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Howzat! Archive - April 25th 2012

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Former Epicure singer, Juan Alban, is quietly working towards his debut solo album. He's launching his new single, the evocative and deceptively powerful Superhuman, at the Toff on Sunday.

It's a Saturday afternoon in 1994 and Howzat! is standing at a tram stop on the corner of Flinders and Spring, contemplating our next career move. An idea flashes into our mind - a book on Men At Work. At that exact moment, a car pulls up. "G'day mate," the driver says, "do you need a ride?" The driver was Greg Ham. The book never eventuated, but I'm proud to say that Greg became a mate. We served on The Push board together, worked on a pilot for a music show that never happened, and Howzat! was a fan of the Tall Poppies, a band Greg managed in the mid-90s. You couldn't meet a nicer bloke than Greg Ham. No rock star attitude, Greg was a sweet and witty man, always happy to share his knowledge with young musicians. Greg was chairman of The Push in the '90s. Push CEO Peter Chellew placed a notice in The Age, paying tribute to "an inspirational supporter of young people's achievements through music. A genuine superstar who quietly nurtured our grassroots." Another former Push board member, Jo Roberts, the editor of The Age EG, sent Howzat! a note when she heard that Greg had died last Thursday at the age of 58. "Terrible, terrible news," she said, "I keep seeing Greg sitting in that Push boardroom, laughing and joking."

Whether it was playing a stadium with Men At Work, or the Espy with Relax With Max, the Nudist Funk Orchestra or Miss Dorothy And His Fools In Love, Greg was a true musician. It was sadly ironic that his death happened on the same day Gotye hit number one in the US. Aussie chart-toppers in the US are a rare occurrence. And Men At Work are the only Australian-based act to have both a US number one single and album. Greg Ham led an extraordinary life. For the 2003 re-release of Business As Usual, Colin Hay said: "Greg gave a whole sound and colour by bringing in a different instrumentation to the band. He was also great visually - a very funny man, which gave us more personality." That's how I'll remember Greg - a man with a big personality and an even bigger heart.

If you're a musician in Victoria, you should be a member of Music Victoria. The organisation, run by Paddy Donovan, was set up with state government money, but, ideally, it would be industry-funded. Head to to get involved. The membership drive finishes next Monday.

If Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits were living in Melbourne, they'd probably sound a little like Hope Addicts, who are launching their delightfully dark fourth album at the Old Bar on Friday.

Delta dawns at two.

Sitting On Top Of The World DELTA GOODREM (number two, debut)
If Looks Could Kill TIMOMATIC (11)
Into The Flame EP MATT CORBY (14)
La Vie En Rose RACHAEL LEAHCAR (18, debut)
Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (28)
Boys Like You 360 & GOSSLING (29)
Do It Like That RICKI-LEE (34)
Set It Off TIMOMATIC (35)

Kate Miller-Heidke's Nightflight lands at two - kept out of top spot by One Direction.

Nightflight KATE MILLER-HEIDKE (number two, debut)
No Plans COLD CHISEL (three)
Drinking From The Sun HILLTOP HOODS (six)
Falling & Flying 360 (18)
Greatest Hits: 18 Kids KEITH URBAN (21)
Gravel & Wine GIN WIGMORE (29, debut)
Making Mirrors GOTYE (31)
All For You COLD CHISEL (34)
Vows KIMBRA (36)

Superhuman JUAN ALBAN
Waters Of March ALEX & NILUSHA
Still Life MEN AT WORK

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