation recorded by Timothy Dunn, drums recorded by Stu McKenzie, mixing by Ohms and Andrew Robinson at Rolling Stock Studios, and mastering by Mikey Young. And amid the long journey to finally releasing his new single, Ohms drew inspiration from his surrounds in Melbourne, conjuring an unsettling personal nightlife experience into musical form via Bimbo’s Inferno. “It’s not really inspired by anyone, but rather just a tongue-in-cheek pop song about my ineptitude to engage in Melbourne nightlife,” shares Ohms. “I was, and still am, somewhat of a creature of habit, finding more comfort in working on projects by myself into the wee hours, rather than hitting up various pubs and clubs. I remember a rare occurrence years ago where I emerged for a night out with friends, feeling like a fish out of water as we traversed the streets of the inner northern suburbs. I always had some strange, foreboding sense of paranoia once the sun died out and entered the evening. Anyway, the following day I read an article about the same bar we drank at burning down that very night. Suffice to say I didn’t head out on the town for a number of months following that.”

Drawing the Ohms creative name from studies in audio engineering and the necessity of the project’s namesake in the recoding and production process, Ivers’ grew up immersing himself in a vast tapestry of music from his parents’ extensive record collection, spanning 80s soul, 70s progressive rock, 60s folk and 20th-century classical music in his early childhood. Finding fascination in imagery conjured by certain music in his youth, Ivers also inevitably found himself drawn to “an overwhelming attachment to the romanticism of being a ‘musician’ from a very young age”. A multi-instrumentalist, seeking to experiment and understand each instrument intuitively, Ivers evolved into working to reverse-engineer melodies and sounds emanating from his creative consciousness; a process that would blossom with organic magnetic results. “I liken it to Brian Eno’s approach of replacing the element of skill with the element of judgment,” says Ohms. “If it works in my mind, I will seek out what I am hearing internally, in spite of whether I am technically proficient enough to achieve it.”

With Bimbo’s Inferno marking the first step towards a planned upcoming full length album, Ohms is set to entice listeners deeper and deeper into his creative soul; and it’s a journey that has kickstarted with an unforgettable bang. “Unpredictability, intricacy, and colour are elements I’ve always strived for when creating music, and Bimbo’s Inferno exemplifies this effort,” Ohms concludes. “Duality in my music is very important to me, and because of this, I’ve never truly known how on earth to present my music, whether there is even an audience for it. Ultimately, creative pursuits are a deeply personal effort, so the only audience in mind has always been myself. But, naturally, I hope that the madcap, warped pop song that Bimbo’s Inferno is crawls its way into the hearts and ears of those who appreciate its absurdity.”

Bimbo’s Inferno is out now.