Let Me Be There: Olivia Newton-John

August 9, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, FILM, LIFE, Modern Music, MUSIC |

Olivia Newton-John (26 September 1948 – 8 August 2022) The quintessential girl next door sang like the girl next door: no screeching, no vocal tricks, no auto-tune. A mellow, pellucid delivery in the fashion of Karen Carpenter. At one stage, in the 1970s, country fans thought her a country poseur but listen to songs like ‘Jolene’, ‘Banks of the Ohio,’ ‘If You Love Me, Let Me Know,’ and ‘Let Me Be There,’ and she more than justifies the mantle of country singer. Her apple-pie purity was used to great effect in the hugely commercially successful film Grease (1978), and when…

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The Black Sorrows

Photo by Tania Jovanovic

(…play Saint George’s Road (and more), Adelaide Guitar Festival, 15 July 2022) Joseph Camilleri (b. 1948 in Malta) formed the seminal R & B / Rock band, Jo Jo Zep And The Falcons, in 1975, that crafted several classic songs (So Young, Hit And Run, Shape I’m In, we even liked the faux-disco Sweet) that would have been monster hits in any parallel universe. Real success didn’t come until 1983, when Camilleri created The Black Sorrows, with hits such as Hold On To Me, Harley and Rose, Chained To The Wheel, Never Let Me Go, Mystified and the Chosen Ones….

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The King is Dead

June 30, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Neil Kerley after the 1973 Grand Final

Neil Kerley (20 February 1934 – 29 June 2022) Tonight, Saint Jude (the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes) is having dobs with Neil Kerley. ‘Knuckles’ specialised in taking football teams from despair to triumph, or at least respectability. West Adelaide, a good team, could not win Grand Finals. Until Kerley took over and captain-coached the Bloods to the 1961 Premiership in the “The Turkish Bath Grand Final.” South Adelaide, eating its gruel with 1963’s wooden spoon, was talented but clueless. Until Kerley took over and captain-coached the Panthers to the 1964 Premiership. The Glenelg Tigers had descended…

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‘Nothing Better than the First Attempt’: Cabaret Life Drawing

June 11, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Cabaret Life Drawing, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 11 June 2022) A very pleasant hour passed in the Cabaret Festival’s Spiegeltent on the Festival Centre Plaza. This was a life drawing session (not really a lesson, more like a brief taste with a light touch). The assembled throng, their creative impulses enlivened by a glass of wine and some piano and bass versions of songs such as Puttin’ on the Ritz, Tea for Two and All of Me, attempted to depict model Letitia, striking various classy poses in an elegant gown (see below). It was conducted by Adelaide Central School of Art…

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Nitram

March 28, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Untethered

(Directed by Justin Kurzel) (2021) Suspense need not be a mystery. Out of the so-called 7 plots, the dramatist’s art is to finesse the selected one. As with Shakespeare, it matters not that we know the ending. In Nitram (‘Martin’ backwards, as is Martin), the story (about Martin Bryant, going ‘postal’ in April 1996) is notorious. Here, the director creates an intimate, very private background to a very public tragedy, and does it with great depth of feeling and beautiful pacing. It is a small town saga (the south-east coast of Victoria standing in for Port Arthur, probably for political…

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