Myths and Mysteries In The State Mid Year Budget Update – Part 1

By Peter Maddern

The Mid Year Budget Update delivered by then (but now sacked) Treasurer, Jack Snelling just before Christmas sustains the long term approach of this State Labor Government of delivering hope in the face of adverse reality and trusting the media won’t catch on to the smokescreen. It has certainly worked well for Labor over the past decade, especially with its dear friends at The Advertiser, and so why wouldn’t it continue in the same vein.

But the bottom line to the management of State’s finances by Labor is now, as it has been since the GFC (the start of FY2008-09) that they have clearly lost control of the situation.

Since that time (four years), the net lending of the State Government has gone up every year and the aggregate increase since that time is $4.4 billion. But notwithstanding, there is in effect precisely no effort being made to even consolidate this position as the aggregate of the next four years is projected to be a further $5.2 billion. That is, the situation not only gets worse, it is getting increasingly worse and this is after flogging off forests and buildings and whatever else can’t be nailed to the floor.

But how, given we hear so much about fiscal restraint and public service job losses?

Well, again since the GFC, the size of the Government’s expenses has gone up about 16% over the rate of inflation in four years and while in the past there were small operating surpluses that could go towards the payment of capital infrastructure, now everything contributes to greater state debt.

On the public service number front, it remains a magnificent furphy that public service numbers have been cut. The 2011 budget (Snelling’s first after the run in by his predecessor Kevin Foley with the public sector unions that brought him down) predicted FTE public service numbers by 1 July 2012 would by 79,859 but instead 12 months later he delivered 81,158 – 1,300 more than he predicted. Even in this year’s Mid Year update, total FTE in the public service will rise again this year, (albeit by just 77) and remain around 2,000 more than forecast around 18 months ago. No wonder we hear nothing from PSA Chief Janet Giles as despite the big talk public service numbers have gone up every year of this Labor government and now stand at around 10,000 more than could be justified on the basis of population growth over the past decade.

Another of the other great con jobs of this Labor Government is to produce growth in revenue numbers that superbly cover the unrestrained nature of its spending at the end of the forward estimates. It is a true reflection on how bad this State’s economy is going that revenue generated by state taxes (payroll, gambling, conveyancing etc) has grown a total of just 9% in the past four years. Yet, again the Government projects growth in the next four years of 26%. How?

Even its own estimates of growth in the State’s economy in the next four years are only 9.75%, just above the growth in revenue of the past four years and only about one-third of the growth needed to meet revenue expectations in this period. While employment growth is projected to be around a very miserable aggregate of 3.75%, the Government projects payroll tax revenues will increase by around 30%. Again how?

But the prize winning con trotted out by Foley and Snelling in equal measures (and always lapped up by the media) is the ruse about the Commonwealth GST. In the projected four years ahead, GST revenues are estimated to increase by a total of about 20%, that is double the projected growth by the Government for the State economy as a whole and double the increase in the CPI over that time. Sure, these finish at levels not expected a few years back but they are not ‘plummeting’ as the local press likes to regurgitate from the SA Government.

That means, you know, we aren’t doing too badly when it comes to the Federal Government and the GST take.

Which also means, the problem is not the making of other people outside of our control (ie the Federal Government) as the Labor spin doctors love portraying but rather the complete inability of this State Government to rein in its spending and generate growth.

The Government, of course, can’t also own up to the fact that it is spending away borrowed money on unproductive things – but more on that next time.

It all seems rather similar to the State Bank debacle of 20 years ago – only worse and with no end in sight.

(Note: All numbers and calculations used in this article derive from the State Budget papers.)

IN PART 2            Where did all the money go and where is it going now?

For previous articles on the problems with SA State Government finances, just search for ‘State Budget’ in this blog.

I Awake Sarah Blasko with the ASO – 1 Feb – Preview

I Awake – Sarah Blasko with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

The captivating Sarah Blasko will take I Awake on the road in February 2013 for a national tour and it’s set to be a big affair.  Blasko will perform with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, kicking off the national tour in Adelaide on 1 February.

After three platinum multi-award winning albums, Sarah Blasko returns home to Australia to embark upon her most ambitious and majestic project yet. I Awake, Sarah’s fourth album released in October 2012, was recorded in Stockholm and Bucharest with the 52-piece Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra.

