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Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - April 11th 2012

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Georgia Fields is growing up. The wildly talented chanteuse is getting set to make her second album. "My first record was only two years ago, but looking back I feel like I was such a baby," she smiles. "I'm at least a toddler now." She's excited about following her self-titled debut. "Everything feels very pregnant with possibilities. The canvas is primed and white, all the paints are laid out, the coffee is hot … I just can't wait to make a big mess and throw the colours around." Expect some changes. "I'm very eager to explore some new stories and some new sounds. I've been reading about myths and archetypes. I've been talking to the Moon a lot. I've been playing my Omnichord and listening to Bowie." Georgia calls her new sound "disco pagan" - "dirt, glitter, sex and sky. Still very much a pop record, but slightly unhinged. Like me, I guess."

Before bunkering down in the studio, Georgia is doing one more gig, next Monday - her first at the Famous Spiegeltent. "This gig will be a virginal Spiegeltent performance for me," she says. "I'm very much looking forward to drawing back those red curtains and straddling their grand piano. I've heard rumours that the Spiegeltent stage has a miraculous kind of energy." Georgia laughs when Howzat! asks how many people will be on stage. "Ah, my reputation for enormous productions precedes me." She had 15 people on stage for her album launch, but just six musicians will be present on Monday, including "The Two Daves" rhythm section - Dave Rogers on bass and Dave Kleynjans on drums.

Promoting her debut album had plenty of highlights, including singing with the legendary Normie "No Added Hormones" Rowe on RocKwiz. "Normie is just that - a legend," Georgia says. "I must admit I didn't know much of his music before we met, and I don't think he knew much about me." They spoke on the phone, to decide on a duet (The Beatles' All I've Got To Do). "I asked him what key was best for him and he casually remarked, 'Oh, I can sing in any key.' My eyebrows did a little jump and I thought, 'Uh huh'. But when we started singing together, my lord … he is absolutely incredible! That man really could sing in any key, even the key of H. His charm and natural charisma were so unpretentiously intoxicating that my boyfriend didn't want to leave me alone with him. I have immense respect for Normie. I think he lives not far from my mum in Queensland, so I must look him up next time I visit."

Georgia revealed on RocKwiz that the first record she bought was Leonardo's Bride's Even When I'm Sleeping. It was also the first song Georgia sang live - at an open mic when she was 13. "It's one of my favourite songs of all time," she says. Georgia was "totally star-struck" when she supported Abby Dobson a few years ago. "Her voice cuts right to my heart. We've met a few times now, but every time I see her I become this babbling teenage mess and look like the biggest dork in the universe. Abby, if you're reading this, I love you!"

His name might have been Little, but he lived a big life. Howzat! was lucky enough to interview Jimmy Little when he appeared on Olivia Newton-John's duets album, 2. A true gentleman, he had amazing grace, as well as a soothing, soulful voice. His final words in the 2003 documentary Jimmy Little's Gentle Journey were: "I'm just a travelling minstrel man who doesn't want to stop." Sadly, the show is over - Jimmy died last week at the age of 75. But his legend lives on.

James Reyne is not a big co-writer. He once had a session with Desmond Child, the American hit-maker who co-wrote a stack of hits, including I Was Made For Lovin' You, Livin' On A Prayer, Dude (Looks Like A Lady) and Livin' La Vida Loca. Steve Tyler calls him "a fucking genius"; James calls him "the king of the key change". But the session was not successful. "I'd make a suggestion and Desmond would say, 'I don't think so.' I really struggle with co-writing. I can't say, 'That's a shithouse idea' unless I'm working with a good friend." James also finds the cliché-ridden co-writing sessions frustrating. "Someone will come in and say, 'How about Stuck On The Edge Of The Night or On The Outside Looking In?' and I'll be like, 'I don't think so.'" James' new album, Thirteen (out now on Hammerhead Records) features 11 tracks: he wrote six on his own, two with producer Scott Kingman, and three with Tim Henwood (The Androids, Rogue Traders, The Superjesus). Tim was just 18 when he first played with James. Recently they talked about starting a rootsy/Americana band. They also floated the idea of resurrecting the Company of Strangers, a collaborative project that had a hit album 20 years ago (featuring Channel Seven newsreader Peter Mitchell). They then planned to make a "Jim & Tim" record, but Tim got sidetracked with a gig in the Rock of Ages band, so a few of the songs ended up on Thirteen, including the classic pop/rock tune Whatcha Gonna Do About It?

With Jet, Powderfinger, Silverchair and Short Stack all exiting the scene, who wants to stand up and claim the Oz rock throne? Could it be Stonefield? The sisters are set for a huge year, starting with shows at the Northcote Social Club on April 24 and 25.

Timomatic scores his second Top 10 hit, jumping from 16 to eight.

If Looks Could Kill TIMOMATIC (number eight)
Into The Flame EP MATT CORBY (14)
Boys Like You 360 & GOSSLING (17)
Set It Off TIMOMATIC (23)
Music Won't Break Your Heart STAN WALKER (25)
100% No Modern Talking EP KNIFE PARTY (34)

The Sia best-of arrives at 30.

Drinking From The Sun HILLTOP HOODS (number three)
Falling & Flying 360 (13)
Best Of SIA (30, debut)
Moonfire BOY & BEAR (34)
Vows KIMBRA (35)
Making Mirrors GOTYE (38)
All For You COLD CHISEL (39)

Whatcha Gonna Do About It? JAMES REYNE
Love Is Mighty Close To You JIMMY LITTLE

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