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Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - February 27th 2013

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HOWZAT!

FULL FJORDS
There's nothing quite like the first time. A great debut album is fresh, exciting, dynamic and perhaps a little na´ve. No Escape for the King's 13 Fjords is a great debut album. It's also an international-sounding record, which is not surprising because No Escape for the King is very much an international band. Singer Matt D. Cheetham hails from Manchester, guitarist David Robson went to school with Powderfinger's Ian Haug and had a band with Regurgitator's Quan in Brisbane, drummer Pablo Mulhall is from Ireland, guitarist Tim Poyser comes to Melbourne via the UK, Germany and France, while bass player Zadia St Germaine landed via London, Canada and Scotland. Phew!

The No Escape for the King story officially started at "Rock 'n' Bowl" at the Thornbury Bowls Club on 6 February, 2011. "It was a great way to say hello to the world as a band," David says of that first gig. "Considering we were a four-piece and had just enough songs for a set, it was pretty good." What's the story behind the name? "We were really struggling for names so we just bit the bullet and went to the Union Club Hotel in Fitzroy with some friends and had a lock-in, vowing not to leave till the band had a name. After many hours and beers, we noticed someone had scrawled 'no escape from the kingdom of fear' in the men's toilets. I presume it's still there somewhere. We thought it sounded just a little metal, so it got shortened to No Escape for the King and we went home after that."

Asked to put the making of 13 Fjords into a few words, David replies: "Long. Not without some hurdles. Took about 18 months and the turnover of four band members from the very beginning to the launch. All good now, though." Indeed, the album is making waves overseas, hitting number one on Lasell College Radio in Massachusetts (with the chart also featuring The Beards). "We are big in Massachusetts!" David smiles. "I have always wanted to say that we were big in Iceland, but I'm happy with Massachusetts."

The album had Howzat! experiencing some glorious '90s flashbacks. The latest single is British Angel of Icebergs, which comes with a video featuring go-go dancers from Anna's Go-Go Academy. "I'm here to save your blackened soul," Matt sings. Those seeking salvation can venture to the Grace Darling on Saturday, when No Escape for the King launch 13 Fjords, with assistance from Slacquer and The Television Sky.


SHEEZER'S GOOD

Covering Weezer's debut album is a tough gig - especially when we saw the real thing a month ago. But Fiona Lee Maynard covered the classic with class, charisma and a wonderful sense of humour. "My name is Lomas," she declared in the opening track, as a nod to her hubby and guitarist, James Lomas. The gig, part of Pure Pop's Summer of Classic Albums, was a particular treat for owner Dave Stevens, who is such a Weezer fan, he saw them at Geelong's Lyric Theatre in 1996. Saturday's show was so successful, Fiona joked about forming a Weezer tribute act. In the tradition of AC/DShe, it would be called Sheezer.


JACKARACH
Jack Howard is taking his Pure Pop show to the Flying Saucer Club on Saturday. "The Look of Love" sees Jack and his stellar band perform the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, including the 1967 album Reach Out from start to finish. Jack, who could be the hardest-working man in Melbourne showbiz, is also getting set to hit the road with The Break, who are touring with Rodriguez. The Break's second album, Space Farm, is out 15 March. Meanwhile, Jack's old Hunters and Collectors buddy Mark Seymour releases his new covers album on Friday. Seventh Heaven Club (on Liberation) is a collection of love songs, and it's a cracker.


HIP HIP

Happy birthday to Peter Andre, who's 40 today (Wednesday).


CHART WATCH

Where have all the homegrown hits gone? There are just two Aussie singles in the national Top 40.

Lanterns BIRDS OF TOKYO (number 10)
Holdin On FLUME (18)

Thirty-four years after his first album, Nick Cave scores his first number one. The Bad Seeds' 15th studio album goes one spot higher than their 2008 album, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! Push The Sky Away is the band's ninth Top 10 album. By Howzat!'s count, Nick, at 55 years and five months, is the second oldest Australian to have a chart-topping album. Malcolm Young was 55 years and 10 months when AC/DC's Black Ice topped the charts in 2008.

Push The Sky Away NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS (number one, debut)
Flume FLUME (seven)
I Awake SARAH BLASKO (15)
Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (21)
Lonerism TAME IMPALA (29)
The Sapphires SOUNDTRACK (32)
Making Mirrors GOTYE (37)
The Story So Far KEITH URBAN (40)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
British Angel of Icebergs NO ESCAPE FOR THE KING
Space Farm THE BREAK
Leave It To Me BENNY WALKER
Beside You MARK SEYMOUR
Ooh La La VENUS FIRE


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