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Aussie artists
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Howzat! Archive - August 1st 2012

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Last week on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, celebrities read out hurtful tweets. Katy Perry read one tweet that said: "I would rather chop my arm off and fuck myself with my detached limb than watch 'Katy Perry, The Movie'." Two of Australia's hottest young acts, Stonefield and Owl Eyes, have teamed up to do a tour to promote more respectful relationships among young people. "I'm sure every band and artist has experienced negative remarks online," Stonefield's Amy Findlay says. "It's great as a band to receive constructive criticism, which only makes us work harder, but initially it was painful when people would sit behind their keyboards and make comments that were rude and completely irrelevant to the music. It's a gutless thing to do, but we now recognise this and don't take any of it to heart." "The Line" is a federal government initiative aimed at combatting violent and disrespectful relationships, including cyber bullying. "As a band, we've been approached by a lot of charities and organisations," Amy says. "The Line is something that we can all relate to. It's something that affects everyone and we think it's a great message to get out there." Does Amy believe music can change the world? "Of course! Music is a universal language. Not only do certain songs hold incredible powers, people want to listen to what musicians have to say. I think it's important for us to use this to spread good messages and bring awareness to issues that need to be dealt with." To promote The Line, Stonefield and Owl Eyes (Brooke Addamo) are doing Winter Road Trip 2012, playing at the Karova Lounge in Ballarat tonight (Wednesday), Traralgon on Thursday, Bendigo on Friday, and the Westernport Hotel in San Remo on Saturday. Brooke - who is hoping to release her debut album in October - loves a road trip, listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles in the tour van, watching Seinfeld and Arrested Development on DVD and drinking flavoured milk.

It's hard to believe he's gone. Every time after bumping into Darryl Cotton, I'd remark to a mutual friend: "No rock star has aged as well as Darryl - he still looks like a surfer in his 20s!" Sadly, Darryl recently discovered he had liver cancer and he died last week at the age of 62. Darryl was an immense talent, but, more importantly, he was a lovely bloke. You couldn't help but like him; he was easygoing and entertaining - I have fond memories of him doing some radio IDs pretending he was John Farnham.

The Darryl Cotton story starts in Adelaide, where he formed a band with his best buddy Beeb Birtles (later a founding member of LRB). They were known as Down The Line when a young Adelaide promoter named Doc Neeson suggested they change the name to Zoot. At the end of 1968, as Darryl later explained, "We had to go to Melbourne to see if we could make it." He broke the news to his mum and dad over a counter meal at their local pub. "They thought I had my girlfriend pregnant, but all I wanted to do was tell them I wanted to go to Melbourne." Zoot, managed by Tony Knight and Wayne de Gruchy, signed to EMI. Tony came up with the "Think Pink - Think Zoot" marketing campaign, dressing the band in pink. It was a piece of bubblegum brilliance - kids in Brisbane even painted a bridge pink. But there was a backlash, with the band being labelled "pretty pink pansies". Molly Meldrum produced their 1969 hit Monty and Me (featuring a whistling Johnny Farnham), and the band came second, to The Flying Circus, at the 1970 Hoadley's Battle Of The Sounds, where they played a killer cover of The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby. 2SM started playing the live version, so the band went into the studio to record the song - it was a Top 5 smash at the start of 1971. RCA wanted to release the single in the US, but EMI refused to let them. It was the last straw for Zoot and the band broke up.

Darryl scored his biggest solo hit in 1980 with Same Old Girl, a song inspired by his wife, Cheryl. Musically, it was influenced by Fleetwood Mac, and features a banjo solo. It was a Top 10 hit. Darryl also did some acting, in The Young Doctors, Holiday Island and Neighbours, but in his typical self-deprecating way, said, "I was pretty shithouse." Like Shirley Strachan, Darryl had two careers - music and television. Both were brilliant frontmen and then their lives had a second act as children's TV hosts. Darryl had five years hosting Channel 10's The Early Bird Show, and became great mates with Marty Monster (David Triscott).

Darryl's cancer diagnosis in May was a shock to family and friends. He was still doing gigs with his friends Russell Morris and Jim Keays, as Cotton Keays & Morris. His old Zoot buddy Rick Springfield, who came home to spend time with Darryl, posted a message: "We were bandmates in our early 20s and good friends in our early 60s. Darryl Cotton, lead singer of the best band I was ever in." Even though he was unwell, Darryl committed to doing the Sounds charity gig with Donnie Sutherland to raise money for ovarian cancer research. Sadly, he died two days before the show.

Matty Vehl launches his Cylinders EP, Communion, at the Workers Club on Thursday. It's an intoxicating mix of electro sounds and influences from one of Melbourne's most versatile musicians. The first record Matty bought was Radio Birdman's Radios Appear; his first big gig was Mick Jagger at the Tennis Centre, with his mum, "but the first gig I remember thinking, 'Oh shit, this is what a gig is' was the Powder Monkeys at the Prince." And the dream all-Aussie Cylinders bill? "The Missing Links, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Olivia Newton-John - on skates."

Justice Crew leap from seven to two.

Boom Boom JUSTICE CREW (number two)
Everyone's Waiting MISSY HIGGINS (16)
Shout It Out REECE MASTIN (25)
Can You Feel It TIMOMATIC (29)

Karise Eden spends a fifth week on top.

My Journey KARISE EDEN (number one)
Happy Home DARREN PERCIVAL (three)
Broken Brights ANGUS STONE (four)
The Ol' Razzle Dazzle MISSY HIGGINS (six)
The Story So Far KEITH URBAN (10)
Shooting Star RACHAEL LEAHCAR (11)
No Shame SARAH DE BONO (20)
Falling & Flying 360 (25)
Cornerstone HILLSONG LIVE (28)
The Temper Trap THE TEMPER TRAP (30)
Drinking From The Sun HILLTOP HOODS (31)
Wheels & Steel PAUL COSTA (32, debut)

I Can Make You Love Me BRITISH INDIA
Nylex Nights TOBY MARTIN
Eleanor Rigby ZOOT

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