Adelaide Music Wiki

Terminal Twist was an Australian new wave, post punk band active during the late 1970s. They were known for a well-received self-produced EP and live career in Adelaide and Sydney. 


The band was originally formed as The Warm Jets early in 1978 by former members of Elysium. Four tracks from this period are available from Inner City Sound, compiled with much later material.

Before much serious gigging occurred, Michael (Mickey) Bahli and Peter Koczberski were replaced by Malcolm McCallum (keyboards) and Jeffrey Urqhart (bass - ex The Pensioners). This line-up established a strong live following in Adelaide over the following year, also winning support slots to The Angels, Flowers (later Icehouse), the Boys Next Door (later The Birthday Party) and others. In July 1979 a self-produced EP of four songs was released by the band, engineered and co-produced by Jim Barbour at Slater's Sound Studios. A first pressing of 1000 sold out and received positive notices in local music press. A second pressing also sold well.

In the same year, the band won a Band Competition ("Rock Off") sponsored by local community radio station 5MMM - the guest judges from interstate being Michael Gudinski (Mushroom Records) and Mike Rudd (Spectrum/Ariel); a television interview and a week of bookings in Melbourne resulted. This live recording is probably from the Rock Off performance, at Flinders University (Adelaide).

In September 1979 the band relocated to Sydney, vocalist Peter Tesla choosing to stay in Adelaide. Working as a four piece, the band were tentatively courted by Regular Records, performing many support slots with that labels main asset, Mental As Anything, as well as numerous other supports to overseas visitors such as UK Squeeze and locals like Midnight Oil. The band lost drummer Newman, who was replaced by Gye Bennetts, but the band dissolved before further recording was possible. The final line up left six demos, available at Inner City Sound.

Tesla continued with Nuvo Bloc and other bands in Adelaide and Melbourne. McCallum later played with Tactics. Urqhart spent many years as a mainstay of Jaimie Leonarder's Mu Mesons. Coleman played in the first (rocking) line up of The Slub, then retired to study academic composition.

Terminal Twist had four strong writers in their line-up, yet still also played original songs penned for them by Arnold Strals (Systems Go!, Speedboat).


  • Peter Tesla - vocals
  • Keith Newman - drums
  • Chris Coleman - guitar
  • Malcolm McCallum - keyboards
  • Jeffrey Urqhart - bass


  • At The Front - (EMI, 1979)