Introducing // Swirl Records

The conception of Swirl Records began in somewhat of a strange environment. In the winter of 2015, Tom Matheson and Angus ‘Top Gear’ Clarke met in the inconspicuous basement level of Adelaide’s city Target store. Working part-time, both were heavily invested in the beginnings of their musical endeavours: Siamese (Tom) and Goon Wizarrd (Angus), respectively. An idea, in its youthful days, as a small satirical banner for the two bands to stand under quickly turned into an elevated platform to perform on and an entrance to Adelaide’s music scene. Thus Swirl Records was born. 

The early days were littered with messy, grungy, short-fast-loud house parties which featured wild rock/punk sets from Goon Wizarrd,while 90s grunge covers and shoegazey originals were heard around neighbourhoods when Siamese took stage. Six months in came the inaugural Swirl Records show, ‘Swirl Night at the Light.’ Swirls’ residence at the Colonel Light came about when our good friend Gerry Bain began pulling beers and booking bands. 

The show featured sets from Goon WizarrdSiamese and debuted acts Ray RomanticAstro DadThe Rolling Eyes and Oxymoron. While Ray Romantic and Astro Dad have disbanded, Oxymoron went through a member transition to form groovy, psych/blues bandSomnium, who are now signed to Swirl Records and are releasing a highly anticipated album this April.

On the other side of town in Magill, the foundations for Adelaide’s dreamy psychedelia trio, Druid Fluids, were being laid. Siamesedrummer Baden Guillou and intellectual lounge-lizard, Jamie Andrew, were brought together through mutual mates and common interests. The duo jammed on Hendrix, The Black Keys, The Babe Rainbow and, before long, bass-wizard, Tom Knott, joined the band. Druid Fluids developed their own style of lengthy jams with floating melodies and became Swirl Records fourth act on the bill.

‘Thursday Night at the Light’ swiftly became an evening of cheap pale, psych, indie and punk, hosting a crew of young Adelaide bands: Zen PandaSlick Arnold and The Empty Threats, to name a few. Since the Colonel Light, Swirl Records have been involved with Music SA’s Winter City Sounds, Swirl Presents at the Metro, Punk Ass Kids, Gizzfest and hosted our own charity, Swirl Fest, donating all proceeds to RECLINK Australia. 

Our evolution as an idea and a business has been both exciting and educating. We owe a great deal to our family of musicians, visual artists and venues who have consistently provided us with the platforms on which to create, present and perform. The coming year is set to be an erratic, loud and downright foolish presentation of bands, releases and the best of Adelaide’s live music scene that we hope you’ll enjoy with us. 

We would like to formally clink our Coopers to The Exeter, The Crown and Anchor, The Producers Bar, Rocket, Clarity Records, Music SA, Yewth Mag, Culture Club Magazine, Big Daz at the Colonel Light, Pia Gynell-Jorgensen, Madeleine Larkin, Henry Stentiford, all our bands and the misfit members of the Swirl Family.

Support your local!


Hamish Gibson-Smith