Melbourne Ska Orchestra frontman Nicky Bomba at Bluesfest 2015.
Melbourne Ska Orchestra frontman Nicky Bomba at Bluesfest 2015. Lyn Mccarthy

Nicky Bomba: A mix of fun and activism

MELBOURNE Ska Orchestra, fronted by Nicky Bomba, offered a strong political message during their performances at Bluesfest.

In between the funkiest, most danceable tunes, Bomba and his troupe took advantage of the captive audience to share his thoughts on issues that are close to his heart.

First, Melbourne Ska Orchestra invited Torres Strait Islander singer-songwriter Chris Tamwoy to start their shows with a Welcome to Country.

Tamwoy also made a statement against the potential closure of remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.

Bomba explained he felt strongly about the advancement of Aboriginals.

"I have always had the deepest respect for our indigenous culture," he said.

"I believe that we should become a republic and there should be an indigenous person in a high position, offering the wisdom of this ancient culture.

"It is not about changing the European culture. It's about absorbing (the Aboriginal culture's) wisdom."

Melbourne Ska Orchestra also distributed four collection buckets among punters to fundraise for The Green Ranger, a project by The Thin Green Line Foundation, for which he is an international ambassador.

The project raises funds to purchase mosquito nets for rangers who protect wild animals from poachers in Africa.

The collection raised more than $3500 among the crowd in their first show.

Bomba said The Green Ranger project was very close to his heart.

"When I was in high school, before I thought music could be my career, I wanted to become a park ranger," he said.

"I became their international ambassador and now I am allowed to go to any international park around the world as an international park ranger."

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