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Howzat! Archive - September 1st 2010

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Is Ashley Naylor the hardest-working man in showbiz? In the past 12 months, he's done the RocKwiz tour, been the musical director for the Paul Kelly tribute show, "Before Too Long", popped up at Charles Jenkins' Winter Ball, and the Sacred Heart Concert, played with The Ronson Hangup, Kram, The Masters Apprentices, The Stems, The Verses and, of course, Even, who recently celebrated their 16th anniversary. And Ash celebrated his 40th birthday with an all-star surprise party. Phew! Have we missed anything? "You missed me having a David Gilmour moment in the studio the other night," Ash smiles, confirming that the new Even album, In Another Time, will be out for summer. Meanwhile, Even are doing a special "Triple Treat" show this Saturday at the Thornbury Theatre with Ross McLennan and the New World Sympathetique, and The Ronson Hangup, to launch the Darebin Music Feast.

Ash met Ross in the mid-80s, when Ash and Even drummer Matt Cotter had a band called The Swarm (featuring SEN's Francis Leach on vocals). Ross was in a band called The Hybrid - managed by Wally Kempton, who became Even's bass player. "Wally was an early convert to the McLennan genii," Ash recalls. As for The Ronson Hangup's Pinkerton brothers, Steve and Mal, Ash explains: "I met them in the early-90s and we've all been carrying on like giggling school girls ever since!" Ash is a big fan. "I love their amazing songs and their collective world view. And I love the way that Ross stage-dived into the piņata at my son's fourth birthday party."

Ash, Ross, and Steve recently had a chat with 774's Richard Stubbs about band monogamy. Richard remarked: "It seems to me that musicians tend to just play around ... where's the love of the true band?" When Ash is offered a new gig, does he run it by his Even bandmates? He quotes Status Quo, "Being in a band is like a marriage without the sex", adding, "I usually try to run it by the team; they know I wouldn't tarnish the name."

What does Ash love about collaboration? "It's good to step outside of your regular mode of writing and recording." Ash's most recent alliance has been making a new Grapes album with Sherry Rich, "a great experience". What's been his most fun guitar-playing gig? "All the gigs are fun when you bring the right mind to it. The recent Paul Kelly shows have been amazing, and the Even gigs are always a great release - like finger-painting on acid."

Ash revealed that he lived near the Thornbury Theatre, which prompted Richard Stubbs to ask: "Is it weird to do a show in your area? I mean, often criminals will never do crimes in their neighbourhood." "It can be awkward," Ash admitted. But this Saturday's show should be a cracker, with everyone buying a pre-purchased ticket getting a free six-track sampler CD. More info at Who knows, maybe even Ash's first music teacher will turn up. A Catholic nun, Sister Deidre, gave Ash his first guitar lesson when he was nine. "I learned an old gospel song, Rock My Soul In The Bosom Of Abraham," Ash recalls. "Mum was at work when I got home from school and I played it over the phone for her. I've been re-writing that song for the last 32 years."

One of Howzat!'s most enjoyable gigs this year was a Saturday afternoon spent watching The Stu Thomas Paradox at Pure Pop. Stu Thomas looks like a rock star and, more importantly, he sounds like one, too, with his wildly original and distinct style. Known for his bass duties with Kim Salmon & The Surrealists and Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist, Stu also recently released Escape From Algebra, an album with The Stu Thomas Paradox (featuring Ferrets legend Billy Miller). They're playing at the Lyrebird Lounge on Friday.

Howzat! loves a good compilation. The second Naked In The Woods collection is another ripper, featuring female artists from FReeZA Central's 2010 mentoring program. From the well known (Clare Bowditch, Angie Hart, Monique Brumby) to the emerging (including Courtney Barnett and Yelka), it's a disc packed with gems. It's launched tonight (Wednesday) at the East Brunswick Club, with performances from The Little Stevies, Deborah Conway, Jess McAvoy and more.

Just seven homegrown hits in the national Top 40, but 16 Aussie albums make the cut.

Plans BIRDS OF TOKYO (number 14)
Choose You STAN WALKER (16)
Love The Fall MICHAEL PAYNTER (20)
Magic Fountain EP ART VS SCIENCE (27)
We No Speak Americano YOLANDA BE COOL (34)
Baby, I'm Getting' Better GYROSCOPE (35)

Stan Walker is unable to knock off Eminem.

From The Inside Out STAN WALKER (number two, debut)
Running On Air BLISS N ESO (three)
Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (six)
I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (seven)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (eight)
Illumination MIAMI HORROR (10, debut)
It's Gonna Be OK ADAM BRAND (11, debut)
Modern Day Addiction CLARE BOWDITCH (19)
Aphrodite KYLIE MINOGUE (24)
Seasons THE VERSES (28)
April Uprising THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (31)
Immersion PENDULUM (32)
Hazardous VANESSA AMOROSI (35)
Golden Rule POWDERFINGER (38)
Cinema THE CAT EMPIRE (39)
Melinda Does Doris MELINDA SCHNEIDER (40)

Back To Life EVEN
Shades of Stones THE RONSON HANGUP

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