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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 kingsofthesunband.com,
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
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
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 deluxemastering.com.au.
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)
Power Of This THE RICH AND FAMOUS
Painter TESSA & THE TYPECAST
Sometimes I, A MAN
A Death In The Family JUAN ALBAN
Deeper Into Dream BEN LEE
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