INTERVIEW: SEAN KEMP TALKS FOOTY, RECLINK CUP & THIS WEEKEND WITH TIM ROGERS

The Adelaide Reclink Community Cup game is set to be played on August 7, and who should be coming over to get the players into peak condition this weekend, but legendary You Am I frontman Tim Rogers!

In related news, Tim will be playing a gig at the Metro with Glass Indian, Django, and Sean Kemp, who has been the fearless trainer of the Reclink footy stars this season.

We spoke with Sean about the gig, Reclink Community Cup and how, although he’s an Anchor at heart, he’ll reluctantly be playing for the Rockatoos*.

*He never actually said that – Ed.

seanthebby“Many years ago, a band I was playing in managed to somehow get on the pre-game Melbourne Reclink Community Cup entertainment, where we supported Magic Dirt. No-one knew who we were but that day I spoke to Adalita (front-woman for Magic Dirt) and she told me a little about the history of the Cup,” Sean says of his initial involvement.

“After that I kept tabs on its happenings when Adelaide music news legend Robert Dunstan would report on it when he visited Melbourne. A few years later my good mate Clanger who was a regular Melbourne RockDogs player tried to bring it to Adelaide to no avail.

Forward on a few years and my friend Koral Chandler let me know that she was bringing the great day to Adelaide as she’d played in the Melbourne and Sydney games! Koral and I had the very first Community Cup ‘kick’ in the park and she said to me “You watch, this will be huge”. I didn’t really know what to think, but in 2015 over 1200 people attended the game and raised funds for Reclink who are an amazing charity that assist disadvantaged and isolated people in communities through recreation and art.”

Having coached and trained the Adelaide teams and giving them a host of valuable skills like kicking, handballing, teamwork and chugging Coopers stout, Sean says he’s enjoyed the experience.

“Last year I just participated as a player and gained many new friendships, most I think will be forever lasting from both Anchors and Rockatoos. I keenly observed the trainings, listened and learnt. I come from an SANFL background playing for The Eagles and Roosters and have been coached by the likes of Kevin Sheedy, Daryl Hart, Bruce Lindsay and Steve Pavlich (father of Fremantle Dockers captain). But to my luck, my father Desmond is a decorated football coach, having won many premierships with SANFL, Amateur League, Riverland football teams,” he says.

“He also coached the ACT state team, beating Victoria in state of origin games. As a youngster I would creep into my dad’s team meetings, training sessions and rubbed shoulders with many players that went on to play or coach in the AFL, SANFL and play for Adelaide Crows. It was a unique learning experience and it also assisted me with my own game and skill level. So, saying all that, it’s been an honour to put my skills and experience to work coaching the Reclink teams. Founder Jason Evans asked me to do it in April and we’ve been going strong since then! I’ve seen a massive shift in skill levels and the enthusiasm as been fantastic, I can’t fault it.

Although players like The Upside News’ Libby Parker may be a total liability to the Anchors’ side, having not improved in the slightest, Sean is still really looking forward to the big game.

“I can’t wait to see everyone again from 2015! So many great friendships formed and a lot of us now attend each other’s gigs, and support each other in our individual pursuits. That’s the spirit of Reclink: supporting communities and eliminating isolation,” he says.

“In the music industry, I imagine lots of musicians would feel like they’re on their own island and don’t get recognised or feel acknowledged by their peers. Well, this is easily solved. Get amongst a community of people and tell them what you can do. It doesn’t even have to be about football. It’s about connection – Talking to like minded people and reaching out. That’s also what Reclink does; it helps to make connections.

“I do urge the Adelaide music and media industry to get down to the game, attend pre-game concerts and after-parties. Meet people, shake hands and have conversations. Just reach out. I feel so invigorated by the whole experience.”

But before the big game, and even before the training that Tim Rogers will be hosting, Sean will be playing at the Metro.

“Tim’s coming over this weekend to coach the Community Cup Teams with a special coaching session this Sunda,y so Koral and I thought it’d be great to have him play a solo gig in Adelaide this weekend. Tim is playing a gig at the Hotel Metropolitan in Grote Street and I’ll be supporting. I’ve already had a great year touring with Thirsty Merc and opening for Ganggajang and Mat McHugh from the Beautiful Girls. This will be the icing on the cake as I’m hugely into YOU AM I and own every record,” Sean says.

“My music is fairly up-beat pop-folky, harmony-lovin’,  acoustic so it’ll be songs about my usual subject: break-ups and life in general. I wouldn’t call my music dark but others have commented that it’s quite easy to digest, which is fine with me. My influences range from Kurt Cobain to Cat Stevens, so you get the idea.”

Head to the Metro on Saturday night to see a great line up of musicians and make sure you get along to the Reclink Community Cup on August 7.

Words by Libby Parker
Photo by John Goodridge

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