Restless Dream is a collaboration between Brisbane band Halfway and Kamileroi elder Bob Weatherall, with William Barton. In 2015, they began to work on the writing and recording of an album of songs/stories.
Aboriginal ancestral remains and secret, sacred objects are scattered across the globe, in museums both overseas and in Australia. In Aboriginal religious law, there will be no spiritual peace until the dead have been returned to the place of their birth and received their last rites in accordance with their traditions.
This album tells the story of the Repatriation of Aboriginal Ancestral Remains. Restless Dream is a very personal story, yet it touches all Aboriginal Nations as they grapple with the task of repatriation and reburial, just as it acknowledges those who have taken on the task of uncovering the past and advocating for the Rights of the Dead.
Bob and William are both friends of Halfway. Bob used to come to band practices, to listen to us play, and to share the summer nights and his stories.
“My ears sought out Bob’s words in the dark, the stories of his work: travelling to the other side of the earth; the arrogance and thievery of scientists and protectors; the overwhelming emotion of this job. A job which chose him. A tricky job, full of negotiation, responsibility, righteous successes and disheartening failures. And he was burdened with an overwhelming question: Who is going to carry this work on?” John Willsteed, Halfway, producer
“We have a responsibility to uphold the fundamental rights of the dead to return to the lands of their birth, and to be given customary last rites in accordance with their culture and beliefs. Restless Dream will help to put an end to the injustices of the past in the true spirit of reconciliation and justice.” Bob Weatherall, writer and performer
The album was recorded at QUT in Brisbane in 2016, by Yanto Browning (Kate Miller-Heidke/Art of Sleeping) and mixed in South Carolina by Mark Nevers (Silver Jews/Bonnie “Prince” Billy/Lambchop/George Jones). It is a blend of songs, stories and instrumentals; like a Halfway album and then some.
Restless Dream – PRESS & REVIEWS
“This is not just one of the most powerful records of 2021 but one of the most powerful Australian Records you will have in your collection, full stop” Noel Mengel – Music Trust
“Developed since 2015 as a performance piece & intended to be absorbed as a whole, it’s a cathartic concept album spanning songs and spoken word.” Doug Wallen – The Weekend Australian
“Dear white people, this is uncomfortable but essential listening.” John O’Brien – The Courier Mail
“Undeniably confronting, yet conveyed in a way that ultimately invites empathy and understanding. restless Dream is both a unifying voice and an incredibly powerful piece of Australian storytelling.” Steve Bell – Rhythms Magazine.
“I have never experienced such a powerful moment of silence at the Tivoli.” Catherine Lawrence – Brisbane Festival
Red Ochre Award Winner 2023 – Bob Weatherall
ARIA Award Nominee 2021 – Restless Dream