Sunday, July 21, 2024  
Black Lace
    Silva Linings > Senate > Black Lace  
Silva Linings was formed in 1966 by Mac Silva, Geoff Compton and Steve Lugnan. Bob Wayne aka Awang also played with them. They played at the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs. The Silva Linings won the Battle of the Bands in 1968, at Greenmount Beach, Coolangatta. A year later they went on New Faces Channel 9. After one brief name change [Senate] they changed their name to Black Lace in 1972.

Rick Barnes joined the band in 1968 and remained with them through the name change to Senate and then on and off with Black Lace in the 70s.

Geoff Compton left the band in 1983, going back home to Tweed Head.

'Black lace' was a phrase used to describe the chains that used to be clamped around the necks of Aboriginal people.


First band:

  • Mac Silva [1942 - 1989]
  • Steve Lugnam [Gumbaynggir]
  • Geoff Compton [ - 2014]
  • Rick Barnes [Kamilaroi] [1946 - 1996]


Then:  Freddy Edgar, Big Jamie

Lead guitarists:  Junior Brennan, Andrew (Drew) Donnelly

Bass guitarists:  Arnold Williams, Ian Johnstone

More:  Cecil Patten, Kevin McGrady, Les Colins, Bob Wayne aka Awang, Bear

It is more than 20 years since the untimely loss of Mac Silva and the
disbanding of Black Lace, the fabulous and much loved band
which played for more than 20 years, with four generations of musicians.

Some of the band members are looking for film footage, and recordings.


L to R: Mac, Junior, Arnold, Andrew
    History of the band  

Mac was a very talented musician and singer and upon arriving in Sydney he started performing at the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs in George Street in the city. Mac’s band performed at the Foundation’s dances every Saturday and Sunday night. In 1966 he formed the Silva Linings band in which he was singer and drummer. The band won the Gold Coast Battle of the Sounds. After several years the band changed its name to Black Lace. Black Lace became very popular and gained a following throughout the Aboriginal communities in NSW and beyond. Blacks from everywhere would come to see Black Lace play, from Dubbo, Moreee and Northern NSW.  Read more

1975 Black Lace 500.jpg

Black Lace at the National Aboriginal Day Ball, 1975
                B: Arnold Williams, Frank, F: Andrew Donnelly, Cecil Patten, Kevin McGrady, Malcolm Silva 
The families of Rick Barnes, Geoff Compton & Steve Lugnan sent in some photos. Thanks to Lisa, Brentyn, Geoff & Letitia. Check out the gallery.
Silva Linings
    Rick Barnes  

My dad the late Rick Barnes was an original member of Black Lace, starting with SILVA LININGS and also when they changed their name to SENATE. This is a picture of when my dad joined the band and what he looked like at that time, and my mother Rhonda. Mum said the photo was taken in March 1969. He joined the band in 1968 and remained with them through the name change to Senate and then on and off with Black Lace throughout the 70s. We lived with Geoff Compton and his then wife Dawn and their two kids Bernadette and Geoffrey Compton in 1970-71. Mum was a nurse at Rachel Forster Hospital in Redfern and met Rick when he and the band were playing at the Clifton Hotel. The Clifton Hotel was a hot spot in those days and Anthony Mundine’s dad used to watch them play often with his then wife Lyn. They had three children - Joanne, Lisa and Richard.

Senate recorded a single in the early 70s. It was a cover of ‘BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX', featuring Mac on vocals and Rick on lead guitar.

The Redfern Hotel I believe was a regular hang out for my dad and the band. My dad died of a massive heart attack on 1996 at age 50 and we miss him very much. I'm wondering if anyone has any pics with my dad in them or old recordings, in the late 60s early 70s. The single was professionally done. [Lisa Reade (Barnes)]
    Mac Silva  

Music, Mac and Malabar Mansion
Tracker article by Gary Foley 2013

See also our pages on Mac Silva and the Mac Silva Centre


audioheart.gif  BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX  - A single was recorded in the early 1970s, when the band was called Senate, featuring Mac on vocals and Rick Barnes on lead guitar.

Rick's family would like to locate a copy, if anyone can help.

audioheart.gif Rock against racism Vol.1 1985  Melbourne Aboriginal Radio Association [Koori Radio] Concert held during Koori Week (NADOC '85) at Powerhouse Theatre, Albert Park


audioheart.gif  DEATHS IN CUSTODY   &   DON'T BOGART THAT JOINT 1988 Maya Records - see below

Mac Silva also on

audioheart.gif Aboriginal prison song collection

  • JAILHOUSE ROCK  with Vic Simms & Roger Knox who also had songs on the album.

Koori classics Volume 4 & The best of Koori classics   -   listen ♫♪♫

    Film footage  
film footage

0 0 0 filmcamera50low.jpgc. 1975 Title No: 281343 Title: BLACK AND WHITE RAG Live performance, Sydney Opera House with Winifred Atwell. Held at the National Film and Sound Archive

0 0 0 filmcamera50low.jpg In 1981 Peter Gray filmed several rock concerts, including Rock Against Racism.

Title No: 280528 Title: BAD BAD LEROY BROWN


Title No: 280531 Title: LONG AS I SEE THE LIGHT

Title No: 280521 Title: MELTING POT


Title No: 280529 Title: ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN

Title No: 280532 Title: SULTANS OF SWING


Title No: 280527 Title: WALK THE DOG


Title No: 280526 Title: [UNKNOWN SONG]             

0 0 0 filmcamera50low.jpg  Geoff Compton's footage, filmed at The Settlement in 1978  -  watch ♫♪♫

0 0 0 filmcamera50low.jpg  MALABAR MANSION music video recorded at the Block in 1988 -  watch ♫♪♫
Produced by Madeleine McGrady, Cheryl Rose, Nick Power & Greg Hoy, with Metro TV.

0 0 0 filmcamera50low.jpg Building bridges concert.  1988.  ABC has complete footage

                       BLACK MAGIC WOMAN      a clip from 88.9 Radio Redfern      watch ♫♪♫
                       BEFORE YOU ACCUSE ME  an invisiblTV reSYNC clip              watch ♫♪♫

0 0 0 filmcamera50low.jpg Buried country The story of Aboriginal country music. Film Australia 2000 [75m]
Deaths in custody / Don't bogart the joint

Phil Richards posted photos of the cover & inserts on Discogs
and Ian Hearn has uploaded his original recording

1976 dance poster

1978 dance poster
    Feedback 1 September 2010  

Redfern / Fitzroy

The relationship between Redfern and Fitzroy during the late 60s, 70s and 80s was of utmost importance. Having the same vision in Aboriginal Health politically bonded a stream of "black activists" up and down the eastern coast of Australia. Soon after this "bond" expanded into Brisbane and hence the beginnings of the black power movement ( Bruce Mac and Bob Mazza invited Carribean activist Roosevelt in 1969 at AAL). Small groups of Redfern people moved to Melbourne and vise versa... Kevin Smith established the first Aboriginal Rugby team in Melbourne and players from the famous Fitzroy Stars Football Club (aussie rules) would give them a hand and play if they were "short". The most powerful National black organisation in the history of this country, NAIHO, would never have been as effective as it was if the the bond between Redfern and Fitzroy hadn't been what it was... Black Lace used to come to Melbourne and play for "special occassions" including Koori Kollij Health Worker Education Program graduation... 'Cabaret's' at Collingwood Town Hall and they would pack em to the hilt... Everyone had a personal connection with the band members because they were a part of us and came from the same 'black ghetto' as Fitzroy people...


Kelvin Onus-King

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