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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den

THE an­nual APRA Mu­sic Awards is one of the high­lights of the mu­sic in­dus­try cal­en­dar, an evening where song­writ­ers col­lect ac­co­lades with­out hav­ing to pan­der to the de­mands of live tele­vi­sion. This year the event, hosted by the Aus­tralasian Per­form­ing Right As­so­ci­a­tion, was held last Mon­day at Melbourne’s Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre, a venue big enough to dwarf even the most hu­mungous egos in the room (with a few ex­cep­tions). There was space, too, for an ex­tra host, with singer Clare Bowditch join­ing reg­u­lar APRA MC Jonathan Big­gins to over­see the event. Both are tremen­dously tal­ented in their own ways, but as a team their pow­ers to en­ter­tain seemed re­stricted by each other’s com­pany. On the pos­i­tive side, one of the high­lights in re­cent years at the APRAs has been see­ing guest artists per­form the nom­i­na­tions for song of the year, which this year were Tame Im­pala’s

and Court­ney Bar­nett’s Se­bas­tian’s

Guy and Mia Dyson’s All five were given a good re­struc­tur­ing by, re­spec­tively, Ar­chi­tec­ture in Helsinki, Abbe May with Sam Ford and Kram, Bri­tish In­dia, Jessica Mauboy and Ball Park Mu­sic. Ar­chi­tec­ture in Helsinki got the nod for most rad­i­cal take on the orig­i­nal record­ing, a suit­ably lofty trib­ute for the song that won the cov­eted song of the year tro­phy. Singer Ge­orgi Kay gave a pow­er­ful read­ing of the Divinyls’

as a trib­ute to singer Chrissy Am­phlett. The best was left to last, with singer Lior joined by the choir of Gian Slater and In­ve­nio to per­form the Seek­ers’

As the Seek­ers’ Bruce Wood­ley, Athol Guy and Keith Pot­ger stepped up to ac­cept the Ted Al­bert Award in recog­ni­tion of 50 years in the busi­ness, their singer Ju­dith Durham, who is re­cov­er­ing in hos­pi­tal from a brain haem­or­rhage, had to set­tle for lis­ten­ing to the stand­ing ova­tion for them on her phone. BLUES­FEST pro­moter and bon vi­vant Peter No­ble and writer, ac­tivist and arts mover and shaker Rhoda Roberts are pow­er­ful pres­ences on the Aus­tralian cul­tural land­scape, so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how they fare as a unit. The two have just made the first line-up an­nounce­ment for a new fes­ti­val to be held in By­ron Bay at the Blues­fest site in Oc­to­ber that they hope will bring in­dige­nous cul­ture even fur­ther into the larger Aus­tralian com­mu­nity. The Boomerang Fes­ti­val is about more than just mu­sic; theatre, film, com­edy and dance also will be rep­re­sented, while ac­tor and tele­vi­sion host Ernie Dingo and aca­demic Larissa Behrendt have been an­nounced as speak­ers at the event. Says No­ble: ‘‘We think now is the right time to show the vi­a­bil­ity and value of Aus­tralian in­dige­nous cul­ture in an ac­ces­si­ble event which will give all Aus­tralians a sense of pride on ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the best of the best in in­dige­nous arts to­day.’’ Lead­ing the mu­sic com­po­nent of the fes­ti­val on the Oc­to­ber long week­end will be Gur­ru­mul and the Queens­land Vir­tu­oso Sym­phony Orches­tra. Vet­eran singer Archie Roach will be joined by Lou Ben­nett, Emma Dono­van and De­line Briscoe to launch a ret­ro­spec­tive of Roach’s early work. Also on the Boomerang bill are Shel­lie Mor­ris, the Medics and Thelma Plum. REVERED Amer­i­can pro­ducer, song­writer and per­former Todd Rund­gren be­gins an Aus­tralian tour next month. He’s 65 to­day. Happy birth­day to him, and to Cyndi Lau­per (60) and Pri­mal Scream singer Bobby Gille­spie (51).

Abbe May

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