Gig review: SCALA Live @ The Wheaty

Wheatsheaf hotel – Adelaide, South Australia 19th April 2018.

The Songwriters Composers and Lyricists Association (SCALA) and Adelaide’s Wheatsheaf hotel presented another night of fabulous original music, showcasing some of Australia’s best songwriters and performers.

Along with other events by SCALA such as the annual Festival Of original Music (FOOM) and various workshops throughout the year. These SCALA live events are held on a regular basis to help showcase up and coming musicians, and to “Encourage the playing and recording of innovative and original music and the use of innovative and original music in commercial applications.” Check out the SCALA website here

First on tonight was one of two ‘SCALA Spotlights’* Donald McRobbie who was performing for the first time at a SCALA event. His song ‘I took my beer to bed’ went down really well with the crowd.

*(SCALA Spotlights are acts that have pre-arranged with the organisers to do a couple of numbers before the main acts)                         

Second SCALA Spotlight for the night was Des Wade. Des’ Irish accent and witty banter quickly had the crowd laughing and provided a perfect warm up for the main acts. His songs ‘Deloraine’ and ‘Big Wing’ were well received.

The first of the main acts was Megan Rae Isaacson who was joined on stage by Cara Boehm on keys and Jack Crawford on Double Bass.

Megan’s classical vocal training shines through on most of her numbers. Her clear, soulful vocal tones are truly extraordinary. Reminiscent in some ways of Alison Krauss, but with much more feeling.

Megan’s songs have a refreshing honesty about them. Complimented beautifully by the backing vocals of Cara Boehm, Megan treated us to a range of songs from her varied repertoire, from the gentle tones of ‘The Coat’ to the up-tempo beats of ‘Have a little faith’ and the Alison Marie song ‘Who will be your lover’.

An earlier FOOMStar Encouragement Award’ recipient, Megan clearly had more than a few fans in the audience and I’m guessing she made many more from this performance.

Megan is currently collaborating with fellow FOOM winner, Alison Marie, on her debut EP due for release in 2018.


After a short break, Susan lily took to the stage. Accompanied by Graham on bass and ‘JP’ on harmonica, Susan’s country twang lends itself beautifully to her songs. She grew up in country NSW and she brings that friendly country spirit with her to her performances. She has a ready smile and friendly way which endears her to her audience. The on stage banter between band members was amusing and showed how relaxed they all were on stage. Susan’s previous work as a stand-up comedian was evident in her delivery of anecdotes between songs.

Susan’s songs are mostly fun tunes but also have a depth to them for those who care to listen closely. From songs of getting over breakups and losing control, to songs of country folk having ‘City blues’, her songs always leave you wanting more.

Susan lily’s second album ‘Free Spirited’ was released in March 2018 and her earlier single ‘Musical Journey’ is currently enjoying airplay on community radio.


The headline act of the night was The Good Questions. This band is made up of Marta Bayly – vocals/ukulele/guitar, Alex Clermont – lead guitar, Chris lauritsen – Drums, Paul Rupinskas – Bass and Simon Frank Molloy – Guitars/vocals.

Born from a collaboration between Marta Bayly and Simon Frank Molloy, The good Questions brings forth a fresher sound to the Adelaide music scene. Ethereal chorused guitars blending perfectly with acoustic sounds, and well written songs. Bayly and Molloy share the vocals on stage, Bayly’s beautiful voice perfectly complements Molloy’s huskier tones and the combination of Clermont’s smooth lead guitar with Bayly’s  pizzicato uke is captivating.

It’s evident that these musicians are passionate about the sound they want to produce and they deliver a truly unique sound. This is a band that I will definitely go back to see again.

The Good Questions released their debut, ten track CD ‘LIGHT PLACE’ in February 2018, with all songs written by Simon Frank Molloy and Marta Bayly. The CD includes musical contributions from Andrew Clermont (Totally Gourdgeous, Blu Guru), Quentin Eyers (Q the Music), Alex Clermont, Nick Carroll, Ingrid Wangel, Andy Armstrong, Andy MacDonald, Craig Lauritsen, Adrian Miller & Philip van Pamelen.

The haunting ‘Hydrogen’, sung by Simon Frank Molloy and ‘The Blue Room’ sung by Marta Bayly are stand out numbers, but my favourite number has to be ‘Frozen In Time’. The combination of ethereal, orchestral guitars, drifting through the song, and the sheer heart wrenching vocals of Marta Bayly are truly magical.




Categories: Gig Reviews

%d bloggers like this: