Australian News Briefs 5/3

Check out the latest news from downunder.


Countdown II Lineup Announced

Frontier Touring announced the acts for its "Countdown Spectacular 2."

Rick Springfield, Martha Davis of The Motels, Doug Fieger of The Knack, Katrina Leskanich formerly of Katrina & The Waves, Plastic Bertrand, Les McKeown formerly of The Bay City Rollers, Richard Gower of Racey, David Paton of Pilot, Robin Scott alias "M," Samantha Fox, and Graham Bonnet are all on the bill.

Incidentally, Springfield was born in Australia and was in the rock band Zoot before relocating to the U.S. in the early ’70s and finding chart success with "Jessie’s Girl."

U.K.-born Bonnet lived in Adelaide for some time in the 1970s.

The bill’s Australian contingent includes Birtles Shorrock Gobles (with founding members of Little River Band), Rich, The Radiators, Sharon O’Neill, John Schumann of Redgum, Dave Mason of The Reels, Ignatius Jones of Jimmy & The Boys, Paul Gray of Wa Wa Nee, and Doc Neeson’s Angels.

The initial announcement sees the tour stop at Newcastle Entertainment Centre August 18, Brisbane Entertainment Centre August 21, Sydney’s Acer Arena August 24, Derwent Entertainment Centre in Hobart August 28, Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena August 30, Adelaide Entertainment Centre September 2 and Burswood Dome in Perth September 5.


GNR Australia Dates Sell Out

The Sydney and Melbourne arena shows for Guns N’ Roses in June sold out in 30 minutes, according to promoter Dainty Consolidated Entertainment. Extra shows were added to both cities and one for New Zealand’s new Vector Arena.

"We knew the demand was strong as we received an unprecedented number of calls from fans in the lead up to going on sale," Paul Dainty said. "The band has not been in Australia since 1993 so it’s been a long wait to see this legendary act. We expect tickets for the final shows will sell out fast."

The band’s recently postponed Japan dates have been rescheduled, with five dates July 14-21.


Crucial Signs Gyroscope

Rae Harvey of Crucial Music (The Living End, Children Collide) has taken over management of Perth band Gyroscope.

Harvey first spotted them opening on a 30-date Living End tour in 2003.

Gyroscope plans to return to South Africa this year, following airplay in that territory for the band’s track "Beware Wolf." The act visited South Africa last year.


30 Seconds, Pink Win At MTV Awards

The Jared Leto-fronted 30 Seconds To Mars and Pink were the big winners at the MTV Australia Video Music Awards April 29 at Accer Stadium in Sydney.

30 Seconds took home awards for best video and rock video, and did a set joined by a children’s choir.

Pink took download and female artist. Other winners included Red Hot Chili Peppers for best band, co-hosts Good Charlotte for viewers’ choice, co-host Fergie for sexiest video, Evanescence for best album and Teddy Geiger for new artist.

Silverchair took the first Australian Video Vanguard Award for its contribution to music video culture downunder.


Loyde Farewelled

The music industry farewelled Aussie guitar hero Lobby Loyde with a public service at Lauriston Girls School in Melbourne.

The school was chosen because his daughters were past students.

But Loyde, who died from cancer, would have had a chuckle – it banned his band Purple Hearts from its premises in 1965.

John Farnham’s Glenn Wheatley revealed Loyde got him into the music business. He recalled auditioning for the gruff, chain smoking guitarist as a teenager, arriving nervously in a neat haircut and tie.

Loyde solemnly stepped forward, messed up his hair and loosened his tie before letting him play.

Among the music tributes through the afternoon was Loyde’s four daughters performing Leonard Cohen’s "Hallelujah."

The service ended with a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony of the coffin.


‘Band In Bubble’ Licenses Abroad

The band Regurgitator’s "band in bubble" stunt in Melbourne in 2004 – where the band recorded its Mishmash album watched by TV cameras and people on the street – will be recreated in New York.

The band’s label, Valve Records, has licensed the concept to U.S. company True Entertainment for the States and Canada.

Members of Sony BMG signing Cartel will seal themselves inside a huge transparent bubble on Hudson River Park’s Pier 54 in NYC, where they’ll eat, sleep and breathe while publicly writing and recording a new album.

The band will go in on May 24 with a live broadcast on MTV and finish up June 12, where the members will play their new songs on the pier.

Band in a Bubble has also been licensed to U.K. company Initial for a London version.


Shins, Xzibit Return

The Shins return for four theatre dates August 3-9 with New Zealand act The Ruby Suns for Handsome Tours.

The band’s first Oz visit was 18 months ago.

Frontier Touring has California’s Hellogoodbye down for four club dates mid-July, and teamed with Illusive Entertainment for six Xzibit theatre shows June 21-30.

Canadian power popsters Sloan will return for three dates for Love Police in June, while the U.K.’s nu-rave exponents The Klaxons will be here for Modular Touring doing three club dates August 2-8.


Short Notes

As we previously tipped, Crowded House will headline the Sydney installment of the July 7 global Live Earth concerts. Neil Finn thought it made sense to play the band’s first Australian show in Sydney as Crowded House said farewell to 120,000 at the Opera House 11 years ago.

Last December’s Falls Festival generated $14,080 for its Community Fund to finance projects in Tasmania. It included $4,956 for three halls to share stage lighting, $4,270 for a hall to hold a series of concerts, and $4,853 for a boat club to buy sailing dinghies to be used for "Learn to Sail" courses for children and adults.

Sales for Silverchair’s album Young Modern have been the fastest in their career, said 11 The Music Company / EMI Music Australia. The album went double platinum (sales of 150,000 units) in a month, and its stay at No. 1 on the official ARIA charts is their longest.

Former Festival Mushroom Records marketing manager Jonathan Hughes, radio 95bFM brand manager Matthew Crawley and former EMI and Warner promotions manager Vanessa Hughes set up This Year’s Model ( It is a specialist music services company in New Zealand offering publicity, promotions and marketing to musicians and music organisations. Jonathan Hughes is contacted at 64 9 376 2992 and [email protected].

This year’s Urban Music Awards will be a shorter show with fewer artists performing. The international artist category is replaced with best producer and a best unsigned artist award was introduced.Dolores O’Riordan, former voice of The Cranberries, is in Sydney for a three-day promo tour starting May 24.

Tori Amos is here in September.

Rock band Thirsty Merc and R&B diva Kate Ceberano returned to the Aussie charts with high debuts.

Among those calling for Snoop Dogg to be allowed into the country to co-host the MTV Awards was Sydney-based Uniting Church and radio minister Bill Crews.

Snoop was scheduled to speak at the Exodus Foundation to homeless youth three days later.

Alistair Cranney’s Adelaide-based What Management secured the Australian representation for U.K.-based act Lovers Electric. Its U.S. management is Michael Dixon, who also looks after Ron Sexsmith.Lucky Last ( is a new Australian Web site that lists and sells discount tickets to concerts, theatres, sporting events and festivals.

The listings are for events close to the starting date but have not completely sold out. Sales are through credit cards and tickets are held at the door of the venue on the night of the event.