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News October 27, 2015

Industrial Strength: Adelaide’s music venues surveyed; SCA launches digi station; Update on Aussies abroad; Venues attacked, robbed; Another Aussie with a Eurovision win

Industrial Strength: Adelaide’s music venues surveyed; SCA launches digi station; Update on Aussies abroad; Venues attacked, robbed; Another Aussie with a Eurovision win

Adelaide’s live music venues surveyed

South Australia’s music association Music SA is doing a survey of Adelaide’s live music venues. It is part of the SA Government’s review of the Liquor Licensing Act’s entertainment consent clause for amendment that will make it easier for venues to host live acts. A roundtable with venue owners is also being planned to focus on solutions to challenges. Another survey follows in 2016 to see how the legislation affected the number of gigs. It is hoping the amendment will see more bars, cafes and restaurants also showcase acts.

Under current legislations, some venues are allowed only a style of music. In one instance, a venue may have two, four or five piece bands — but not a trio.

This comes after two more Adelaide venues closed last week. The Cavern went dark after ten years, with Manager Teresa Scarcella admitting she “just simply could not commit to signing to a new lease.” The Soul Box in the West End closed abruptly after 3 ½ years of providing 90-capacity space for live music, cabaret and theatre.

Adelaide also faces the possibility of a 2am lockout. In his submission to the Late Night and General Codes of Practice, Police Commissioner Gary Burns pushed for an earlier closing, on the grounds it would offset pre-loading (drinking at home before punters went out) and that the 3am lockout saw a 11% drop in violent crimes in the Hindley Street precinct. But the Australian Hotels Association SA argues against the 2am lockout, saying that feedback from its members was that shortened trading hours in fact increased pre-loading. The Late Night Venue Association’s Tim Swaine called a lockout of any type “bad” policy and “unsupported by evidence.”

SCA launches MORE Digital …

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) launched a new digital radio station, MORE Digital, dedicated to hits from the 80s and 90s. Digital Radio Content Director Jaime Chaux said the music from the era was influencing today’s pop.

… and expands The Range to digital

Meantime its country music station The Range on regional FM radio, is now to be expanded to metro listeners. It can be heard on digital in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as on FM and The Range website ( and app. Nielsen research this year found that 24% of metro listeners wanted to listen to country on radio, most of them female.

Aussies abroad: Church, Sheppard, Yamma, Husky, Meg Mac

The Church, enjoying a renaissance in the US, head back there for 24 shows (some with Psychedelic Furs) between August 7 to September 10 and offering VIP packages for the first time. Their new single is Laurel Canyon, after the Hollywood Hills creative hub.

In the wake of their single Geronimo being certified Platinum in America for over 1 million digital sales and streams (becoming the third Aussie act in the 21st century to tickle US Top 40 radio after 5 Seconds of Summer and Jet), Sheppard this week take off for their latest international dates. The 23 shows, between May 29 to October 9 takes in clubs and festivals in the US, Poland, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Japan and Brazil.

With their second album Ruckers Hill about to be released in Europe and the US, Melbourne band Husky will relocate to Berlin for the rest of the year as a tour base for extensive touring. The single I’m Not Coming Back is already in the German charts.

After touring Latvia, Wales, Scotland and England through April and May, Pitjantjatjara singer songwriter Frank Yamma returns in June and early July for another run, this time taking in taking in Switzerland, Wales, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Austro-US rock band Dead Daisies join Kiss Kruise V in October, cruising the Bahamas on the Norwegian Pearl.

After finishing off US dates with The Clean Bandit, Melbourne singer songwriter Meg Mac opens for D’Angelo and The Vanguard for 14 theatre dates June 7 to 29.

Star Maker winner Mickey Pye heads to Nashville to play the CMA World GlobaLive! concert a gateway concert to the 43rd CMA Festival – June 11 to 14.

Melbourne based singer Fatai, who is signed to Mercury Records Australia, is this Thursday headlining a concert in PNG featuring alumni of PNG Idol as part of Australia Week after which she holds a workshop with University of PNG music students on running a music career.

New station for Bunbury

103.7FM Bunbury began test transmitting last Thursday with a mix of music from the 1960s to today. It is run by Bunbury Community Radio which, after getting its licence granted last year, raised $250,000 from grants and sponsorship. The studio at Wake Drive, Dalyellup will be in operation in June.

Tech crunch: a sign of the times

Australians might be early adapters to technology, but we’re as much early disposers. According to data from Roy Morgan Research, Australian households ditched 800,000 DVD players, 500,000 digital cameras and 5.7 million old TVs between January 2000 and December 2014.

In 2000, 1 in 40 households had a DVD player. Four years later, over half of homes had one, and by 2008 they were in 75% of homes. After that, we started to get rid of them.

iPods are also on the way out. In 2013, about 32% (2.8 million) households had one. By the next year that declined to 30%.

But adoption of Blu-Ray and 3D TVs are still slow, and homes with VCRs still outnumber those.

Venues attacked, robbed

Tasmania Police are investigating arson at Hobart gay nightclub Flamingos. CCTV captured a man in a hood throw something (accelerant liquid, said police) under the front door at 8 pm and the fire erupting on the other side. It burned itself out quickly and no one was injured. Co-owner Gary Quilliam attributed it to “either a disgruntled patron or it’s a homophobic issue.”

Meantime, CCTV also caught three men enter Melbourne’s Ding Dong Lounge at 2 pm and make off speedily with bottles of alcohol and a staff member’s laptop. Ironically, owner Bill Walsh arrived five minutes later. The door had been left open for deliveries.

