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Twenty Years of Drumming Monkey Business

Amazing Drumming Monkeys
Melissa Smith

Amazing Drumming Monkeys celebrate 20 years of children’s entertainment

Two decades ago, struggling musicians Troy Moore and Xavier Beaubois found themselves busking in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall for a dollar. Despite their incredible drumming skills, a pigtailed 8-year-old with a small drum managed to steal the show with her undeniable cuteness. Determined to make it to the spotlight, Xavier had a lightbulb moment when playing with his own daughter and her toy monkey – and thus, the Amazing Drumming Monkeys were born.

Fast forward to today, and the monkeys have gone bananas. The show has evolved from playing to an adult crowd at electronic music festivals to capturing the hearts of children and the “second wave” or “Peter Combe” effect has emerged, as the children who grew up with the monkeys are now bringing their own kids to experience the magic of the cheeky trio.


Photo by Isolated Photographer

To celebrate 20 years of beating the drums, the girl who helped start it all, Xavier’s now-adult daughter, created a video that takes a nostalgic trip through the past. It shows the Monkeys’ transition from music festivals to becoming one of South Australia’s favourite children’s entertainment. And for the first time, we get a peek at the monkeys stepping out of their booths, reminiscent of Kermit riding a bike in the Muppet movie.

The Amazing Drumming Monkeys are a busy bunch, with gigs ranging from performances at childcare centers, kindergartens, and schools, to major international festivals and events. Xavier extends his expertise beyond the stage, providing hand-drumming and drum-making workshops in Adelaide and regional South Australia. The workshops cater to individual and group needs, including corporate team building, therapeutic and wellness sessions, community drumming lessons, and festival drum circles. Xavier is not only a talented drummer and workshop facilitator but holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and education. His training background ensures that he is not only skilled in drumming but also an effective and fun group leader.

But the heart of the Amazing Drumming Monkeys’ performance lies in its interactive drumming segment, allowing children to learn new rhythms, play games and jam along with the monkeys just as Xavier’s daughter did all those years ago on the lounge room floor. The unique experience of the Monkeys has left audiences of all ages laughing, drumming, and dancing together.

The Amazing Drumming Monkeys have swung their way into the hearts of audiences worldwide and as they enter their third decade, they plan to continue to spread laughter and the joy of drumming to both new and old faces.

Currently playing at the Adelaide Fringe, you can catch a show every Saturday and Sunday at the Garden of Unearthly Delights.

To find out more and catch a show near you, click here.


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