Peter Combe, who is often referred to as the first pop-star of Australian children's music, has spent the last few years of his 30-plus year career with a unique duality in his live performances.
By day, he's still appearing at schools across the country and performing to all kinds of children; where he believes his music has transcended generations. “I can walk into any school in Australia – any single one – and they all know the words to 'Mr. Clicketty Cane,'” he says.
By night, however, his shows are taken over by children of yesteryear, now in their late 20s and early 30s, who are hoping to relive a bit of their childhood by singing-along with Peter's best-known hits. “They bring newspaper hats, they bring toffee apples... it's a whole lot of fun,” he says.
“When I first started doing these shows, I could have never anticipated the response. I even had a couple of people bum-rush the stage just because they were so excited to sing the songs again.”
With a new album of children's music ready to go, Peter is expected to keep up yet another busy year of extensive touring. Even at 68, he gets as much satisfaction out of performing now as he did when he first started. “It's still incredible fun.
“I have a great band in Adelaide and a great band in Melbourne, and I love getting out to all the capital cities on tour; which is what I'll get to do when the new album arrives.”
Before that, however, Peter is once again bound for Adelaide Fringe; including children's matinees, adults-only evening shows and an appearance at Live On 5 at the Adelaide Oval. Everyone is invited – after all, that pizza isn't going to belly-flop into itself.Live On 5 takes place at the Adelaide Oval 24 Feb until 11 March. Peter Combe performs 25 February.