BIO (short version)

Born to run and built to last, Roymackonkey are a Darwin music scene institution. Formed in the long-ago halcyon days of the mid '90s, and so steeped in all the classic alternative rock of that decade, they've spent two decades playing passionate music that goes for both the heart and the throat, with no end in sight. They are Darwin's premier last-men-standing rock band.

Taking their name from a book found at a rehearsal space, Roymackonkey formed in 1997, releasing their debut EP "The Quality of Meat" a year later. Their volcanic, anthemic heavy rock quickly gained support with the locals, with Roymackonkey becoming the go-to support band for just about every interstate band who came through town. They've never looked back.

After many years of upheaval and several personnel changes, the band's line-up finally settled in 2013 when founding members John Coulehan (vocals), Darryl Barba (guitar), and long-time member Fletcher Kane Bowman (drum kit) were joined by Rudy Navin (bass) and Tristan Etherington (guitar). As Fletcher puts it: "This is the final line-up, the one that lasts until the band breaks up."

Their much-anticipated album, 2013's "Abandonment Issues", spun off two genuine hit singles in "Sleep Tonight" and "Great Divide", along with radio hits "Illumination" and "Break." The album earned them two awards for Best Rock Song and People's Choice in the inaugural NT Song Of The Year awards (for "Sleep Tonight"), as well as the Best Rock/Indie Award at the 2013 Australian Songwriters Association Awards (for "Great Divide"). "Sleep Tonight" was also distributed nationally via the "Jack Jill Coke 4" compilation, distributed via street-press magazines Drum Media, Inpress, Time Off and Rip It Up.

Other achievements include winning the Darwin round of the 2001 Jim Beam National Campus Bands competition (and coming 4th in the finals at the Corner Hotel Richmond, Melbourne), winning the Darwin round of the 2014 Global Battle of the Bands. Plans for 2016 and beyond call for more interstate touring, recording an acoustic album, and going wherever the music takes them.

Some of the bands they've shared stages with: Cold Chisel, Thirsty Merc, Wolfmother, the Beards, Gay Paris, Dallas Crane, Grenadiers, Magic Dirt, Serina Pech, Sons of the Morning, Sietta, the Superjesus, Rollins Band, Shihad, Grinspoon, You Am I, Palace of the King, Powderfinger, Kingswood, Mammal, Jebediah, Gyroscope, Birds of Tokyo, the Screaming Jets and, on one memorable night in 1998, Slim Dusty.

The Quality of Meat (EP, 1998)
Re-evolve (demo compilation, 2002)
A Legion of Me (demo compilation, 2004)
Themes for Drowned Lovers (live acoustic album, 2006)
Monuments and Minefields (demo compilation, 2007)
Cassandra Never Lies (EP, 2008)
Sleep Tonight (CD single, 2011)
Abandonment Issues (album, 2013)

For more information, check out the band’s official website:


BIO (long version)

Roymackonkey officially formed in 1997 and immediately made their mark on the local original music scene as a hard rocking Alternative rock grunge act! and found themselves being welcomed with open arms by the musical community of Darwin.

The band came about when Darryl , John and Brian who were 3 parts of the grunge band "Pigeon Hole" found themselves without a Guitarist when their axe slinger left the band! so Darryl put down the sticks, grabbed the guitar and started writing songs with the remaining members John Coulehan (vocals) and Brian McLeod (bass), from these early writing sessions came songs like "Spent sub atomic particles" "Killing Jar" "RU486" "Keepsake" and "Bicuspid" but obviously they needed a full line up so Steve Smith was called in on drums and guest guitarists Dan Nicholson and Tim Parish! Many rehearsals and band name's later Darryl , John , Brian and Steve were left standing to announce they were emerging onto the Local music scene as "Roymackonkey"

Almost a year later the band recorded their first easy player "The Quality Of Meat" featuring the tracks "Agrodeziac" , "Bicuspid" , "RU486" , "Midge Water" and "Keepsake" with Triple J producer Chris Thompson and Kakadu Studios engineer Matt Cunliffe.

Roymackonkey fast became one of the well loved and sought after support acts for National and International touring bands which led to the band sharing the stage with acts such as The Rollins Band , Wolfmother ,You Am I, The Living End, Bodyjar, Dallas Crane, The Dissociatives,Grinspoon, Painters & Dockers, The Superjesus, Magic Dirt and the late great Slim Dusty.

