Roaring Forties, The – We Made the Steel


CD review by Graham Blackley

Sydney-based folk group The Roaring Forties, featuring the talents of Margaret Walters, John Warner, Chris Maltby, Tom Hanson and Robin Connaughton, has produced a beautifully packaged CD that provides an intriguing insight into the steel industry of 1960’s NSW.

The album explores a variety of themes including the lively drinking culture that surrounds those with “a blast furnace gullet” (The Booze Fairy and Steelers’ March), the migrant experience (Ballad of Lovely Tom Parts 1-6) and the central role that women played in the industry (The Sankey- Benson Press Shop).

It is on the poignant Hill 60, however, that The Roaring Forties packs the greatest punch.

It’s difficult to imagine the hardest of hearts remaining unmoved by this stark insight into the devastating displacement of indigenous people.

The acts of “the invaders” stain the land and ultimately lead to sorrow and despair being drowned in bottles of “Whitefella poison.” The touching references to nature (“the reeling birds” and “the pelicans in flight”) symbolise all that is lost or under threat and highlight the perversity of the invader’s actions.

The nightmarish vision of “bloody tears”, flaming sky, “endless thunder”, “barbed wire, concrete and the gun” and “the smoky ironworks” that “shroud[s] the land in night” is likely to haunt the listener long after this thoughtprovoking track ends.

4 in stock

SKU: TN1914-71 Category:

Additional information

Weight .200 kg
Dimensions 21 × 15 × 1.5 cm