Australiana by Austen Tayshus

Australiana by Austen Tayshus
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'Me mate Boomer rang. Said he was having a few people round for a barbie. Said he might cook a burra or two. I said, "Sounds great. Will Walla be there?". He said, "Yeah, and Vegie might come too". So I said to the wife, "Do you wanna go, Anna?" and she said, "I'll go if Din goes."

Austen Tayshus performs the hugely successful 'Australiana' sketch written for him by Billy Birmingham (also known as cricket comedy act The Twelfth Man). This spoken word performance was recorded live with an appreciative audience at the Comedy Store in Sydney in 1983, giving it a raw, immediate feel. Only available on 12" vinyl, it went to number one on the Australian charts and stayed there for eight weeks. 

The humour relies on the audience's knowledge of Australian place names, flora, fauna, events and icons, such as Vegemite which he references by saying 'Vegie might come too'. It's a great example of dry Australian humour and the linguistic tendency in Australian English for shortening names e.g. 'Will Walla be there?'

This excerpt comes from a re-release of the single in 2003 to mark the 20th anniversary of the original release by EMI Music.

Notes by Beth Taylor