“It has been quite a while since we’ve heard any real message music that takes on the big issues. Melbourne based singer-songwriter Les Thomas debut  Survivor’s Tale is a collection of songs  about social justice and human rights

. . . this is not a whiney folk record. His album reads like a who’s who of Australian blues and roots royalty. It features the distinctive sounds of guitar ace Jeff Lang with vocals from Mandy Connell and Alison Ferrier. The album is a narrative, the focus is on human stories and real emotions.

At a time when the country has taken a leap to the political right, the time is ripe for an album like this . . . This album is one of less pretence and more substance. Without being an angry call to arms, it reflects on some of the most pressing human rights issues we have faced in decades.” — Michelle Salter, Australian Musician Network | Read more


24 July, 2013

If you haven’t been involved in some form of discussion about asylum seekers over the past week then we’re astounded (and respectfully suggest you do some Googling).

Today we premiere the clip for a song that has been a powerful part of the campaign against the extended detention of genuine asylum seekers, Les Thomas’ Song For Selva, in which he gets a little help from some very special guests.

It was sports journalist Trevor Grant who requested Thomas write the song, based on a letter he received from a Tamil asylum seeker who had spent 37 months in Broadmeadows Detention Centre. Recorded with Jeff Lang in April of this year, the song drew plenty of attention from community radio upon its release and, with this clip, its audience will no doubt extend further.

Collingwood footballer Harry O’Brien has jumped on board (his old man fled war and persecution in The Congo) and a group of refugees from diverse backgrounds (Tamils, West Papuans and Hazaras) are also featured in the video, directed by Daniel Knight. — Read more at

“Singer-songwriter and folk evangelist Les Thomas has done so much for refugees in this country, using his music to build awareness, raise money and truly make a difference.” — Timber and Steel

“In the folk tradition of Woody Guthrie, Les Thomas doesn’t simply sing a story about a stranger, he learns their story, helps give them a voice and uses the medium of music as advocacy. Currently a lot of people get named and promoted as the next great folk artist, but it is people like Les Thomas that keep the origins of folk forefathers alive and true.” — Lauren Duiker, The Orange Press

“Les Thomas makes me want to be a better person . . . he’s a bloody good singer-songwriter.”
— Timber and Steel