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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - September 27th 2017

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KEEP ROCKIN'
Our music community is made up of many people. Some are players. Some are punters. Some are both. Phil Lawrence played in many bands over the years. He was one of the most naturally gifted people Howzat! has known. Phil, known as Lorro to his mates, was also a graphic designer and a photographer. But most of all, he was a lovely bloke. Imagine your favourite gig buddy; that was Lorro. Howzat! will treasure every photo Lorro took and every email he sent - all of which were signed: "Keep rockin'" Lorro died recently of a lung disease. He was 53. Howzat!'s best mate, Cory O'Bryan, wrote this tribute:

Lorro was by no means a household name, but I know that a lot of readers would have rubbed shoulders with him at a venue over the past few decades. Lorro started his gigging career playing guitar in Stage Plays in the early '80s, playing venues like the Seaview Ballroom with his schoolmates Neil Crocker, Dave Ralph and Craig Murray. The great Australian record producer Victor Van Vugt got his start doing sound for Stage Plays, and they did gigs with INXS, Hunters & Collectors and Real Life. Lorro then moved on to play bass in The Sometimes with his dear friend Peter "The Buzz" Poumbourios, releasing a few singles. An accomplished artist, Lorro also helped many bands with their record covers, and took photos at live shows, famously still holding a grudge against a drunken Spencer P. Jones who smashed Lorro's camera at a Johnnys gig when Lorro was politely snapping away. I have been playing with Lorro for the last 18 years, in Hedge and Airhorn. He also managed my band Interstater, and played drums in Slacquer, with his partner, Mel, and Merry Prain, releasing a couple of great, sassy records. Lorro was so talented, he could play anything. His ear for music was uncanny, and he could also kick beautifully and accurately on both feet, like his hero Kelvin Templeton.

A memorable night for Airhorn - me, Lorro, John Cain and Karen Horsley - was playing to a packed room that included Ron Peno, Hugo Race and Blondie's Clem Burke, who told us he really liked the band! Our last gig was Anzac Day eve at the Workers Club, which our number one supporter, Paul Window, recorded for posterity. It was a wild night, with crazy girls groping us on stage. I'll always remember Lorro coming off stage, beaming: "That was the best gig of my life." Thank you Howzat! for introducing me to one of the great blokes. To quote you, "Phil Lawrence is the nicest man in the world."

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