Sarah has won two ARIA Awards for ‘Best Female’ and ‘Best Pop Album’ and also triple j’s J Award in 2009 for ‘Australian Album of the Year’.  She has been nominated for a further 14 ARIAs (including two for ‘Album of the Year’) and has been shortlisted for two Australian Music Prizes and the 2006 J Award.

Already acclaimed by critics as her masterpiece, the tour will showcase songs from I Awake as well as songs from her previous repertoire.

I Awake is a grand statement from one of the country’s most unique and respected artists.

The national tour is presented by triple j and Street Press Australia.

“a perfectly pitched affair, balancing introspection with wry eccentricity to conjure up something intimate yet poppy, delicate yet emotionally full-blooded.” The Daily Telegraph, UK

“a defining, unsettling masterpiece” Rolling Stone

What:           I Awake – Sarah Blasko with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

When:          1 February

Venue: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre

Hours: 8pm

Cost: Premium $95, Adult $85, Conc/Student $75, GreenRoom $42.50, Groups 6+ $80,

Season subscription Adult $80, Concession $70

Bookings: BASS 131 246 or online at www.bass.net.au

For further information visit: www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au

UNION 42 – SECOND ALBUM LAUNCH: SOMEWHERE IN THE SUNSHINE – 4.5K

By Julia Loipersberger

UNION 42 – SECOND ALBUM LAUNCH: SOMEWHERE IN THE SUNSHINE

In perfect time for midsummer, local band Union 42 has just released its second album, Somewhere in the Sunshine. The brainchild of former schoolmates David Farrugia and Marcus Wagstaff, this album oozes cool summer tracks to bop along to – whether on a good old roadtrip, playing beach cricket, hanging out with mates, or just wishing you were doing one of the above.

Having fun and looking at the lighter side of life is an appropriate motif for a band which wrote its debut album, Sketches from the Road, across the distance of multiple continents. While Marcus moved to the UK in 1999, David stayed in Adelaide, playing in those bands which are universally known amongst early noughties university students like myself – Pornland, and Sex Hurricane 1975.

However Union 42 continued to write music as a duo, organising get-togethers in places such as Malta, the American Deep South and Bali to create Sketches from the Road. And now that Marcus has returned to the land of sunshine down under, the band is hopefully going to keep churning out quality music.

The best way to describe Union 42’s style is to call it a melange of Southern blues meets early Beatles meets Lily Allen’s pep (without the attitude). Simply put, Union 42 is incredibly catchy, happy music which evokes feelings of sunshine, dancing late at night under ceiling fans, grabbing cold beers from eskies and making out with your crush for the first time.

Available NOW on CD from http://www.union42.com/ or iTunes via https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/somewhere-in-the-sunshine/id591339271

What more can I say, except – become acquainted with Union 42 before the weather turns cold and all you have to remind you of the sunshine is this cool new album.

Kryztoff Rating 4.5K

BARRIO 2013 LINE UP ANNOUNCED

BARRIO LINE-UP – FESTIVAL OF ARTS 2013
Over 10 nights during Adelaide Festival from 9.00pm, BARRIO combines the chaos of Hawkers market meets Mexican cantina. It is a place where festival-goers mix with artists and entertainers as they wander through the maze of markets, themed bars, streetfood stalls and strange happenings. The late night music line-up features international and local performers and DJs. Read on to find out more about the themes, entertainment and food & beverage vendors.

LATE NIGHT LINE-UP:

Fri 1 Mar • Lunch Lady
It’s all about food: the kind of food which comes straight from the heart and the backyards of South Australia’s communties: nonna’s gnocchi, ya-ya’s souvlaki, Ouma’s Babotie or bà nội’s Giò. Watch the traditional methods and then get stuck in. Perhaps wear your stretchy pants in preparation for the eating contest.
Live Music:
The world’s only surviving triple one-man-band band Puta Madre Brothers (AUS) bring their filthy-faced Mexican-surf-soundtrack-rock to the famed Barrio stage; plus producer, instrumentalist and DJ extraordinaire Mark de Clive-Lowe (MdCL) (USA), plays a house-infused DJ set complete with a percussionist to get your hips wiggling.

