"The Duchess Of The Deep End"
The calling to music is strong in Adele's family. Her grandfather played violin in dance orchestras in the north of England. Adele’s father, Bill, was a working musician in the clubs of Manchester, playing the organ with a trio behind the vocalists passing through. Every Friday and Saturday was gig night.
Nothing changed when the family moved from Bury in Lancashire to Brisbane, Australia, where the teenage Adele swapped the four strings of the violin to the four strings of the bass guitar.
'Dad was picking up duo work, so I stood behind him and read the charts over his shoulder. I followed his left hand playing the bass notes on the keyboard, and I believe that's where I learnt how bass can play with melody and harmony and still hold the rhythm and intertwine with the groove."
The musical genes were also passed down to her brother David, a successful international composer for radio drama and television. Brother Jonathan plays and records drums in bands around Brisbane.
The Brisbane music scene was a fertile place in the ’90s, and soon Adele was immersed in the city’s vibrant alt-electric-folk scene, constantly playing gigs.
In 1995, in Brisbane, she began playing with Robert Forster and drummer Glenn Thompson, from Custard, as Forster worked on material for his 1996 solo album Warm Nights and which they toured extensively around the world and locally. After that, she played in the short-lived but superb Far Out Corporation with Ian Haug from Powderfinger and Forster’s co-writing partner from The Go-Betweens, Grant McLennan. A self-titled album was released in 1998. Adele and Glenn also worked up Grant's last solo album, 'In Your Bright Ray, ' rehearsing regularly and demoing the album.
She then moved to Melbourne to record and tour with The Dave Graney Show, recording 4 albums with the band and living and breathing the Melbourne music scene for 8 years.
When Forster and McLennan decided to form the second incarnation of The Go-Betweens, Pickvance was asked by McLennan to join the band as bass player and played on The Friends of Rachel Worth, released in 2000. Thompson joined on drums for Bright Yellow, Bright Orange and the band toured the world. The band’s final album, Oceans Apart, was a five-star classic that won the ARIA Award for the best adult contemporary album.
After Grant McLennan’s death in 2006, Adele played on Forster’s album The Evangelist, which contained the last songs McLennan had written. It marked the end of an era that taught Adele so much about music and the creative life.
Adele has also worked with artists including Clare Moore, Billy Miller of The Ferrets and Scott Spark, Ranger and The Mumps.
In 2012, while Adele was living in Sydney, Adele and Glenn released the album Carrington Street, a self-produced album picked up by the German label Glitterhouse Records, reviewed glowingly in Europe and at home.
In 2016 she released her first solo collection, the My White Rabbit EP, songs recorded in her home studio in Marrickville.
Back in Brisbane, in 2018, Adele formed Adele and the Chandeliers, a 3 piece post-punk band, with a little pop, with guitarist Scott Mercer and drummer Ash Shanahan.
“I learnt so much from all the great artists I’ve worked with, right back to the trio, Warm Nights, with Glenn and Robert,” Adele says. “When I look back in my diary, we rehearsed twice a week, playing lots."
“After all these years of playing, this is the first time I’ve had to organise rehearsals, book the studio, book the shows, and be that front person of a rock n'roll band. It’s something I’ve had to learn on the way, but when you find the right people to play with, everything else seems to flow.”
Adele & The Chandeliers released their debut album 'First Date' in late 2020 in Australia on Orange carpet Records and 12 inch vinyl on the Spanish label Pretty Olivia Records.
Due to family commitments, Ash Shanahan left the band after the record was made, with brother Jonny Pickvance replacing Ash on drums.
Over the last 2 years Adele, Scott and Jonny rehearsed when possible. As for everyone, it's been a bumpy stop/ start process recording and playing shows due to COVID but they got there, with a 4 song EP 'Still Thinking' ready for release early next year.
The first single from the EP, Up There For Thinking, was released in September 2022.