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"Chalk Rocks"


SA Museum

Rebellious rock is subverted for preaching about nutrition, sunburn, hard work, appreciating the Outback and not watching too much TV. Punk generation parents appreciated the wholesome messages from proudly South Australian and quite solid rock band, Chalk, fresh from its schools tour.
The children, meanwhile, seemed to love the involvement, the nonsense and especially the hand movements and dancing. They burnt off energy as though in training for the mosh pits. Here was the audience for the 2012 Fringe, getting their autographs from the enenergetic front to the band, Shane Heatlie.

– Paul Lloyd

- Adelaide Advertiser

"CHALK at the Dunstan Playhouse"

We knew we were in for something different when we entered the theatre. Marshall amps on stage are not part of the usual set up for kid's shows. The audience consisted of all ages from toddlers to the eldest being about twelve, keeping in mind that 'Something on Saturday' mostly appeals to the 4 - 9 age group. I had never heard of Chalk and had no idea what to expect, and we were pleasantly surprised.
Opening song of What's on TV? accompanied by hand actions, got everyone rocking and broke that usual audience reserve. Lead singer Shane Heatlie and rhythm guitarist Felix Riley worked well together to gain their audience attention and participation. In fact the whole band immediately came across as friendly and approachable using lots of banter between players and jokes with the audience. The show was made up of songs from the very early performances of Chalk right through to the more recent ones.
Some of the earlier songs clearly had appeal for those younger 4 -7 year olds with lots of audience participation. Granny Warned Me' (I'd Be Sick) involved kids providing the menu that was gradually added to along with an easy and catchy chorus. With a country theme and lots of clapping along the kids were having a ball and so was Heatlie, running through the audience and jumping back on stage. The next two songs drew lots of wry laughs from the adults and delighted the kids, Fast Food and 3 Kids In The Back Seat addressed the inevitable moans and whinges that every adult cops in a fun and energetic manner. There are definitely tones of Scared Weird Little Guys and Peter Coombes as promised on their website and maybe even The Wiggles. Captain John And The Curtain Of Mystery/Jig Of The Sea had kids up on stage (making sure they got two from the upstairs balcony - no one was to miss out) doing the jig and wearing pirate hats. Captain John's Irish accent was in danger of slipping at times however the audience wouldn't have noticed through the laughter.
Being able to entertain and involve an audience of such diverse ages and concentration spans requires a lot of skill and these guys have that. Our two girls have been exposed to music in various forms from an early age and expect a sophisticated performance. They had smiles on their faces and joined in all the action and choruses. Chalk Music has performed to over 300,000 children in five Australian states, concentrating their efforts mainly in schools. Songs such as Regulation School Hat reinforces that No Hat No Play policy that many schools now have, in a fun and relevant way. Bully is from the stand point of the school yard bully and the consequences he suffers, along with an amusing answer for all that assertive energy (get a guitar). The next song in this particular older age bracket is Dream, a song about it being okay to dream and not necessarily having to have all the answers to getting your dream. There is a lot of pressure for kids, from a very early age, to succeed and have ambition. But everyone needs the opportunity to be 12 or 13 before they have to be 18 or 20. Written to address and support the Leadership/Lions Achiever and similar programmes and played with a tight rock band it really shines as a song. It is this gap in the market that Chalk has a real talent in addressing. If they can develop and write more of these rock songs with positive messages for the young teens, they could do very well.
Heatlie's chatter to the audience also includes lots of weird and fascinating facts about the outback and Australia. There are lots of positive messages casually slung into the band banter about how to get the most out of life and the choices we make along the way. Music styles vary but are mainly contemporary rock and a little bit of country. The band is very professional and slick, drummer Chris Keipert and bassist Andrew Johns provided steady and consistent performances, along with Michelle Heatlie providing support for Shane and back up vocals. The music was not just a background noise to the lyrics but a great band performance that could easily be cranked up a few notches for an adult audience.
Some comments from two girls with hugely varied music taste. Adele Liebelt age 9 - It was good for people aged 7/8, some of it was a bit young for me. It was good music, Captain John was funny because he had a fake Irish accent. The music was good, especially the guitars, especially the way they looked. My favourite song was the Mozzie Swat. Nicole Liebelt age 12 - I felt that the songs were meant for the 7 - 10 year olds and younger. I liked the music. My favourite songs were Dream but I couldn't hear some of the words. - Lisa Liebelt
- dB Magazine


‘Chalk’ – Self titled debut album
CD - 16 tracks – Total playing time 38 mins (approx)
First released 1999 – Independent
Re-released on CHART record label 2001 – Distributed through WARNERS
Distributed through SHOCK 2002 - 2003

‘Are We There Yet? – The Very Best of Chalk Volume 1’
CD - 14 Tracks – Total playing time: 40:51
Released 2005 – Independent
Available on Ebay & point of sale



What is Chalk?

CHALK is an Adelaide-based band targeting children aged 4 – 8 years with original songs, live instruments and comedy giving them a true rock concert experience without the dangers of the mosh pit. CHALK is the only original indie/alternative band in Australia performing for this age group guaranteed not to annoy parents and older siblings!

Brief History

Since 1998, CHALK has performed extensively toured shows to primary schools as well as performances for corporate and public events throughout all Australian states and territories (except Queensland). To date (Oct. 2006), CHALK has performed over 1000 shows to an approximate audience of 300,000 people.

Musical styles and influences

CHALK is influenced by a wide range of contemporary artists including Frenzal Rhomb, The White Stripes, Peter Coombe, The Waifs, Henry Rollins, Tenacious D and other mainstream and alternative bands that children are already listening to. Styles are varied from Rock, Ska, Punk, Folk, Country, right through to Hip-Hop.


CHALK believes that children past junior primary school age have little access to music that both appeals to them and is appropriate to their age level. Once children have ‘grown out of’ bands such as the Wiggles and Hi 5, they have little other option than to turn to mainstream music which is aimed at the teenage and adult markets. CHALK’s music bridges the gap between these genres.

Chalk has developed a TV concept reflecting the postive messages, high energy and popularity of Chalk's music and stage show and is currently seeking a production partner.