Peter Combe for adults and on the music show

When I was in the market for young kids music entertainment, my favourite entertainer was Peter Combe (pronounced Coom). The Wiggles were nice enough but very anodyne – so much so that, when Disney took them up they never even really had to be Disnefied – they came readymade. Peter Combe is in the same market of recording, selling and performing songs to young kikds – from say 3-7 or thereabouts.  He’s much more lively, quirky, energetic and much more musical. His songs are very enjoyable, and, I’ve discovered, etch themselves into your memory (though this was via a great deal of repetition.)

(And if you are in need of a little kids band, the Hooley Dooleys are (probably this verb should be in the past tense) a lot better than the Wiggles too – far more musical and inventive. But I digress.)

Anyway about three years ago, Peter Combe agreed to do a set at (I think) a beer festival in his home state of South Australia (this is from memory but you can check in the link below).  This was for adults but mainly involved him singing his kids songs with a backing band. . . And it caused a sensation.  He could barely hear himself sing, so loudly were the audience of 18-30 year olds who’d grown up with his songs singing back to him. So he put on a couple more shows. Same reaction. So since around 2007 when he’s done his national tours of kids matinees, he adds evening performances for the adults.  The result is the same.  I didn’t grow up with Peter Combe’s songs but my kids did and I think I’ll pop along if I can manage it.

And you can hear all about it, as I did on ABC RN’s Music Show. I chose the video above, not because it’s his best song, but to illustrate his manic energy (though the second video below will do that for you as well). You can click here to check out some riffs from some of his best loved kids songs.   And you can play the videos below the fold should you wish. 

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13 years ago

“And if you are in need of a little kids band, the Hooley Dooleys are (probably this verb should be in the past tense) a lot better than the Wiggles too – far more musical and inventive”

Not that I want to digress on a digression, but I think “better” should really be evaluated in terms of how much kids like them. I think this problem has often afflicted children’s bands (and TV for that matter) — a lot of it is produced by adults that are haphazardly guessing what children like. The Wiggles and the Tellietubbies are great examples of things targeted at children of specific ages by people that have a really good understing about non-obvious stuff about kids of those ages. They’re also a good example of people using things you learn about in degrees many people hate and complain about to great success. The Wiggles are of course Macquarie’s most famous Early Childhood Development graduates (some academics of which I seem to remember got on the Young Liberals worst-academic list), and Andrew Davenport, the creator of the Tellietubbies, has a degree in speech sciences, which is basically psychology crossed with linguistics.