Portrayed by American actor and musician Harry Shearer (also the voice behind The Simpsons’ Mr Burns), Smalls is one of the three main members of the group that emerged in 1979 and was the subject of the 1984 spoof “rockumentary” This is Spinal Tap.

Derek Smalls. Photo: Rob Shanahan

Shearer himself performed at the 2016 Adelaide Cabaret Festival with singer-songwriter wife Judith Owen, and while he has also appeared in character as Derek previously in Australia, the Guitar Festival show will be the first time he has played with You Am I.

This Time It’s Personal, at Her Majesty’s Theatre on July 23, will see the Australian rock band band reprise its acclaimed Majesty of Tap show featuring the songs of Spinal Tap, “turning it up to 11” as Smalls joins them for some on-stage jamming.

This is Spinal Tap will be screened at the Mercury Cinema the day before the live performance, with a Q&A featuring both Shearer and You Am I frontman Tim Rogers.

Presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre and running from July 9-24, the Guitar Festival spans genres including rock, classical, blues, flamenco and country, with artistic director Slava Grigoryan curating a program of ticketed performances, free and interactive events, and regional gigs.

The line-up includes The Black Sorrows’ Joe Camilleri (celebrating his 50th studio album), ARIA Award and multi Golden Guitar winner Fanny Lumsden (in a concert with special guest Jimmybay), and Spanish flamenco star José María Gallardo del Rey.

Shows range from a double bill for “shred heads” ­– featuring local muso Cam Blokland plus guitarist Simon Hosford’s band Fair Warning – to a celebration of the classical guitar headlined by Chinese musician Xuefei Yang.

“Whether you want to dance, learn, play, or simply sit, listen and enjoy, we have you covered this winter,” Grigoryan says of the program, which includes come-and-try sessions and a guitar expo.

The Guitar Festival On the Road program will this year see free events presented in 10 regional towns across South Australia.

“We were very fortunate to be able to hold events in so many regions in addition to the Adelaide performances, and this year we will get to expand on this further, plus welcome back international performers alongside some of our city and country’s best to present a fabulous program,” says Grigoryan.

The full program for the 2022 Adelaide Guitar Festival (July 9-24) is online.

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