Almanac Music: ‘Adelaide Babylon’ – Eric Algra’s follow up to ‘Rock’n’Roll City’.



A new book charting thirty-plus years of Adelaide’s thriving music scene will be launched next month.


Rock‘n’Roll City: Adelaide Babylon is a photographic history of the performers, writers, producers and industry innovators who thrust Adelaide into national prominence during a unique period of creative alchemy.


It’s the work of photographer Eric Algra, who captured key moments in Adelaide’s music scene for influential music magazine Roadrunner from 1978 to 1983.


While not every gig had the heady hallmarks of Babylon, Algra said he witnessed “some pretty wild scenes” both on stage and off.


“The sheer excitement generated by so many of these bands created mayhem in the crowds,” he recalled, “which in true rock’n’roll style, fed back to the band and elevated the whole collective experience. It rocked.”


Rock‘n’Roll City: Adelaide Babylon includes photographs of bands like Redgum that reached national prominence, and influential yet short-lived acts like the Exploding White Mice, along with the writers, producers and industry players who helped the local music scene develop credibility and originality.


Algra said one of the joys of photographing Adelaide gigs during this period was the wide diversity of acts, “from the outrageous to the sublime”.


“So many people remember this as a significant and formative time, whether you were on stage or in the audience,” he said. “What’s great is how that mongrel energy lives on through young Adelaide bands and original performers who continue to push the boundaries.”


In a nod to the collective nature of the music scene, Algra also highlights those involved behind the scenes, from writers and producers to festival convenors and commentators.


Rock‘n’Roll City: Adelaide Babylon will be officially launched at the Exeter Hotel on Thursday August 3 by Adelaide journalist and music writer, David Sly, featuring music by The Fat Man of Love and Charli Holoubek, who appear in the book.


“The Adelaide music scene of the 1980s and 1990s was never about fashion and flair – it was about grit and sweat, punters and poets and sharpshooters getting off their arses and taking over the stage,” according to Sly.


Greg Champion, a music scene stalwart through bands like Bank of France and the Young Homebuyers, described Adelaide as “an adventure wonderland to a 20-year-old wannabe muso”.


“At my local, the Marryatville, you could open for an unknown Cold Chisel – or see the Whittle Family, or watch the Lone Rangers in their Friday night residency there. Someone was artfully documenting these charming days, thankfully. That was Eric Algra,” Champion said.


Given the large South Australia diaspora, a second launch will be held in Melbourne on Sunday August 20.


Former Adelaide music scene aficionado, David Martin, will launch the book, accompanied by music from Andrew Tanner and Jeff Algra, who were members of Adelaide powerhouse rock band Seven Stories, also featuring in the book.


Rock‘n’Roll City: Adelaide Babylon is the companion volume to Algra’s bestselling Rock‘n’Roll

City: The Roadrunner Years, which was published in 2022.
For launch details and media inquiries, contact Eric Algra at 0411 227 301 or email
[email protected]
See more of Algra’s work at
To buy a copy of Rock‘n’Roll City: Adelaide Babylon, visit



Read more stories from Almanac Music HERE


If you would like to receive the Almanac Music and Poetry newsletter we will add you to the list. Please email us:[email protected]


To return to the page clickHERE


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE







About Vin Maskell

Editor of Stereo Stories website, director of Stereo Stories concerts. Co-founder of Scoreboard Pressure website with Les Everett.

Leave a Comment