Sat 2 Mar • Bunga Bunga Party
There are many definitions of what a Bunga Bunga party is; all we can say is this night of naughtiness is definitely for over 18s only.
Live Music:
Bring yourselves Back to Life with Brixton’s original, two-time Grammy Award-winning sound-system Soul II Soul (UK) lead by DJ Jazzie B. Then get your dancing pants on when three of Adelaide’s best DJs (HMC, Sanjit & Eric The Falcon) come together to form Los Adelados.

Sun 3 Mar • Key to Barrio
The decorated ‘Mayor of Barrio’ presents the key to the shanty town to Adelaide’s Lord Mayor: The Right Honourable Stephen Yarwood. Ceremonies are the theme and ceremonies there will be; become an Australian citizen, scatter the ashes of your loved one or get married in Barrio (yes, actually married).
Live Music:
ARIA Award-winning funk-master Ross McHenry and the exciting producer and keyboardist Mark de Clive Lowe (USA), team up with four of the world’s foremost musical innovators for the first time, to form Ross McHenry Future Ensemble. The ensemble features Myele Manzanza (NZ), multi‐instrumentalist Adam Page (NZ/AUS), Dylan Marshall (AUS) and Jonathan Hunt (AUS). Later that night NYC’s world-music wizard, Nickodemus (USA) casts a dancing spell on even the stubbornest feet.

Thu 7 Mar • Phobia
Anuptaphobia, Batrachophobia, Chorophobia, Dipsophobia, Enochlophobia, Francophobia, Geliophobia, Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia or just plain old Phobophobia? Whatever your phobias, there will be always be a liquid councillor nearby to help you work through your feelings.
Live Music:
Surreal Hillbilly beat jazz maestro, Cory McAbee (AUS) and Billy Bob’s Jam Team (AUS) come to tear it up. Think Frank Zappa meets Neil Young and then hit them on the head with Dr Seuss… Then, gear up your heartache and set it to angry for the killer Kira Piru and The Bruise (AUS).

Fri 8 Mar • Heaven’s Gate
Planet Earth is about to be recycled. Your only chance to leave, is to leave with us on the journey into the next plane of human existence. Get your white robes and bowl cuts ready.
Live Music:
Toro Y Moi (USA), the man responsible for the chillwave movement, brings his indie-dream-funk to the party joined on stage by his full band.

Sat 9 Mar • Diceworld
Ever wanted to know what life would be like if you lived by the dice? Join us in our homage to the famous novel Diceman and spend a night in Barrio letting the die dice-ide.
Live Music:
Surahn (AUS) takes time out of his busy multi-instrumentalist touring lifestyle with Empire Of The Sun (AUS) to show Barrio his dreamy disco love ballads, followed by Keb Darge (UK) who will knock your bobby socks off spinning the rarest of rare rockabilly-surf records.

Sun 10 Mar • Old Maid
Games that you play by yourself, games you play with your partner. Games that you play with people’s minds, games that you play on your mother. Games are what tonight’s all about and we want to find out, what do you play?
Live Music:
The sexier than Stevie and cooler than Curtis quartet Electric Empire (NZ/AUS) will soothe your soul and have you calling for more, while later, DJ Hugo Mendez (BRA) spins the tropical disco and calypso tunes late into the night.

Thu 14 Mar • Animal House
Rhinoceroses, giraffes, elephants… these are just some animals which we can’t get permits to have at Barrio. That aside, there’ll be more animal action than you can poke a swordfish at.
Live Music:
Electronic Latin legends, Cumbia Cosmonauts (AUS) and their signature heavy Afro-Colombian rhythms, bugged out accordion, sci-fi sweeps and synth, kick off the night followed by the dance floor obsessed DJ Saca La Mois (AUS).

Fri 15 Mar • Road Kill
A celebration of all things Ozploitation: Barrio honours the Australian horror movies which turned into cult classics offshore: think Wolf Creek, Razorback and Road Games. Pack a second set of pants. Oh, and backpackers get in free.
Live Music:
Legendary DJ Pole (GER) visits us before his set at Unsound Adelaide with a cool reggae set, then, their sound plays out like a long lunch followed by a round of cocktails – Client Liason (AUS) pop into Barrio to play us their new-jack swing. To finish up the night Sydney’s filthy blues-punk fellas The Snowdroppers (AUS) play us their ribald songs about fornication and intoxication.

