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Howzat! Archive - November 26th 2014

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Two years ago, Mike Brady flew to Ireland to visit his eldest son, Christian. As the Aer Lingus flight prepared to land in Dublin, it was cold and wet. Mike looked out the window as tears filled his eyes. "Aye," said the woman next to him, "you're coming home, are you?" Mike smiled. "In a strange way, I am." Strange because Mike had not been to Ireland since he was a baby. Even stranger is the trip has led to Mike creating the finest music of his career - at the age of 66. But, first, let's rewind 35 years to when Mike was having a drink with Melbourne musician Steve Cooney. "Steve always thought he was Irish," Mike laughs. Flush with royalties from Up There Cazaly, Mike wrote Steve a cheque and told him to follow his Irish dream. Steve has been living in Ireland ever since, and he co-produced Mike's new album, Bloodlines, The Australian Irish Story. "Steve certainly repaid the favour - in spades." As soon as he arrived in Ireland, Mike says, "I understood myself, and I felt at home, with the people, the humour and the culture." The Irish love to tell a story, and Bloodlines is filled with some rippers. The album has even been a way for Mike to connect with his father, an Irishman who felt disconnected from his homeland after fighting in the British Army. The opening track, Christy Son of Erin, is about an Irish soldier who can't go home and "gradually mentally declines". Mike claims it's a fictitious character, but the inspiration is obvious. Mike's family moved to Port Melbourne when he was 11. Another song is called Say It While You Can. "I didn't get on with my father," Mike says, sadly. He sings: "I would have liked to ask him where he thought the demons led/ Before I got to know him, my father, he was dead." Mike has four kids, aged 19 to 42. "And I tell them I love them after every conversation." Bloodlines features a single tear on the cover. "The Irish express their sadness - they are full of melancholy. And I think this is a sad album." Mike Brady has had a remarkable career, from MPD Ltd in the '60s, to Up There Cazaly in the '70s and signing Joe Dolce in the '80s. But Bloodlines is his best work. "I've always had a crack at making records, but I don't really think I had my heart in it," Mike admits. "But this was a really spiritual experience. If I don't sell a single copy, I don't care. The experience of doing it was something you can't buy."

Northern Ireland's Andy White - who has called Melbourne home for nearly two decades - is launching his new break-up album, How Things Are, at The Toff In Town on 26 Nov. So what are Andy's favourite break-up albums? "Blood On The Tracks, Bob Dylan. White Ladder, David Gray. Grace And Danger, John Martyn. How easily they roll off the tongue!"

Whatever way you look at it, it's great that music is being taken seriously at this state election.

"Too many words are left unsaid, say 'em while you can," Mike Brady, Say It While You Can.

Melbourne DJ/producer Will Sparks has a Top 5 debut.

Ah Yeah So What WILL SPARKS (number four, debut)
Cosby Sweater HILLTOP HOODS (five)
Stand By You MARLISA (13)
Take Me Over PEKING DUK (17)
You Ruin Me THE VERONICAS (19)
Can I Get A Moment? JESSICA MAUBOY (23)
Good Girls 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (34)

Sydney rapper Kerser gets minimal radio play, but he still manages to have a Top 10 debut.

Jukebox HUMAN NATURE (number seven)
King KERSER (nine, debut)
Walking Under Stars HILLTOP HOODS (12)
Marlisa MARLISA (13)
Triple J's Like A Version, Volume 10 VARIOUS ARTISTS (17)
The Live Tapes Vol 2 COLD CHISEL (19, debut)
Great Women Of Country MELINDA SCHNEIDER & BECCY COLE (21)
30:30 Hindsight JIMMY BARNES (24)
Built On Glass CHET FAKER (30)
The Very Best INXS (34)
5 Seconds Of Summer 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (38)
Dream Your Life Away VANCE JOY (39)

Say It While You Can MIKE BRADY
Thank You Let PAUL KELLY
Dialed To The Nine's SPOONFUL

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