The Sunday Session at Hong Kong’s leading live music venue, The Wanch, was spiced up last Sunday July 24, 2016 with appearances by Aussie film and musical theatre writer and director, the impresario Frank Howson.

Barry O’Rorke, Brian Greytak, Phil Whelan, Rocky Dabscheck and Frank Howson take the Hong Kong Drinking Oath of Allegiance at the Wanch

The Sunday Session acts as a scoop for the cream of Filipino musical talent in Hong Kong where they proliferate throughout the entire live music scene in Hong Kong’s 5 star hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs. They come to create a warm and convivial party atmosphere for the one day a week off for foreign domestic workers who for the other six days of the week, slave away to earn a paltry income most of which is repatriated back home to support their families. This is their day to let their hair down and have some fun relaxing from the rigors of their daily toil. Fortunately they have a chance to do with a some of the best musicians in town.

Frank Howson and Barry Robinson with a drifter in front of the Wanch music bar
Frank Howson and Barry Robinson with a drifter in front of the Wanch music bar

Frank Howson certainly quickened the pace and added greatly to the sense of excitement all were experiencing when the spotlight fell upon him as he fronted Armando Cada’s band, Armie and Friends. Having appeared at the Wanch four or five times over the past few years during his visits to Hong Kong, the dance floor was flooded with those familiar with his musical style as they danced and jived to his impressive singing.

Later he returned to the stage to front a group of very tight professional musicians, Benji Del Santos’ The FRC Band (Folk Country Rock). Benji’s group specialise with some of the classic sounds of the 70s and 80s ranging from Eagles, James Brown, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Beatles, Clapton, Bee Gees, Dire Straits etc. Once again, Frank had the joint a rockin’, especially with a reggae version of the Bob Dylan classic, ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’. The audience was eating out of his hand as a supplicating communion of souls danced in tune with the musical message of seeking forgiveness and understanding for their sins. He had tapped into a strong theme not lost on a predominantly waxed, wavering and those still firmly entrenched, Catholic Filipino audience, and he hit gold!

Armando Cada with orange juice, band leader of Armie and Friends band

Frank Howson is currently in Hong Kong to tie up some loose ends before the premier of his new musical extravaganza which is soon to hit Sydney like a tsunami, along with exploring some new creative endeavours he has on the go. In fact Frank Howson is entering into a new golden age where many of his past pursuits that have been relegated to a back room, have been brought out into the sunshine, dusted off, and are suddenly starting to pay off big time.

Frank Howson and Marly Apostol

These include Frank Howson being sought out by an international film distributor who is taking his latest film, “Remembering Nigel” to Cannes Film Festival this year and distributing internationally his backlist of films along with actively promoting ‘Nigel’. He has just had a new book published. His musical, “From Genesis to Broadway” is doing just that. Negotiations are underway to have it finally staged on Broadway. Plus lots of other creative new veins have been taking place in his life especially with a range of new musical projects he has been working on, and music videos he has produced for other performers. And lots more, far too extensive to cover here.

Benji Del Santos and his FRC Band

Of course the cream of the crop has to be the new musical stage play, Dream Lover, he has co-written with his cousin, the internationally famous writer, director, broadcaster and actor John Michael Howson. Due for release in Sydney in September this year, this musical with a sensational cast of over 40 top performers, covers the life of the extraordinary story of legendary singer, songwriter and actor Bobby Darin. Starring David Campbell, Caroline O’Connor, Hannah Fredericksen, Bert LaBonte, Martin Crewes and Marney McQueen and directed by Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical), the show presents great hits from the 50s and 60s including Mack The Knife, Beyond the Sea and the multi-million-seller Dream Lover.

This musical captures the glamour and passion of the big band era, the Rat Pack in Vegas and the Golden Age of Hollywood – a time of trail-blazing stars, knock-out fashions and life-changing events. As well a sensational cast, with over 40 on stage including an 18-piece big band, Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical is a big show with a big score and a big heart.

Dream Lover trailer:




Clever Disguise

“Gordi’s debut EP is simply a breath of fresh air, both sonically and thematically.” – The Music

“A musical mystic pulled from the pages of some pastoral romance.” – Music Feeds

“Gordi’s EP is a work of absolute splendour that is almost certain to make her a star.” – Stereogum

“Payten follows her heart rather than a rulebook” – The Line Of Best Fit

Celebrating the release of her debut EP Clever Disguise last Friday, Sydney-via-Canowindra artist Gordi shares a gorgeous, stripped back version of the song that started it all, ‘Can We Work It Out’. The video pares the song right back to the basics – highlighting Gordi’s wonderful, husky vocals and beautiful songwriting, against the stunning backdrop of a piano.


