I had forgotten how much fun Australian bush ballads could be when delivered well, and this delivery is pretty near perfect.
With an easy comfortable style, Peter Mitchell and Lachy Bruce spin some of the best yarns to come out of the outback, all of which are underscored with traditional accompaniment from Chris John on guitar, banjo and anything else that comes to hand.
They reintroduced us to some old friends like Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson with Clancy and Sweeney. They took us to visit the Geebung Polo Club, told us it’s a Long way to Jingalong, and introduced us to The Diamantina Drover because, of course, they have Been Everywhere. Add to this a beautiful rendition of Peter Allen’s Tenterfield Saddler.
They got the whole audience singing with Wallaby Stew and Wild Rover. Their cheeky characterisations, good humour and ability to tell a good tale kept the material fresh. This is a wonderful family night out and a great way to introduce the children to a bit of Australian literary history.
The Mates were only at the Whitmore for one night, but they have dates booked around SA (and Vic) for the rest of the year. Check their website and do yourself a favour: catch some Aussie history and have a good laugh.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: The Whitmore, 317 Morphett Street, Adelaide
Season: 21 June 2014
Duration: 1 hour