The Smith Street Band Salivate Over Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival

  • Written by 
  • Thursday, 05 May 2022 10:15
The Smith Street Band headline the 2022 Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival. The Smith Street Band headline the 2022 Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival.

This July marks the return of the only festival in Adelaide to induce Homer Simpson-style drooling at the mouth, and the only festival where your excessive salivation will be completely understood and acceptable.

Returning to Adelaide Showground (15-17 July), the Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival rises from the hazy charcoal embers to delight meat lovers, vegetarians, and vegans alike.

Yes, there'll be something on offer for everyone – from the biggest of foodies to the most hesitant of picky eaters; and who doesn't love an icy brew with their mates?

It's not just a party for your palette that organisers are set to host, but one that titillates all the senses. Beer & BBQ have got your music needs taken care of too, with an immense line-up of Aussie talent earmarked for the event.

Headlined by Skegss, the bill also boasts the likes of Bodyjar, 28 Days, Wagons, Jess Lock, Scabz, DJ Mermaid and of course, previous Beer & BBQ collaborators and performers, The Smith Street Band.

"It's been on our calendar for quite a while," the band's drummer Matt Bodiam says of their return.

Back in 2018 as part of their appearance at Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival, the band collaborated with Melbourne's Fixation Brewing Co – who'll once again be presenting their liquid gold delights this year – to create their own exclusive TSSB brew, an IPA they named The Lee Hartney Experience, after their long-time guitarist.

There's clearly something about this festival that made The Smith Street Band say yes to returning. "It's another excuse to go to Adelaide," Matt says.

"We always enjoy playing Thebarton Theatre – it's not always appropriate for us to play there if it's been awhile since a release, you can't play the city every time. We like doing festivals, that kind of thing – plus, we all love a good beer!"

In his native Melbourne, Matt, along with his wife, used to run The Reverence Hotel. So on the beer side of things, he certainly has some knowledge of what makes a good beer.

"I suppose for me, I really started getting bored of the old man Carlton Draught scenarios – don't get me wrong, the mainstream product has their place, and that's totally fine.

"I'm not a massive one for super heavy IPAs, that's not really my vibe. I can enjoy it, but if I'm going to have a good sesh, it's probably going to be a pale ale for the refreshing side than a taste overload.

"I'm quite happy to sit down and have one with anyone of any flavour!"

A band who've been around the globe a fair few times, it's a given The Smith Street Band have had their fair share of barbecue parties.

Luckily for locals, Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival are bringing the world to them serving up everything from traditional Korean barbecue to North African sensations, good ol' fashioned American grilling and of course, homegrown Aussie flaming flavours.

Upon hearing some of the options available, Matt's salvia glands go into overdrive.

"That makes me say I want to check it out – it reminds me of being on tour, in the States. Some parts down in the south, on the highway at the top of the road there'll be people in massive, big steel trailers, cooking up BBQ American style, selling pork rolls for a couple of bucks.

"Korean barbecue used to be a tour favourite for me – the idea of sitting at a table as everything cooks, it's just mind-blowing."

The Smith Street Band are, however, as Matt explains "75 per cent vego or vegan". Not a problem at Beer & BBQ Festival, where, as mentioned, storms will be cooked up that's friendly to all dietary leanings.

One such outlet among the many vego/ vegan-friendly BBQ joints at this year's event is Adelaide's own Two-Bit Villains, an eatery whose menu Matt, a solid carnivore, says the band have often enjoyed post-show.

"We've had it quite a few times after shows at night," he says. "Our tour manager, he's the foodie, the one generally into trying everything. He's also vegan, making sure everyone tries the vegan option at every place we go.

"He likes to pick everyone's food at a venue; he'll pick what he thinks everyone's going to eat – to be honest with you 95 per cent of the time, he's spot on.

"There's probably a lot of vegan options at something like Beer & BBQ Festival – vegan food's come a long way."

And what better way to immerse yourself in the feasting than to enjoy an appropriate soundtrack?

For their Beer & BBQ set, Matt hints at the band performing new material. "[We've] been road-testing a couple of songs in regional Victoria," he says.

"Beer & BBQ is just before we release a new single. A brand-new record will be out later this year; it's come along quite good actually."

Of the rest of entertainment billed for Beer & BBQ, Matt says he and the band are pretty much familiar and friends with everyone.

"We've defo [sic] done festivals with Skegss," he says, "[and] I'm old friends with the guys in Bodyjar, I've seen them play hundreds of times, I love Bodyjar.

"There are bands on that bill I'm keen to see, but most of them we've bumped into on tour and at other festivals. Everyone knows everyone."

And there is actually, when you think about it, something about a good barbie that cries community and camaraderie, a point Matt excitedly agrees with. "People think barbecue and they think relaxed," he says.

"I wouldn't show up to a mate's barbecue in my best dressed attire, I think that's what it says to me. "It's chilling out, having a good time with friends, and not worrying too much about the stresses of weekday living. Barbecues are always good."

Adelaide Beer & BBQ Festival takes place at Adelaide Showground 15-17 July.

The Smith Street Band 2022 Tour Dates

Fri 6 May - Kay Street (Traralgon)
Sat 7 May - Pier Bandroom (Frankston)
Fri 13 May - Westernport Hotel (San Remo)
Fri 10 Jun - Volta (Ballarat)
Sat 11 Jun - Torquay Hotel (Torquay)
Wed 24 Aug - Cambridge Hotel (Newcastle)
Thu 25 Aug - The Entrance Leagues Club (Central Coast)
Fri 26 Aug - The Metro Theatre (Sydney)
Sat 27 Aug - UOW UniBar (Wollongong)
Fri 16 Sep - Kambri @ ANU (Canberra)
Sat 17 Sep - Kambri @ ANU (Canberra)
Thu 22 Sep - Miami Marketta (Gold Coast)
Fri 23 Sep - The Fotrtitude Music Hall (Brisbane)
Sat 24 Sep - Eleven Dive Bar (Sunshine Coast)
Fri 7 Oct - The Gov (Adelaide)
Sat 8 Oct - The Gov (Adelaide)
Fri 28 Oct - Astor Theatre (Perth)
Sat 29 Oct - Wintersun Hotel (Geraldton)



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