Australian producer behind ground-breaking Cuban/Jamaican project

Melbourne-based reggae, dancehall and hip hop producer and keyboardist Mista Savona (Jake Savona) is pulling together a first-of-a-kind album and documentary project called Havana Meets Kingston. For the first time ever, Jamaican, Cuban and Australian musicians will meet in a studio (the famous Egrem Studio in Havana, Cuba) from June to record new music in in Spanish, English and Jamaican Patois.

Already confirmed for the project are Sly and Robbie, Leroy Sibbles (Heptones), Bongo Herman, Changuito, Randy Valentine, Barbarito Torres (Buena Vista Social Club), Ernest Ranglin and Prince Alla. Joining them are film makers Rick Merek (Move, Eat, Learn) and Lauren Rosa Beck to make a documentary on the artists involved and a project that taps into three diverse nations. A A Kickstarter crowd funding campaign is at

Sennheiser Australia launches online store

The Australian operations of German headphones and audio company Sennheiser becomes the third in the world (they have 20 in total) to set up an online spare parts store for its headphone range and accessories, promising rapid “processing and dispatch.”

Festivals update: new arrivals, investigations, grants, busts

* Batemans Bay is the site of a new fringe festival to include contemporary cabaret, comedy, circus and physical theatre, dance, film, theatre, puppetry, music, visual art and design. It is the brainchild of local Adult Ed Tourism students. Their first project, the Ulladulla Comedy Festival, also for their Tourism Certificate, drew 1000 patrons who spent $175,000 in the region.

* Dubbo RSL Memorial Club’s support of the annual Dream Festival saw it win the Arts & Culture division at the Clubs NSW’s Clubs and Community awards.

* A music festival with an all-Australian bill is planned for this year’s AFL Grand Final festivities in Melbourne this spring.

* Nine people catching the ferry to the full moon party on Magnetic Island were nabbed for possession of ecstasy and ice.

* After this year raising funds for local community groups through the sale of its program souvenir, Victoria’s EDM festival Rainbow Serpent is awarding $10,000 community grants to those whose “work in areas of music, arts, health and community service" make a positive difference to the Ballarat and Pyranees regions. Recipients will be announced in mid-November.

* Accountants Venn Milner, liquidator of Music Events Holdings, one time promoters of Summadayze and Future Music, asked corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, more time to investigate where the cash went. The company went into liquidation in September 2013, owing almost $3 million to 52 suppliers and $200,000 to former employees. The liquidator also insinuated court action against some directors. The two festivals were later sold to Mushroom Group of Companies divisions which are in no way connected with the liquidator process.

* Arts and music festivals get a new space in Sydney to be staged in, with the NSW Government giving planning approval for the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct.


Gippsland radio identity Jim Woods was the voice of 3TR and one time Manager at SH Swan Hill in regional Victoria.

Peter Ellis, multi-instrumentalist with Bendigo’s Emu Creek Bush Band and Wedderburn Old Timers Band, was awarded an OAM medal for his collection and preservation of Australian folk history and bush music.

Natalie Cartledge, 21, staffer at live entertainment venue Victoria Hotel in Collie, WA, was in a car which hit a tree, flipped and burst into flames.

Prolific Port Fairy volunteer Ray Stokie worked with the Port Fairy Folk Festival and was a long time member of the Moyneyana Festival committee.

And a few other things…

Another Aussie with a win at the Eurovision Song Contest was Katrina Noorbergen, a songwriter based in Berlin (she was in Sydney band Cassette Kids), who co-wrote Russia’s entry A Million Voices, which was performed by Polina Gagarina and took second place. Noorbergen got engaged last week.

Jon Stevens’ older brother Frankie, singer and former New Zealand Idol judge, took to social media to lambast as “cowardly” venues which cancelled his bro’s dates after his legal issues. His former band Dead Daisies also got a serve, called “a disgrace to the great history of Rock allowing Jon to be replaced on the whim of one man who is influenced by more powerful friends.”

The Cafe Del Mar international brand plans to open an outlet in the Sunshine Coast this year, most likely in Coolum Beach.

In Darwin to play the Bassinthegrass festival, both Sheppard and Birds of Tokyo’s Adam Spark and Ian Berney took time off to plunge in Crocosaurus Cove’s Cage of Death with some giant crocs – one of which was appropriately called Chopper.

Kasey Chambers is out of action for two months after surgery on her vocal chords.

Actor John Jarratt turns singer and music video director, releasing a single Killer In Me from the soundtrack of StalkHer, in which he stars and makes his directorial debut. The video, co-starring Kaarin Fairfax and directed by Jarratt, was shot in Melbourne’s Backlot Studios and produced by Mark D’Angelo, Tony Ianiro and Craig Jansson. The soundtrack is out in July through Remote Control.

After Australian Crawl’s James Reyne admitted he never took action over the resemblance of Unpublished Critics and Sweet Child O' Mine because he didn’t want to face the “might of Guns N’ Roses lawyers”, a cashed-up Aussie identity offered to buy the rights of the song and then take on the Gunners.

NZ singer songwriter Lizzie Marvelly launched a new website to inspire and empower young women.

Veteran blues guitarist Kevin Borich has finished writing his memoirs, in which he reveals that work was so plentiful in the 1970s that one year alone he did 366 shows. In the meantime, the Daily Telegraph reported that Kings Cross nightclub identity John Ibrahim has finished writing his autobiography after three years to “put the facts right.”

The Canberra stop of Sydney’s Revolve Record Fair has moved permanently to Old Canberra Inn in Lyneham, organizer Jon Ordon said. After ten years in Dickson, it made its Lyneham, bow last Sunday, drawing 800 mostly young music fans to check through 30,000 long players and singles. The fair is held in other cities, with Canberra getting a re-run in late spring.


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