Sat 16 Mar • Slumber Party
Did you bring you pyjamas and retainer? You’re having a PJ party in Barrio. Hot chocolate, pillow fights and ghost stories are what are in store, all to help Mission Australia raise funds for SA’s youths at risk. Mum says there are limited spaces to sleep-over in Barrio, so keep an eye out on our facebook for booking details. You’d better shhhh! Mum and dad are in the next room.
Live Music:
Gramatik (USA) will fit as many dance genres into one set including dubstep, electro, chill and funk, for the last night of this magical wonderland named Barrio, this DJ will never let you leave the dancefloor. Supporting Gramatik, fresh from her show with Archie Roach, gutsy Indigenous soul singer Emma Donovan (AUS) and her band The Putbacks funk your face off.

As always each night there will be multitudes of pop-up music, mayhem and madness around Barrio in places you’d never expect.

ABOUT THE VENDORS:
Barrio serves up the sights and sounds of some of Adelaide’s favourite and newest street-food vendors, sourcing only South Australian produce.

Returning triumphant with their sexy brand of Australexican comestibles, The Happy Motel present Neon Lobster, a taquería which is 50% fresh-cut deliciousness, 35% eye-candy art installation and 15% nuts. For the first time at Barrio, The Vendor serves up the finest Argentinean, Asian and amazing tastes from his playground of fire. Existing off the grid, the pedal-power Veggie-Velo gets very-vegetarian; Smooth Revolution also jump on the bike to serve up bicycle-blended smoothies; and Cibo fill all our sweet-tooth needs.

For those in need of another type of refreshment, the bars again come loaded with their own individual style. Choose from cocktails at Crack-at-o-a, (part volcano, part bar), bourbon-inspired tipples at Dusty Boots Bourbon Bar, sweet-spirits at Candy Bar or you-know-what at Gringo’s Tequila Bar. Feel like a cocktail while your mate wants a beer? Never fear; there will be beer and wine at each fancy bar also and the good ol’ Coopers Bar overlooking the event.

The soul of the festival, Barrio opens for just 10 nights with strictly limited admission. Come early and stay late, for Barrio will once again vanish as quickly as it appears, never to be repeated.

Booking details:
Barrio – Adelaide Festival’s Late Night Club

Entry: $5 @ the door
Where: Barrio, Hajek Plaza, Adelaide Festival Centre
When: Thursday to Sunday throughout Adelaide Festival 9pm to late (excluding Sunday 17 March)

Big Day Out – Gemini Downs – RED Stage 12.15pm

Big Day Out – Adelaide – RED Stage 12.15pm

www.geminidowns.com

It’s Adelaide’s biggest party of the year and local indie-pop sensation Gemini Downs can’t wait to get the Big Day Out party started, playing the RED stage at 12.15pm.

The seven-piece band is well known for throwing memorable parties, especially after their single launch last month had all of Adelaide asking “Who’s Frank?”

“We certainly do know how to throw a party,” said singer and guitarist Jessica Braithwaite.

“The film clip for our latest single ‘Jangle’ featured a bloke named Frank who had the unenviable experience of no one showing up to his last birthday party.

“So we decided to turn his luck around and throw a birthday party that he, and Adelaide, would never forget.

“I mean how many bands do you know that can round up their friends to balloon-bomb the city in the cover of darkness, and then ask them to take dance classes to create a flash-mob in one of Adelaide’s most conservative pubs?

“It’s madness – but it’s what Gemini Downs does best!”

Playing on the same bill as international acts like Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Killers is a dream-come-true for this band, whose members hail from every corner of Australia.

“We are more than excited about playing at this amazing festival,” said Ms Braithwaite.

“We’ve played a few festivals, but nothing as huge as this. It’s definitely the kind of atmosphere that suits our fun and energetic style of music though – plenty of sunshine and space to dance.”

Audiences can expect a kicking horns section, tap dancing beats, wacky on-stage antics and a few terrible jokes, just for good measure. It’s all part of the charm that is Gemini Downs.

Gemini Downs finished 2012 in a big way, with ‘Jangle’ debuting at the top spot on Triple J’s national Unearthed chart; the song holding the number one spot for two weeks.

The band is set to launch their second EP in 2013, recorded with former head of Sony Music Australia, Wayne Ringrow, at Chapel Lane Studios.

