Launceston over 18s gig

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Peter Combe & Reliving My Childhood 31 July 2018 Share on Tumblr If you grew up in Australia in the 80s or 90s, Australian kids’ pop culture flooded our TVs, radios and print media. What a time to be alive. We were Weet-Bix kids, drinking Cottee’s Cordial (sometimes with our Weet-Bix), we knew all the jingles from the ads about the food we ate and we also sang about Bananas in Pyjamas while we watched Playschool. There seemed to be so many fabulous tunes centred around food. I recently connected with my much younger self as did many 20 to 30-something year-olds on a Friday night at an over 18s Peter Combe gig. I was about three or four years old when I started listening to the award winning Peter Combe records and audio cassettes and watched his concerts on TV and VHS tapes. I was a very young Peter Combe fan, and like many children, he introduced me to fun, wacky music. Peter Combe and the Belly Flop In A Pizza Band now do shows in licensed venues for adults who grew up listening to his music. The gigs start around 10pm, but the music has not changed. I was nicely surprised that the show I went to was completely wholesome, just how I remember. Peter Combe and the band looked like they were genuinely having a blast on stage too. Surrounded by young adults wearing newspaper hats in honour of the song, “Newspaper Mama” is both entertaining and hilarious. Some people made their own hats at home and brought them along to wear. Others made their hats at the gig using the newspapers left on the bar for the simple purpose of making newspaper hats. A huge shout out and “thank you,” to the kind stranger, who was demonstrating how to make the newspaper hat to her friends, saw I was completely clueless at craft and origami, and gave me a hat to wear. We were just a bunch of big kids dancing around singing anthems from our early childhood. It was like being transported back in time except we are now legal to drink alcohol. As adults we have bills, jobs and responsibilities but going to the Peter Combe gig was an escape from normal adult life. Before the gig, I went home after work and motivated myself to clean the house before the weekend. I listened to Peter Combe songs that I hadn’t listened to for almost 25 years, which also helped prepare me for his gig. Most of the audience has their own children now and to have the opportunity to stay out late partying as adults to Peter Combe is something we never would have imagined as children. I must be getting old. The performance started well after my usual bedtime and each year it becomes more difficult to recover after a late night. I must have listened to Peter Combe’s records on repeat when I was a child as the memories came flooding back as though I had never stopped listening to him. His catchy music is positive, silly and fun. Childhood should be bright, colourful, energetic and beautiful, and his songs have made so many children happy. Peter Combe’s lyrics have often popped into my head over the years. Every time I see a newspaper, I think of his song, “Newspaper Mama”. I associate squeezing an orange with “Mr Clicketty Cane” and the lyrics “Wash your face with orange juice.” The list goes on. As recent as a couple of years ago, I shared a YouTube clip of Peter Combe on my personal Facebook page. I did not realise until now that Peter Combe helped shape so many people's memories of music, including my own. Perhaps I love eating Italian food so much because of the “Spaghetti Bolognaise” song. He also sings “Toffee Apple” but I haven’t had a toffee apple since I was in pre-school, which my dentist would be relieved about. Peter Combe is my earliest memory of any pop star or pop music, because my family didn’t listen to any other pop music. He was marketed as an Aussie kids’ pop star and he was a household name. Peter Combe’s background is in teaching, which definitely shines through when he interacts with the audience and he has made (and continues to make) a wonderful contribution to Australian music including winning well deserved ARIAs. As I progressed into my pre-teens, The Wiggles rose to fame and their songs were also catchy, although by then I had outgrown children’s pop music. By that stage I had Hanson posters all over my bedroom wall and my music tastes eventually broadened from pop to grunge to techno and even to classical choral music (as I was part of a professional youth choir). I’ve always preferred more quirky songs and bands and went through a ska phase in the early 2000s. I can pin-point the appreciation of these genres of music back to my early years listening to Peter Combe. I’ll be listening to Peter Combe’s Christmas album this year to continue the memories and make new ones. If you have kids and they haven’t yet heard of Peter Combe, it’s time to have a mandatory family “Newspaper Mama” sing-along with them. By Bronwen Hartas