Adelaide Music Wiki

Redgum was an Australian folk and political music group formed in Adelaide in 1975 by singer-songwriter John Schumann, Michael Atkinson on guitars/vocals and Verity Truman on flute/vocals; they were soon joined by Chris Timms on violin. All four had been students at Flinders University and together developed an intensely passionate and outspoken outlook. They are best known for their protest song exploring the impact of war in 1983's "I Was Only Nineteen (A Walk in the Light Green)", which peaked at #1 on the National singles charts. The song is in the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) list of Top 30 of All Time Best Australian Songs created in 2001.

Redgum also covered Australian consumer influences on surrounding nations in 1984's "I've Been To Bali Too", both hit singles were written by Schumann. "The Diamantina Drover", written by Timms' replacement, violinist/vocalist Hugh McDonald and "Poor Ned", written by Trevor Lucas of Fairport Convention, are examples of their bush songs. Lucas produced their best performed album, the June 1983 live LP Caught in the Act, which peaked at #3 on the National albums chart. Schumann left the band and pursued a solo career from 1986, Atkinson left in 1987 and Redgum finally disbanded in 1990.

Since 2005 Schumann and McDonald have been performing together again as part of John Schumann and the Vagabond Crew.


On the first album, If You Don't Fight You Lose (1978) Redgum showed it was one of the few Australian bands prepared to tackle domestic politics and culture. "One More Boring Night in Adelaide" for some will remain, despite some of its dated references, a classic analysis of Australian provincial parochialism. The group's success continued to grow with the release of their next three albums, Virgin Ground, Brown Rice and Kerosine (1981) and the EP Cut to the Quick (September 1982), and they weathered several line-up changes including the addition of a didgeridoo and the replacement of Timms in May 1982 with Hugh McDonald, among others. They released a songbook The Redgum Songbook: Stubborn Words, Flagrant Vices (1981).

Collaboration with influential Australian folk producer Trevor Lucas (from UK folk group Fairport Convention) brought the high-point of their career - the live LP Caught in the Act was released in June 1983 and "I Was Only Nineteen" aka "A Walk in the Light Green" (March 1983) hit number one on the Australian singles chart. The song precipitated a Royal Commission into the use and effects of chemical agents in the Vietnam War by the Australian military. The album included "The Diamantina Drover" and "The Last Frontier" which are indicative of their folk music style.

The band released their next LP, Frontline (August 1984) with its single "I've Been to Bali Too", and started touring folk venues in the UK and Europe with some success. Late in 1985, Schumann announced that he had signed a solo deal with CBS Records and would be quitting. Redgum released one more album of new material, Midnight Sun (1986), and a last single "Roll it on Robbie" (1987) after which Atkinson left. There were plans to release another album but this didn't occur.The album was recorded at Warrenwood in Melbourne but never released due to the studio going into liquidation The remaining members who recorded this album Hugh McDonald, Verity Truman, Michael Spicer, James Spicer and Tim Hannaford performed until 1990, when the band's considerable debts were cleared. After this was achieved Redgum disbanded.


  • Michael Atkinson - vocals, bass guitar, mandolin, piano (1973–1987)
  • John Schumann - vocals, guitar (1973–1985)
  • Verity Truman - vocals, flute, tin whistle (1973–1990)
  • Chris Timms - violin, backing vocals (1973–1982)
  • Bruce Barry - bass, guitar (1974)
  • Chris Boath - bass (1978–1979)
  • Gordon McLean - drums (1978–1979)
  • Tom Stehlik - drums (1978–1979)
  • David Flett - bass (1980–1983)
  • Geoff Gifford - drums (1980–1982)
  • Russel Coleman - drums (1982–1983)
  • Hugh McDonald - guitar, violin, vocals (1982–1990)
  • Michael Spicer - keyboards, flute (1983–1990)
  • Brian Czempinski - drums (1984–1986)
  • Stephen Cooney - bass, didgeridoo, guitar, mandolin, banjo (1984-1985)
  • Andy Baylor - guitar, fiddle (1986)
  • Peter Bolke - bass (1986)
  • Ray Rafael - drums (1986–1989)
  • Darren Deland Darren - bass, vocals (1987–1988)
  • Louis McManus - guitar (1987?)
  • Malcolm Wakeford - drums (1987?)
  • Bob Sender Bob - guitar (1987?)
  • James Spicer - drums, vocals (1988-1990)
  • Tim Hannaford - bass, vocals (1989-1990)


Studio albums

  • If You Don't Fight You Lose (1978)
  • Virgin Ground (November 1980)
  • Brown Rice and Kerosine (1981)
  • Cut to the Quick (1982 EP)
  • Frontline (August 1984)
  • Midnight Sun (November 1986)
  • 4 Play Vol 19 (EP, March 1988)

Live albums

  • Caught in the Act (June 1983)

Compilation albums

  • Everything's Legal, Anything Goes - Redgum's Greatest (1985)
  • The Very Best of Redgum (1987)
  • Against the Grain (2004)
  • The Essential Redgum (2011)


  • "Long Run" (Schumann) / "Little Hampton's Calling Me" (Atkinson, McDonald, Truman, Schumann) (January 1981) Re-released August 1983 with B side "Fabulon" (McDonald, Truman, Atkinson, Schumann)
  • "100 Years On" (Schumann)[8] / "Nuclear Cop" (Schumann, Atkinson, Truman, Timms) (November 1981)
  • "Working Girls" (Schumann) (1982)
  • "Caught in the Act" (Schumann, Atkinson, Truman, Timms) / "Stewie" (Schumann) / "Lear Jets Over Kulgera" (Atkinson) (1983 EP, also released with LP of same name)
  • "I Was Only Nineteen" (Schumann) / "Yarralumla Wine" (Atkinson) (March 1983) - #1 Aus
  • "A.S.I.O." (Atkinson) / "Hira" (Schumann, Cooney) (1984)
  • "Friday Night" (Atkinson) / "Last Frontier" (Schumann) (1984) - #82 Aus
  • "I've Been to Bali Too" (Schumann) / "Still Life" (Truman, McDonald) (February 1984) - #16 Aus
  • "Just Another Moment on Your Own" (Atkinson, Schumann) / "Kerang (Moon Over Water)" (McDonald) (1985)
  • "The Drover's Dog" (Schumann, Atkinson) / "It Doesn't Matter to Me" (Schumann, Atkinson) (1985) - #20 Aus
  • "Running With the Hurricane" (Atkinson, McDonald) / "Street to Die" (McDonald) (November 1986)
  • "Roll it on Robbie" (McDonald, Spicer) / "Empty Page" (Truman, Spicer) (May 1999) - #34 Aus