Current Issue #488

Meet all the winners from the 2019 South Australian Music Awards

Horror My Friend's Tom Gordon performing at the 2019 SAM Awards
Dave Court
Horror My Friend’s Tom Gordon performing at the 2019 SAM Awards

Post punk road warriors Horror My Friend and RnB crooner Adrian Eagle led the field at the South Australian music industry’s annual celebration of local contemporary music.

Announced on Friday in a swish awards ceremony at the University of Adelaide’s Bonython Hall, this year’s Music SA-run South Australian Music Awards saw some of the state’s most compelling acts shake the gothic revival building’s foundations while recognising the achievements of local artists and behind the scenes industry workers.

Alternative rock trio Horror My Friend emerged as the night’s biggest winners, picking up a trio of awards including Best Song, Best Group and Best Music Video (via director Ryan Sahb). With two well-received albums under their belts, the hard-working trio have built a dedicated national following through near-constant touring – when co-frontmen Josh Battersby and Tom Gordon aren’t on the road with their other band West Thebarton, of course.

Hilltop Hoods-feted vocalist Adrian Eagle took out Best Solo Artist and Best Release on the back of his excellent 2019 track A.O.K.. The life-affirming lead single from his debut EP Mama, this unfailingly smile-inducing jam is also up for an ARIA Award for the Best Soul/R&B Release.

Singer songwriter Jess Day took home Best New Artist, while Electric Fields won Best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artist, capping of a busy year that saw the pair reach a huge national audience with their near-miss appearance on SBS’ Eurovision: Australia Decides contest.

The publicly-voted genre categories saw Electric Fields also sweep the Electronic field, while newcomer Elsy Wameyo won the Hip-Hop title. Bearded saxophone journeyman Adam Page took out the Jazz category for the fourth year, while Daniel Steinert, drummer of pop punk duo TOWNS, amused the crowd by facetiming his bandmate Aston Valladares onstage – driving home the fact that despite the awards night glamour, most South Australian musicians still need a side hustle.

Electric Fields' Zaachariaha Fielding delivered a magnetic performance of the duo's recent single Happy 2000 and Whatever
Nick Astanei
Electric Fields’ Zaachariaha Fielding delivered a magnetic performance of the duo’s recent single Happy 2000 and Whatever

In the offstage categories Thebarton’s Wundenberg’s Recording Studio nabbed the award for Best Studio. Located in a repurposed heritage-listed garbage incinerator designed by Walter Burley-Griffin, we profiled the studio’s unique setting and the work of its owner Lewis Wundenberg earlier this year.

Prolific producer Mario Spate claimed the title of Best Studio Engineer for the second year in a row, while the rebooted Fowler’s Live – now dubbed Lion Arts Factory – was named Best Music Venue in an interesting full circle moment, given the SAM Awards began as the Fowler’s Live Music Awards.

Lewis Wundenberg outside his Thebarton studio
Sia Duff
Lewis Wundenberg outside his Thebarton studio

Disk Edits engineer Neville Clark was recognised for his years of service polishing and mastering generations of Adelaide acts with a Lifetime Achievement Award, while alternative country outfit Dead Roo went home with the APRA AMCOS Emily Burrows Award.

Adelaide Guitar Festival artistic director Slava Grigoryan received Best International Collaboration for his and brother Leonard’s performance alongside Bejing Guitar Duo at the 2018 festival.

South Australian Music Awards 2019 winners

Best Studio
Wundenberg’s Recording and Rehearsal Studios

Best Studio Engineer
Mario Spate

Best Live Engineer
Luke Hancock

Best Festival/Event

Best Venue
Lion Arts Factory

Best Cover Art
Jack Fenby (Dress Code)

Best Manager
Alex Karatassa

Best Music Video
Ryan Sahb (Horror My Friend)

Best Song
Horror My Friend – Turned Loose 

Best New Artist
Jess Day

Best Group
Horror My Friend

Best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artist
Electric Fields

Best Solo
Adrian Eagle

Best Release
Adrian Eagle – A.O.K.

UNESCO, City of Music, Best International Collaboration Award
Slava and Leonard Grigoryan with Bejing Guitar Duo

Music SA Lifetime Achievement Award
Neville Clark

APRA AMCOS Emily Burrows Award
Dead Roo

People’s Choice Awards

Blues & Roots
Ollie English
The Cut Snakes

Electric Fields

Ukulele Death Squad
Hidden Intent

Hip  Hop
Elsy Wameyo 

Adam Page

Wing Defence


Walter Marsh

Walter Marsh

Digital Editor
See Profile

Walter is a writer and editor living on Kaurna Country.

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