Closing the curtain for its final show this year, the Adelaide Music Collective has every reason to hold its head high after a magnificent effort in establishing itself as an industry haven for both old and new talent to network and share ideas. Founder Enrico ‘Mick’ Morena has done a sterling job of putting together such a multi-faceted initiative that has drawn well-known music industry personalities with emerging talent, and along with Radio legend David ‘Daisy’ Day, has promoted the South Australian Music Hall Of Fame as custodian of our colourful music history.
The final show on Friday night (21 Nov) at The Goodwood Institute saw the likes of the lovely Bev Harrell OAM (Singer-Entertainer), Evan & Idris Jones (The Mixtures), Peter Combe, (Children’s Entertainer) and Mick Wordley (Studio Engineer) inducted for their respective contributions to the industry.
The format has worked throughout the year, with several emerging or more current acts being showcased, followed by the inductions, and finally the more seasoned veterans showing what made them successful. Given that pretty much all of the shows have sold out, it’s a format that has music aficionados completely engaged.
The first act in the final session saw singer-songwriter Laura Hill return to Adelaide from her now interstate home. She was not only soothing and tranquil, but was also a great storyteller with her song’ The Secret’ conveying thoughts about her experiences on the road in a share house where a thief, pregnant woman and a philanderer made for some interesting moments. Her song ‘Blue Eyes’, inspired by Otis Redding, had a soulful almost Janis Joplin-like feel to it before she pulled the audience in to participate with a version of ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’
The Baker Suite were as sophisticated and suave as ever, and their notably jazzy/French Chic ‘je ne sais quoi’ is consistently good wherever they play and whatever variations to their lineup they may have. They brought the elegance of Paris to a theatre in Goodwood!
The inductions are an integral component of the evening and are a historical reminder of just how good Adelaide’s contribution to the music industry has been. Inducted by SA Music Hall Of Fame founder David ‘Daisy’ Day, all candidates receive a special medallion and their name on an Honour Roll which will soon move to a new home next year.
The first inductee, the lovely Bev Harrell OAM, was celebrated for her 60 plus years as an entertainer with a letter from fellow inductee Barry ‘The Bear’ McAskill. Harrell’s most known song “What Am I Doin’ Here With You” was a hit during the 60’s, and she toured with the likes of Chubby Checker, Lulu, the Rolling Stones and more in addition to a successful stage career. We spoke candidly before the inductions and shared stories of an amazing career and a wonderfully colourful life. Harrell is delightfully humble and almost apologetic for her meekness.
Next to be inducted was Mick Wordley, whose MixMaster Studios have produced some of the biggest names on showbiz. Interestingly, he did the first recording for Adelaide girl turned superstar Sia Furler.
Legendary kid’s entertainer Peter Combe was next to receive his medallion and rightful place in the SA Music Hall Of Fame for his long term service to generations of children. The former teacher has appeared on TV alongside Humphrey Bear and has numerous albums that proudly adorn the music collections of those far and wide
The final inductions were Evan and Idris Jones of groups The Gingerbread Men and of course The Mixtures, who penned the timeless 70’s classic ‘The Pushbike Song’. It was not only a smash hit, but was the first ever pop song to reach Number 1 in Australia, Europe and the UK by Australians. These guys really put Australian Music on the map and charted the way for others to follow.
After a break, Peter Combe took to the stage and delivered the energetic, playful music that has made him one of Australia’s most celebrated and well-known children’s entertainers. A complete natural on stage, Combe realised his genuine love for children whilst working as a school teacher many years ago. And no, he didn’t wash his face with Orange Juice before taking the stage!
For the finale, Evan and Idris Jones were accompanied by Mark Meyer on Drums and Quinton Dunne on Double bass in a stellar compilation of talent and experience. Performing hits and covers from rover the years, the Jones Brothers recounted stories of what particular songs meant to them whilst Evan provided the comic relief opposite straight man Idris. Evan’s Scottish character singing ‘Mulligan’s Tyres’ was a comical interlude, with his fashion sense and choice of underwear putting the audience in stitches. It was a surreal experience to see people whose music has influenced so many playing right in from of you, especially when they played both the original and popular versions of The Pushbike Song.
Congratulations must be given to Enrico Morena and his family of like-minded souls who have formed the Adelaide Music Collective and SA Music Hall Of Fame. Both are much needed as facilitators of our sometimes-underestimated music industry here in our wonderful state. We certainly don’t lack talent or the capacity to be frontrunners, and the AMC have taken a bold step in recognising this and harnessing what we have in a collaborative that keeps moving from strength to strength.
It has been a brilliant year for the initiative, with so many achievements and milestones on such a short time and it has been a privilege to have been given quite literally a backstage pass to these events. I can’t urge you enough to support local music by getting to not only these sessions, but to other gigs around town when you can, for in doing so you may very well be nurturing the next big thing to come out of Adelaide.
Story by Darren Hassan