Fronted by Ten News reporter Jessica Braithwaite and her not-so-little brother Sean, the band features the charming Scott Woollett on baritone sax, the sassy Lauren Fowler on alto sax, the rock solid Wade Francis on drums, the wacky Emma Hickmott on clarinet and her specially made jangle stick – and you know those bobble head toys you sometimes see in people’s cars? That’s double bassist Paul Thorsen when he’s on stage.

‘Jangle’ is still available for free download on Triple J Unearthed. www.triplejunearthed.com/geminidowns


Radiance – The Post Impressionists – NGV Til 17 March 4K

Georges Seurat - La-Seine à Courbevoie

By Peter Maddern

With the presence of the Impressionists on the art landscape finally secured by the early 1880s, the Post Impressionist movement was devised by two up and coming French artists who sort to redefine how the ‘impressionist’ style should be delivered. The two, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, devised two major shifts in the impressionist method – the first was to eschew the drive to produce their paintings in situ, as an immediate response to the scene and the light and the sensation of the view. Instead, sketches and studies may be quickly prepared in the summer but the big, exacting work would be undertaken during the long winter months thereafter.

The second change was to take a ‘scientific’ approach to how colour would be delivered to the viewer. This involved abandoning mixing paints on the palette in favour of the application of dabs of ‘pure’ colour arranged so that the interaction of adjoining contrasts would produce a third tone for the viewer.

This style, sometimes referred to as ‘dot’ painting by the ‘pointillists’ (the proponents preferred to called it ‘divisionalism’) , in fact failed to deliver on its theoretical thrill but that did not stop an alternative form of impressionism growing that has stood the test of time. For while the science failed, what was delivered were paintings of scenes that appear to shimmer, especially from the effect of warm summer sun, or vibrate before one’s eyes, notably of depictions of water, whether of the sea or rivers.

Radiance – The Post Impressionists at the National Gallery of Victoria is an excellent review of this movement. By no means the largest exhibition ever staged (and that is no bad thing), but the nature of the Post Impressionist movement is that this exhibition more than nicely covers its players and stages until World War I brought it all to a close.

Georges Seurat - A Sunday on the grande jatte

The exhibition greets you with a Seurat masterpiece, The Seine at Courbevoie (1885) (above) which not only makes plain the style of the post-impressionist movement but firmly places this painter as the first amongst the pack.  Practicalities, of course, deny us his and the greatest work of the movement, Sunday on La Grande Jatte, (left) a six square metre tribute to not only style but geometry that awaits patrons at the Chicago Art Institute as they enter there, but Seine, on  a much smaller scale, gives you the idea – the river; a sea of blue, green and white dabs vibrating for the viewer as it flows, grass; light and dark strips depending on the shadow and distant housing shimmering in the summer heat all composed in a rather rigid, geometrical form epitomised by the slim and proper woman in the foreground with her parasol and small dog.

Another characteristic of the Post-Impressionist movement was the political glue of ‘anarchy’ that held advocates together. Then anarchy referred not to violent, nihilistic rebellion but rather dismay about government and a belief the future lay in a harmonious relationship between industrial progress and the natural world. Accordingly, many of the works depict these forces co-habiting together in beautiful settings. Signac, Maximilien Luce and Camille Pissarro works are the stand outs in this regard with the Pissarro double of Flock of Sheep (1888) and Delafolie Brickworks at Éragny (1886) the crème de a la crème.

Achille Lauge - Portrait of Madame Astre 1892

Perhaps the most challenging for the movement’s artists and surprising for patrons are the last works presented, the portraits done in this most challenging style. Two works by Achille Laugé, the portraits of Madame Astre (1892) (left) and Alice Séthe (1888) are particularly arresting. The former, that failed to attract much critical interest in its time, is a two metre work (that makes it no doubt larger than the subject herself) is a masterful working of the dot / division style. The subject is in a white dress that blends in with the wall behind her but Laugé works the canvas with just two colours to incorporate not only her but the folds of her garments and the shifting shadows and tones of the light around and behind her.

