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World’s Loudest Town Crier, Toowoomba’s Kevin Howarth

We risked our broadcast equipment to sample the booming voice of the world’s loudest town crier.

Toowoomba’s own, Kevin Howarth, who is currently the loudest town crier in the world, took the time to chat with us about his ability and being deeply involved in his community.

Kevin won the world crier championship with a 101.7-decibel holler at an international tournament.

In-fact, he has been getting better with age and practice, and he shares every decibel whenever he gets the opportunity with the Toowoomba region.

Read the World’s Loudest Town Crier, Toowoomba’s Kevin Howarth TRANSCRIPT

McCarthy-Wood: Thank you very much for your time. Look, we have a really interesting one. We don’t know how we’re going to demonstrate it throughout this interview, but according to the Chronicle, sometime ago, Toowoomba’s town crier. That’s Kevin Howarth. He’s been officially recognised as having the loudest cry in Australia. Now this is it, 97 and a half decibels. Like I said, we have no idea on how we’re going to demonstrate that through this interview, but we have Daryl the Toowoomba advocate, he’s on the line. He’s going to have a chat with Kevin Howarth. G’day Daryl, how are you?

Daryl Nicholson: I’m good, Andrew. How are you travelling today?

McCarthy-Wood: Yeah. Good, good. Now how do you think we are going to do this demonstration? You were telling me before you just don’t think it’s going to happen, but do you think we give it a go?

Daryl Nicholson: I don’t know whether we’ll get him to a yell, he might break all of your equipment, but I want to introduce to the world a TV personality from Dubai who calls Toowoomba home and he was also a radio personality. He’s a DJ. He always wanted to be a town crier. He told me he was holding his dad’s hand when he was walking around London and he said he wanted to be a town crier and the dream came true. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Kevin Howarth, Toowoomba’s town crier. How are you, Kevin?

Kevin Howarth: Hey, good morning Daryl. Very, very good thank you mate. Do you know what I’m going to tell you now?

Daryl Nicholson: What’s that?

Kevin Howarth: That’s old news now. I have just recently done the world decibel, world’s loudest cry, which is 101.7.

Daryl Nicholson: Wow, that’s amazing. Andrew, would that break the equipment?

McCarthy-Wood: Mate, look, I’m game. I think if smoke comes out of the equipment it’s all worth it.

Daryl Nicholson: All right. Okay. Mate, one of the first questions I want to ask you Kevin, living in Dubai, I’ve never been to Dubai and people tell me it’s quite incredible. How did you come to call Toowoomba, Queensland home?

Kevin Howarth: Well, a little bit of a story. What happened is I was in Dubai and then I actually moved to a place called Bahrain, which is just next to Dubai, but Bahrain like a little village compared to the big old bright lights of Dubai. But I lived there for 12 years and it was such a beautiful place. And I had a radio show there and I got this ugly face on television and [inaudible 00:02:07] and what happened, my wife, who’s Australian, suddenly her mum got a bit of cancer and we came as a family across here to Toowoomba. But, touch wood, Margaret’s fantastic now. So it’s all gone, all the cancer’s gone, which is great. But one of the weird things was my wife and daughter came over end of November. I came over in January and three days later we had the floods in Toowoomba. [crosstalk 00:02:35]
I saw more rain in 12 hours than I did in 12 years in the Middle East, but it was great how all the community got together and everything. And I just fell in love with Toowoomba. I just love Toowoomba.

Daryl Nicholson: And that’s how I met you, because I was out in Dalby and I was cut off for six weeks from Dalby to Toowoomba. I couldn’t see my daughter, couldn’t see my family and friends. So I got an opportunity to come back to Toowoomba and work with Jimmy from Rumours International [phonetic 00:03:04] and that’s how I came to meet you, and you’re Krazy Kevin the DJ. Tell us about your little business you got there.

Kevin Howarth: Well I started off years and years ago, started off doing a bit of DJing, mobile DJing, doing hotels and weddings and things and all that. And then luckily I was spotted and I started working in a nightclub and then somebody entered me into a competition and I went through a few rounds and we had the final at The Empire, Leicester Square and in front of 3000 people I became the UK DJ of the year. And that just opened so many doors for me. I was so lucky. I’ve travelled all over Europe and the world DJing and like I say, I went to Hong Kong in ’96 and ’97 and had a great time there, and then I ended up going to Dubai for a couple of years, then Bahrain. And then now I’ve come full circle because I’ve got [inaudible 00:03:55] DJ, whatever. But now I do mobiles and I did a wedding on Saturday night and I do birthdays and I’ll do anything.

Daryl Nicholson: That’s great stuff, great stuff. And mate I’ve in Toowoomba, I’ve been here since 1977 and I remember the late, great Ralph Cockle and Ralph was our town crier for many, many years, a long time. And when he passed away from cancer, I thought no one can replace Ralph. But I’ve got to say, mate, you were astounding. One of the first gigs you did for me as a town crier was in 2017, the Festival of Rail. We brought two steam trains to Toowoomba and mate, Andrew, this guy got on the platform. They couldn’t get the platform speakers working, the microphone. So anyhow, I had to get Kevin to relay a message to, like, I reckon there was 2000 people there at the platform and he was really loud.

McCarthy-Wood: That’s sensational. So no need to buy a PA system.

Daryl Nicholson: Not with this man, mate. Not with this man. What do you reckon, Kevin? Can you give us an “oyez oyez” [phonetic 00:04:52]?

