Australian News Briefs 4/19

Check out the latest news briefs from downunder.


Aussie Live Earth Announcement Delayed

The bill for the Australian show of Live Earth on July 7, held at Aussie Stadium, was to be announced April 16, but organisers delayed it to early May.

This led to speculation that while Wolfmother, John Butler Trio, and Silverchair have supposedly already agreed, negotiations continue for superstar acts like Kylie Minogue and Keith Urban to become involved.


Kinselas Nightclub Goes 24 Hours

After a three-year battle, Kinselas in Sydney got permission to run its nightclub at the top floor for 24 hours.

Initially, after the City of Sydney council received 30 objections from residents, it only allowed opening until 3 a.m.

Kinselas owner David McHugh took the matter to the Land and Environment Court. On April 13, the court agreed that the club’s Taylor Square site has a 24-hour reputation anyway.

The nightclub’s new hours will be trialed for 12 months, and then apply for a permanent 24-hour license.


Missy Higgins Sells Out

Singer/songwriter Missy Higgins, whose debut album The Sound of White enjoyed phenomenal success in her home market, still has her fans, as evidenced by the fact that four of her dates sold out in minutes.

New dates for Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne were added, ballooning the trek to 18 shows.

Higgins’ second album, On A Clear Night, recorded in Los Angeles with producer Mitchell Froom (Finn Brothers, Crowded House, Elvis Costello, Suzanne Vega), is set to drop in in Australia April 28.


Record Support For Aussie Acts

Australian consumer support for Australian acts hit a record high in 2006.

Figures released April 12 by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) showed that domestic albums made up 37.7 percent of the Top 100 albums of the year, up from 27 percent in 2005.

Singles were 27.2 percent, up from 22 percent.

The biggest-selling Aussie acts were Human Nature (Sony BMG), Wolfmother (Modular/Universal), Damien Leith (Sony BMG), Rogue Traders (Sony BMG), Eskimo Joe (Mushroom /Warner), The 12th Man (Virgin/EMI), and The Veronicas (Warner).

These strong sales helped the Australian wholesale market grow in volume by 27.1 percent to 80.3 million units, compared to 63.1 million units last year.

But heavy price discounting saw the dollar value of sales drop by 3.1 percent to $511.7 million, from $528.2 million.

The 250 percent growth of digital sales, now accounting for 5.5 percent of total music sales by value, up from 1.5 percent at the end of 2005, was another growth factor.


Metro’s Building For Sale

It could be the end for the long-running Metro nightclub in Melbourne.

The building in which it is housed has been put up for sale by owners Bourke Property Group, which bought it last year for $6.9 million.

Speculation is that its prime position in the city means that it will be snapped up by property developers and turned into apartments and boutique stores.

The Metro began as a movie theatre in 1860, was burned to the ground in 1911, and became a superclub in the mid-1980s, when nightclub doyens Sam and George Frantzeskos spent $10 million to turn it into a three-story club.


Frontier Plays It Again

Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring will tour global acts distributed by Brussels-based label and distributor Play It Again Sam.

Another of Gudinski’s divisions, Liberator, set up an Australian office for Play It Again Sam.

The acts include Iain Archer, Dinosaur Jr., Enter Shikari, Felix Da Housecat, Shy Child, Laurent Garnier, and Reverend & The Makers.


Short Notes

Hints posted by The Cure on the group’s Web site of the likelihood of Australian dates has led to speculation the British band will headline this year’s Splendour In The Grass festival in Byron Bay.

Myles Cooper, manager of dance act The Potbelleez, included a clause into the group’s live performance agreement that fines any venue or promoter that spells the band’s name incorrectly on posters, fliers or ads. Given that their new single is called "Duuurty Dreemz," we’re wondering if the media will also cop a fine.

Sydney-based producer and audio engineer Laurence Maddy joined the SAE Institute, lecturing in audio engineering at its headquarters in Byron Bay. Maddy produced more than 80 records for artists including Jimmy Barnes, Hunters and Collectors, and Something For Kate, and worked as head of audio for the "Tap Dogs" musical.

Phil Cawood and Paul Schell, owners of Ruby Rabbit in Sydney Darlinghurst, have put it up for sale for a rumoured $2.5 million. Hilary Duff’s Australian publicist revealed she might be here to tour, while denying rumours of her visiting Australia to make a movie.

Metal/hardcore band I Killed the Prom Queen broke up during a European tour after their guitarist and co-founder Jona Weinhofen agreed to join U.S. metal band Bleeding Through as second guitarist.

Crooner Jimmy Little had the title of doctor conferred on by the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane for his "legendary" status as a performer and ambassador for indigenous issues," vice chancellor Prof. John O’Gorman said.Eskimo Joe will tour the U.S. after their multi-platinum album Black Fingernails, Red Wine is released Stateside in mid-August through Warner Music subsidiary Rykodisc.

Latest performers for the April 29 MTV Australia Video Music Awards are Eskimo Joe, Evermore, Stephanie Macintosh, Sneaky Sound System, and TV Rock with Dukes of Windsor.

Cathy Oates’ management company Original Matters, which has offices in Sydney and London, has set up a marketing and promotions division. It will be run by Nicole Richards, who was most recently director of promotions at EMI Music Australia.