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For nearly ten years until 2012 the Jade Monkey was an intimate live music venue in Adelaide, one of an increasingly shrinking group of places serving this niche market. It had a devoted crowd of followers and offered a valuable opportunity for new bands in South Australia to showcase their talent. Less a business than a hobby, the Jade Monkey was enormously popular with the people it served because it operated pretty much as a cooperative. A sister venue called The Two Ships inhabited downstairs in the same building on Twin Street.
All this came to an abrupt end in September 2013 when the Hines Group, owner of the property terminated the lease on their 140 year old building which was once the City Steam Biscuit Factory - the site of the first Balfours' Bakery in Adelaide. In more recent times the location at 29 Twin Street had also had significant associations with the music industry over many years.
Despite massive protests around Australia and a petition signed by nearly 5,000 people, Jade Monkey owners Zac and Naomi Coligan found themselves without a venue, and were forced to resort to a Pozible campaign to cover the crippling costs to find a new location and move. The crew were only able to move into their new home some 15 months later.
With some help from the Adelaide City Council and the State Government, The Jade Adelaide was able to secure the beautiful heritage listed St Pauls Rectory on Flinders Street Adelaide. Despite the huge financial strain after a year of hibernation, The Jade's supporters again came to their rescue and the new venue opened in December 2013.
The gorgeous new Jade Adelaide is far more elegant than the old venue - a large band and function room opens out onto a landscaped outdoor garden with comfortable seating, while an attractive light and airy bar with rustic furniture is quite unlike a pub environment. There are also plans in the works for a cafe and a lounge bar upstairs.
For someone like me whose close connection with live music dwindled years ago, The Jade is still somewhere I feel comfortable to drop into on a Sunday afternoon. It's a great place for music lovers to listen to the newest talent on the scene and also their favourite bands. See The Jade's website or check the Facebook page to find the latest details.
Another Good Night at The Jade - Image Thanks to Hugh Baldwin
While I don't pretend to know much about today's live music scene, let me quote Music SA - the peak music body in South Australia: The Jade is a representative of the best that a live original music scene can offer a city.
What a hero you are Dave; I've seen how you have continued to pledge support for Jade Monkey, with their dilemma of a location and now, how you court business at their new location.
Good on you. More people like you, should come to the party when they see a cause for passion. Good on you.
One of Adelaide's unsung supporters. Your articles are not only interesting, but always eminently extolling the virtues of living a good life in Adelaide. And although I have no time to write for WN anymore. I do keep an eye on it, and recommend the site to many, especially those I meet that are new to Adelaide. c&c
Good news...must drop in sometime.Speaking of Twin Street...I remember the "Cellar" late night Jazz venue...back in 1956...jam sessions held by the best musos around....would not get home until 3 am Monday morning and then have to go to work a few hours later..they were the days when Duffle Coats with hoods were in vogue.