ELECTROPOPPED! RISE OF THE 80S SYNTHESIZER Returns to Adelaide Fringe This Weekend

Performances run 24 February - 1 March.

By: Feb. 19, 2024
ELECTROPOPPED! RISE OF THE 80S SYNTHESIZER Returns to Adelaide Fringe This Weekend
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Electropopped! Rise of the 80s Synthesizer will return after a sold out 2023 Fringe Season. Former Adelaide funk band, ‘Follow That Car’ now dives into synthpop history. A shared love of early 80s New Wave music is the inspiration for this show.

Electro Popped! Rise of the 80s Synthesizer follows the synthesizer’s passage to glory and salutes the pioneers of synthpop. Bands like Duran Duran, Ultravox and Spandau Ballet topped the charts around the world with this New Wave sound.

“It’s more than a tribute show,” says Follow that Car vocalist Michael De Gennaro. “It’s a multi-media experience. We blend video footage and story-telling with timeless hit music you can dance to. We’re bringing the synthpop era back to life.”

Video played an important role in the musical upbringing of all the band’s members. For Michael it was the video for Gary Newman’s Cars. “I was eight years old watching it on Channel 7’s Music Express. I remember Gary’s red leather outfit and the neon lights, and the music was amazing!” Bassist and keyboard player Tom Stanton loved ABC’s Poison Arrow, and was captivated by the video of M’s Pop Muzik. For drummer Mike Denner it was Blondie’s Heart of Glass, whose driving beat and rhythmic variations inspired him to take up the drums. Keyboardist Shane Abbott distinctly remembers Annie Lennox’s androgynous look in The Eurythmics videos, and guitarist John Curran, says Duran Duran’s Planet Earth “really lit something up in my brain”.

“We’re clearly all 80s kids,” says Michael.

Joining the band on stage is Michael’s sister, Teresa De Gennaro. An international Cabaret singer/actor whose 2021 Fringe show, Alien in LA, gained ****1/2 by The Advertiser.

When Michael came to her with the idea of being involved with the show, Teresa was drawn to the history of the synthpop phenomena. “It all started in the late 70s when there was a surge of young musicians and punk rockers in the UK who started to incorporate Avant Garde Electronica into their music. It was underground, unique and exciting,” she says.

By the early 1980s these experimental musicians were at the forefront of mainstream music. “The New Romantics in the UK were a big part of it and when MTV brought synth pop to the American youth, the world was their oyster!” says Michael. “Bands like Soft Cell, Depeche Mode and Germany’s Kraftwerk started to influence the developing House Music scene in Chicago and future pop dance and trance music.”

It was the inclusion of video that really got Teresa hooked into being involved with the show. “I’m an 80s kid too!” she says. “I was watching music videos religiously in the 80s. I wrote out the lyrics to all my favourite songs and copied the choreography of my favourite videos. How could I say no?”

Electro Popped! Rise of the 80s Synthesizer opens at the Norwood Hotel this Saturday 24th February and continues Friday 1st March and 16th March.