Industry Scoop Australia
The Lowdown on the ARIA Awards
ARIA Awards: The Lowdown
I had the privilege of attending the 17th Annual ARIA Music Awards which were held at the Sydney Superdome on October 21. The ARIAs recognise and support excellence in Australian recorded music and production and are the most prestigious music industry awards in Australia. Featuring a who's who of people involved in the Australian music industry, musicians, managers, record company employees, the media, and the general public witnessed a night where there were plenty of tears but also plenty to smile about for some of the country's emerging talent. It was also a night to smile for some of the country's prodigies.
John Farnham, the man who dominated the very first ARIA Awards back in 1987, was inducted into the Hall of Fame and put in a sensational performance of his multi-platinum hit of that year 'You're The Voice'. Media types were treated to a special ACappella performance of the chorus which moved absolutely everybody lucky enough to be in the media room at the time. I managed to catch up with the legend backstage where he promised that "I'm not retiring." He spoke about his most successful album 'Whispering Jack' and how it "was an enormous turning point" for him and how it opened him up "to all sorts of wonders and delights." He also mentioned the great working relationship that he has with manager Glenn Wheatley. He said, "The reason we work so well together is that we tend to have much the same work ethic." He also had some positive words of advice for those interested in getting involved in the music industry. He said, "If you're going to do it, do it properly. Do it as well as you can and walk away from it knowing that you've put 100% into it."
A very sober Alex Lloyd, who walked away with the Best Male Artist award, said he was more comfortable backstage with the media than he was accepting his award on stage. Powderfinger's Jon Coghill on the other had problems of his own. "I get nervous when I look in the mirror and realise how good looking I am" he said. The band who walked away with three awards left for Europe just a few days after the awards. Merrick & Rosso who won the Best Comedy Release responded "not a chance" to the question of whether they will be hosting the ARIA Awards sometime in the future. They joked that "Rove's got it signed up for the next 25 years!"
But the night belonged to Delta Goodrem who walked away with 7 gongs as well as two additional awards including the "Channel [V] Australian Artist of the Year" and the "Video Hits Video of the Year". Mark ("bling bling") Holden summed it up when he said "this is Delta's night tonight." Wearing a dress designed by Lisa Ho, Delta was all smiles as she strutted the red carpet. Backstage, she was a delight and was genuinely honoured to have attended the event. She also thanked the press for their support and joked about how she could "go on thanking people all night." The star, who is battling Hodgkin's disease, said that her next priority is to concentrate on getting better but after chatting to her backstage, one could sense that she was itching to be up on stage performing. She said, "I can't wait to get back into it, I'd love to be up there." A huge congratulations to Delta on her remarkable achievement.
A big shout out also to Rob (Millsy) of Australian Idol fame who was generous enough to share a donut with me in the restroom of all places! Millsy partied hard despite being voted out of Australian Idol the night before as did the other Top 5 finalists who seemed to enjoy themselves. There was an interesting discussion with the Oz Idol crew backstage. When asked what they would be doing if they weren't in the competition, Paulini replied "working in a hospital" while big gardening fan Cosima said that she'd be a "famous horticulturalist". Guy ("they reckon I look like Jack Osborne") responded that he'd be a cricket player and that he was a big Steve Waugh fan. When Something For Kate were asked the same question, their responses were just as varied. Frontman Paul Dempsey said that he'd "probably be a history teacher – something really boring like that" while drummer Clint Hyndman said "I'd probably run a bar because I'm really talkative." Bassist Stephanie on the other hand said "probably something to do with curating and art gallery work."
Another person I managed to bump in to in the restroom (what a great place to meet people) was former Neighbours star Daniel MacPherson. He praised some of our current talent including the John Butler Trio, Pete Murray and Jet. The Waifs are another band that could be added onto that list. The trio have had one amazing year and spoke of how difficult it has been for them being away from home over the last three years and how they haven't been able to enjoy their Oz success due to the overseas touring commitments. They were happy to share their highlights of the past year which included, "taking our music overseas and touring with Bob Dylan" who they joined on stage to perform the classic 'Knocking On Heaven's Door'. A huge congratulations also goes out to Monsieur Camembert who picked up the Best World Music Album. They expressed their love of cheese on the night and also hoped that their win would "open up doors for world music in Australia."
