Clockwise: Sean Kemp (Surviving Sharks), Paraskevi Kontoleon (Dirt Playground), Ben Breavington (Across the Atlas) & Penny Thompson (Across the Atlas).
Clockwise: Sean Kemp (Surviving Sharks), Paraskevi Kontoleon (Dirt Playground), Ben Breavington (Across the Atlas) & Penny Thompson (Across the Atlas).

– Article also published in  BSide Magazine

Halloween will be frightfully rockin’ this year at the Worldsend Hotel; a fitting venue for a deadly lineup of Adelaide bands.

On October 31, Surviving Sharks, Across the Atlas, Dirt Playground and Slick Arnold will play Halloween Horror Rock at the Hindley Street pub.

To get revellers into the spirit of the traditional American holiday, Halloween Horror Rock will offer an eclectic lineup of local acts with a mix of progressive rock, grunge, indie and pop punk.

Sean Kemp from grunge band Surviving Sharks put together the gig made up of some of his favourite live acts at one of his favourite live venues.

“I chose these guys because I have seen Penny (Across the Atlas) sing in another band and I really liked her voice. I asked Paraskevi (Dirt Playground) because I love playing with those guys and Slick Arnold came on board too so that’s cool,” Kemp said.

“I’ve always loved concept gigs. Surviving Sharks never play with the same band twice. We love to diversify every time we play because when you play with other bands you learn something different every time.”

Kemp, who is currently drumming in a hip hop crew, managing a successful solo career and playing in a number of other bands is a veteran of the live music scene.

Having played in venues all over Australia, Kemp rates The Worldsend as one of the best and can’t wait to kit up in costume and tear up the stage.

“We are definitely dressing up. We’ve never done a Halloween gig before so we’re really looking forward to it and the opportunity to do it somewhere awesome at the Worldsend is great,” Kemp said.

“They’ve reconfigured the whole place so it looks so cool now. The sound is so clear and the foldback is absolutely brilliant.”

Vocalist Paraskevi Kontoleon echoes Kemp’s sentiment about the venue, despite its inability to host a show of Dirt Playground’s magnitude.

“What I love about the Worldsend is that the band isn’t separated from the pub. You walk in and you can see the band through the bar so you’re already a part of it all,” she said.

The band, who play fusion of rock, psychedelia, Greek and Middle Eastern music, boast an impressive stage show which will need to be downsized for the Halloween gig.

“Because we do a visual soundscape, we have to be selective about where we play. It’s not that we don’t want to play particular venues, it’s just you need to have the full show to get the full experience,” Kontoleon said.

Dirt Playground have been playing their unique shows, dubbed by followers as ‘Grecodelia’, around Adelaide for the past few years.

Made up of two sets of siblings and an honorary Greek drummer, Kontoleon said their sound has evolved and continues to do so with each performance.

“Me and the percussionist/synth player are brother and sister. The guitarist and bassist are brother and sister and they’re also my niece and nephew. The drummer, Jack isn’t related but he’s an adopted Greek now,” she laughed.

“We love our roots and we love rock so over a number of years we experimented with a lot of music scapes. We started experimenting with Middle Eastern and Greek sounds, using traditional instruments to see what happened when we combined that with rock.”

With a bill that lists a successful established act, a unique family band through to a brand new band, Halloween Horror Rock is set to be a treat.

Across the Atlas vocalist Penny Thompson and guitarist Ben Breavington, who met at a music workshop at Northern Sound System, are looking forward to playing their second ever gig at The Worldsend.

“I’m so excited,” Thompson said. “It’s Halloween and everyone is keen and I’m going to dress up and try to sing with fangs! I don’t know if it’s going to work but I love dress up and I love Halloween.”

Although the brand new pop punk outfit have only played one gig together, they are already keen to begin recording and are planning a music video.

“We have studio time booked for the second weekend in November,” Breavington said. “We are going to lay down three tracks to give away at gigs as a demo just to get our name out there.”

The video is Thompson’s pet project and focuses on the changes in the music industry since the dominance of TV talent shows.

“It’s called ‘TV Killed the Radio Star” and it’s about talent shows and what they’ve done to the talent industry,” she said. “This song is saying ‘I don’t need the talent show. You’ve kind of killed off an industry that we needed but, you know what? We’re going to do our own thing!’”

Drummer Peter Galanos from groove rock outfit, Slick Arnold is keen on getting in on the Halloween fun and are looking forward to joining the lineup.

“We are all pretty keen for Halloween Horror Rock show. We love playing Worldsend and we enjoy wearing goofy stuff on stage so it’s a pretty perfect match. There’s some really cool bands on the bill too so hopefully we can keep up!” he said.

With a line up sure to give punters a thrill, Halloween Horror Rock should be scarily good; the gig will kick off at 8:30 and there’s a whisper there may be a best-dressed prize on the evening.

Tickets are $10 and available at the door, and dress-up theme is come as your favourite character so come along and support local talent – they’re frightfully good.

Story and photo by Libby Parker

Also published in BSide Magazine