While the advent of World War I officially ended the Post Impressionist movement, it is probably true to say it was in serious decline as many as twenty years before and just ten years after the first meeting of Seurat and Signac in Paris that kicked it all off. Seurat himself died in 1892 at the age of just 31 and many other disciples drifted away from that time as the rigours of the ‘scientific’ technique overwhelmed them and they sought the freedom to create their own aesthetic beyond this movement’s strictures.

Attempts to shift the building blocks of the movement from the ‘pure’ colours of red, blue and green were also not as successful, with the nightscapes of city scenes somewhat unhappy to the eye and the lengthening of the dabs enjoying only marginally greater success. The advent of Van Gogh’s work and then the likes of Picasso quickly highlighted that this movement had little more to say, especially as its academic foundations had failed to deliver on their promise, even if the resulting canvases were nonetheless highly full of merit.

Michelle Nicolle Quartet Does Mancini – Sessions – 11 January – 3.5K

By Peter Maddern

There is a disarming demeanour about Michelle Nicolle – she does not strut herself as some kind of diva – that can mask, at least for the uninitiated, her exceptional talent. The same could also be said about her subject for her quartet’s show at Sessions on Friday, Henry Mancini, who has sometimes been dismissed as a master only of pre 1960’s schmaltz.

Mancini was a great composer particularly of television and film scores (Pink Panther, Charlie’s Angels, Victor Victoria etc) and his record of awards and melodies are testament to the diverse variety of styles he commanded and which sets him apart from most others. For the lyrics to his music he engaged the best of his generation (eg Johnny Mercer) to often achieve things greater than the sum of their parts and his relationship with director, Blake Edwards, extended to over thirty films.

Nicolle’s challenge on Friday (and in her latest CD) was to interpret the great man’s works for her profoundly captivating voice without bastardising the pleasures of his musical gems. In this Michelle and her quartet did well with innovative arrangements that brought the music and lyrics new life within the constraints of her talented ensemble of Geoff Hughes (guitar), Tom Lee (bass) and former Adelaide boy, Ronny Ferella (drums) who wrapped in beard and shrouded in haunting stage lights made him appear a most formidable character.

Highlights were Days of Wine and Roses, Peter Gun and Moon River and while these (and the other songs played) were no pop renditions of the familiar, the new interpretations most successfully brought to the fore her and her band’s jazz roots.

Kryztoff Rating  3.5K

FESTIVALS ADELAIDE FICTION

FESTIVALS ADELAIDE FICTION

By Peter Maddern

It was with some surprise that one read this morning’s report in The Advertiser of the new Festivals Adelaide report on the figures of benefit to the State from our ten festivals. One might have thought these sorts of work of fiction had got themselves a bad name after the Centre for Economic Studies report into the supposed benefits we could all expect from the Adelaide Oval redevelopment. There, after the big splash release, we learned that none of the attendance figures used in that report were developed from research by the CES but rather supplied at the whim of the proponents of the development.

The surprise this morning was somewhat magnified when it was The Tiser’s respected Arts reporter, Patrick McDonald, who broke the story given he has been on the record in his own columns in his paper castigating the BS involved in such reports.

So how did this report go?

Well, last year the Fringe (one of the ten of Adelaide’s festivals) produced its own data and the comparison of its data with that of Festivals Adelaide leads one to again suspect the credibility of any of these ‘we are bigger, better, world class’ announcements much loved by the festivals’ organisers and the current government.

Using Festival Adelaide numbers and deducting out the Fringe equivalents we find that the Fringe produced the following:

  • 62% of total tickets sold
  • 77% of overall economic impact, and,
  • 56% of total attendances.

There is nothing extraordinary about those disparities but then consider these:

The report suggests The Fringe produced just 24% of all visitor nights attributed to our Festivals and 14% of visitor spending. Given the above portions and the fact it is our longest festival (bar SALA), these numbers simply don’t add up and by a lot.

Further, McDonald quotes the report (which does not seem, as usual, to be available to the public – indeed a Google search does not even uncover Festivals Adelaide as an organisation) as saying that the average stay of visitors to Adelaide during and for all our Festivals is six nights per person which is nothing other than beyond belief. The report also claims that 63,850 visitors spent $58.1m. Average that out over the average stay of six nights and spending (other than on tickets) equates to $151 per day per person which is not a lot (if any) if accommodation is included. Yet, the report says there is a 5:1 ratio of return to dollars committed to generate the returns.

