Australian News 11/1

Cave Inducted At ARIAs

Age certainly hasn’t mellowed down Australian prince of darkness Nick Cave.

Told he was being inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame during the October 28 ARIA awards, he groaned and said he was "dreading the experience."

He said he would not be joining the other celebs on the red carpet and that he would "slip out for a kebab" immediately after.

During the telecast ceremonies at Acer Arena in Sydney, Cave walked on to the podium and growled, "I cannot really accept this until we get a few things straight. What I can’t figure out is why I am up here and [his longtime backing band] The Bad Seeds aren’t?

"I would like to, by the power vested in me, induct these people also into the ARIA Hall of Fame."

For good measure, he also inducted two members of his 1980s gothic band The Birthday Party, guitarist Roland S. Howard and the late Tracey Pew.

The awards belonged to Silverchair, who took home five. These included best group, where they beat Wolfmother, their recent touring partners Powderfinger, Eskimo Joe and dance trio Sneaky Sound System.

Another star of the night was Keith Urban, who last year canceled his appearance at the awards to check himself into rehab.

This year the Queensland-born singer got a hero’s welcome. His Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing got the best country release category, which he dedicated to his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, who attended the event. "You inspired this record," he told her.


Stage & Screen Opens In L.A.

Australian performance event travel and freight service provider, Stage and Screen Travel Services (part of Flight Centre Ltd.), has turned to Hollywood to expand its business horizons.

"The potential for our type of service is clearly huge in the U.S., particularly in cities like Los Angeles, which is synonymous with the music, film and entertainment business," explained Stage and Screen General Manager Gregory Lording, who recently relocated to establish the U.S. operation.

It opened its Los Angeles office November 1, with plans to open offices in New York and London next year.


Confusion Over Smoking Bans

The anti-smoking lobby and nightclub operators have continued to battle after laws banning patrons from lighting up inside went into effect July 1.

A sign outside the Terminus Hotel in Melbourne’s Abbotsford encouraging its puffers to "smoke in comfort & style" was pulled down following complaints from vascular surgeon Dr. Mark Westcott.

He told the Melbourne Age newspaper, "This promotion may not be against the letter of the law, but it’s definitely against the intention of the law, which is to stop smoking in pubs; this is an indirect advertising of tobacco."

The Age piece also quoted Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie as saying that e-mails or text messages sent out by nightclubs to promote their smoking areas could constitute a tobacco advertisement, which breaches Commonwealth legislation.

Sharkie called on federal Minister for the Ageing Christopher Pyne to investigate.

In Sydney, the Mounties club in Mt. Pritchard is in hot water with the NSW Dept of Health and may face a $5,500 fine.

The club built an outdoor terrace for smokers as part of a $7 million renovation.

The dispute is over what constitutes terms as "substantially enclosed." If Mounties loses, it will have to spend "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to move windows and walls, says its CEO Greg Pickering. Its smokers can also be fined $550.


Ozzy & Rod Return … And Vanilla Ice

Chugg Entertainment and KMW Productions is bringing Ozzy Osbourne back after 11 years for three arena shows March 15-20.

Roundhouse Entertainment announced Rod Stewart will perform two "a day on the green" concerts as part of his Australian tour at Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley, March 1 and Leconfield Wines, South Australia, March 2.

Florida-based Vanilla Ice returns after 18 years for eight club shows in Queensland and New South Wales December 26 to January 5.


Short Notes

Michael Gudinski’s booking agency Premier Artists added 11 new "stars of tomorrow" acts to its roster. They are Symbiosis, CC Martini, Calling All Cars, Famous By Association, Muph and Plutonic, Braindead Lovers, The Currency, Downhills Home, Schvendes and KillerBirds.

After 10 years with EMI Music, The Living End has joined Powderfinger manager Paul Piticco’s Dew Process Records as their Australian label.

Don’t expect any movement from Wolfmother until mid-2008, says its IMC agency.

New South Wales’ City Central police are pushing to introduce plastic cups only in the state’s nightclubs and pubs, following a series of violence assaults where victims were glassed. The Liquor Accord will consider the plan through November.

The Cat Empire had to cancel their first date in six years and 625 shows when singer and trumpeter Harry Angus was warned by doctors that a throat problem could be a major issue if he didn’t rest it.