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WE'LL HOLD YOU IN OUR HEART
Every Skipping Girl Vinegar gig is special. But some are
more special than others. Last Thursday, the band launched
their new single, One Long Week, at the East Brunswick Club.
The opening act was to be young folk pop band Snowy Belfast.
It would have been the biggest gig in the band's short career.
Sadly, it never happened because Snowy Belfast's singer,
James Cross, was tragically killed in a road accident the
day before the gig. He was just 22. Skipping Girl Vinegar
dedicated The Passing - the final song on their debut album,
Sift The Noise - to James. Singer Mark Lang wrote the song
for his grandparents, but the words were a moving tribute
to James. "You've come to heaven's rest," Mark sang, "the
first of our kin to pass … we'll hold you in our heart."
Mark talked earlier in the gig about how he was trying to
live "in the moment". His spiel was interrupted by a message
being left on his mobile phone - from One Long Week co-producer
Nick Huggins, saying: "So sad to miss your show tonight,
I'm thinking of you all." Mark's sister, bass player Sare
Lang, laughed when he stopped the song to check the message.
"Get in the moment, brother!" It was a very funny moment
in a night of genuine emotion. Mark also announced the engagement
of SGV violin player Kelly Lane. And when he dedicated the
night's final song to James, he reflected, "Now, this is
IT'S A LONG WAY TO THE BOOKSHOP
The new book House Of Hits by Jane Albert ($50, Hardie Grant)
is both a delight and a disappointment. It's a book that
only an "insider" could have written, but this is also its
downside. It promises to tell "the great untold story of
Australia's first family of music", Alberts - home of AC/DC,
The Easybeats, Vanda and Young and John Paul Young, and
former home of The Angels and Rose Tattoo. It should be
a rollicking read, but, not surprisingly, Jane - a member
of the Alberts clan - doesn't dig much dirt. Still, an Alberts
book is better than no book at all. There are some nice
anecdotes about Ted Mulry, JPY (how he was discovered by
Simon Napier-Bell, who would go on to co-manage Wham), and
William Shakespeare (the stage name for John Cave. "I might
as well call myself bloody William Shakespeare," he told
George Young, who wanted him to adopt a stage name. "That's
it!" George replied). Of course, the contemporary Alberts
story is all about AC/DC (a band that didn't turn a profit
until their eighth album, Back In Black). Jane doesn't really
critically examine why the label has failed to have a genuine
hit in the past two decades (with the book ignoring '90s
signings such as Daniel Amalm and Aleesha Rome), though
she does quote the label's former A&R manager Chris Gilbey:
"The company had huge success with AC/DC, but it didn't
build the business that it could have. It could have been
a giant in Australia, and perhaps the world, too."
GET ME TO THE CHURCH ON TIME
An early tip for this year's ARIA Hall of Fame - The Church.
The guys are celebrating their 30th anniversary, so their
time has come. Expect to see some special anniversary shows.
And Steve Kilbey is the singer on the new GB3 album, Damage/Controlled,
which will be out soon.
A JOLLY GOOD IDEA
City of Yarra Socialist Party councillor Stephen Jolly has
leapt into the liquor licensing laws debate. "The government's
new liquor laws and its claims to be cracking down on violence
have more to do with chasing votes in the outer suburbs
than with reality," Councillor Jolly says in a newsletter
sent to all Yarra homes. "I will be doing all I can to get
more Council support for music and the arts in Yarra. The
first step will be to get the Fitzroy Town Hall opened up
as a venue."
HOW MANY HITS CAN WE TAKE BEFORE WE ALL FALL DOWN?
Howzat!'s good friend Pat made a good point recently: "In
20 years from now what will be the 'classic rock' on radio?"
We thought of that question when Vega converted to Classic
Rock. It's an interesting name, because it means that the
station can never change its format. Vega should have been
a great station. It should have been a music lover's station.
It should have "owned" all those classic acts that are still
making thrilling, contemporary music, such as James Reyne,
Joe Camilleri, Stephen Cummings, Ross Wilson and Renee Geyer.
Instead, it became what former announcer Tony Squires called
"a spectacularly dumb rock-music jukebox". Now, it's calling
itself "the only radio station in Melbourne playing non-stop
classic rock". Is this very different to what Gold is doing?
Classic Rock has a relatively adventurous playlist - we
tuned in the other day to hear INXS' The Swing, a song that
is rarely played on radio - but does Melbourne really need
two major commercial stations playing only golden oldies?
Just three homegrown hits in the national Top 40.
On A Mission GABRIELLA CILMI (number 27)
Sweet Disposition THE TEMPER TRAP (30)
Black Box STAN WALKER (34)
The new Airbourne album arrives at number 19. And the Facebook
campaign to get Perry Keyes' brilliant new album, Johnny
Ray's Downtown, to the top of the charts is unfortunately
not a big success - the album arrives at 148.
No Guts. No Glory AIRBOURNE (number 19, debut)
Conditions THE TEMPER TRAP (20)
Black Ice AC/DC (23)
A Book Like This ANGUS & JULIA STONE (26)
Before Too Long: Triple J's Tribute To Paul Kelly VARIOUS
Wrapped Up Good THE McCLYMONTS (31)
Bobby The Burning Dog PERRY KEYES
Today PRINCESS ONE POINT FIVE
Find Me A Way Back Into Your Heart LAZY SUSAN
Beneath The Satellites BRITISH INDIA
One Long Week SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR
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