Seven-piece rock outfit West Thebarton has capped off a stellar year by taking out four South Australian Music (SAM) Awards tonight, with other major category winners including MANE, A.B. Original and Adrian Eagle.

In a gala ceremony hosted by legendary music journalist Zan Rowe at the Adelaide Town Hall, West Thebarton dominated proceedings, winning the awards for Best Group, Best Song for ‘Bible Camp’, and Best Release for their debut album Different Beings Being Different. The group also took home a People’s Choice Award for the Best Rock Artist.

In other major award categories, MANE claimed the Best Solo Artist Award, backing up a big 2018 that included prominent Triple J rotation and slots at the Bigsound and Spin Off festivals, while fellow Bigsound performer Adrian Eagle was named Best New Artist. Following their 2017 SAM Awards success, hip-hop duo A.B. Original returned this year to win the Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Artist Award for the single ‘Blaccout’.

In the Industry Award categories, Clarity Records’ A Day of Clarity won Best Event / Festival among tough competition from WOMADelaide and last year’s winner Porch Sessions, while the Crown and Anchor claimed Best Music Venue.

With a resume including collaborations with fellow award winners Tkay Maidza, MANE and Heaps Good Friends, Mario Spate was recognised as the Best Engineer. 5/4 Entertainment’s Craig Lock took home the award for Best Manager for the fourth time and Adelaide CBD establishment Ghostnote Recording Studio topped the category for Best Studio.

Jack Fenbywas recognised with the Award for Best Cover Art for his work with Neon Tetra and Best Music Video was awarded to ‘Better’ by Mallrat, directed by Rory Pippan/ YBY.

In other honours announced during the ceremony, the Zephyr Quartet was recognised with the UNESCO International Collaboration Award and Tam Boakes won the Music SA Lifetime Achievement Award for her enormous contribution to the Adelaide music scene through her work at iconic live music venue Jive. The Ryan Freemen Live Music Achievement Award went to Max Savage, along with $4000 towards his continued contribution to live performance.

Lisa Bishop, General Manager of Music SA, said the Awards were the perfect celebration of contemporary music in this state:

“The South Australian Music Awards showcase the very best of our music scene and demonstrate why it’s in such fantastic shape. West Thebarton has had an incredible year: a truly local band that’s broken through around the country and internationally. Meanwhile, we have solo artists like MANE and Adrian Eagle who are really doing great things and we can also celebrate the ongoing success of last year’s winners A.B. Original.”

Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni said: “Music SA has done an outstanding job of raising the profile of these awards and, as such, the South Australian Music industry. I am pleased to have provided additional funding of $550,000 to continue the Live Music Events Fund, which supports new or unique music festivals and events that have the potential to grow into major tourist attractions and increase employment in the music industry.”

The People’s Choice Awards were also announced during the ceremony, following 157 entrants and 7343 online votes cast across 12 genre categories. Winners included Tkay Maidza, Motez, The Heggarties, Abbey Howlett, Heaps Good Friends, Adam Page, Young Offenders, Laura Hill, The Coconut Kids and a draw for the Most Popular Heavy Artist betweenDirty Pagans and Hidden Intent.

After Jack Buckskin’s affecting Kaurna welcome, the Adelaide Town Hall gala provided some stellar entertainment, including Best New Artist Adrian Eagle’sgroovy introduction to the evening and sizzling live performances from Blues and Roots People’s Choice Award Winner Ollie English, Best Solo Artist MANE,in addition to West Thebarton’sexplosive closing set.

Organised by Music SA, the 2018 SAM Awards were presented in conjunction with major partners The Music, the South Australian Government’s Music Development Office, The City of Adelaide, Moshtix, Australian Hotels Association (SA Branch), Media Arts Lawyers, beverage partners Yalumba Wines, The Hills Cider Company and Young Henrys, and AV partners Novatech and Nexstage.

A full list of award winners is included below.




Best Song

Presented by APRA AMCOS

West Thebarton – Bible Camp


Best New Artist

Adrian Eagle


Best Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Artist

Presented by Nexus Arts

A.B. Original

Best Group

West Thebarton

Best Solo Artist


Best Release

Presented by The Music

West Thebarton – Different Beings Being Different


Best Studio

Ghostnote Recording Studio

Best Engineer

Mario Spate

Best Music Festival / Event

Presented by Moshtix

A Day of Clarity (Clarity Records)

Best Music Venue

Presented by AHA (SA Branch)

Crown & Anchor Hotel

Best Manager

Presented by Dept. for Industry and Skills

Craig Lock

Best Cover Art

Presented by VERSION • Design + Brand + Digital

Neon Tetra (Jack Fenby)


Best Music Video

Presented by Channel 9

Mallrat – Better

(Rory Pippan – Young Black Youth)




UNESCO International Collaboration Award

Presented by UNESCO: City of Music

Zephyr Quartet 


Music SA Lifetime Achievement Award

Presented by Music SA

Tam Boakes 


Ryan Freemen Live Music Achievement Award

Presented by Roger Freemen

Max Savage  




Presented by The Gov

Ollie English


Presented by The Grace Emily Hotel

The Heggarties


Presented by Fresh 92.7




Presented by Ghostnote Studios

Abbey Howlett


FOLK Artist

Presented by Wheatsheaf Hotel

Laura Hill


HEAVY Artist

Presented by Underground Records

Dirty Pagans &

Hidden Intent


HIP HOP Artist

Presented by Northern Sound System

Tkay Maidza


JAZZ Artist

Presented by Elder Con

Adam Page


POP Artist

Presented by Fat Controller

Heaps Good Friends


PUNK Artist

Presented by Three D Radio

Young Offenders


ROCK Artist

Presented by Crown and Anchor Hotel

West Thebarton



Presented by WOMADelaide

The Coconut Kids