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Howzat! Archive - March 6th 2013

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It's a festival of festivals in 2013. But back in 1992, before the Big Day Out came to Melbourne, there was just one - Push Over. Twenty-one years later, it's still going strong. This year's event is at the Myer Music Bowl next Monday, headlined by The Amity Affliction. Many artists on the bill would not have been born when Push Over started. Howzat! was at that first event - at the Exhibition Buildings on Saturday, 7 November, 1992 - and it was a cracking lineup: TISM, Frente, Ratcat, The Hard-Ons, The Meanies, Spiderbait, Clouds, Things of Stone and Wood, Caligula, No Comply and Southern Sons. Yes, Southern Sons. They hit the stage after TOSAW, and Howzat! was almost knocked over as hundreds of kids surged past us, exiting the venue. "Is there a fire?" we nervously asked our best mate, Cory. Post-Nirvana, the music world had changed - suddenly, kids were cool and they didn't want anything to do with Southern Sons' middle-of-the-road pop. A similar thing happened the following year when Jon Stevens played Push Over at Olympic Park. Meanwhile, Howzat! tried to act cool, buying a fake nose ring at Push Over '95. It didn't work.

As a long-time Push board member, Howzat! has attended every Push Over. For many kids, Push Over is their first gig. Being drug and alcohol-free, it's a festival where the music is the focus. And it's affordable. A Push Over ticket cost $40 in 2004; it's $40 this year. The event has introduced kids to a stack of great music. Bands that have played more than one Push Over include Spiderbait, Silverchair, Bodyjar, Killing Heidi, Grinspoon, The Meanies, Magic Dirt, Frenzal Rhomb, Something For Kate, Behind Crimson Eyes, Tiltmeter and Parkway Drive. The event has been held at nine venues: Exhibition Buildings, Olympic Park, two different sheds at the Docklands, the Myer Music Bowl, Luna Park, Moonee Valley, the Alexandra Gardens, and the Abbotsford Convent. Push Over also stages the grand final of the statewide FReeZA Push Start battle of the bands. Finalists have included Kisschasy, The Vasco Era, Animaux, Neon Love and The Cactus Channel.

Here are five Push Over memories:

The beauty of having six Push Overs at Luna Park was the unlimited rides. When Silverchair hit the stage in 1994, Howzat! was on the Scenic Railway. The view was incredible; the kids were going crazy. Silverchair had arrived. After the 'chair, a savage storm hit St Kilda and The Meanies didn't get to play.

The story spread through Push Over '97 at the Docks: Michael Hutchence was dead. In the days before twitter and internet access on mobile phones, no one knew whether it was true. I was hoping it was just a sick joke. It wasn't.

John Butler was mobbed when he was escorted to the signing tent at Push Over 2004. The bewildered look on his face said it all - he had become a pop star.

Rancid were the big overseas guests at Push Over '98 at the Bowl, but The Living End blew them off stage. As the kids went berserk, an A&R man told Howzat!: "I passed on the chance to sign them. I like 'em, but I thought they were just 80 per cent there."

Howzat! was a judge for the 2003 battle of the bands. A Warrnambool band tore up the stage. The singer leapt into the crowd, spun around on his back and kept playing the guitar. It was Airbourne. Remarkably, they didn't win. The winning band was Flynt, featuring Michael Paynter, who later signed to Sony.

Howzat! went to see Sarah Humphreys at Wesley Anne last year. It was like an episode of a Fleetwood Mac reality show. Sarah's ex-hubby, Tim, was the support act, and then, while he looked after their son, Jude, Sarah hit the stage with her guitarist and new boyfriend. But dysfunctional pop has never sounded so sweet. Sarah is an exquisite singer, cute and compelling. She describes her sound as "folky, dreamy and heartbreaking". Sarah has done a song about her son, Boy Wonder, which is the second single from her latest album, Hello (out now on ABC Music). She's playing at Pure Pop at 4pm on Saturday, and the Workers Club at 4pm on Sunday.

Still just two Aussie singles in the national Top 40.

Lanterns BIRDS OF TOKYO (number six)
Holdin On FLUME (17)

The Bible has inspired many Nick Cave songs. This week, Nick is knocked off top spot by fellow Bible fans - Hillsong. The church group scores its second number one album, with their 13th Top 10 entry. The big story on the chart, however, is the resurrection of Russell Morris. His Aussie blues album, Sharkmouth, leaps from 46 to 28 to see Russell score his first Top 40 album in 32 years.

Zion HILLSONG UNITED (number one, debut)
Push The Sky Away NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS (five)
Flume FLUME (10)
Sunday Gentlemen SPIT SYNDICATE (15, debut)
You're A Shadow HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY (18, debut)
Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (22)
Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (28)
Lonerism TAME IMPALA (35)
The Sapphires SOUNDTRACK (38)

You're The Cops, I'm The Crime DAVEY LANE

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