Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett Dominate ARIAs

Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett dominated the sold-out ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards in Sydney Nov. 26.

Photo: AP Photo / Johannes Eisele, Pool
Echo Music Awards, Messe Berlin, Berlin, Germany

5 Seconds of Summer, The Veronicas, and Vance Joy also had wins, while Kylie Minogue inducted Tina Arena into the Hall of Fame. Tame Impala won best group, while the band’s globally successful Currents triumphed as album of the year and best rock album. Frontman Kevin Parker earlier won two Artisan ARIA awards, for producer and engineer of the year, bringing the Perth psychedelic band’s 2015 ARIAs tally to five. Courtney Barnett crossed live from London to accept awards for best female artist, breakthrough artist and independent release.

She also had an Artisan win for best cover art for her internationally acclaimed debut album, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. After Tina Arena’s standing ovation performance of her “Chains” with The Veronicas and Jessica Mauboy, Kylie Minogue exclaimed, “What a woman, what a voice,” admitting she had goose bumps during the set. During her induction, Minogue recalled being inspired by Arena when the latter was a pre-teen cast member of TV’s variety show “Young Talent Time.” “You’ve shown the world how it’s done for the last four decades. You are the consummate professional,” Minogue said.

Arena’s remarkable acceptance speech covered commercial radio’s support for local talent (“don’t meet your Australian quotas because you have to, exceed them because you want to”) and the industry’s ageism, emphasising, “Ladies over 40 are still in the game. We will decide when it is time for us to stop.” Performers at the Star Sydney event, telecast on the live-to-air Ten Network, included Vance Joy (who won best male) and new breakthroughs Jarryd James (best pop release) and Conrad Sewell (song of the year). Hermitude’s appearance saw them joined by fellow hip-hop acts Mataya and Young Tapz, EDM duo Flight Facilities’ featured singer songwriter Owl Eyes, while the team-up of EDM acts Peking Duk and SAFIA also was a crowd-pleaser.

Ed Sheeran, who performed “Photograph,”received an ARIA Diamond award for 500,000 Australian sales of his X album. 5 Seconds Of Summer crossed live from Los Angeles to accept the best Australian live act, which drew 2 million public votes via Twitter. One Direction won the public-voted best international act fourth year in a row. In a poignant moment, multi-platinum country performer Lee Kernaghan received a special achievement gong from the Australian War Memorial for his No. 1 album Spirit Of The ANZACS, which marked the 100th anniversary of the iconic landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers on the shores of Gallipoli, Turkey, during World War I.

Other winners of the night were albums by The Veronicas (video), Oh Mercy (adult contemporary), Rufus (dance), Seth Sentry (urban), CW Stoneking (blues and roots), Northlane (hard rock/metal), Shane Nicholson (country), one time Wigglers member Sam Moran (children’s album) and Matt Okine (comedy). Spotify was recognised for outstanding digital service, the JB Hi Fi chain for national retailer and Sydney’s Red Eye Records for independent retailer.