AdeLOL – SA’s Heaps Good History
The Austral Hotel, Tartanya (Adelaide)

Since 2017, Dan and Tom have been producing a unique podcast exploring the weird and wonderful side of South Australian history, served with a generous side of mirth. In the first week of Adelaide Fringe 2022, three new live episodes were recorded in the band room at the back of the Austral on Rundle St.

Of late, AdeLOL fans have been starved for new content. Dan advised me on entry that the duo had unfortunately been cancelled, by themselves of all people, and as such had been on limited exposure in the past year. Self-censorship is the greatest evil of them all.

Gratefully, the lads appear committed to keeping the brand alive for now, and likely returning next season. Hopefully we can have a little more content from them between now and then, as there is precious little in our state that keeps local history as fun as this.

Impressively AdeLOL prepared three different historical tales to regale their audience with, for each of their three nights of the festival.

Unfortunately, one of these episodes may have been lost to history as the recording for Thursday’s show apparently failed. This can tend to happen when someone forgets to press record. We were assured the recording was working (or at least, actually turned on) for tonight’s show, so those who missed out on the tale of Mawson’s expedition of the Antarctic can hopefully catch up via podcast.

Although normally a walk down history lane, the focus here is as much on the light-heartedness as it is on the actual telling of history. There’s something here certainly for the casual viewer, interested perhaps in hearing local legends, but any one seriously interested in history should probably be prepared to do further reading after class. Of course, for most of us, a spoonful of sugar does the trick and there is the right balance here of learning and fun. It’s mostly fun but you do learn something, or at least you want to learn more afterwards, and that’s a good recipe.

Even though for whatever reason AdeLOL has been light on content in the recent past, they are on to something potentially lucrative here, with repartee flowing freely between Dan and Tom throughout the night. The duo is most engaging when connecting the story at hand to their personal experiences in travel and life, and when they let natural chemistry take over. Occasionally both can push a little too hard one some of the crude gags, but when the humour appears effortless these boys shine.

It would be exciting to see them set their sights higher in future. It would not be hard to add a little production value and it could go a long way to elevating what is a demonstrably successful formula. We don’t expect a full production from a live podcast recording, but something to elevate it above any other episode would be grand, especially with such healthy crowds attending.

Indeed AdeLOL could be even consider adding further to the annuals of local history, if it wants to keep the format fresh. There are plenty of living oral histories in our state crying out to be recorded and no doubt Dan and Tom are well placed to contribute to their preservation. Genuinely, this show is as much a community service as a good night out, as how else would does such a broad audience access the interesting parts of our history? Perhaps in future, we could be recognising Dan and Tom for their contribution to the South Australian historical record, as we should now for their efforts to at least keep us interested in the strange histories of SA.

– Nick Harris

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