Australian News Briefs 3/22

Check out the latest bunch of news from Downunder.


U2 Seeks Missing Millions

Despite a lengthy grilling in the Auckland High Court, creditors of New Zealand businessman Terry Wilson are no closer to finding out what happened to close to $1 million worth of profits from a U2 show in the country.

Melbourne, Australia-based promoter Michael Coppel Presents took action in the High Court in Auckland to recover close to $1 million.

Corporate Host Event Management organized corporate VIP packages for 4,200 guests in a special area of Auckland’s Mt. Smart Stadium for the Irish band’s two shows in November 2006.

They are estimated to have made "millions of dollars." But none of the suppliers were paid. Nor was U2. Coppel stepped in to pay the band. Corporate Host Event Management has since gone into liquidation.

The key figures behind the companies are Wilson, a former Ernst & Young tax accountant; former Ernst & Young partner Andrew Tauber; and South Auckland pub owner Peter Morgan, who are denying responsibility.

Coppel told NZ media last year that bank statements showed that a large amount of money had been moved between a number of companies "and it’s unclear where it has come from and where it’s gone."

Grilled in court, Wilson said "I didn’t do anything with the cash," and denied he had pocketed any of the profits. He added he had been denied access to bank statements from the company and its subsidiaries since December.


Silverchair Goes Indoors

Silverchair has announced its first indoor shows in Australia in almost four years.

The band is set to play five theatre dates, stopping at the Tivoli, Brisbane (April 27), Metro Melbourne (May 1), Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide (May 4), Metropolis Fremantle (May 6) and Sydney’s Enmore Theatre (May 12).

After a lengthy hiatus, the band returned to the live arena to find it is still as popular as ever. In fact, by marketing its comeback single "Straight Line" initially through the Internet, manager John Watson ensured that the band picked up a younger audience that had not been going to concerts when the the band last toured in 2003.

"Straight Line" debuted the ARIA charts at No. 1 on March 18, and its album Young Modern is expected to achieve a similar feat.

Silverchair will play the North American and European festival circuit in the northern summer.


Row Over Big Day Out Site

A row broke out over Big Day Out’s continued stay at its West Australian home, Claremont Showgrounds.

Cottesloe police chief Scott Halvorson told the council’s crime and safety committee that residents had complained of littering and parking at the grounds, and it was his belief that the festival should be held away from suburbia.

But Royal Agricultural Society chief executive Martin Molony, who coordinates events at the venue, said Big Day Out was well run, had good exits and had few complaints about 40,000 fans listening to music.


Police Chase Peppers Death

Police in Whangarei, New Zealand, continue their investigations into the death of a Korean international student who was fatally struck by a car while he and other Red Hot Chili Peppers fans queued to buy tickets for the band’s late March NZ shows.

Police seized three grey Nissan Skyline cars similar to the one alleged to have hit the fan, and are running tests.

They have asked nearby retailers to check their external security cameras.



British band the Arctic Monkeys preempted an official announcement by Byron Bay’s Splendour In The Grass festival by telling U.K. journalists they were headlining the festival mid-year.

The band will also return for a full-scale tour downunder at the end of 2007.

Thirty-eight more international and Australian acts were added to the 18th annual International East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival in Byron Bay at Easter. They included Joss Stone, The Magic Numbers, Vanessa Amorosi and indigenous performer Kev Carmody.

A 21-year old medical student choked to death on his vomit in his tent after binge drinking at the inaugural Golden Plains festival.

This year’s electro-music Future Music ended with negative publicity. Two men were hospitalised for stab wounds after a brawl at the Melbourne show at the Myer Music Bowl, while 36 fans were arrested for drug offenses. Organisers installed a metal detector for the Sydney show to prevent knives from getting through.

Crowded House previewed its new album and new lineup – with U.S. drummer Matt Sharrard –with a two 2.5-hour Webcast March 18 from Peter Gabriel’s studio in Bath in England.

Evermore’s onslaught on the United States has slowed. Seymour Stein, head of the band’s U.S. label Sire Records, said negotiations have broken down for now between the label and the act’s management.

Irish singer/songwriter Damien Rice would not give complimentary tickets to media and industry folk at his Sydney show. He asked them to donate $10 to his charity – a sanctuary in Ireland for 600 donkeys who have been mistreated.