In July 2000, after an amazing show supporting the international heavyweights of rock The Rollins Band, Roy Mackonkey set off on anextensive tour of the Northern Territory with new bassist James Mangohig and singer-songwriter Shellie Morris."The Beaten Track Tour" saw them unplugging the amps and reinventing their songs acoustically, sparking a new fire for the John and Darryl. Mid 2000 the band were in trouble with internal differences rearing its ugly head! which led to the departure of Steve and James.

John and Darryl kept playing as a duo around Darwin but also hired gun skin beater Lukas Bendel! and also lured Brian back into the loop as he was a lot healthier after his personal struggle with an illness that is too complicated to even try and describe.

After winning the Darwin round of the 2001 Jim Beam National Campus Bands competition, Roy Mackonkey came 4th in the finals at the Corner Hotel Richmond, Melbourne.

2001-2004, Darryl and John wrote and performed mostly as a duo. They decided to move to Melbourne in 2004, and immediately locked in a residency at The Lounge, Docklands, where they met with Melbourne based multi-instrumentalist Rob Longstaff.

Rob invited them to perform at the opening of his Acoustica shows, Bridge Hotel, Richmond, leading to more shows at speakeasy bars and cafés across Melbourne.

Feeling homesick in 2005, the boys headed back to Darwin. With new songs and a hunger to hit the stage as a full band again, they enlisted drummer Fletcher Bowman (Plonker, Burrfoot) and bassist Attilla Goddolley (Ownkind) and wasted no time showcasing the new tunes. They headlined at local festivals and benefit shows and, also, supported the Screaming Jets and 28 days as the powerful rock outfit they are best known as.

Switching back to acoustic guitars in 2006, Roy Mackonkey played in the Monsoon Sessions at the Darwin Entertainment Centre. This saw them rework older songs and present new songs with the inclusion of a string section, a piano and slide guitar, giving the band a totally new sound. This then lead to a series of ‘unplugged & re-strung’ shows at bars, gaining a new audience and stronger confidence in the acoustic sound.

2007 was Roy Mackonkey’s 10th anniversary. To mark this occasion, they invited the Darwin Youth Orchestra to play on stage with them at the Darwin Festival Star Shell with acoustic songs and rock songs being scored to incorporate the 40-piece monster of strings, brass and kids. The performance was a sold-out success.

In 2008, Roy Mackonkey were playing shows at the Cat & Fiddle in Sydney. In-between the shows, they headed into the Damien Gerard Studios to record demo E.P. Cassandra Never Lies featuring "The Fear" , "World War Me" , "Go Steady" , Chain Letter" & "Zombie Sex Gods" with the single The Fear being picked up by Foghorn Records for their Grow Your Own Upload, Volume 12, compilation album.

In July of that year, the band returned to Darwin to support The Screaming Jets at Discovery nightclub and Wolfmother at the V8 Supercars Hidden Valley Raceway. With the 2009 release of Cassandra Never Lies, Roy Mackonkey embarked on a March tour and a steady stream of concerts as support acts. Roy Mackonkey also played the Timor Lesté 10th Anniversary of Independence show staged at Melbourne's Federation Square in August.

2010 saw the guys play Perth and Melbourne in support of their EP Cassandra Never Lies before flying to Toronto, Canada, for Indie Week Festival 2010. It was a tremendous honour to be selected for this major, international festival that celebrates independent music. After a successful week of shows and an adventurous trip across America to Hawaii, the boys headed home to Australia for the ‘Long way to the Top End’ concerts at the Adelaide Fuse Festival in February 2011.

In the May of 2011, the band headed across to Brisbane to record five songs with Chart Song Studios Producer Stuart Stuart.

2012 The band wins two awards for Best Rock song and Peoples Choice in the inaugural NT Song Of The Year Awards for their single Sleep Tonight which features on the debut album "Abandonment Issues" , "Sleep Tonight" was also distributed nationally via a compilation cd of unsigned acts! Jack Jill Coke Volume 4! This will be available via streetpress magazines Drum Media , Inpress , Time Off and Rip It UP as an Off The Record/Jungle Studios Initiative.

2013 Debut album "Abandonment Issues" released 9/3/2013 , 10 track album featuring Sleep Tonight, Go Steady, Abandonment Issues and Great Divide which have all been added to playlists for many community radio stations across Australia. Great Divide wins best Rock/Indie Award in the 2013 ASA Awards.

Sleep Tonight has been added to international radio provider Daily Unsigned Radio's catalogue who supply music direct to AHA Harman who in turn blast music direct to the dashboard of vehicles in the U.S of A from their music platform.