The stripped back version of the song was shared by Culture Collide and Stereogum over the weekend, and is one of six tracks on Clever Disguise, which also features the original track, past single and alternative radio favourite ‘Nothing’s As It Seems’ and current offering ‘Wanting’. Clever Disguise is ambitious, big pop that doesn’t give an inch of artistic concession, the culmination of Gordi’s prolific songwriting and work with esteemed local producer Ben McCarthy and international talents Alex Somers (Sigur Ros) and Francois Tetaz (Gotye).

Following on from an appearance at Groovin The Moo in Canberra and a recent tour with Of Monsters And Men, Gordi now travels to the UK for The Great Escape Festival and a run of dates with acclaimed Norwegian indie pop act, Highasakite.  From there, she’ll cross to The Americas to perform at Sasquatch Festival (helmed by Florence & The Machine, The Cure, Jamie XX) and headline a short string of dates from San Francisco to New York.

Signed to popular indie Jagjaguwar overseas and named an ‘Artist to Watch’ this year by Stereogum, Gordi’s future is looking bright.



May 19 -21 The Great Escape, Brighton UK

Sunday May 22 IE at Whelan’s, Dublin IRE

Monday May 23 The Deaf Institute, Manchester UK

Tuesday May 24 Village  Underground, London UK


Friday May 27 Sasquatch! Music Festival, Washington US

Monday May 30 Swedish American Hall, San Franciso US

Wednesday June 1 The Echo, Los Angeles US

Saturday June 4 Icehouse, Minneapolis US

Monday June 6 Schubas, Chicago US

Tuesday June 7 The Drake, Toronto CA

Thursday June 9 Rockwood Music Hall, New York US


JAGJAGUWAR (World ex-ANZ) | |  |

YouTube Gordi | Instagram @gordimusic  | Twitter @gordimusic




An all-star line-up of Australia’s top comedians are rallying to help their friend and one of Australia’s favourite entertainers, Russell Gilbert, staging a fundraiser event – GALA FOR GILBO – at Palais Theatre on Sunday, July 17.

Among the dozen plus renowned funny men and women sharing the stage in this one night extravaganza will be Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson, Judith Lucy, Glenn Robbins, Denise Scott, Shaun Micallef, Richard Stubbs, Brian Nankervis, Lehmo, Bob Franklin, Lawrence Mooney, Trevor Marmalade, Colin Lane and more, hosted by Mick Molloy.

As an additional treat, ARIA award-winning musical comedy duo, Scared Weird Little Guys will reform for the event, with special appearances by Russell’s former Hey Hey It’s Saturday co-stars, Red Symons and Wilbur Wilde.

One of our most-loved comedians, Russell suffered through a devastating series of personal and medical issues in late 2015.   A brain aneurysm, followed by a stroke has left him reeling.  His family and close friends say that the former star of Hey Hey, It’s Saturday, whose TV career began in 1998 with The Comedy Company – two of the most popular Australian comedy shows of all time – will not be able to work again in the foreseeable future …  if at all.

All profits from Gala For Gilbo will help to provide for his rehabilitation and ongoing care, and to help him get back on his feet.

On the night, a silent auction will take place, with dozens of Big Ticket items available to bid on prior to the show and at interval.

Those of Russell’s famous friends who are unable to appear live, will each pre-record a special shout out, to be screened exclusively at Gala For Gilbo: Rob Sitch (reprising his much-loved Frontline character, Mike Moore), Daryl Somers and more.

MC at the event, and one of Gilbo’s oldest mates, Mick Molloy says, “Russell Gilbert is like a big brother to me. He is one of the funniest blokes I’ve ever met, on or off the stage and he’s coming off a pretty bad year that has involved some pretty major battles.  

“Gilbo has always been there for many of us when we needed him and now it’s our turn to help out a mate.

“Not one person we asked to be part of this show said no … I think that says a lot about the man.

“Come along and enjoy the greatest line up of comics you will ever see under the one roof in this lifetime. I can’t wait for this night.

“Comics love an excuse to get together and have a few laughs, especially when it’s for a good cause and a good bloke like Gilbo. I think this night, for many reasons, will be one we all remember fondly, especially Russell, who’s been doing it tough for a while now.”

Russell Gilbert says, “It’s so great to know you have such amazing support from your friends. What a line-up of comics! The best in the country. And Mick as well.”

Tickets go on sale Monday, May 23 through Ticketmaster.  For exclusive pre-sale information, visit

Gala For Gilbo is suitable for audiences 15+.

