It was great to see Charles Jenkins back in his hometown of Adelaide for the Fringe. Tonight was the first of his five performances at the Freemasons Hall on North Terrace. Charles with his trusty sidekick, Douglas Lee Robertson, performed an hour of incredible tunes which showcased his whole career.   

Charles formed the Mad Turks from Istanbul in Adelaide in 1984 and tonight we were treated with their first release Not Here (That’s Where I Wanna Be) as well as Holding My Breath and Cafe Istanbul back in the day Not Here was number one in the charts with radio station 3D (formerly 5MMM) and Charles had to watch a performance on YouTube to remember how to play it.

In 1989 the Mad Turks moved to Melbourne and once they disbanded Charles formed the power pop band Icecream Hands. Tonight Charles and Douglas played Nipple and Dodgy from their awesome ARIA nominated Sweeter than the Radio album as well as playing the autobiographical My Mother was a Dancer which was in keeping with tonight’s career showcase theme and which had some beautiful Everly Brothers-like harmonies. 

The rest of the songs for the set were from the next chapter in Charles career showcasing songs from the Zhivagos and the Amateur Historians. 7 Creeks was a favourite for me on the night and it revealed how warm Charles singing voice is. Charles is an excellent storyteller and that was evidenced by his wonderful lyrics and banter between the songs. Charles played Swing Bridge from the 2010 Walk This Ocean which was a beautiful bittersweet memoir of his life. The set was ended with a charming song that was a rollicking message to his daughter called Pray My Dear Daughter.  

After Charles fringe shows he is heading back to Melbourne to reform Iceceam Hands who are performing a sold-out show in Melbourne. They are playing the aforementioned Sweeter than the Radio album in full with further dates in Sydney and Brisbane. Let’s hope an Adelaide date for this tour will be around the corner. Until then there are four more performances of this outstanding show which can be booked at Fringe Tix.

Fringe Review By Richard De Pizzol

For tickets, show dates and times to Charles Jenkins head to Fringe-Tix