When it comes to the history of Aussie rock, Adelaide has produced some of our biggest names; from Cold Chisel to The Masters Apprentices.
Part narrative and part rock concert, Turn Up Your Radio sees Southern Keys pay homage to the artists and particularly the songs that make up the intricate weave of Australian rock music. “Audiences can expect a lot of energy and the story of how a lot of really high-end Australian music came out of Adelaide,” Southern Keys vocalist Brian Gilbertson explains.
“There were a lot of bands who were making their music here in Adelaide… so we speak about that journey starting with The Twilights, and of course The Twilights moved through Axiom and Mississippi into Little River Band, who became so successful Americans actually think they’re an American band.”
It is also from Adelaide that we were gifted with one of this country’s, if not the world’s, most wildly iconic rock & roll frontmen, Bon Scott from AC/DC. “Bon Scott was the lead singer for Fraternity [Jimmy Barnes was also a member] then moved into AC/DC and of course AC/DC became a massive world hit through that connection. There’s a plethora of all these great musicians and great bands,” Brian says.
Turn Up Your Radio tells the stories of Adelaide’s musical contributions via a combination of live music and theatre, which transports the audience on a ride through retro radio. “The band is the recordings,” Brian says. “The DJ is in our [current] time speaking as if he’s playing discs and we, effectively like robots, jump in to play the songs while he plays the discs, and then we’ve got a storyteller narrator who goes back in time to talk about that.
“Towards the end there are just those irresistible songs and we absolutely clear the chairs; people jump up and down. By the end everyone’s sweating and walking out saying ‘God, what happened there?’”
Turn Up Your Radio takes place at The Gov (Adelaide) 14 July as part of the Umbrella: Winter City Sounds programme.