THE young and young at heart danced to the music of their childhoods as legendary children’s performer Peter Combe took to the Fun4Kids stage in Warrnambool on Friday.
It was the first of three chances for people to wash their face with orange juice and clean their teeth with bubble gum as Combe returns on Saturday for two additional shows.
Combe’s Warrnambool shows are focused on the children – but he said parents were known to attend for their own pleasure as well.
“I have an enormous number of parents who are (aged in their) early to mid-30s who grew up on Toffee Apple, Newspaper Mama … Spaghetti Bolognaise. There’s no doubt they have a strong desire to come and see the show,” he said.
“There’s that notion of revisiting your childhood. (Parents) come along and you can see they’re singing the songs almost better than their children are.
“The one song all children know is Wash Your Face in Orange Juice (Mr Clicketty Cane).”
It’s a song people at Saturday’s shows can expect to sing along to.
“It was never an album title – it was track three on the Spaghetti Bolognaise album, which came out in about 1984. So it’s quite an old song,” he said.
“But the lovely thing about children is it doesn’t matter if the song was written 30 years ago or yesterday – it makes not one ounce of difference to a six-year-old child.”
Combe says his love for music and creating new songs for children – as well as upholding a high standard of children’s entertainment – has maintained his passion for the craft over many years.
“I have seven grandchildren, so I’m at a new phase of my life. But I still love doing it,” he said.
Combe said it was great to return to Warrnambool and see the festival growing.
“It’s fantastic to have a great children’s festival in a large country town, because there aren’t many solely children’s festivals around. This is lovely,” he said.
“They were quite a receptive audience (at Friday’s show) and I enjoyed myself as always.”
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