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Howzat! Archive - July 15th 2015

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GOLD CLASS
Howzat!'s friend Mara Blazic has worked in current affairs for 25 years, including more than 15 years on Australian Story. But she loves music. As Helen Shanahan returns to town, to play at the Spotted Mallard on 17 Jul, Mara was moved to write this review:

The EP arrives with a short note saying, "I think you will find some gold here." And I do. I've had the five songs from Finding Gold on repeat since you posted her unassuming EP jacket to me. As I listen to Helen, the warm winter sun streams through my kitchen window and I almost feel I could be lying in a field of gold, listening to birds, watching windmills. I am in love with her voice, her melody, her poetry, her music. The EP comes with no lyrics, no photo of Helen, not a lot of information, other than a mention about the Telstra Road to Discovery. So I assume she's young, but her performance on this EP is so self-assured, she sounds ageless. I don't know what she looks like and have no sense of her journey from the CD sleeve, other than I learn Finding Gold was recorded in Nashville. But this is not a country record. She sounds a little like Missy Higgins, but then again I could be listening to the new Eva Cassidy. The bright winter rays and Helen's melodies deceive me; these songs are not sunny. Darkness follows Helen. She writes of fractured hearts, melancholy minds, broken souls. In Dead Weight she sings, "Oh sorrow, won't you leave?/ You keep pulling at my sleeve, oh, won't you give me back my sanity?" But then in the next breath there's hope: "I know underneath the sand and stone my soul shall flower/ In the rubble left out in the cold, I'll keep finding gold." I hope Helen finds happiness and stellar international success with her music. It's original, it's beautiful. Finding Gold is precious.

LYDIA LAUNCH
Lydia Goldthorpe is launching her striking debut EP, Simple Local, at LongPlay in North Fitzroy on 15 Jul.


27 CLUB
Legend has it that 27 is rock's dying age. The Fauves turn 27 this month, having played their first gig, at the Mt Eliza Football Club, on 23 Jul, 1988. Singer Andrew Cox later said: "There was no rider, we were underpaid and no one got laid. It was a microcosm of an entire career." The Fauves have survived, however, and they're doing two big shows at the Richmond Theatrette, on 16 and 17 Jul. The gigs have been curated by Justin Naylor, who says: "There is a bit of an 'unsung heroes' theme - brilliant songwriters deserving of wider audiences." Following The Fauves, Ross McLennan and Ben Mason are playing at the Richmond Theatrette on 18 Jul.


HOT LINE
"Nothing feels right, nothing's in the perfect place" - Helen Shanahan, Finding Gold.


CHART WATCH
No homegrown hits in the national Top 10.

Start Again CONRAD SEWELL (number 11)
You Don't Own Me GRACE (13)
You Were Right RUFUS (30)
Anchor EP BIRDS OF TOKYO (36)
The Buzz HERMITUDE (40)

John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John's live album spends a second week at number one, while the new album by The Getaway Plan has a Top 10 debut.

Two Strong Hearts Live JOHN FARNHAM & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN (number one, debut)
Empires HILLSONG UNITED (six)
Dark Horses THE GETAWAY PLAN (10, debut)
1000 Forms Of Fear SIA (13)
Dark Night Sweet Light HERMITUDE (14)
Strange New Past SETH SENTRY (18)
Rock Or Bust AC/DC (24)
The Very Best INXS (25)
Walking Under Stars HILLTOP HOODS (26)
Holy War THY ART IS MURDER (30)
Love Child Season 2 VARIOUS ARTISTS (31)
Yuck ALPINE (35)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Finding Gold HELEN SHANAHAN
Secret Sculptures Go LYDIA GOLDTHORPE
Undone BEN MITCHELL
Get A Grip Upon Yourself FAMILY FOLD
I'm Sorry SUZANNAH ESPIE

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