Awesome Bands From S.A.

South Australia is littered with brilliance from some of Australia's best bands!

When you’re talking awesome bands from South Australia, you’re in luck. In the past 10 years I’ve discovered heaps of bands from the ‘heaps good’ state. But delve a little further back in time, and it’s littered with brilliance. So grab a pack of Fru-chocs (or Haigs frogs), a Villi’s pie, and a 6 pack of West End (kidding, I know no one drinks that mud) and take a trip down memory lane..

Cold Chisel 

Damn straight they’re formed in Radelaide, and after a bumpy start with Jim Barnes (as he was known for a bit) they settled in nicely playing anywhere and everywhere, before relocating to Melbourne, and then Sydney. Chisel people CHISEL!

The Angels

I mean, WOW, we’ve really fired off two from two greats here. And as far as front men go, Doc Neeson was as imposing and magnetic as you could ever ask for. Never forget that this bands started as the Moonshine Jug and String Band, and when they changed to electric instruments, went on to play the Sunbury Pop Festival in 1974 (where Queen played!) and supported AC/DC on their South Australian tour. The heritage, the brilliance of 11 albums with Doc at the helm, the Angels are Australian Rock Icons and legends, who, without even trying, created magic, as seen in this clip.

The Masters Apprentices

Any time anyone mentions this band, the first thing I think of is "Turn Up Your Radio". Their 1970 hit that has stood the test of time as a true classic. But they scored a string of top 20 hits in their time, in which, modern day revivals aside, was only a few years as a band, from 1968-1972.

They evolved through beat boom, psychedelia, bubblegum pop, into one of Australia’s premier hard rock bands in the early 70’s.

The Superjesus

Easily one of my favourite bands ever. I fell in love with them as soon as I heard "Shut My Eyes". Like any young red blooded male, I had a total crush on Sarah McLeod’s voice. The young yearning almost wailing on "I’m Stained" gives me goose bumps every damn time I hear it, like "Great Gig In The Sky" by Pink Floyd. Originally known as Hell’s Kitchen, only changing the name the day before The Big Day Out in Adelaide 1996, a festival they would then play in 1997, The Superjesus have enjoyed a fantastic career, albeit with a short hiatus, and now are still in demand as a touring band, who recently released their 2000 album Jet Age on limited edition blue vinyl!

Paul Kelly

Australia’s poet laureate Paul Kelly was born in Adelaide in 1955. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love what he does. Maybe it was the self-confessed 20 year on/off heroin addiction that opened his mind to writing, I don’t know, but I doubt it. Paul is just one of very few who can articulate perfectly moments in time through song. A true storyteller in every sense of the word. His first performance wasn’t in South Australia however, it was in Tasmania, but there’s no way Tassie is claiming this great man. It’s hard to know what to write about Paul, because so much has already been said, and most perfectly by the man himself. So, just enjoying one of his stories instead.

The Mark of Cain

Forgotten about The Mark Of Cain? How very dare you. What a bloody fantastic band to come out of Australia, let alone South Australia. I was late to the scene to be fair, only hearing of them because I was banging on about Helmet, and a mate (Scott) at high school suggested “You should listen to The Mark Of Cain if you like Helmet, Australian band.” I dunno how he found these bands but he put me on to so many over the trip. The Unclaimed Prize was the first album from The Mark of Cain I heard, so I guess it was around 1991. Reading a current review of the band, I found a quote that really is quite apt, “ This music doesn't date, especially not in the current security-constructed climate."

Once again, this is just scratching the surface of great bands that hail from South Australia, we’d love to see your favourite local legends in the comments below.

- Higgo