"The Duchess Of The Deep End"

Grant McLennan 

The calling to music is strong in Adele Pickvance’s family. Grandfather Bill 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 4 strings of the violin to the 4 strings of the bass guitar .

'Dad was picking up duo work, so I stood behind him and read the charts over his shoulder, and I followed his left hand playing the bass notes on the keyboard. I believe that's how I really gathered by understanding of how bass can play with melody and harmony and still hold the rhythm and intertwine with the groove."

The musical genes 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, 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 of which they toured extensively around the world and locally. 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 formed 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 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 a 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 little bit of pop, with guitarist Scott Mercer and drummer Ash Shanahan.


The band’s debut song, German on My Mind, was released in November 2019.


“I learnt so much from all the great people 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 were rehearsing two or three times a week, working on a songs for hours,, really nailing the groove and flow".


“After all these years of playing, this is the first time I’ve had to be a leader, organise the practice, book the studio, look for the shows, present the songs to the band, be the person up front singing the songs. It’s something I’ve had to learn but when you find the right people to play with, everything else seems to flow.”

© 2019 Adele Pickvance.