Kevin Howarth: Are you sure? What I’ll do, I’ll move the mic. I’ll move the telephone away from me, okay. I’ll just move it away from me. I’ll put it at arms length.
Here we go.
Oyez, oyez, oyez

Daryl Nicholson: Oh wow. That’s amazing.

Kevin Howarth: I hope I haven’t blown up anything.

McCarthy-Wood: Well, what I’m actually more worried about, like our gear, is still going, so it must have coped with this but I just don’t know what we’re going to do with the phone call complaints of all the stereo systems that were blowing as gone and played this back.
Kevin, I have a couple of questions because as you rightly pointed out, you’ve actually improved. Now the article being old news, the Chronicle, that was back in October, 2018. 97.5 decibels. You’ve broken the 100 decibel barrier and you’re taking on the world. You’re getting better with age. It’s just something, you know, people got to the gym and they try and lift more and more weight. What’s your secret? How do you do it?

Kevin Howarth: Well, it’s so funny, Andrew. I went and interviewed somebody for Parkinson’s disease. They do some singing and it’s amazing watching all these people who’ve got Parkinson’s disease. As soon as they start singing, the shaking stops and everything. And the lady who was teaching them, I just said to her in passing, is there anything I could do to help my voice? Because when I did the Carnival of Flowers, I had a bit of a husky voice afterwards. So she said, you’ve got to hum. I said sorry? Hum. And I hummed Danny Boy. And also-

McCarthy-Wood: So we’re going to get some of that too?

Kevin Howarth: [inaudible 00:06:44] (humming)

McCarthy-Wood: Huh. Yeah. Right. That’s cool.

Kevin Howarth: And also you’ve got to, you get a straw and you blow bubbles in a glass and hum at the same time as well.

McCarthy-Wood: But mate, we’re trying to tell kids these days, don’t play with your drink. Just drink it. So that’s actually ill-advice you’re saying.

Kevin Howarth: I know I’m a bad town crier.

McCarthy-Wood: Now, look, the sense that I’m getting out of this chat, which is absolutely fantastic. Both you are Daryl love being involved in the community and just being involved in it. No strings attached, not wanting to get anything back. What is the sense that you get, and you’ve just touched on it, but the deep sense of Toowoomba in the community when you have been around the world.

Kevin Howarth: Well, I just loved, going like you say, into the community. I love going around to old people’s homes and schools and actually when we did the town crying down in Echuca-Moamawe, we were that for eight days and we visited outlying schools and Men’s Sheds, went to Men’s Sheds, and it was just the joy of people because once you dress up as a town crier, you can do whatever you want, really. Because everybody goes “oh look it’s a town crier, now look at that”.
There’s a good story about, do you know when the first-born, in the Royal was born, in England? A town crier dressed up as a, ’cause he’s a town crier up in Colchester, He dressed up. He got on the train, went down to London, he went through all the security things and everyone’s “oh it’s the town crier, it’s the town crier”, went to [inaudible 00:08:19] stood on the steps of the maternity hospital and declared, “here we have the brand new, future King of England”. But nobody stopped him. He went through all the securities and everything. He just turned up. So that’s just a weird thing is like, yeah. Being a town crier [crosstalk 00:08:39].

McCarthy-Wood: So, Daryl, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers was mentioned. Do you think next time we just don’t worry about a PA system and you can just relay everything to Kevin and he can make sure, well, what do we do if we get asked to turn the volume down?

Daryl Nicholson: Oh, I don’t know, I do not even know where that volume control is on Krazy Kevin. No idea.

McCarthy-Wood: Oh, that is absolutely sensational.

Kevin Howarth: I’m blessed with, like my dad always said to me, I’ve got a voice like a foghorn anyway. This is a great thing to do, to use this unnatural thing that I’ve got.

McCarthy-Wood: Well, look here. You’re using it for good now, but growing up with that foghorn, did that get you into trouble?

Kevin Howarth: Oh, loads of times. Loads of times. I was a teacher’s pet. I was kept in a cage at the back of the class because I was too loud. So “Kevin will you please be quieter please”, “Kevin will you be a bit quieter”. I’ve always had that.

McCarthy-Wood: Well that would have been handy, the school wouldn’t have need as a school bell.

Kevin Howarth: No, no. Kevin, tell everybody to get back to lunch.

McCarthy-Wood: Daryl, that’s fantastic. First up, I really want to thank, Daryl Nicholson, Toowoomba advocate for sharing this story and bringing Kevin onto the show. That is absolutely sensational. Just having community come together. Yeah.

Daryl Nicholson: And mate, I just, Toowoomba, he’s a talented guy. He’s, Krazy Kevin mobile DJ. He’s a radio personality on Power FM. He’s got a radio show there, he’s of course Toowoomba’s town crier and community minded. I’ve seen him do stuff for the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation. As you said, Andrew, doesn’t even flinch an eyelid just does it and does it with great results. And just a great ambassador, a great advocate for our town. I really do appreciate our city, thank you Kevin.

McCarthy-Wood: Kevin Howard, thank you very much for spending time with our listeners.

Kevin Howarth: Oh, Darryl, I’ve got my handkerchief out here. That was nice, thank you so much mate. Thank you so much. And thank you for the opportunity, Andrew, for coming on the show and everything. Thank you so much Andrew and Daryl. Thank you.

McCarthy-Wood: Absolutely sensational. Daryl, thank you for your time too with our listeners.

Daryl Nicholson: Great, take care.

By Andrew McCarthy-Wood

News Videographer/Photographer/Journalist and Media/Communications Consultant.