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Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - October 26th 2011

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It was one of the greatest weekends in Howzat!'s life - seeing Kings Of The Sun three nights in a row; at the Palace on the Friday, Saturday at the Sandown Park Hotel, and Sunday at Frankston's 21st Century. Howzat! was dating a Dutch pig scientist at the time and she'd never seen anything like the Kings. As Jeffrey Hoad would later sing, "Stand back, prepare to be amazed, you ain't seen nothin' like it in all your born days." Unfortunately, Sunday's show was cut short when drummer Clifford Hoad kicked over his kit and stormed off. His brother returned to say, "We want to keep playing, but we can't because Cliff has destroyed his kit." When we remind Cliff of the story on Neil Rogers' The Australian Mood on RRR, he shakes his head. "It's actually quite shameful to hear it now, because I'm not really pro wrecking drum kits."

Like The Knack's Bruce Gary, Clifford is sadly underrated; indeed, he's been called "The Greatest Unknown Drummer". Technically brilliant, he's also flashy and fun - in the Kings he would wear a motorbike helmet so he could hit the cymbals with his head. He also did some shows with flaming drumsticks. Life has many big questions; one of them is: Why didn't the Kings conquer the world? If you saw them live, you loved 'em. They spent six years in the US - their debut album spent four months in the Billboard Top 200 - but never got the success they deserved.

After three albums, the Hoad Brothers were "disenchanted" and reinvented themselves as The Rich And Famous. Rose Tattoo's Robin Riley recently told Cliff, "You never should've changed your name!" But Cliff now sees the two entities as "the same band - it's all rock 'n' roll to me." The Kings haven't played in Melbourne since a Palace gig with Sammy Hagar in 1998. And The Rich And Famous have never visited. But Cliff is happy that new fans can discover the music at, where you can buy the latest Rich And Famous album, Stand Back Prepare To Be Amazed!!! (complete with 24-minute drum solo), as well as a 1997 Kings album, Daddy Was A Hobo Man!!, which remained in a cupboard until this year. The third Kings album, 1993's Resurrection, has also been re-released as part of an album called Airborn Love Spirits.

Clifford recently wrote about rock on the Kings Facebook page: "It rights the wrongs we are constantly dealt we need its energy and its release. It's the magical elixir of life." Many great songs have been written about the power of rock - think AC/DC's Let There Be Rock, Joan Jett's I Love Rock 'n' Roll and Motorhead's Rock 'n' Roll. Stand Back features a song as good as any of them. Power Of This is an instant anthem. If you can't feel the power, you ain't alive. Indeed, Stand Back is as good as any rock record you'll hear this year. The Kings live! Some call them a guilty pleasure. I call 'em one of the greatest bands of all time.

During his football days in Mt Gambier, Dave Graney was dubbed "Mr Magic", and magic does happen when he's around. Dave recently made a guest appearance at the Sand Pebbles album launch, telling a tale that involved guitarist Ben Michael X, Natalie Imbruglia, a vagina and some crystals. As the Pebbles looked perplexed, Dave ordered them to "play me something that sounds like a vagina". Who knows what will happen on Cup Eve when Dave & The Lurid Yellow Mist and the Sand Pebbles do a double bill at the Northcote Social Club.

It's loose, but informative. Melbourne mastering guru Jack the Bear has started a podcast called "Raging Headfest" with producer Sam Hannan. Their first guest was producer Steve James, who talked about working with The Screaming Jets and the Teletubbies, as well as his famous dad, Sid. The podcast can be found at

Just two Aussie singles in the Top 40.

Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (number three)
Inescapable JESSICA MAUBOY (33)

Not even a new Chisel best-of can knock off Adele.

All For You COLD CHISEL (number two, debut)
Making Mirrors GOTYE (five)
A Million Suns SHANNON NOLL (eight, debut)
Songs From The Heart MARK VINCENT (10, debut)
To The Horses LANIE LANE (12, debut)
Ultimate Hits LEE KERNAGHAN (13)
What Are You So Scared Of? TONIGHT ALIVE (15, debut)
Vows KIMBRA (17)
Prisoner THE JEZABELS (20)
Falling & Flying 360 (22)
The Acoustic Chapel Sessions JOHN FARNHAM (23)
Blue Sky Blue PETE MURRAY (24)
From Here To Anywhere SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM (27)
White Heat: 30 Hits ICEHOUSE (30)
Storybook KASEY CHAMBERS (36)
Moonfire BOY & BEAR (38)
Red Dog Soundtrack VARIOUS (40)

Sometimes I, A MAN
A Death In The Family JUAN ALBAN
Deeper Into Dream BEN LEE

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