Australian News Briefs 1/31

Check out the latest batch of news from downunder.


Wolfmother Leads Jack Noms

Wolfmother racked up the highest number of nominations for the live music Jack Awards, followed by You Am I and Silverchair. About 800 guests attended the January 23rd announcement at Sydney’s Gaelic Club.

Wolfmother, You Am I, Beasts of Bourbon, Dallas Crane, Hilltop Hoods and the new Airbourne are up for best live band.

The award for best international touring act will be fought over by Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Iggy & The Stooges, The White Stripes, TV on the Radio, and U2.

Two new categories were introduced this year: The award for best international touring act will be voted for by the public and the best dressed award will be judged by designers, stylists and publicists.


AAM Holds First Meeting

Newly formed Association of Artist Managers Inc. was granted provisional IMMF affiliation at the International Music Managers Forum’s General Assembly in Groningen, Holland.

It was to hold its first members meeting in Sydney on February 6 to select a board, work out its constitution and pinpoint issues to tackle. 


Leading Edge Takes On Dame Kiri

New Zealand opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa faced NSW Supreme Court in late January for pulling out of a series of 2005 concerts.

Leading Edge Events contend three corporate shows that paired her with rock singer John Farnham had strong ticket sales and are suing the soprano and her U.K. agent Nick Grace for $600,000.

After Dame Kiri saw a Farnham DVD, she realised the pairing was incompatible: Farnham tends to chat and joke with his audience, which sometimes hurls underwear on stage.


The Annandale Wins Battle

One of Sydney’s best-known live music venues, the Annandale Hotel, won a reprieve for 12 months. The venue looked set to lose its entertainment license after the Leichhardt Council brought a volume of charges against it.

But the Land and Environment Court overruled the council, saying the noise from the club was less than traffic from adjoining Parramatta Road. The venue can open until 1 a.m., and can apply for a 3 a.m. license after six months.

In other club news, South Australian police launched court action against the Church nightclub in Adelaide. They claim directorship of the club has secretly been shifted to the Hells Angels.

The Laundry, in Melbourne, has a new booker: Paul McNamara of Baba Music ([email protected]), new publicist Andrew Mccubbin, of 1am Publicity, and a new sound / lighting system.

In the Victorian regional town of Bendigo, the Independent Musos Network Inc. has set up a new, 180-capacity live music venue called the Bandroom. It is situated in the dungeon of the old Bendigo Jail, which once served as death row.


INXS And Simple Minds Team Downunder

Andrew McManus Presents teamed INXS and Simple Minds for a nine-date arena run March 17th to April 1st, with Arrested Development.

McManus toured INXS and Simple Minds separately last year. INXS’s trek was a sellout and its Switch album sold double platinum downunder.

Simple Minds has toured a dozen times since the early 1980s. The Scottish band scored its first hit single ("Love Song") and its first gold album in the world in Australia.


Paul Stanley, Lady Sov Expand Tour List

Kiss’ Paul Stanley embarks on his first solo tour outside America, for Andrew McManus Presents. The seven arena/theatre dates April 11-26 includes cities KISS never got around to.

South London’s potty-mouthed Lady Sovereign makes her first visit for Modular Touring. She does three club dates March 20-24.

KMW & Chugg Entertainment announced two tours. MxPx will arrive for club dates in Sydney and Melbourne, bringing New Jersey’s Houston Calls and Ohio-based emo band Hit The Lights March 1-2.

Hatebreed will appear at Soundwave Festivals in three cities, and three club dates during the band’s visit February 24th to March 3rd.

Tamworth Fest To Expand?

Organisers of the annual 10-day Tamworth country music festival are considering whether to make it a 12-day event.

This year’s event, January 19-28, drew a record 90,000 fans, the city’s tourist board said. About 43,000 paid for concerts, while two major free concerts drew 35,000. Queues into some concerts involved a two hour wait, some attendees said. The festival injected $40 million into the local economy.


Clapton Gets Cloaked Out

Eric Clapton was presented with a special indigenous New Zealand Maori cloak (or "korowai") just before his show at Hawke’s Bay in NZ.

The full-length coat, made of peacock and pheasant feathers, tells the story of the tragedies in Clapton’s life, said dress maker Zeta Smith, and took six months to make.

The korowai are usually only made for Maori chieftains. The top part of the cloak, the taipeka, symbolises the loss of his son Conor.

A spiral symbolises a new beginning, and represents children born to Clapton since Conor’s death.


Short Notes

Backstage at the Gold Coast stop of Big Day Out, Lily Allen and Jet’s drummer Chris Cester got into a yelling match.

Allen was angry he had ignored her at a Japanese festival two years ago. Cester reportedly flicked a lit cigarette at her feet during the argument and she threw a glass at his head.

An outcry by club and pub owners in NSW forced the health department to back off from threat to impose fines of $22,000 to any venue that puts up a sign advising patrons of smoker areas outside.

NSW Clubs chief executive David Costello called it "the ultimate example of bureaucracy gone mad." Clubs like Twin Towns in Tweed Heads and the Paramatta Leagues Club called the idea "absurd" after they spent between $1 million to $1.3 million in constructing outdoor smoke places. Smoking indoors is banned effective July 1.