Jack Howard

By Chris Mineral

Small Moments of Glory (Brolga Press 2020) is the name of Jack Howard’s first book.

It covers his career as a musician in Hunters and Collectors, his solo career and the various projects he has played in such as his time on the 2017 Midnight Oil World Tour where he was recruited into the band to play trumpet, keyboards and various percussion instruments.

That tour kicked off in Brazil and travelled throughout the world and was a phenomenal success.

Jack Howard’s house as a kid was filled with music, and he managed to get into Wesley College where they have a superb musical program. Years later when he was in Hunters and Collectors the opportunity to return to Wesley to be a music teacher arrived, and Howard said that it seemed surreal to be working with his teachers back at his old school.

Small Moments of Glory is an apt title for the book for Jack Howard, who while being a brilliant, succinct and accurate trumpet player, always placed the music first in terms of what was occurring on stage. Jack Howard is a titan of a musician being able to match the stage presence of such illustrious front musicians such as Mark Seymour from Hunters and Collectors, Steve Lucas from legendary punk rockers X, Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil, Fiona Lee Maynard (Delaciados, Have A Nice Day) and Penny Ikinger (Wet Taxis). Epic Brass is one project that brings together many luminaries in Melbourne’s musical world that Howard is involved in.

Jack Howard’s first gig with Hunters and Collectors was when the band had the support slot for Robert Smith’s band The Cure at the legendary Seaview Ballroom.

At a pivotal moment in his musical career, Jack Howard found himself on stage in front of a massive crowd playing with a bunch of strangers. Hunters and Collectors were a massive collective unit with double percussionists playing industrial rhythms with a brass section that included a French horn playing Johnny Staccato rhythmic pulses. Jack Howard ex- plains in the book that over time Hunters and Collectors became two bands in one, with singer guitarist Mark Seymour and the guitar- ist bassist and drummer (Falconer and Archer among them) in one corner, and Jack Howard and the Horns of Contempt in the other.

One jarring moment for Hunters and Collectors was when Mark Seymour presented to the band at rehearsal the absolute anthemic song Throw Your Arms Around Me, a beautiful tender love song, a most un-Hunters and Collectors song. Previous to this, all material was built up as a collective, at rehearsals and soundchecks. Here for the first time a complete song was presented. Not just any song but one of their most important songs, up there with Holy Grail. The songs that Hunters and Collectors would play on Grand Final Day in a superb comeback performance.

Throw Your Arms Around Me was an epiphany.

One of Melbourne’s brilliant guitarists James Lomas is mentioned as well. Lomas was in Have A Nice Day, In Vivo and Delaciados and is a true bona fide St Kilda muso. As Billy Flores said, James Lomas could play anything he wanted to on the guitar. A muso way beneath the radar. And Jack Howard plays in Delaciados with Fiona Lee Maynard and James Lomas.

Small Moments of Glory is available now in all quality bookstores in Melbourne.

The What Colour Is Sound? musical posse has been busy during the lockdown time, issuing its third volume of great music. Curating the third volume is Melbourne muso Michael Plater who is now based in the United Kingdom. There is a clutch of Melbourne-based musical projects on this volume that concentrates for 82 breathtaking minutes the best in electronica experimental post rock post punk ambient dark exotica beyond shoegaze music.

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