The Age Music Victoria Awards 2014 held at 170 Russell last night, was a celebration of all that is great about Australian music. As they say in footy-speak it was a game of two halves. An early evening industry-only reception featured the actual announcement and acceptance of the awards. Hosted by the ever-enthusiastic Henry Wagons, the major winners of the night were Dan Sultan, who took out the awards for Best Album (Blackbird) and Best Male Artist, and Courtney Barnett, who won best female Artist and Best Song for Avant Gardener. Sultan who seemed genuinely thrilled to have won, rebuked those in the VIP audience for disrespectfully talking through his acceptance speech. Barnett was unable to accept personally as she continues to tour the world with her music.
Other winners included King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (Best Band), Remi (Best Emerging Artist), Saskwatch (Best Live Band), Corner Hotel (Best Venue), Meredith Music Festival (Best Festival), Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine (Best Regional Venue), and Cosmic Psychos (Best Regional Band).
Soon after the final acceptance speech, the public were let into the venue. The prevalence of young, bearded hipsters during the award ceremony gave way to a much older demographic, there to witness the Hall of Fame induction of one of Australia’s most cherished bands Daddy Cool. It was newly-crowned Best Victorian Male Artist Dan Sultan who kicked off the evening and set a rockin’ tone for all to follow. The theme for the post-award show was classic Australiana. Featuring the solid backing band of Ash Naylor, Bill McDonald, James Black, and Peter Luscombe, Henry Wagons delivered a passionate version of The Loved Ones’ Ever Lovin’ Man. Jess Cornelius did Dear Prudence justice and Ash Naylor led the band in a vibrant rendition of Axiom’s My Baby’s Gone. Stonefield absolutely nailed Madder Lake’s 12 pound Toothbrush. Russell Morris contributed Black Dog Blues from his Sharkmouth album before generating a singalong to The Real Thing. Davey Lane proved that the Masters Apprentice’s psychedelic anthem Living in a Child’s Dream still stands the test of time. The entire cast returned for a joyous Because I Love You, featuring original Masters Apprentices’ bass player and renown artist manager Glenn Wheatley.
Another highlight of the night was the induction of pioneering music journalist Ed Nimmervoll into the Hall of Fame. Sadly, Ed past away a few weeks ago due to a brian tumour but knew he was going to receive the award before his death. After a touching video epitaph, Ed’s daughter Torie gave an emotional speech outlining her dad’s dedication to Australian music and told of how he always used to arrive early to gigs to catch the support act out of respect. It was a tale which received a rousing cheer from the crowd.
Finally, the main act Daddy Cool (a band Ed NImmervoll used to champion) hit the stage to be officially inducted into the Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame. Daddy Cool was always about fun and that’s what they set about creating as the crowd lapped up their doo wop style of rock n roll. All the hits were there from Cherry Pie and Come Back Again to the mega hits, Hi Honey Ho and Eagle Rock. In between they threw in some more obscure tracks such as Boy, You’re Paranoid. Goaded into one encore more than they anticipated, they finished off triumphantly with the rock ‘n’ roll staple Louie, Louie.
The Age Music Victoria Awards continues to be an essential mark on any music fans calendar. Congratulations to all involved for keeping the local music flame burning bright.
Check out our rough but funky iPhone view of highlights of the night below