Australian News 8/8

Watson’s Second Management Co.

Sydney-based manager John Watson and Universal Music Australia jointly set up a new management company.

It is part of a deal where Watson transferred his successful record label, 11 A Music Company, from EMI to Universal.

The joint venture is not related to John Watson Management, which he set up with Melissa Chenery in 2000. It manages 11 signings including Silverchair, Missy Higgins and Paul Mac and co-manages Pete Murray.


Sting, Supergrass Return

Sting is returning downunder for Frontier Touring Company with European lute master Edin Karamazov, playing music from their classical album, Songs from the Labyrinth.

It is a tribute to 16th-century Elizabethan composer John Dowland. The tour has four stops November 30 through December 5.

Secret Service is bringing Britain’s Supergrass downunder for four theatre dates October 2-8.

Frontier Touring has teamed Colbie Caillat with Brisbane opera-rock singer Kate Miller-Heidke for the U.S. platinum-spinning singer’s first visit downunder. The five club dates run October 2-8.


New Home For Folk Festival

The National Folk Festival in Canberra moves to its new premises at 11/160 Lysaght St Mitchell in late August.

Its home since 1992 was Gorman House Arts Centre, starting with a card table and a phone in a small office for one employee. It since expanded to six offices, five full-time staff, three part-timers and numerous volunteers.


NSW Clubs Drop Income

New South Wales clubs recorded their worst financial year yet, blaming new indoor smoking bans for a $385 million fall in income.

Clubs NSW said club income in the 2007/08 financial year fell 11 percent compared with the same period a year before.


Short Notes

Last year Elton John heard dance duo Pnau’s album and told them he would help their career. In late July he was instrumental in getting them signed to his London-based management firm, 21st Artists.The act was with Sydney-based Parker & Mr. French, which recently signed New Zealand indie act Whitebirds & Lemons.

The Westpac bank has asked the Federal Court to wind up entrepreneur David Marriner’s company, Forum Theatre Holdings. It claims he has not repaid a $2.1 million loan on the $30 million Forum Theatre in Melbourne. Marriner retaliated that Westpac is being vindictive because he recently changed banks.

Pop twin duo The Veronicas are set to return to the U.S. in late August. They received unpleasant publicity in Australia, including when topless photos of the group’s Jess Origliasso found their way to the press.

Guitarist Tasman Blizzard, former member of Melbourne’s The Meanies, drowned August 1 after his car skidded in the rain into a dam. A keen surfer, Blizzard was president of the Point Lonsdale Boardriders Club, and showed Pearl Jam the hottest surf points when the two bands toured Australia together.

Nicky Dharnmirrwuy Yunupingu, 26-year old didgeridoo player for indigenous band Yothu Yindi, reportedly hanged himself July 23 following an argument with a female friend he allegedly stabbed 14 times. She survived.

Cops in Richmond, New South Wales claimed its club lockout policy cut alcohol-related assaults by 50 percent since its start in February.Dannii Minogue signed for U.S. representation with the William Morris Agency.