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Howzat! Archive - July 12th 2017

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It's embarrassing when you're an obsessed fan, constantly banging on about how great an act is, and you share the same surname. Some people might think we're related, but no one in my family is as talented as Charles Jenkins. As one industry heavyweight remarked recently: "Imagine if he lived in the States, he would be rich!" Indeed, Charles is an unheralded songwriting genius, the Jeff Tweedy the world has never heard of. The new Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos album, The Last Polaroid, is another songwriting masterclass. Charles' songs are punctuated by glorious twists and turns, with surprising key changes and unexpected instrumental breaks. As he declares in Cartwheels, "I've found a way to harness the best of every harvest." Charles is old school, a throwback to the days when songwriters had something to say and could take you someplace else with their words and music. "And, yeah, I show my age," he sings on the new record, "the rewinding of the cassette, the 90-minute TDK. No electronic devices can entertain like laughing with your lover through the summer rain." Sometimes real-life events provide inspiration. "Once upon a time I was walking near Barkly Square, in the rain, at night, and a girl flew past on her bicycle, singing at the top of her voice, and it put a smile on my face," Charles recalls. Remembering the song A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, he created Barkly Square, which is now the centrepiece of the new album. Howzat! once wrote that Icecream Hands were the best pop band to never have a Top 40 hit. Perhaps Charles is resigned to the fact that his chances of conquering the charts are now remote. "I've become the stay-at-home troubadour," he sings in Walking On Air. It's the world's loss. But how lucky are we to be able to see Charles at a pub - with Davey Lane on guitar! Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos launch The Last Polaroid at the Gasometer on Sunday, 23 July at 2pm. As Charles concludes in Winter Ball, "At times you get luckier than you would ever hope to be."

The birthdate of Australian rock 'n' roll can be traced to 60 years ago this month when Johnny O'Keefe released his debut single, (You Hit The Wrong Note) Billy Goat. The single stiffed, but JO'K would soon become our first rock superstar.

"Let the radio flood you with music" - Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos, High Above The River.

Jessica Mauboy's Fallin' rises from 20 to 15, while The Voice winner has a Top 20 debut.

Fallin' JESSICA MAUBOY (number 15)
Count On Me JUDAH KELLY (19, debut)
Waves DEAN LEWIS (29)
Paper Planes HOSEAH PARTSCH (35, debut)

The first Tex, Don & Charlie album in 12 years arrives at number 14. It's one of just five Aussie albums in the Top 40.

Wonder HILLSONG UNITED (number nine)
You Don't Know Lonely TEX, DON & CHARLIE (14, debut)
Off The Grid BLISS N ESO (23)
Ripcord KEITH URBAN (36)
The Best Of THE WIGGLES (39)

Running Second AINSLIE WILLS
I'll Forget Yr Name DAVEY LANE
Firewood and Candles PAUL KELLY

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