Wednesday, February 22, 2017

FRINGEWORLD 2017 – Peter Combe and the Clicketty Cane Band (4.5 stars)

Posted on February 12, 2017
Image courtesy Peter Combe

Review by Laura Money

Well Perth, Peter Combe is back with your yearly dose of nostalgia! For one night only, Combe entertained a bunch of Gen Y adults in a tent in the middle of Northbridge. You don’t get closer to your childhood than an all-tent sing-a-long! It is a strange sight – all these grown men and women singing along to Juicy Juicy Greengrass with gusto, extolling the virtues of Spaghetti Bolognese and asking Dad if he left his bag in Baghdad.

I cannot overstate how important Peter Combe’s music is to a whole generation of 30 somethings but believe me, the whole room was filled with such warmth and love for the iconic singer, it literally brought people together. Combe’s unique brand of children’s entertainment truly stands the test of time, as he even threw in a new track off of his latest album to trial – apparently we all passed the audition. As a children’s entertainer it’s hard to see past the silly lyrics and basic tunes, but Combe is more than a kid’s entertainer – he is a true musician. As an adult, I can appreciate just how good the music is – the band is exceptional, yet it’s easy to be great when the material is so rocking.

Of course, Combe was accompanied by The Clicketty Cane Band – the most awesome name ever, by the way! They are true musicians, with an immense amount of talent between them – three are Perth locals so keep your ear to the ground. Combe also brought over his good friend and offsider, pianist Phil. Their banter was hilarious and his complimentary vocals harmonised well with Combe’s, especially in a charming rendition of Here Comes the Sun.

There is an attitude that children’s music is boring, but listening with 30-year-old ears, I realised that there really was no-one like Combe around in the 90s. His songs really were and still are amazing to listen to. It has been well over 20 years since I heard most of these songs, yet I found myself grinning from ear to ear singing Jack and the Beanstalk, The Silly Postman and Newspaper Mama. There were some wonderfully touching moments as Combe sang a song dedicated to his son, and Spangle Road from his operetta Frederick WhatsHisName & his TwoLegged Six String Guitar, a song I was surprised to hear was a popular choice for bridal waltz these days. 

This highlights just how much of an impact Combe has been in Australia, not just for children. It is a testament to him to see so many people so heavily influenced by his virtues – be they from a strong environmental theme, a reverence for the planet earth and the solar system, or just favourite foods like toffee apples or peanut butter. All I know is that many millenials got their musical education from listening to Combe’s version of Chopsticks rather than playing it themselves, and we are eternally grateful.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Peter Combe: the art of fine tuning
By creammag | February 5, 2017

If you were lucky enough to have grown up in the late ’80s and early ’90s, you probably remember the sheer joy of listening – and singing along – to the music of kids’ show presenter Peter Combe. With his uncanny knack for a catchy tune, this pied paper of Adelaide made everything seem that much more fun. What a treat it is, then, to be able to turn back the clock to those childhood years at Peter Combe’s latest show at Perth’s Fringe World.

Performing with his backing band, the Clicketty Canes, it is clear right from the get-go that the man himself has lost none of his musical chops. Indeed, he appears to be so unmarked by time that you get the uneasy sense that it is only you who have been doing the growing up. With not one bum note or strained vocal, the songs magically ring out as clearly as they did nearly thirty years ago.

Like a contagion, the joy up on the stage spills out into the audience, whereby hands start to clap and voices lift. In fact, Combe and company manage to keep the audience in this state of blissful abandon for so long that by the show’s end there are raucous calls for an encore from those already suffering from withdrawal.

Forget ‘La La Land’, if you want musical staying power, Peter Combe is about as good as it gets. Chris Prindiville

Monday, January 30, 2017
Peter, as Ambassador for the Fleurieu Festival, helps to launch the festival with its mascot Dorch, the leafy sea dragon. At beautiful Second Valley, South Australia
Monday, December 19, 2016

Announcing 7 matinees at the incomparable Garden of Unearthly Delights as part of my 2017 Adelaide Fringe season together with the fantastic kids from Theatre Bugs. Beginning Feb 25.…/peter-combe-i…

Monday, December 19, 2016
Announcing my evening one-off Adelaide Fringe show on Sat Feb 25, 9.30pm at a great new Fringe venue, LIVE ON 5, Main Stage Adelaide Oval. Looove playing my evening show with the Clicketty Cane Band. Hope to see you there Bookings:


Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Peter's back in the studio - recording his 14th collection of new songs for children.
Friday, August 19, 2016
An interview on Kinderling radio about Peter's musical influences growing up.
Peter Combe provided the singalong soundtrack to Australian children of the 1980s. A few decades later, those children grew up to teach their own children his songs, including “Toffee Apple”, “Juicy Juicy Green Grass” and “Wash Your Face In Orange Juice”. But what was the king of the kids like when he was a kid growing up in Adelaide? Find out, when Peter joins Barry Divola and plays The Marx Brothers, The Springfields, Roy Orbison and more.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Legendary performer Peter Combe singing the soundtrack of childhood at Warrnambool's Fun4Kids Festival
The Standard

THE young and young at heart danced to the music of their childhoods as legendary children’s performer Peter Combe took to the Fun4Kids stage in Warrnambool on Friday . . .

Monday, July 25, 2016

Over the years, all around Australia, I've done countless numbers of concerts in schools. This current tour has reminded me that I still love doing them, partly because performing is 'in my blood' and also because children genuinely benefit from experiencing a live performance in their school. For many children, their main experience of music is what they see on an ipad, or computer screen...and so they really enjoy, and in fact, are almost taken by surprise, when they see a performer "live" in front of them. My aim always, is to stimulate and extend children's natural love of singing. Echo songs, catchy chorus songs, animal songs, food songs, quirky songs and the occasional serious song. Singing is such a unifying activity and promotes those positive feelings that we're 'all in this together' and can enjoy being a community.   


Peter Combe's photo.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
100% Newspaper Mama hats at this school concert in Coffs Harbour NSW!