Will Jova joined by INXS Bass Player


Will Jova – for whom tribute morphs into reality

Lead singer of the sensational INXS Tribute show – INSX, Will Jova, has formed his new, original band WILL and will be playing around Australia very soon


Garry Gary Beers of INXS fame has agreed to play bass & grace one of their songs with his renowned dexterity & skill from a studio in LA! If that isn’t reason enough we are also raising funds for our first EP & for some studio time towards our new material.
So if you want to see a video & hear Garry Gary Beers re-working the Indie smash
‘Man Out Of Time’ please give generously & help turn our goal into a dream reality.

Will Jova

Their debut show…..WILL the band tickets for Scorcher Fest Sun 1st May Whole Lotta Love Bar Melbourne available will be secure as soon as 12 (Early Bird buy 1 get 1 free) online tickets are sold within the next 14 days. It’s going be an awesome line up and show!

Band page:

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Rhett May – musician with heart and soul.

The extraordinary Mr Rhett May.

Rhett May owes his rare musical sound and style to the unique environment that he grew up in. Born in 1950, in Calcutta, India, and living in an orphanage at age 7, he was immediately immersed in a magical, musical melting pot. Carnatic and Hindustani music and instruments such as the Sitar and Tabla were always providing melody and percussion against a daily backdrop of lifting and soaring voices of Ragas. Ragas especially played a vital part of Rhett’s musical experience with their series of five or more musical notes forming melody. However, this environment of classical Indian music wasn’t the only sounds floating about Calcutta in the 50s and 60s and by the time he begun boarding school in the Himalayan foothills, western music had begun its invasion.

May’s commercially successful band, The Flint Stones, was one of India’s most successful pop group back in the day and attracted the attention of George Harrison and Apple Records, who invited them to the UK to double bill with legendary jazz guitarist, Charlie Bird.

It was during this fervent period that May and his band performed a private concert for the Queen of Bhutan and her family.

Fast track to present day and May still has his finger on the pulse writing topical subjects with hard-core lyrics. Take his song, The Violence of Ice, for example. May wholeheartedly tackles the issue of the ice epidemic head on and makes certain his music video leaves you questioning your stance on drugs. Revealing intimately the dangers that come with the consumption and abuse of Ice and how it wrecks families, relationships and ultimately pulls apart the seams of a stable society.

May’s quirky Indian roots blends rock & roll fever. Whether you like guitars or sitars, John Lennon or Ravi Shankar—in the words of Billy Joel “It’s still rock and roll to me.” And May does a beautiful job of blending the two worlds together on his latest album Fast Cars And Sitars.

As one scribe puts it…”It’s hypnotic…it’s infectious…rock/pop songs with an edge that go round and round inside your head….very Haight Ashbury”….

Rhett May is a voice of experience in a rock world that has become increasingly shallow. He’s toured the world, opened for bands like Queen and Ray Charles, seen the music industry from the inside, and watched the dark side of the business consume those around him. Throughout those experiences, Rhett May continually turned away from the excesses of the industry, choosing instead to write his story as opposed to those who fell into the clutches of addiction.

Rhett’s new album, Fast Cars and Sitars takes you to another level of his passion and creativity. His guitar songs are infused with the sounds of the Indian street, giving his music a different flavour to the majority of current, cookie-cutter rock music. By blending classic sensibilities with a twist of Indian culture, he has created a string of upcoming singles, the first of which is The Violence of Ice, followed by Rich Bitch, Drifting Dreaming, So Delicious, followed by his controversial new song, Keep off the Grass to produce classic rock at its best.

In a way it’s a tad rare to have a rock singer with such a strong stance on drug use, and this is exactly the point May aims to make; change is a necessity.

For more information on Rhett May’s gigs and music, go to


Elliot Goblet does good corporate

Over and over again I hear about corporate/business events (day & night) that are wonderfully rich on information but disappointingly poor on entertainment and emotional impact.

Especially at conferences which go for more than a few hours it is a simple fact that conference delegates need some laughs to help them maintain their mental stamina to continually absorb serious messages.

Especially at conferences which go for more than a few hours it is a simple fact that conference delegates need some laughs to help them maintain their mental stamina to continually absorb serious messages.

Therefore unless at least some of the information rich speakers can add humour to their talks, an organisation should consider outside help
either for segments or for the all important MC role.

The investment in an event is not minor so it’s important to add one vital ingredient to ensure that delegates/guests are both wiser and happier after the event.

And the good news is that there are many choices of entertaining speakers/entertainers/humorous MC’s to suit a wide range of budgets.

Jack Levi aka Elliot Goblet
Comedian/Corporate Entertainer/MC