Tiddas (band)

Last updated

Origin Victoria, Australia
Genres Folk
Years active1990–2000, 2018
MembersAmy Saunders
Lou Bennett
Sally Dastey

Tiddas were an all-female folk trio from Victoria, Australia. [1]



1990–1992: Career beginnings and Inside My Kitchen

Originally the three women, Amy Saunders (a Gunditjmara woman from Portland), Lou Bennett (a Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung woman from Echuca) and Sally Dastey (from West Heidelberg) combined their vocal talents as backing singers for Aboriginal band Djaambi, led by Saunders' brother Richard Frankland in 1990. [1] [2] The group were invited to perform at a musical celebration for women's artistic achievement, 'Hot Jam Cooking', in Richmond, Victoria. [3] Their performance was well received and inspired Ruby Hunter to dub the trio Tiddas, which is Koori for the "sisters". [1] [2] [4]

After performing together for over a year the band came to the attention of Paul Petran, host of ABC National Radio show 'Music Deli', who assisted Tiddas to record their debut EP, Inside My Kitchen in 1991. [3] Inside My Kitchen was released in October 1992 [5] and received two nominations, for 'Best New Talent' and 'Best Indigenous Release', at the ARIA Music Awards of 1993. [6]

1993–1997: Sing About Life and Tiddas

Tiddas quickly became live favourites, touring with Sweet Honey in the Rock and Midnight Oil, [3] adding didgeridoo player Tim "Froggie" Holtze for their first studio album Sing About Life which was released in November 1993. [5] The album peaked at No. 36 on the ARIA charts, [7] achieved gold record sales in Australia (35,000 copies sold), [5] was nominated 'Breakthrough Artist – Album', and won 'Best Indigenous Record' at the ARIA Music Awards of 1994. [6] [8] National and international tours followed, including several WOMAD concerts. Sing About Life was released in the United States in September 1995, spurring tours of North America and Europe. [5]

The group's second studio album was produced by Joe Camilleri titled Tiddas [3] and was released in Australia in August 1996 reaching No. 26 on the ARIA charts. [7] The album was nominated for 'Best Indigenous Release' at the ARIA Music Awards of 1997. [6] The first single, "Ignorance is Bliss", was reputedly inspired by an argument with Bob Geldof while touring in 1993. [5] Backing musicians on the album included the Black Sorrows' Jen Anderson on violin, Joe Camilleri on sax (on "Waving Goodbye"), Peter Luscombe on drums, Steve Hadley on bass, and Weddings, Parties, Anything's Mark "Squeezebox Wally" Wallace on piano accordion. A second single "Walk Alone" was released in 1997. [5]

1998–2000: Lethal By the Kilo, Show Us Ya Tiddas and split

In 1998, the girls sang on "Yil Lull" which was released as Singers For The Red Black & Gold. The third studio album, Lethal By the Kilo, was recorded in Melbourne's ABC studios in late 1998. The album received almost no promotion from the record company and failed to chart. [3] On 11 September 1999, Tiddas recorded a live performance at Continental Café which was released as Show Us Ya Tiddas later in 1999. [2]

In May 2000 Tiddas announced they were to break up, [2] and spent months on a national tour to say farewell to their fans. [3] In 2000 Tiddas were awarded a Deadly Award for 'Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal Music'. [4] [9]

2018: Reformation and NIMA Hall of Fame

In 2018, the trio announced they were reuniting for a one-off national tour to celebrate the release of Archie Roach's “lost” album, Dancing with My Spirit , which was recorded in the 1990s and released in April 2018. [10]

In August 2019, Tiddas were inducted into the National Indigenous Music Awards Hall of Fame. [11]

Awards and nominations

ARIA Awards

The ARIA Music Awards are a set of annual ceremonies presented by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), which recognise excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of the music of Australia. They commenced in 1987. Tiddas has received one ARIA Music Awards from six nominations [12]

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1993 Inside My Kitchen Best New Talent Nominated
Best Indigenous Release Nominated
1994 Sing About Life Best Indigenous Release Won
Breakthrough Artist - Album Nominated
1995 "Changing Times" Best Indigenous Release
1997 Tiddas Best Indigenous Release Nominated

Australian Women in Music Awards

The Australian Women in Music Awards is an annual event that celebrates outstanding women in the Australian Music Industry who have made significant and lasting contributions in their chosen field. They commenced in 2018.

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2018 [13] TiddasAuriel Andrew Memorial AwardNominated

Deadly Awards

The Deadly Awards, (commonly known simply as The Deadlys), was an annual celebration of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement in music, sport, entertainment and community. They ran from 1996 to 2013.

YearNominee / workAwardResult
Deadly Awards 1996 "themselves"Band of the YearWon
Deadly Awards 1997 "Ignorance is Bliss"Single Release of the YearWon
Deadly Awards 1999 "My Island Home" (with Alister Jones)Excellence in Film or Theatrical ScoreWon
Deadly Awards 2000 "themselves"Outstanding Contribution to MusicWon

National Indigenous Music Awards

The National Indigenous Music Awards (NIMA) recognise excellence, dedication, innovation and outstanding contribution to the Northern Territory music industry. They commenced in 2004.

YearNominee / workAwardResult
National Indigenous Music Awards 2019 themselvesHall of Fame InducteeInductee



Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected details and chart positions
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
Sing About Life 36
  • Released: 5 August 1996
  • Label: Black Pig/Polygram (532799-2)
  • Formats: CD
Lethal By the Kilo
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: Mercury Music (538 277-2)
  • Formats: CD

Live albums

List of live albums, with selected chart positions
TitleAlbum details
Show Us Ya Tiddas
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Festival Music (23768185)
  • Formats: CD

Extended plays

List of extended plays, with selected details
TitleEP details
Inside My Kitchen
  • Released: October 1992
  • Label: Black Heart Music (ID 0002-2)
  • Formats: CD


List of singles, with selected chart positions
TitleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
"Inside My Kitchen"1992Inside My Kitchen
"Waiting"199388Sing About Life
"Real World"1994
"Changing Times"1995
"Ignorance is Bliss"199697Tiddas
"Walk Alone"1997
"Yil Lull"
(as Singers For The Red Black & Gold)
1998non-album single

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  2. 1 2 3 4 Roberts, Jo (15 May 2007). "Songline of singing sister". The Age . Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Tiddas". HowlSpace. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
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  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Swift, Brendan. "Tiddas – Biography". AllMusic . Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  6. 1 2 3 "Winners by Year – 27th ARIA Awards 2013: Search Results 'Tiddas'". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 5 May 2014. Note: At the 1994 results ARIA incorrectly lists the album title as Sing About Love at Best Indigenous Release, but lists it as Sing About Life for Breakthrough Artist – Album nomination.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
  8. "Tiddas". Vibe Australia. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  9. "Deadly's 2000". The Deadlys. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  10. "Tiddas reform to join Archie Roach dancing with his spirit to his "lost" album". The Music Network. 20 March 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  11. "Record Breaking Crowd for the 2019 National Indigenous Music Awards!". National Indigenous Music Awards. 13 August 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  12. "ARIA Awards - History - Search Tiddas". Australian Record Industry Association. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  13. "2018 Recipients Finalists". women in Music Awards. October 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2021.