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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - February 4th 2015

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There is nothing more glorious than sharing music. Of course, everyone has their own tastes and opinions, and you can't tell people what to like. Cory and John are two of my best mates but we agree on just two things - the Essendon Football Club and Perry Keyes. I gave Cory a copy of Perry's second album, The Last Ghost Train Home, for Christmas in 2007. Nearly a year later, he called me: "Mate, this guy is extraordinary, why didn't you tell me about him?" Cory then converted John. I can't claim credit for discovering Perry - my friend Neil Rogers, host of RRR's The Australian Mood, sent me a copy of his double album debut, Meter, in 2005. In turn, Neil had been introduced to Perry by Sydney journalist Stuart Coupe, former manager of Paul Kelly and the Hoodoo Gurus, who releases Perry's work on his Laughing Outlaw label.

Howzat! rarely travels - why leave Melbourne, the music and sporting capital of the world? I've been on a plane only three times in the past decade, each time to see Perry play in Sydney. Reviewing Perry's new album, Sunnyholt, I flippantly referred to him as "the best songwriter you've never heard". Missy Higgins covered Perry's NYE on her Oz album, confessing, "I didn't know much about Perry Keyes when I started this project. Ah, who am I kidding: I knew nothing about Perry Keyes." It says a lot about the music business: How can someone so great be so unknown? But great music brings people together. Another friend, Hoffa, emailed me when he heard Sunnyholt: "Still rate him as Oz best songwriter, he really captures that Sydney feel." Yes, Perry is very Sydney (some call him "the Sydney Springsteen"), but his songs show the universality of music. He might be writing about locations you don't know, but he makes you feel like you're right there. It's a dark ride and you're in the passenger seat. As Peter Garrett said, "Perry is the real deal." He's not imagining or romanticising this life; he's lived it. Seeing Perry do a sold-out Sydney show to launch Sunnyholt, John look worried. "What if Perry becomes massive and he's no longer our thing?" Whatever happens, Perry Keyes deserves to be heard. He's playing at Basement Discs on 6 Feb at 12.45pm, and The Flying Saucer Club on 7 Feb. As Missy Higgins says, "Seriously, go check out his albums, his descriptions are so gorgeously gritty and unique and nostalgic, they sweep you up and carry you on a journey through the underbelly of the Australian suburbs."

The magical Melody Pool has moved to Melbourne. "I hate change," the singer from Kurri Kurri wrote last week. "But I'm teaching myself how to accept new things." Melody is playing at the Post Office Hotel on 5 Feb.

She's had five Top 10 singles and a number one album in the UK, and today (4 Feb) Natalie Imbruglia turns 40.

"You gotta hold tight. And don't let go" - Perry Keyes, The Abattoir Sky.

Chet Faker returns to the Top 40 after his Triple J Hottest 100 success.

Elastic Heart SIA (number five)
Talk Is Cheap CHET FAKER (six)
Cosby Sweater HILLTOP HOODS (10)
Take Me Over PEKING DUK (14)
Sugar Man YOLANDA BE COOL (22)
High PEKING DUK (26)
Chandelier SIA (37)

And Chet Faker's album leaps from 13 to two.

Built On Glass CHET FAKER (number two)
Walking Under Stars HILLTOP HOODS (seven)
1000 Forms Of Fear SIA (11)
Man It Feels Like Space Again POND (15, debut)
Triple J's Like A Version, Volume 10 VARIOUS ARTISTS (17)
Blue Planet Eyes THE PREATURES (18)
The Very Best INXS (19)
Dream Your Life Away VANCE JOY (20)
The Veronicas THE VERONICAS (24)
Jukebox HUMAN NATURE (31)
Let The Ocean Take Me THE AMITY AFFLICTION (33)
The Best of Cold Chisel COLD CHISEL (35)
The Famine And The Feast O'SHEA (36, debut)
Rock Or Bust AC/DC (37)
Madness GUY SEBASTIAN (38)
Restless Years LEO SAYER (39, debut)
Kick INXS (40)

Mario Milano's Monaro PERRY KEYES
Pontius Of The Past MONTAIGNE
When You're In Love FIVE MILE SNIPER

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