Australian News Briefs 2/23

Check out the latest batch of news from downunder.


Hendrix Tribute To Close Guitar Festival

A star-studded tribute to Jimi Hendrix will close the inaugural Adelaide International Guitar Festival on December 2.

Announced for it are Living Colour’s Vernon Reid, ex-Midnight Oil member Jim Moginie, America’s Kaki King and blues duo Matt Walker & Ashley Davies.

Former Jefferson Airplane / Hot Tuna member Jorma Kaukonen and Aussie blues guitarist Jeff Lang are its artists of residence.

These were announced by South Australia’s premier Mike Rann, Adelaide Festival Centre’s CEO and artistic director Douglas Gautier and festival executive producer Christine Schloithe at a media call.

Based and inspired by the New York Guitar Festival, up to 70 guitarists from around the world will contribute to 40 events. These include concerts, late-night jam sessions, master classes, workshops, artist forums and panels, visual arts and film.

Americans taking part include John Hammond and Alvin Youngblood Hart in a tracing of the history of the blues, while Paul O’Dette and Eliot Fisk contribute to a tribute to Spanish music. The full program will be announced May 23.


Grinspoon Singer In Rehab

Grinspoon singer Phil Jamieson booked himself into a Sydney rehabilitation centre for treatment for his dependence on ice, a form of methamphetamine.

His wife Julie is expecting their second child mid-March.

Grinspoon manager Gregg Donovan confirmed Jamieson’s stay in a statement from the band and Jamieson’s family.

"Everybody in the Grinspoon camp and his family are supportive of Phil’s movements in getting himself into rehab, and can’t wait to have him back on board," it said.


Biz Mulls Over NSW Club Plans

Eleven music biz executives met to discuss plans by the New South Wales’ government to resuscitate the state’s live music industry.

They included Owen Orford, who heads booking agency TPA; Michael McMartin, director of the new Association of Artist Managers; Dan and Matt Rule, who own and operate live music venue The Annandale Hotel; jazz musician John Wardle; and representatives of the peak bodies for major labels, publishers, indies and music association MusicNSW, which convened the market.

The meeting agreed that making moves to redraft the Liquor Bill is a positive step. It includes a simpler process for venues to apply for a license, which would cut out a lot of the red tape, a consideration of "first rights for venues" and the establishment of a Live Music Venue Liquor License.

Policies are being drafted that consider a three-tiered entertainment license system that includes an exempt category a compliance category and a full license category.

The government has also suggested that live music venues should be supported by a subsidy.

TPA’s Owen Orford emphasised that "the cultural value of live music must be foremost in both government and industry discussions and that acknowledgement of this cultural value must be the purse from which live music within NSW is rebuilt."


Club In Sex Discrimination Case

Nightclubs are looking with interest at a sex discrimination action taking place in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

Patron Waise Yusofzal complained that security at Sydney’s late-night venue The Establishment stopped him from entering, saying there were "too many males inside."

However, he was allowed in later when accompanied by a girl. Although Aussie clubs have long maintained the need to have a balance inside a venue to ensure no aggression begins, Yusofzal claims he was "humiliated and embarrassed."


Short Notes

Three of the four venues on Beyoncé’s first solo tour in April, through Michael Coppel Presents, sold out from first-day sales. Coppel, however, did not add new shows, as it explained to buyers that due to time restrictions, the R&B performer would only do one show per city.

Stacie Orrico postponed the Australian leg of her Beautiful Awakening tour, including her appearance at Australian Gospel Music Foundation this Easter at Toowoomba Queensland before 30,000 fans. A statement from her management cited "personal issues."

Frontier Touring Company brings back British indie darlings Kaiser Chiefs for two club dates: the Forum in Sydney (March 21) and Prince of Wales in Melbourne (23).

Aussie actor Heath Ledger and U.S. roots artist Ben Harper have set up new label Masses Music Co. The first signing is Perth schoolgirl Grace Woodroofe, whom Ledger signed after falling for her voice. He also shot her first video.

Adelaide-based What Management moved to 4 Waterhouse Road, South Plympton SA 5038. New phone is 618-8297 6003 and new fax is 618-8297 5003.

Delta Goodrem filed in the Supreme Court for a pre-fame video filmed when she was 14 to be taken down from YouTube.

Britta Decker, general manager of Music NT, The Northern Territory’s music association, and Alice Springs coordinator Marijana Joerder have quit to set up their own events and consultancy company.

After 10 years together, Sydney band Gerling and Adam Yee of Mobile Industries parted ways. Gerling will manage its own affairs.

The Scissor Sisters got on so well with their Aussie opening act Sneaky Sound System that they’ve asked them to join their U.S. tour.

Sydney country music instrumentalist and singer Les Scott died from a heart attack, aged 52.

In between appearing on the Gold Coast and Sydney Good Vibrations shows, Snoop Dogg was also filming for MTV. The rumour is Snoop is hosting the MTV awards in Sydney in a few months.

Los Angeles-based Music Office struck up a partnership with Whole Foods Market to host "Aussie Tastes and Tunes" at one of its stores in Austin during South By Southwest. In between food and wine tasting, six acts will perform at the market.

John Carson was appointed interim venue manager at Brown’s Mart in Darwin. He has a background of production, technical and management roles at arts venues in Australia and New Zealand including the Sydney Opera House.

Melbourne roots / reggae band Blue King Brown signed a worldwide management deal with Catherine Enny of Guerilla Management in the U.S. Enny managed Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, and Spearhead.