to the edge of night: Rowland S Howard

Rowland S. Howard played Prince Bandroom in St. Kilda on Friday night with friend and former Bad Seed Mick Harvey on drums.  By all accounts it was a success and Rowland was pleased at the outpouring of love for him.  Due to Rowland’s condition during the recent recording of his Pop Crimes album, there was some concern about his being able to perform live at all.  As Rowland himself reveals in a recent interview with Simon Sweetman, he is very ill, waiting for a liver transplant that could extend his life.

We send prayers, love, and hope to Rowland as he continues his harrowing journey with advanced illness.

What follows is a snip from the Prince Bandroom review, Deb’s gig comments and photos, and links to Pop Crimes, interview, and Rowland’s Oct 22nd Sydney show.

Rowland S. Howard @Prince Bandroom
St. Kilda, Melbourne 29 October 2009
Review by René Schaefer, Mess and Noise

Then it’s time for Rowland. He steps into the spotlight, rake-thin and ravaged looking, yet immaculately attired in his customary suit. He makes light of his illness by apologising in advance for any potential on-stage vomiting. “I feel a bit queasy,” he quips, before launching straight into the rollicking ‘Pop Crimes’. Behind Rowland, Mick Harvey demonstrates why he was right to abandon the sinking ship that is The Bad Seeds, relishing the opportunity to display his unique skills on the drums and play with a friend who appreciates his musical contribution…

In between songs, he responds to marriage proposals and declarations of love from the audience with a wry cackle. Clearly, the man is enjoying the appreciation coming from the packed venue, a vindication of years spent in the musical wilderness that at times saw him play solo to less than 20 people. “I’m bringing it to ya,” he smirks as requests come from the crowd, and indeed he does. He plays songs from both his solo albums, building the intensity before abruptly departing the stage after a staggering reading of ‘The Golden Age Of Bloodshed’.

Deb’s comments:

It was a bit off here and there, but there is nothing like a home boy playing to his home town crowd. He looked better than I expected. Mick harvey is a great drummer – always was. I think some girl up front was making passes at him as he said, “I don’t think my girlfriend would like that.” And later, “we have a werewolf down here tonight”. He looked genuinely pleased with the crowd and said it is nice being loved. Bless him.

Photos by Debra

Videos, by request:

Rowland S. Howard – Shivers
November 1999 Studio 22, ABC TV Australia
Lineup: Brian Hooper – Bass, Mick Harvey – Drums, Edward Clayton Jones – Keyboard
Tx to Mouldytone

Rowland S Howard – These Immortal Souls – Marry Me
Tx to RockWith…

Rowland S. Howard – Sleep Alone (All Tomorrow’s Parties, 2009)
Tx to thesecretofmana

Rowland S. Howard – Album Launch  By Morris (download Sydney show 22 Oct 09)
The Rowland S. Howard interview By Simon Sweetman (Blog on the Tracks, 21 Oct 09)
Pop Crimes Review By Trevor Block (Mess and Noise 16 Oct 09)

This entry was posted in Rowland S. Howard by Morgan Wolfe. Bookmark the permalink.

About Morgan Wolfe

I write contemporary LGBTQ fiction that explores the dark & light of human love and desire. Interests: Progressive politics, visual arts, vintage illustration, mid-century design. French films, Queer cinema. Literary quotes. J'adore Paris. Ich liebe Berlin.

15 thoughts on “to the edge of night: Rowland S Howard

  1. So sad!!! My heart is broken a little tonight upon finding this sad news. I pray he gets the transplant and soon. I know if he does he’ll survive and thrive. But for now I feel like another of our angels, like snowflakes, are falling…

  2. I’ve gotta say Pop Crimes is the best album I’ve heard in a long time. I absolutely can’t stop listening to it. Magic.

  3. Just for convenience, I’m putting these here.

    Rowland S. Howard 17.01.2009 Sydney

    Rowland S. Howard 05.09.1994 Sydney

    Rowland S. Howard (with Hugo Race) 21.12.1988 Melbourne

    Thanks, Joe for the audio clip. Wonderful!

    ON EDIT:

    More Rowland shows at Kakophonia: RSH POSTS.

    Lydia Lunch & Rowland S. Howard – Some Velvet Morning (1982 Single)

  4. Thanks for the url, Edie. It looks fantastic! Good for you ladies for taking on that project.

    Anna & Azbest, I know it’s very hard to imagine the outcome if he doesn’t receive the transplant. We have not said anything at Fixes before now but when Rowland came out with his condition, Deb and I talked it over. We decided it was best to post the truth for those fans who had not heard and would of course want a chance to pray for him and send their love.

    Luke, thank you. I think that’s the link I stuck in there but I might be wrong.

    Deb thank you again for sharing your thoughts and for the photos. It is good to imagine RSH being cheeky in spite of it all. Just wonderful. He’s a very special person. I am so glad that you got to see him.

    LAST: two fixes of These Immortal Souls – ON EDIT:

    THESE IMMORTAL SOULS – Get Lost (Don’t Lie)

    THESE IMMORTAL SOULS – I’m Never Gonna Die Again

    RS Review of I’m Never Gonna Die Again:

    • Thank you so much for all the great links and also for the information of Rowlands illness. Of course, its very, very sad but i hope that he will receive the transplant. I have heard that if it still makes sense for him to receive a new liver, he probably has a real chance to get over it. If someone has liver cancer and the docs say that a transplant would make no sense, it looks not good because the cancer is in other parts of the body as well and a new liver does not really help in a case like that. So i hope that he has no other cancer and if he gets a liver he is going to be healthy again. I send my prayers for him and hope there is going to be a transplant soon. He is such a great musician, i want him to do some other records in the next 30 years 😉 Oh man i repeat myself…i wish him all the best, the news really touched me as always when artists i love become ill – which does luckily not happen that often. Its so lovely how he handles all that and how he talks about it, he is a special and strong character.

  5. wonderful post morgan. marry me is a great song and vid – one of my faves in fact – has been for yrs. thanks for posting it. many blessings to rowland. 🙂

    it was good to see rowland hasn’t lost his sense of humour as he engaged in some banter with the audience. he asked if everyone was enjoying themselves. he said “we’re not”, delivered as only rowland can and with a cheeky grin.

  6. Oh i hope he will do better soon. I did not know that he is so ill, I´ll pray for him. This makes me a bit sad…as well as the lines “Behind Rowland, Mick Harvey demonstrates why he was right to abandon the sinking ship that is The Bad Seeds, relishing the opportunity to display his unique skills on the drums and play with a friend who appreciates his musical contribution…” – i think there is a truth about this statement. I wish Rowland all the best…he is great.

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