In my formative years, I grew up in a relatively small town, about 40km from Adelaide, South Australia. There wasn’t a whole lot to do there, and we weren’t exactly know for our ability to produce great talent, so whenever anyone even slightly famous comes to or from that town, it’s a pretty big deal.
Heck, when Queen Elizabeth II visited in 2002, the entire town stopped just so they could watch her ride down the street I grew up on, while my primary school’s choir did a pretty terrible job a singing whatever song they were singing. Likewise, the current Australian cricket coach, and the winner of the sixth season of Australian Idol all come from that town, and everyone treats them like absolute royalty.
However, one person that has almost never been lauded in my hometown is Jed Kurzel. Admittedly, he left town around the time I was growing up, but in 2001, he formed the group The Mess Hall in Sydney. The Mess Hall made a name for themselves pretty quickly as a renowned live act. Considering they were a two-man rock group at the same time as The White Stripes before The White Stripes had ever toured Australia, they were doing pretty well to corner that area of the market all to themselves.
The group released their third album, Devil’s Elbow, in 2007 and won the Australian Music Prize at the same time. This gave the group an extra $25,000 with which they were able to put into recording even more great tunes. The lead single from this album was the brilliant ‘Keep Walking’. It featured every element that had made the group beloved by their fans, along with some killer songwriting, and some pretty fantastic riffs.
Sadly though, The Mess Hall never reached the level of fame that was deserved of them. While they were able to support brilliant acts such as the Foo Fighters, they’ve sort of gone quiet in recent years. Most notably in recent times, Jed Kurzel scored the film Snowtown, directed by his brother Justin. Justin, who is also from my hometown, took on the task of making a film about the notorius Snowtown murders that occurred only a number of minutes from where I grew up. If I’m correct, Justin also was the one in charge of directing that Assassin’s Creed movie that was released last year.
So you see, there’s still hope for me and the others from my hometown. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself.