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August 20, 2020

Play / Pause / Play has launched a locals-only music podcast

Luke Penman, founder of digital radio station Play / Pause / Play, has launched a patriotic new podcast, featuring the best new music made by South Australian musicians.

  • Words: Angela Skujins
  • Main image: Andre Castellucci

No one in the South Australian music industry is prouder of the local scene than Luke Penman.

And he shares in the frustration felt by supporters and musicians alike that, despite the energy and talent evident on local stages, South Australian bands are not being heard on a national platform.

Part of the problem is the dismal amount of Australian music commercial radio stations play, as research has shown.


Play / Pause / Play has launched an SA-music-only podcast

Listen online or via Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Pocket Casts.


The point is illustrated further during CityMag‘s chat with Luke. As our conversation flows, he stops to point out not a single song we’ve heard over the PA system in the café we’re sitting in was made by a South Australian artist.

This is the reason Luke says his new Play / Pause / Play podcast – a South Australia-specific music program – is needed.

“In South Australia, we’re subjected to so much stuff that’s not even Australian, but also, because so much of the Australian music industry is based on the East Coast… even when we hear something Australian, it’s very rarely South Australian,” he says.

Two years ago, Luke, a former Radio Adelaide music director, launched online radio station Play / Pause / Play with money raised via a crowdfunding campaign and a City of Adelaide partnership.

Today, the station is still going strong, boasting over 3,500 app downloads, 4,500 social media followers and 1,000 mailing list subscribers. It continues to broadcast new music from local artists and tracks by interstate bands touring through South Australia.

Luke also runs a Heaps Good 50 countdown playlist at the end of the year, ranking the best songs made by South Australian artists over the previous 12 months, as voted by listeners.

By launching the new Play / Pause / Play podcast, Luke hopes to continue his mission to bring South Australian music to the fore in a format that allows him to dig deeper into the local scene.

“It’s about making South Australian music as accessible as possible for people,” Luke says. “Creating a product that allows people to say, ‘By the way, South Australian music is actually great.’

“You don’t really get to hear that very often from any outlet.”

Each episode features five emerging and established bands talking about their work, with the first episode featuring pop queen Stellie discussing what drove her to write new single ‘I’d Have Killed For You’, and alt-rock five-piece Bad//Dreems getting real about ‘Double Dreaming’ from their latest album.

Even in the local industry there are people who don’t know every band in our state, Luke says, and the Play / Pause / Play podcast is an easily-digestible way in.

“This stuff’s happening in our own backyard and you might not know about it, but here it is,” he says.

“And there are people who work in councils, local government organisations, who run venues or whatever, and they don’t know everything.”

Play / Pause / Play’s original digital radio station


In April, Luke was awarded a $16,099 grant from the Music Development Office to get the project off the ground.

A large chunk of this funding went straight to music licensing contracts so songs could be played on the podcast. Luke believes the project will also have influence beyond South Australia.

“I do anticipate there being some interstate interest in this project,” Luke says.

“Again, maybe 10 to 20 per cent of the artists that I’m showcasing are signed to a label, the rest aren’t.

“This is gonna be a very simple way to go ‘Here’s 50. Check ’em out.’”

Beyond building the careers of South Australian musos, Luke wants the podcast to make music fans here proud of the sounds coming out of our state.

The podcast will hopefully give South Australians an insight into who makes up their music industry, and why we’re Australia’s only UNESCO City of Music.

Find the Play / Pause / Play podcast online and via Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Pocket Casts.

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