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Howzat! Archive - May 26th 2010

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LAZY SUSAN FIND THEIR WAY BACK TO MELBOURNE
What happens when a hopeless romantic finds domestic harmony? Lazy Susan singer Paul Andrews had a song on the band's debut album, Long Lost, called Phone In Sick. "I know you've got an in-tray that would drive strong men to tears," Paul sang, "and I know that you've got deadlines coming out of both your ears, but I think you should phone in sick." Fast forward a decade, and Paul has a partner and two kids under the age of two. Lazy Susan's new album, Places That Made Us, features a song called Responsibility Of Love. "I've got to live up to what I'm not," Paul sings. "Some days I can feel like Jesus, other days it's concrete sneakers." "I ran away from it [responsibility] for many years," Paul confesses. "This song is about living up to the cheap words that fall from your lips. If you start something, you have to see it through." Paul is having a "concrete sneakers" day when Howzat! catches up with him. "Every day is," he laughs. "No one talks about how hard it is, because everyone wants to be seen as the perfect parent. But it's fucking hard!" He's counting down the days till this week's Melbourne shows. Paul's partner said to him, "You must be looking forward to going to Melbourne." "No," Paul lied, "it's work."

MEMORY LANE IS A TRAP
Lazy Susan are releasing their fourth album, Places That Made Us, on July 2. "As with every album, the approach was, 'This is our last album'," Paul says. "It's such a slog. But, like childbirth, you forget the pain and throw yourself in there again." After recording 20 songs with pop guru Michael Carpenter, Paul read about an art exhibition called "Returning To Places That Made Us". "I thought it sat nicely with the songs because some of them went back a long way." Then Paul saw the album's artwork - an illustration of a house in Church Street, Newtown. "It was a complete coincidence, but Pete [guitarist Pete Wilson] and I lived in a house on Church Street when we formed the band." The guys went through a few names before settling on Lazy Susan. They were "Dig A Pony", taking the name from The Beatles' song. "But we'd always see the name written as 'Digger Pony', as if we were a tribute to the Anzacs." They evolved into "The Holy Woods", but ditched that when it was always written as "The Hollywoods". They were "Ironside" when they recorded their debut EP, 1999's Right On. The name was a reference to Raymond Burr's wheelchair-bound detective, and the band adopted a wheelchair logo. But they had to drop the name when a punter - who thought they were taking the piss out of handicapped people - threatened to firebomb Newtown's Sandringham Hotel when they played there. "We thought Lazy Susan was perfect because it was easy to understand," Paul explains. But they are regularly referred to as "The Lazy Susans" and for one memorable night at Brisbane's Milton Bowl, they were billed as "The Lazy Suzannes".

EVERY DAY IS A GIFT, LIKE A NEW PAIR OF SOCKS
Lazy Susan are Howzat!'s favourite Sydney band. They're like the Sydney version of the Icecream Hands, capable of turning the mundane into melodic masterpieces. And they vie with the Icecream Hands for the unenviable title: Best Pop Band To Never Have A Top 40 Hit. The new album includes a song called Sore Losers. Written by Pete, it includes the lines: "We were never in the race, not even a place don't tell me that we're underrated, misunderstood and so frustrated, when the going got tough, just weren't good enough." But Paul is proud that Lazy Susan have survived for more than a decade. "It can be hard getting attention when you've been around a while, so we flirted with coming up with a new name. But I'm proud of Lazy Susan. Even though we have no real profile, we've managed to do an album every few years and our fans feel strongly about the band. We're really grateful for that." But Paul does have one regret: "We've never really cut it in Melbourne. For whatever reasons, we've never done great gigs in Melbourne, and we always head back on the Hume with our tails between our legs - 'Damn you, Melbourne, you've ruined us again!'" But just like childbirth, the pain wears off, and Paul and Lazy Susan keyboards player Tim Byron return to Melbourne for some album preview shows this week, including Friday at Revellers Bar and Saturday at 5pm at Pure Pop. More details at myspace.com.lazysusantheband.


McGAFF
Danny McDonald - who ranks alongside Jack Jones, Kelvin Templeton and Bernie Quinlan as the best player to come out of Traralgon - has a new band, Danny McDonald & The Right Wing Conservatives. They're playing on Saturday at IDGAFF.


CHART WATCH
Dumb band name #276: Sydney's Amy Meredith is not a woman; it's a band. They score their first Top 40 hit this week with their second single, Lying.

Mr Mysterious VANESSA AMOROSI (number 12)
We Speak No Americano YOLANDA BE COOL (17)
Unbroken STAN WALKER (24)
Lying AMY MEREDITH (27)
Love Lost THE TEMPER TRAP (37)
Seventeen JET (38)
Dinosaur KISSCHASY (39)

Fourteen Aussie albums in the national Top 40.

Iron Man 2 AC/DC (number four)
On Broadway DAVID CAMPBELL (seven)
Compass MARK VINCENT (eight)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (11)
April Uprising THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (17)
Enchanted Way DAVID HOBSON (18)
Golden Rule POWDERFINGER (19)
Hazardous VANESSA AMOROSI (21)
Live: The Onstage Collection TINA ARENA (22, debut)
Calling Me Home SARA STORER (29)
Conditions THE TEMPER TRAP (30)
Koonyum Sun XAVIER RUDD (31)
Avalanche BRITISH INDIA (33)
Wonder LISA MITCHELL (37)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Responsibility Of Love LAZY SUSAN
Closer To You REBECCA BARNARD
Vanilla BRITISH INDIA
First Frost LIZ STRINGER
Ashes JASON WALKER

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