Australian News Briefs 4/26

Check out the latest news from downunder.


Hey Big Splendour

This year’s Splendour In The Grass is held on new dates – August 4-5 – but will remain in its usual site in Byron Bay.

Organisers have bought land elsewhere, but need to get the green light from the local council to hold a huge event in a sleepy hamlet.

Acts announced for the two days included Powderfinger, Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen, Bloc Party, The Hoodoo Gurus, The Cat Empire, The Klaxons, and Hilltop Hoods.


New Manager For Jam Agency

Jam Music booking agent Dayna Young was promoted to acting manager of Sydney-based Jam Agency.

She replaces Jamal Ziane, who quit the role after three years, to start up a management and consultancy business.

Young returned to Sydney in 2005 from London, where she worked for Ministry of Sound and Fabric nightclub.

She joined Jam Music as tour promoter, and shifted to the agency last August to support its rapid growth and establish her own roster of electronic bands and DJs. She reports to Jam’s director Jane English.


Palace Nightclub To Fight On

The two-year legal battle over the Victorian state government’s $350 million redevelopment of the St. Kilda site – during which the Palace nightclub would be demolished and the neighbouring Palais Theatre upgraded – has hinged on whether the Port Phillip Council has the right to give the Crown Land site for redevelopment.

Both venues have argued that their leases run until 2042.

But the Victorian Supreme Court made a key decision April 19, when it uphled a 2006 decision by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal that the Palace’s lease ran out in 2006.

The Palace’s spokesman Alan Evers-Buckland expressed his disappointment at the Supreme Court decision, and indicated that the club would appeal.

Being fought out in the courts at the same time is the question of the lease of the Palais Theatre.

Port Phillip Council is not making any comments until this issue is resolved. However, it is understood it is ready to announce which developer won the tender for the lucrative site.


Lobby Loyde Dies

Aussie guitar hero Lobby Loyde, father of the "Australian guitar rock" sound, died April 21 after a two-year battle with lung cancer.

He was 66. The son of a classically trained pianist and a jazz trumpeter, Loyde’s calling card was a music that was loud, aggressive and uncompromising. It was a sound that acts like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Midnight Oil, Cosmic Psychos, and Angel City would take to the world.

Through the ‘60s and ‘70s, Lloyd was part of some of the loudest bands from Australia, including The Purple Hearts, The Wild Cherries, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, and The Coloured Balls.

After a four-year stint in the U.K. in the mid-1970s, Loyde returned to Australia excited by the promise of punk music.

He managed or produced punk acts like Sydney’s X, Flaming Hands, and Painters & Dockers, continuing to push the boundaries of music with Dirt and Fish Tree Mother and mentoring young musicians.

Loyde was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame last August. Among international names who hailed him as an inspiration are Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus and Henry Rollins.


Major Aussie Acts Hit The Road

Michael Coppel Presents confirmed five arena dates for R&B vocal band Human Nature June 22 to July 7.

The act resuscitated its career with two chart-topping Motown tribute albums. The dates will be on a round stage, with a new production to be directed by Dein Perry of "Tap Dogs" fame.

Frontier Touring has locked in six theatre dates for Evermore June 8-17, coupling them with U.K. act Aqualung and Brisbane folk-pop songstress Kate Miller-Heidke.

Young hard rockers Airborne, who created a buzz at South By Southwest this year, will hit the road May 9 to June 17 for 14 stops.

The band made headlines last year when it was signed by Capitol Records in the U.S. on the strength of its demos. But it was dropped by the label during its recent restructure. However the act, said by many to be a young AC/DC, is releasing its debut album through EMI Music Australia.


Short Notes

This year’s live music industry awards, the fourth Jack Awards, will be broadcast on free-to-air Seven Network and online at Yahoo 7 Music.

The awards will be held May 15 at Sydney’s Luna Park. You Am I, which is nominated a record six times, will play, as will Howling Bells, Beasts of Bourbon, Airborne, and Mercy Arms.

Powderfinger made its first appearance in its hometown of Brisbane in two years – booked into the Zoo as Denim Venim. They even released a T-shirt with the legend "world tour," marking April 18 as the only date.

But fans sussed out who they were. A crowd of 100 was lined outside the venue four hours before the band hit the stage.

In more Powderfinger news, the members of Silverchair and Powderfinger have set up a new company called Powderchair, based in Brisbane. The bands’ respective managers, John Watson and Paul Pittico, refused to comment on why Powderchair was set up. But it is expected the two major bands will tour together this year.

The overseas contingent of the Countdown II tour in August is said to include Culture Club, Tears for Fears, Kim Wilde, Cyndi Lauper, and the Bangles.

Patti Smith is talking to promoters about touring this year.

Work on the North Queensland city of Mackay’s new $11 million 15,000-capacity sports and entertainment stadium begins in July.

Former Midnight Oil singer-turned-politician Peter Garrett hosted a "Rockin’ For Rights" concert April 22 to protest new workplace agreements.

About 40,000 attended the show at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Something For Kate did a version of Tom Petty’s "I Won’t Back Down" to mark the mood of the event while the Hoodoo Gurus covered "Fortunate Son."

Also playing were Beasts of Bourbon, You Am I, Missy Higgins, The Herd, Youth Group, Dallas Crane, Magic Dirt, Tim Freedman, and Richard Clapton.

The 41st National Folk Festival drew 50,000 people over its five days in Canberra. Artistic director Dave O’Neill took a chance by this year focusing on the music and culture of the Middle East as a way to build bridges.

It worked: all 20 venues involved in the festival were packed. The late-night unscheduled jam sessions also saw musicians from different cultures finding the right chord.

Brisbane band Elephant Mojo changed its name to Chasing Gravity. The band has appointed a new management team, with Dallas Ashton looking after Australian affairs and Golden Ear Management in Florida attending to their U.S. business.