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Showcase for local talent: do you dare to join them?
If you live south of Adelaide and you're looking for a Saturday night treat, it will be hard to beat this weekend's offering at the Singing Gallery in McLaren Vale.
This has to be just what's needed for a chilly winter evening: a fabulous concert in one of the best venues around!
For five years now, local poets and musicians have been serving up treats at monthly open mics, organised by SPIN Southern Performers Interactive Network.
SPIN was originally conceived and founded by poet and the Street Owls.
The Street Owls: Deb and Ash Stewart
Deb was keen to provide a nurturing environment for emerging poets and musicians, where they could perform in front of an encouraging audience and develop their skills by meeting and learning from like-minded performers. While Deb has moved on to pursue her own musical career, SPIN continues, co-run by Julia Wakefield and Maria Vouis.
After a few location changes, SPIN has called the Singing Gallery home for the past eighteen months. Here, it has received inspired support from the Singing Gallery's owner/manager, musician, poet and songwriter David Clark. His partner, musician, songstress and sound expert, Kate Townsend works with Barry Timmins, songwriter, lead singer and all round musician in Mixed Brew, to successfully create a professional sound in the fabulous venue.
Spin has proven to be a hotbed of aspiring local talent and many of the regular performers have formed fruitful collaborations, taking them in new and exciting directions. Storytellers and audio-visual performances are now part of the mix.
Maria Vouis, poet, musician and co-host of SPIN, performs her poetry with a video, compiled by Vladimir Lorenzon
The Open Mic is usually on the first Wednesday of the month, but in July, SPIN will host a special concert, this time on the first Saturday of the month.
Jules Leigh Koch, poet
Instead of the usual single guest, there will be two special guests well-known and much-loved Adelaide poet, Jules Leigh Koch and the celebrated harpist, Rosemary Hallo.
Rosemary Hallo, SA Harpist
A late addition to the program is a performance by the Japanese flautist Munetaka Umehara, who play the Fue, a bamboo flute that is played on its side like a Western concert flute. Munetaka has played his flute at many poetry readings and functions in Adelaide, sometimes in a duet with a didgeridoo!
In addition, nine other invited performers will add their special brand of music or poetry or both to the mix.
Entry fee to the concerts is a tiny $8 ($5 concession) truly a bargain!
Singing Gallery boasts a fully licensed bar also serving hot drinks (including Dave's now famous Chai).
And, to tailor the evening to your own taste please bring your own food.
In all this excitement, the open mic hasn't been forgotten! Towards the end of the evening, it's open mic time albeit a shorter than usual segment (9-10:30pm).
Contributors are asked to keep their pieces as brief as possible, so everyone can have a go! Haiku and shorter poems will be especially welcome!
Keep your eyes out for further SPIN concerts the group aims to hold two concerts per year. The concert environment will give regulars more of a chance to perform more structure pieces and will also showcase performers from other parts of Adelaide and even other parts of SA or interstate!
Poet, photographer and dramatic arts specialist, Martin Christmas who is responsible for all photos (except for this one, and the Street Owls).
SPIN aims to put on two concerts a year from now on, to give regulars more of a chance to perform more structured pieces, and also to showcase performers from other parts of Adelaide (and indeed, other parts of SA or even interstate!).