Australian News 6/21

Powderfinger and Silverchair team up, The Palace nightclub is destroyed, royalty dispute over Men At Work songwriters, Michael Chugg turns 60, …


Powderfinger Teams Up With Silverchair

Two of Australia’s biggest bands, Powderfinger and Silverchair, are teaming up for 22 metropolitan and regional dates.

"Across The Great Divide" begins August 29 and runs for nine weeks with Powderfinger headlining.

It will be the biggest domestic tour since the days of Cold Chisel and The Angels in the 1980s, Silverchair manager John Watson said. In fact, the idea for the team-up came when Watson returned to visit his family in Queensland and spotted a fading Chisel / Angels poster in his old bedroom.

The tour will take in 10,000- to 15,000-capacity venues, with circus tents at regional areas lacking adequately sized indoor venues.

It’s taken a year of negotiating with local councils over safety and health issues, Watson said. The tour could sell up to 350,000 tickets, given that both bands have returned after lengthy breaks this year and scored No. 1 albums. Prices range from $89.90 to $99.90.

Powderfinger singer Bernard Fanning said, "These will be our first shows for two and a half years, and the first time we will return to a lot of the regional areas. We are grateful to have Silverchair with us to carry our gear!"

Quipped Silverchair’s Ben Gillies, "If the tickets don’t sell, we can always blame Powderfinger."

The tour will raise awareness for, a site set up to reduce the 17-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.

The two bands have formed a company called Powderchair for the event. A live DVD from the tour is expected.

Whether a joint recording will follow depends on "what happens on tour," Watson said.


Palace Destroyed

Victoria police are investigating the destruction of The Palace nightclub.

The venue was returned to the state government after a 2.5-year legal battle.

When government staffers went to check the building after picking up its keys, they found entire walls destroyed, gaping holes in the dancefloor, windows broken and several fires lit.

Palace spokesman Alan Evers-Buckland said the nightclub operators were not responsible for the damage.

"We just took out the fixtures and fittings, which we were allowed to do."


Men At Work Dispute

Men At Work broke up more than 20 years ago, but a dispute flared up between singer Colin Hay and guitarist Ron Strykert.

On his Web site, U.S.-based Strykert claimed he co-wrote their Business As Usual including the hits "Down Under" and "Who Can It Be Now?" and is owed credit and $50,000 in unpaid royalties.

Hay, who is solely credited with writing the songs, called the claims "delusional."


Hutchence’s Ghostly Visit

INXS music director Michael Egan’s biopic about the late INXS singer Michael Hutchence is in development with Morgan Freeman’s production company, Revelations Entertainment.

In "Slide Away" Hutchence’s ghost recalls his colourful life to his daughter Tigerlily.

The project reportedly has the approval of some of Hutchence’s family, but INXS said they are not aware of the project.


Blue King Brown Gets Green Light

Roots band Blue King Brown, who in recent weeks toured Japan where they’ve sold 16,000 copies of their album Stand Up, returns this year to play Summersonic alongside Gwen Stefani, Bloc Party, and Black Eyed Peas.

The band plans more international touring, under the guidance of manager Catherine Enny at Los Angeles-based Guerilla Management, which also looks after Michael Franti.

Blue King Brown plans to hit Canada, the U.S. and Brazil this year.

Their $200 video for "Water" was a hit on YouTube, opening up to offers of record deals, TV deals and tours.


Revesby’s Win

Revesby Workers’ Club in Sydney won the Best Entertainment Award for the third year in a row at the ClubsNSW Awards for Excellence.

The venue was also awarded the inaugural Club of Excellence award, introduced this year to recognise its winning of the entertainment category for three consecutive years.


Short Notes

Punk rock pioneers Radio Birdman, R&B ensemble Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons and singer/songwriter Brian Cadd (onetime member of the Flying Burrito Brothers) were unveiled as the latest to be honoured by the ARIA Hall of Fame. The three will be inducted alongside Hoodoo Gurus, R&B diva Marcia Hines and crooner Frank Ifield at a ceremony in Melbourne on July 18.

More than 300 friends flew to Thailand to celebrate promoter Michael Chugg’s 60th birthday over four days. Chugg divides his time between Sydney and the tourist resort of Phuket.

Chugg turned his villa complex into a Thai village with food stalls and street performers. Attendees included Frontier Touring’s Michael Gudinski, Bob Caisley and British singer Leo Sayer.Vanessa Brady is new national administrator/coordinator of the Music Managers Forum, based in Melbourne. Brady previously ran festivals, worked at Shock Records, booked acts for colleges and ran a state government initiative called Freeza, which taught young people how to stage events.

Brady replaced Rosie Pittman, who joined Smiley Cleary’s management and label Peppermint Blue.The Cure returns after seven years with a three-hour set for Michael Coppel Presents. They will do five arena dates August 4-12.

Frontier Touring and Roundhouse Entertainment confirmed Lionel Richie’s first dates downunder in 20 years. He will do 11 "greatest hits" sets in arenas and wineries November 26 to December 15 in Australia and New Zealand.

Blue Murder has Arizona extreme metal unit Job For A Cowboy for five club stops September 14-18.