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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat!

Journalist Jeff Jenkins' weekly column featuring Australian music news, interviews, a look at the charts and more. Updated every Tuesday night around 10pm. Click here for the archive page.

Jeff is a semi-regular guest on The Australian Mood with Neil Rogers, 8-10pm Thursdays on 3RRR in Melbourne
and Evenings with Lindy Burns 7-10pm weeknights on ABC 774 Melbourne

Contacting Jeff: If you need to contact Jeff Jenkins you can email me (Lee-Roy) at
rock_gods2000@yahoo.com.au
and I'll forward the email onto Jeff

October 18th 2017

LION KINGS
Howzat! was recently watching a Men At Work gig on YouTube. We’d forgotten what a great drummer Jerry Speiser is. He can rock as hard as anyone, but also drive the beat with wonderful feel. Seeing him in action reminded us of bumping into local songwriter Andrew McSweeney at a Lucinda Williams gig at the Prince of Wales at the end of 2015. Andrew mentioned he was making a record with Jerry. The first fruits of that labour have now arrived, with a band called Dirty Rascal and a single, Be A Lion, a life-affirming anthem. “Life is to live,” Andrew sings. “Just like love is to give.” This is songwriting to stir the soul, with a killer riff, and a powerful lyric that even name-checks the band. “You can be king of the castle,” Andrew declares, “and I will be your dirty rascal.”But when he wrote the song, he didn’t actually have a band. The record started out as a solo affair, with Andrew joined in the studio by Jerry, David Briggs (LRB), Bruce Haymes and the legendary Ross Hannaford, in one of his final recordings. Andrew then realised he needed a live band, so he and Jerry gathered guitarist and singer John Fleming (ex-Scared Weird Little Guys), bass player Andy Dixon, and Monique Boggia on keyboards and backing vocals. Howzat! has been a fan of Monique’s work since she was in a band called Band Camp with Larissa Tandy. In some ways, it’s an unlikely combination – which band isn’t? – but these Rascals are sounding mighty fine. Dirty Rascal are doing a launch this Sunday afternoon at the Caravan Club.

LOVE IS LOVE
Honesty is the best policy. And the brilliant Bec Sandridge doesn’t hold back in her new single, I’ll Never Want A BF. “The song title says it all,” she explains. “This is the most autobiographical song I’ve ever written.” It’s also a message to her mum. “My mum gave my number to a customer (a grandfather) to give to his grandson, when I had a girlfriend. It was pretty delegitimising.” Though Bec adds, “Sorry, mum, I love you.”

HIP HIP
Arguably Melbourne’s most successful bass player turned 55 this week. Flea, who was born Michael Balzary in Melbourne on 16 Oct, moved to the US when he was seven, where he found fame in the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

HOT LINE
Now you’re outta my bed, get outta my head” – Alex Lahey, Awkward Exchange.

CHART WATCH
For the third week in a row, there’s just one homegrown hit in ARIA’s national Top 40 – Vance Joy’s Lay It On Me.

Lay It On Me VANCE JOY (number 28)

It’s Lucky 13, with Triple J scoring another Like A Version chart-topper, while Alex Lahey’s debut album arrives at 15.

Triple J’s Like A Version 13 VARIOUS (number one, debut)
The Secret Daughter, Season Two JESSICA MAUBOY (two, debut)
California Dreaming RICK PRICE & JACK JONES (12)
I Love You Like A Brother ALEX LAHEY (15, debut)
Essential Oils MIDNIGHT OIL (16)
Life Is Fine PAUL KELLY (18)
Snow ANGUS & JULIA STONE (20)
Go Farther In Lightness GANG OF YOUTHS (25)
The Very Best INXS (33) 

HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Be A Lion DIRTY RASCAL
Not Worth Hiding ALEX THE ASTRONAUT
I’ll Never Want A BF BEC SANDRIDGE
Stay In My Arms BENNY WALKER
Awkward Exchange ALEX LAHEY

Contacting Jeff: If you need to contact Jeff Jenkins you can email me (Lee-Roy) at
rock_gods2000@yahoo.com.au
and I'll forward the email onto Jeff

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