The Week That Was: 26 February 2016

26 February 2016 | 3:18 pm | Mitch Knox

The lockout saga continues, Prince leaves us speechless, the end of Channel [V], and much, much more.

From state lockouts to surprise Prince after-parties and the loss of a cable-TV mainstay, this week has been a roller-coaster of emotion and industry shake-ups.

Obviously, there is a lot of news floating about the place, and it can be difficult to stay on top of it all, so in an effort to bring you up to speed, we've compiled all the best bits together in one easy-to-read rundown. Take a quick look at the major announcements, news and industry developments that helped make this The Week That Was below...


Victorian punters are in for three times the fun courtesy of Eagles Of Death Metal, who extended their Aussie visit this March by another — final — show in Melbourne, announced this week. With the sort of year this band has endured, it's nice to see the world - especially our corner of it - lavish them with an appropriate amount of love to help combat whatever darkness they have been subjected to in the wake of last year's Paris attacks.

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Perth alt-rock heroes The Love Junkies have nabbed themselves a new bassist in Harley Barnaby, and they're welcoming their new friend to the ranks with a run of shows around Australia before hitting the US.

Celebrated electro duo Carmada have a stacked 2016 ahead of them, including a jaunt to the United States on their immediate horizon. So, before they set off for Stateside stages, the duo of Yahtzel and L D R U will treat audiences in the country's major regional outposts to a series of shows this March.

After two prior successes with the femme-centric Brisbabes event night at The Foundry, in Brisbane, organisers are back for a third round boasting a killer line-up of the city's finest female performers, including pictured artists Romy, Cheers G'day, Inigo, Post-Dusk and Deena.


Both Sydney and Queensland have been subject to protracted debate over their respective lockout laws in recent times, but the former dominated discussion this week in the wake of last weekend's Keep Sydney Open protest, which drew 15,000 attendees as the movement marched from Belmore Park to Hyde Park. Several high-profile industry identities made the effort to lend their support, including The Preatures frontwoman Isabella Manfredi, who gave an utterly stunning speech on the issue to her rapturous audience.

The demonstration was followed by a call from Leichhardt mayor Darcy Brown proposing that live music venues be made exempt from the legislation. It was a push that saw immediate results as council moved to unanimously support a survey investigating the actual impact of such spaces on alcohol-fuelled violence.

So prominent a force of discussion were the lockouts that not even imported performers could ignore them - in fact, the lauded rap vets of the Wu-Tang Clan even expressed their intention to help get the laws changed, resulting in one of the greatest sentences to ever come from a politician's mouth: "I don’t normally get my policy advice from a man named Ghostface Killah but on this one he is right." (Kogorah Labor MP Chris Minns).

Venerated, enigmatic performer Prince didn't give us much in the way of lead time between announcing his Piano & A Microphone tour of Australia and actually rocking up here, but all is forgiven in the wake of his simply incredible series of intimate shows across the east and west coasts this week.

After kicking off late last week with an emotional performance in Melbourne following the death of long-time friend and protege Vanity; he nonetheless proved himself the consummate performer we know him to be by still appearing at an unreasonably popular after-party at the Docklands. We even grabbed a couple of sneaky pictures.

The high secrecy surrounding Prince's actual shows continued this week in Sydney, with the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince taking it upon himself to share an amazing snippet of Sydney's final performance before jetting to Perth, where he proved that he is all the one-man band the world could possibly need with a jaw-dropping show at Perth Arena.

From the sounds of things, though, he ran the risk of upstaging himself with an intimate performance at Crown perth's after-party. With results like this, who even needed warning?

Stalwart pay-TV provider Foxtel caused a bit of shock upset among avid viewers of music station Channel [V] after news broke that the company would be discontinuing use of the brand, effective today.

It's not the total death knell it first appeared to be; in fact, it's a merger between Channel [V] and its sister station, [V] Hits, with the combined result retaining the latter's name. Executive director of television Brian Walsh told The Music that the changes are a response to a shift in what audiences want, and where they can get it.

So, although [V] might not totally be disappearing from our lives, it won't exist in the form we've all known and loved since its days as Channel Red before even the era of Andrew G's pony tail, cargo shorts and when he was still called "Andrew G".

A spot of sombre news for fans of legendary Aussie performer Spencer P. Jones after news broke that the Beasts Of Bourbon mainstay had fallen "seriously ill", resulting in an inability to continue performing.

If there's any silver lining to the situation, it's in the community's response to Jones' misfortune, with benefit shows in WA and Victoria - as well as a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign - being set up in the troubadour's honour for this March and April, in an attempt to raise money to assist his recovery.

Several well-known and popular musicians from around the country are involved in the events, including Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus), members of the Bad Seeds and The Triffids, Tex Perkins & Charlie Owen, The Drones, Paul Kelly, Adalita and more.

The week got off to a super-strong start for beloved local outfit The Jezabels, who started their Monday with the news that they had cracked the top five on the ARIA Albums Chart with new full-length Synthia. It's a solid effort, but the Sydney band weren't quite able to unseat the wildly popular Molly soundtrack.

It was a different story on the Carlton Dry Independent Music Charts, however, where The Jezabels not only entered the top five with Synthia but took it right to the top, nabbing #1 on debut and toppling Sia's new full-length, This Is Acting, down a notch to #2 in its wake.

All that said, the band won't want to be getting too comfortable in their positions, as Hilltop Hoods appear to be well on track for a #1 ARIA debut with Restrung, their ambitious, orchestrally tinged reimaginings of their recent albums Drinking From The Sun and Walking Under Stars — but they'll have to get past Molly and Sia to pull it off.


Exciting times ahead for fans of live music as respected heavy label UNIFIED has joined forces with touring extraordinaires Live Nation to create a new venture, Unify Presents.

UNIFIED's Head Of Recorded Music and Unify Festival promoter Luke Logemann will spearhead the new pursuit, and the fledgling touring company is already off to a cracking start, with the recent announcement for UK heavyweight heroes Bring Me The Horizon serving as their first project together. 

If you've ever dreamed of having your wedding at the same grounds where countless titans of global music have played, you're in luck — the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, best known as the home of Bluesfest, has succeeded in its application for a community event site to hold more shindigs among its idyllic surrounds.

It seems like not even a week can go by these days without another story about local outfit Tame Impala impressing the hell out of yet another country, and these past seven days have been no exception.

In this case, they've categorically won over the stiff upper lips of the British, walking away from this week's BRIT Awards as freshly crowned recipients of the award for Best International Group off the back of their globally acclaimed LP Currents. Wonder if they've built a shelf for all these accolades yet...

US label Sub Pop has been home to some of the most influential alternative acts of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, so it's safe to say they know a thing or two about independent music.

That's what makes the label's recently launched podcast such a fascinating listen, especially given general manager Chris Jacobs' belief that every band has a story worth telling, regardless of their size or industrial clout.

"We’re just as interested in talking to the medium and small names, and it matters more what any of these folks have to say than the relative size of their names," Jacobs told The Music in a chat about the new venture.

"It is our further hope that [the podcast] will provide us with a new way of communicating with existing fans of the label and the artists we work with, and help find new fans of both as well," he said.

Beloved Brisbane venue The Tivoli is facing a nebulous future after its owners widened their sale conditions to include expressions of interest in redevelopment of the site.

It's a worrying prospect for live music fans in the Queensland capital, as The Tivoli has long served as an invaluable piece of the city's live-music tapestry. To see sentences like "Benefit from Brisbane's booming inner-city apartment market" directed at potential investors on its property listing is a bit of a punch in the guts.

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