Get a dog up ya Sydney
Adelaide is no longer the city of churches or the arts capital of Australia. It’s not even Yass with poofs, as famously dubbed by Doug Mulray shortly before he was mercifully removed from national television by Kerry Packer.
According to the people who run the Sydney Fish Markets, Adelaide is now the mullet capital of Australia, a bogan backwater which is ripe for ridicule by the pony-tailed pseuds who run Sydney’s advertising industry.
The Fish Market’s new marketing slogan - “More Mullets Than Adelaide” - says more about Sydney smugness than Adelaide’s earthiness.
If anything it may suggest a degree of suppressed envy. As an expat Adelaidean, now resident in Sydney for more than 10 years, there’s an endearingly grounded quality about my less-affluent hometown which is rarely evident in the terminally pretentious Harbour City.
And if Adelaide is a bogan town, it’s a high-end bogan town.
Culturally, Adelaide occupies the apex of mullet-headed popular culture - and I say that not as a put down, but with genuine pride.
According to that unquestionable online resource Wikipedia, the excellent musical genre known as “Australian pub rock” was invented in Adelaide almost 40 years ago. Not only did great bands such as The Angels and Cold Chisel form there, it was also the home of the late and great Bon Scott, who was working as a truck driver in Adelaide in the early 1970s when he met Malcolm and Angus Young, on tour with a nascent AC/DC. The rest is history, at least up until that incident which is recorded on Bon’s death certificate as pulmonary aspiration of vomit.
Between these three bands Adelaide can fairly lay claim to having written the soundtrack for the nation. In addition, the only genuinely hard and competent hip-hop group in Australia, The Hilltop Hoods, come from Adelaide’s gritty northern suburbs.
I am aware that a number of performers have also come from Sydney - Something for Kate, The Clouds and Sarah Blasko all spring to mind.
In the field of sport Adelaide can also lay claim to having produced the toughest football fans in Australia. You can forget Canterbury or Collingwood - supporters of Port Power are in a league of their own, with even their coach, Mark Williams, celebrating the club’s inaugural 2004 premiership win by picking a fight with their official sponsor, Allan Scott of Scott Transport.
Few on the eastern states would be aware that in the Adelaide’s local Aussie Rules competition, the SANFL, even the Port supporters are terrified of the followers of another club, Central Districts, whose mulletted fans have a cheer squad which is the closest thing in Australia to a murderous gang of English soccer hooligans. These guys make Canterbury’s Bulldog Army look like the Salvation Army.
Sydney can be as smug as it likes, complacently resting on its laurels in the knowledge that, through divine providence, it ended up with a pretty good harbour - the home of the Fish Markets which now deign to tease our fine city.
But we will happily flick our hair back down over our shoulders and raise a can of West End Export to a city which, while sometimes as exciting as Yass, has not spent the past weekend holding its own Mardi Gras.
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