I also briefly caught up with Kelly (the "rock chick" from Australian Idol) who was representing Video Hits on the night and couldn't stop messaging her boyfriend from her mobile. Others who partied hard included: the guys from Jerk, Mandy Kane, Sony Music's Jo Grogan (who was by Delta's side for most of the night), Melissa Key (ex FMR staffer – great to see you again!), David Campbell, Courtney Act, and the Channel [V] crew including new recruit Danny who was snapping everyone in site with his mobile. A great big thank you goes out to 'Fantin Comes Alive' for making this experience possible and one that won't be forgotten in a very long time. Hopefully we'll get to do it again in 2004. But before then, here are all of the winners from the 17th Annual ARIA Awards:
Silverchair & Powderfinger
Album of the Year: Vulture Street - Powderfinger
Best Adult Contemporary Album: The Last Time - John Farnham
Best Blues & Roots Album: Up All Night - The Waifs
Best Cast/Show Album: Long Way to the Top Live - Various
Best Children's Album: Celebrate Hi-5
Best Classical Album: Saffire – The Australian Saffire Guitar Quartet
Best Comedy Release: From Us to Youse - Merrick & Rosso
Best Country Album: Golden Road - Keith Urban
Best Dance Artist Release: One of My Kind - Rogue Traders
Best Female Artist: Innocent Eyes - Delta Goodrem
Best Group: Vulture Street - Powderfinger
Best Independent Release: Up All Night - The Waifs
Best Jazz Album: Mikrokosmos - Andrea Keller
Best Male Artist: Coming Home - Alex Lloyd
Best New Artist – Album: Innocent Eyes - Delta Goodrem
Best New Artist – Single: Born To Try - Delta Goodrem
Best Original Soundtrack Album: Australian Rules - Mick Harvey
Best Pop Release: Innocent Eyes -Delta Goodrem
Best Rock Album: Vulture Street - Powderfinger
Best World Music Album: Absynthe - Monsieur Camembert
Single of the Year: Born to Try - Delta Goodrem
Highest Selling Album: Innocent Eyes - Delta Goodrem
Highest Selling Single: Born To Try - Delta Goodrem
Artisan Awards (presented in September)
Best Cover Art: Vulture Street- Powderfinger, Steve Gorrow, Revolution Designs
Engineer of the Year: Up All Night - The Waifs, Chris Thompson
Producer of the Year: Up All Night – The Waifs, Chris Thompson / The Waifs
Best Video: Do it with Madonna - The Androids, Bart Borghesi
ARIA Awards: The Tv Ratings
Network Ten's coverage of the Awards made both television and ARIA history with a record 1.5 million viewers (and peaking at 1.8 million at one stage) tuning in on the night. Denis Handlin, chairman of ARIA & Sony Music CEO, was understandably chuffed. He said, "Congratulations to all the ARIA award winners last night - as an industry we had a great celebration. It is rewarding to see the program attract such an enormous audience across Australia. The ratings demonstrate again the consistent support the public gives to Australian music, and we want to thank them for that." He added, "The Roving Enterprises team put on a fantastic show, and our thanks to Network Ten for their continued support - it's great to work in partnership with two companies who share our passion for Australian music." Equally as pleased was Ten's Network Programming General Manager David Mott. He said, "It's just fantastic to grow our audience and share in every demographic - the results demonstrate how important Australian music is to our viewers. I commend Rove McManus for another superb hosting performance, along with Roving Enterprises' executive producer, Craig Campbell; Ten's head of production - entertainment, Stephen Tate; and Cathie Scott, executive producer - entertainment for Ten. Special thanks also to ARIA chairman, Denis Handlin, and Awards chairman, Ed St John, for their tireless efforts on behalf of Australia's music industry and these Awards."
Sophie & Monk
FANTOMAS – Delirium Cordia
Fantomas return with album number three - their most challenging record to date. If you're a dedicated Mike Patton follower, then you know to expect the unexpected with each and every release that he is involved with. It's no different with 'Delirium Cordia'. Like their 2nd CD was compared to their debut, this sounds nothing like its predecessor. What it does sound like is one really bad dream. The CD clocks in at just under 75 minutes and there are no breaks in between - just one long piece of ambience. No songs, no lyrics, just sound. The possible sound of your worst nightmare? Or the soundtrack to an eerie horror movie? Whatever the case, it's one huge epic journey that will take you for a mind-altering ride. If you're a fan of experimental music and like to be challenged, then this is the CD for you.
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS - Singles 93-03
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It's been a decade since electronica heroes The Chemical Brothers first came to our attention with their brand of big beat. To celebrate the 10th year anniversary, EMI have put together this greatest hits collection. The first CD kicks off with 'Song To The Siren' which is followed by a chronological presentation all of their singles released to date. These include the powerful 'Block Rockin' Beats', the electro house 'Hey Boy Hey Girl' and their collaboration with Noel Gallagher 'Setting Sun'. The CD is rounded out by two new tracks: one a collaboration with Canadian rapper K-OS, and another with The Flaming Lips. The 2nd CD is chock full of rare and unreleased material. This is where the die-hard fans will get their real value. And for those who aren't too familiar with their works, this is a great chance to discover one of the most important techno duos of the 90s.
PANTERA - Reinventing Hell: The Best of Pantera
Texan metallers Pantera have been unleashing hell with their powerful head banging riffs for many years now. So the time has come to get all of their greatest bone crunching moments and fit them nicely into one package. A large bulk of the tracks here come from their 6 major label albums including the #1 Australian album 'Far Beyond Driven'. Some of the classics include: 'Cowboys From Hell', 'Cemetery Gates', 'Walk', 'I'm Broken', 'Drag The Waters' and the awesome 'This Love'. But wait there's more! Once you've experienced the aural assault, you can then experience it visually with the bonus DVD that contains a whole bunch of their videos and a couple of live tracks. Crank it up!
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