Needless to say no account is given on the total cost of putting these festivals on, particularly use of tax and rate payer money to attract these returns, let alone the police, security and maintenance squads necessary to keep order and return the venues to a normal state after.

To be clear, in the present environment, festivals in Adelaide are about all we have and given our unique city layout they are an enormous feature of our town. This writer loves them. But when figures produced make no sense and are breathlessly promoted when even a basic review like this shows how porous their credibility is, it might be time to tone it all down.

Further, if the 5:1 ratio is truly accurate, the State Government would be well served to pour as much cash as organisers could ever hope for to keep the gravy train coming and growing (cf the Adelaide Oval development where the returns are negative). Instead, the arts, like most things in this State, are being increasingly screwed by a government desperate for cash.

Shaolin Afronauts to play Sessions – 26 Jan at The Space

Shaolin Afronauts to play Sessions

One of the country’s most dynamic afro-beat/ethio jazz outfits the Shaolin Afronauts are set to play the Adelaide Festival Centre’s live music hub ‘Sessions’ on Saturday 26 January, 2013.

Shaolin Afronauts, led by composer/bassist Ross McHenry, have a gained a well deserved reputation as a truly exciting live act. With a colourful and vibrant visual element to their shows, including flowing robes and a tribe of 13 phenomenal musicians, their performances are both spirited and original.

The group gained international recognition in 2011 with the release of their ARIA nominated debut album Flight of the Ancients. The record was lauded as a truly original blend of the sounds of 1970’s West Africa, Ethiopia and the pioneering avant-garde jazz artists of the same period.

In 2012, the Shaolin Afronauts continued their musical journey with their follow up album ‘Quest Under Capricorn’ . The sophomore record marked a development and progression of the Shaolin Afronauts sound, evoking the spirit of the mighty Sun Ra, Mulatu Astatke, Fela Kuti, John Coltrane and a host of other free thinking musical pioneers and explorers.

This January, Adelaide audiences will have the opportunity to experience the exciting and dynamic sound of the Shaolin Afronauts in action.

Saturday 26 January, 9.30pm

Sessions Live in the Space Theatre

Adelaide Festival Centre

Tickets through BASS // http://www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/whats-on/shaolin-afronauts-sessions.aspx

A Laughing Matter – From This Wednesday on Ch 44

A Laughing Matter is a brand new South Australian sketch comedy series written by and starring local comedians and actors! Modelled on such greats of sketch comedy as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, A Bit of Fry & Laurie and The Micallef Program with a modern South Australian twist, this community TV show is guaranteed to have fresh, exciting and original material every week to put a smile on your face!

Our show has developed from humble beginnings to become an enormous undertaking, featuring the work of around 100 Adelaide artists including comedians, actors, writers, musicians and filmmakers. The regular cast features such popular local comedians as Angus Hodge, Kel Balnaves, James McCann, Leigh Qurban and Pires Eddy, as well as talented actresses including Toni Charlton, Gemma Neall, Nadia Talotta and Megan Doherty! As well as this, look out for appearances from several other local actors/comedians such as Paul Stalenhoef, Steve Weyland, Jess Mooney, Golden Phung member Roy Phung and even a special guest appearance from legendary Aussie comedian Greg Fleet!

Each episode of this comedy is packed full of creative characters, absurd situations and hilarious observations on all aspects of everyday life. Each sketch is entirely fresh with no recurring characters, meaning there’s always a humorous new surprise just around the corner. The fact that our cast are all young performers breaking into the industry means that we have an unnaturally high amount of enthusiasm and energy that ensures people will find the series inventive, thrilling and consistently entertaining!

One of the benefits of sketch comedy is that it allows many different styles of humour to feature throughout the series – in each episode you will see scenes of slapstick, wordplay, parody, quick-witted dialogue, improvisation, musical comedy and much more. This means that while our target age group is 15-35 year olds, there truly is something for everyone amidst our amusing mix of preposterous premises and witty social observations.

Our primary aim with A Laughing Matter is to prove that absolutely everything in life has the potential for hilarity, and I’m confident you’ll feel that we’ve nailed this goal. Check out the show this Wednesday on Channel 44 at 9:30PM, and find out more about the show by visiting our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/alaughingmatter

See the promo at A Laughing Matter on Youtube