Seven-piece rock outfit West Thebarton has capped off a stellar year by taking out four South Australian Music (SAM) Awards tonight, with other major category winners including MANEA.B. Original and Adrian Eagle.

SAMawards_20181108_AdealaideTownHall_KerrieGeier-2761.jpgIn a gala ceremony hosted by legendary music journalist Zan Rowe at the Adelaide Town Hall, West Thebarton dominated proceedings, winning the awards for Best Group, Best Song for ‘Bible Camp’, and Best Release for their debut album Different Beings Being Different. The group also took home a People’s Choice Award for the Best Rock Artist.

In other major award categories, MANE claimed the Best Solo Artist Award, backing up a big 2018 that included prominent Triple J rotation and slots at the Bigsound and Spin Off festivals, while fellow Bigsound performer Adrian Eagle was named Best New Artist. Following their 2017 SAM Awards success, hip-hop duo A.B. Original returned this year to win the Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Artist Award for the single ‘Blaccout’.

In the Industry Award categories, Clarity Records’ A Day of Clarity won Best Event / Festival among tough competition from WOMADelaide and last year’s winner Porch Sessions, while the Crown and Anchor claimed Best Music Venue.

SAM_Winners_LaurenConnelly-24.jpgWith a resume including collaborations with fellow award winners Tkay MaidzaMANE and Heaps Good FriendsMario Spate was recognised as the Best Engineer. 5/4 Entertainment’s Craig Lock took home the award for Best Manager for the fourth time and Adelaide CBD establishment Ghostnote Recording Studio topped the category for Best Studio.

Jack Fenby was recognised with the Award for Best Cover Art for his work with Neon Tetra and Best Music Video was awarded to ‘Better’ by Mallrat, directed by Rory Pippan / YBY.

In other honours announced during the ceremony, the Zephyr Quartet was recognised with the UNESCO International Collaboration Award and Tam Boakes won the Music SA Lifetime Achievement Award for her enormous contribution to the Adelaide music scene through her work at iconic live music venue Jive. The Ryan Freemen Live Music Achievement Award went to Max Savage, along with $4000 towards his continued contribution to live performance.

Lisa Bishop, General Manager of Music SA, said the Awards were the perfect celebration of contemporary music in this state:

SAM_Winners_LaurenConnelly-22“The South Australian Music Awards showcase the very best of our music scene and demonstrate why it’s in such fantastic shape. West Thebarton has had an incredible year: a truly local band that’s broken through around the country and internationally. Meanwhile, we have solo artists like MANE and Adrian Eagle who are really doing great things and we can also celebrate the ongoing success of last year’s winners A.B. Original.”

Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni said: “Music SA has done an outstanding job of raising the profile of these awards and, as such, the South Australian Music industry. I am pleased to have provided additional funding of $550,000 to continue the Live Music Events Fund, which supports new or unique music festivals and events that have the potential to grow into major tourist attractions and increase employment in the music industry.”

SAMawards_20181108_AdealaideTownHall_KerrieGeier-2229.jpgThe People’s Choice Awards were also announced during the ceremony, following 157 entrants and 7343 online votes cast across 12 genre categories. Winners included Tkay Maidza, Motez, The Heggarties, Abbey Howlett, Heaps Good Friends, Adam PageYoung Offenders, Laura Hill, The Coconut Kids and a draw for the Most Popular Heavy Artist between Dirty Pagans and Hidden Intent.

SAMawards_20181108_AdealaideTownHall_KerrieGeier-2356The Adelaide Town Hall gala provided some stellar entertainment, including Best New Artist Adrian Eagle’s groovy introduction to the evening and sizzling live performances from Blues and Roots People’s Choice Award Winner Ollie English, Best Solo Artist MANE, in addition to West Thebarton’s explosive closing set.

Organised by Music SA, the 2018 SAM Awards were presented in conjunction with major partners The Music, the South Australian Government’s Music Development Office, The City of Adelaide, Moshtix, Australian Hotels Association (SA Branch), Media Arts Lawyers, beverage partners Yalumba Wines, The Hills Cider Company and Young Henrys, and AV partners Novatech and Nexstage.

A full list of the winners is below. Stay tuned for our full gallery, capturing all the excitement and fun of the event.

Photos by Lauren Connelly and Kerrie Geier


Full list of winners



Best Song
Presented by APRA AMCOS
West Thebarton – Bible Camp

Best New Artist
Adrian Eagle

Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Artist
Presented by Nexus Arts
A.B. Original

Best Group
West Thebarton

Best Solo Artist

Best Release
Presented by The Music
West Thebarton – Different Beings Being Different


Best Studio
Ghostnote Recording Studio

Best Engineer
Mario Spate

Best Music Festival / Event
Presented by Moshtix
A Day of Clarity (Clarity Records)

Best Music Venue
Presented by AHA (SA Branch)
Crown & Anchor Hotel

Best Manager
Presented by Dept. for Industry and Skills
Craig Lock

Best Cover Art
Presented by VERSION • Design + Brand + Digital
Neon Tetra (Jack Fenby)

Best Music Video
Presented by Channel 9
Mallrat – Better
(Rory Pippan – Young Black Youth)


UNESCO International Collaboration Award
Presented by UNESCO: City of Music
Zephyr Quartet 

Music SA Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented by Music SA
Tam Boakes 

Ryan Freemen Live Music Achievement Award
Presented by Roger Freemen
Max Savage  

SAMawards_20181108_AdealaideTownHall_KerrieGeier-1771PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS

Presented by The Gov
Ollie English

Presented by The Grace Emily Hotel
The Heggarties

Presented by Fresh 92.7

Presented by Ghostnote Studios
Abbey Howlett

FOLK Artist
Presented by Wheatsheaf Hotel
Laura Hill

HEAVY Artist
Presented by Underground Records
Dirty Pagans &
Hidden Intent

HIP HOP Artist
Presented by Northern Sound System
Tkay Maidza

JAZZ Artist
Presented by Elder Con
Adam Page

POP Artist
Presented by Fat Controller
Heaps Good Friends

PUNK Artist
Presented by Three D Radio
Young Offenders

ROCK Artist
Presented by Crown and Anchor Hotel
West Thebarton

Presented by WOMADelaide
The Coconut Kids