The Big Beat comes back to Adelaide

Around eighty people gathered at The Howling Owl in Adelaide’s East End last night to celebrate the release of the Roadrunner magazine anthology, The Big Beat.

Deftly marshalled by ABC Radio Adelaide producer Suzy Ramone, a panel of Dr Collette Snowden, singer and songwriter John Schumann and myself was invited to ruminate and reminisce about the South Australian music scene and the impact of Roadrunner in the post-punk period of 1978-1983. Following the conversation, Enrico Morena inducted me into the South Australian Music Hall of Fame and John Schumann gave me a medal. Gosh. Then it was time to sign some books for a gratifyingly long line of book buyers.

An audio file of the event (thanks Peter Tee) is below.

Before the panel discussion got underway, Collette read a message from Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.

Inevitably when I am interviewed these days, so many of the questions involve looking back over 40 plus years that Simple Minds have been fortunate enough to have experienced to date. Among those questions, that are by far mostly of a congratulatory nature, the subject of regrets is almost guaranteed to surface.  Just as it should. After all, it is interesting to spend a little time pondering the ‘what if’s?’ and the ‘if only’s?’ that may not have materialised as realities. Problem for me in the telling however, is that I am not able to identify any substantial regrets. Least not in the sense of carrying around disappointments about results – or for that matter dreams – that failed to pan out. No! That is not the way I am. I am much more a ‘shrug o’ the shoulder type.’ One who usually having given things my best shot, believes in a wonderfully liberating maxim that goes, “You win some. You lose some.”  There is however one regret that I acknowledge and now try to bring to light whenever possible. It centres around the notion of gratitude. And that no matter how much I would like to; the chances are that I won’t get the opportunity to stare in the eyes and shake the hand of so many people (the world over) whose encouragement in the early stages of our career, helped propel Simple Minds beyond anything we could have conjured up by ourselves. As fate would have it – so many of those hands just happen to be Australian. I’m in Glasgow tonight. But I wish I was in Adelaide. Both Charlie Burchill and I do. Likewise, both of us still remember clear as day our first visit to the city and how Donald Robertson took us under his wing. Fresh from blowing our dear friends Icehouse off stage – at the Thebarton that night. (That’s what friends are for!) Donald sensed that these “Glasgow laddies” had plenty of energy to still to burn. And burn we did, under the guidance of Donald and his Roadrunner friends!  More seriously however. Still being kids at the time, Donald Robertson’s immense belief in The Minds, as evident in various Roadrunner articles, more than helped us to further believe in ourselves. And for that we will always be grateful! Yours, Jim Kerr

The audience at The Howling Owl

The audience at The Howling Owl (Pic: Peter Tee)

Great to catch up with Roadrunner contributors Eric Algra (who drove over from Melbourne), John Altree-Williams, Ross Stapleton (who came down from Queensland), John Buchan (Toby Cluechaz), Harry Butler, Scott Hicks and Rory Harris and to see some good old friends including Peter Goldsworthy, Chris Loft, Nigel Sweeting, Andrew Steel (who brought his mum), Sam Powrie, Nick Lainas, Chris Brougham, Rosey Batt, Geri Johnstone and my brother David.

Books signed - time for a drink!

Books signed – time for a drink! (Pic: David Robertson)

Huge thanks to Michael Zerman for launch coordination and to Mick and Rachel Kreig and staff at The Howling Owl for hosting the event with an irresistible combination of enthusiasm and professionalism.

More launch photos from Peter Tee.

And even more launch photos, from Paul Weston.

Main panel photo by Geri Johnstone.

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