After a great night’s sleep at our billets we made our way to Divisional Headquarters. Like much of the architecture that we have seen so far in Australia, the building was quite distinctive! Taking the form of a grand stately home with a veranda around the second-floor, this building was once a Salvation Army home for children. We were due to meet for "morning tea" but what greeted us was more of a "morning banquet"! Even though some of the band had only finished their breakfast an hour previous, the band stepped up to the mark and polished the lot off for no other reason than not wanting to be rude....or at least that's what one bandsman said as he returned for his fourth plate!
From there we headed to the venue for tonight's concert - the magnificent Adelaide Town Hall. Built in 1866, the 1100 seater auditorium with marble pillars, chandeliers and a magnificent organ has a palatial feel and a wonderful acoustic. It was a return to the venue for two members of the band who played here with the Coldstream Guards back in 1985.
As the band formed up to march from the Town Hall into the City centre, the Adelaide paparazzi lined the streets to get a picture or video clip of the band. In my opinion, it is a tradition to be proud of and the locals certainly seemed to enjoy the spectacle! On arriving in the busy centre, the band formed up to play an hour long concert for shoppers. It was an opportunity to entertain the many hundreds who stopped to listen with marches and lighter numbers from the bands repertoire.
We hadn't eaten for at least an hour (!) and so we returned to Adelaide Congress Hall for sandwiches. This was followed by a tour around the Adelaide Oval cricket ground. It was a rare opportunity to walk around this iconic Stadium and to enjoy the museum that pays tribute to the cricketing great Don Bradman. Unusually the schedule gave us the opportunity to return to our billets for a few hours before the concert.
A large expectant crowd gathered for the 7.30pm concert at the Town Hall. The band entertained with popular numbers like "On We March" (Larsson) and "Boundless Spirit" (Cordner) and our soloists were on top form! Special mention was made of Jonathan Evans who of course stepped in to the very large shoes of Derick Kane who was unable to travel with the band due to ill health. He has played superbly in my opinion and his playing of "Air n Variations" certainly endorsed that! The vocal group once again brought the house down whilst the "big numbers" of the night were really well received with not one but two standing ovations!
Our stay in Adelaide has been a busy but enjoyable one. As has been the case throughout this tour to Australia we have been warmly greeted and made to feel most welcome and that is never taken for granted. Thank you Adelaide....Next stop Mt Gambier!
Written by Staff Bandsman Gavin Lamplough