The Australian Recording Industry Assn. awards, held Oct. 29 in Sydney, has proved both a ratings winner and a catalyst for album sales. Ten acts featured at the gala -- including significant winners

The Australian Recording Industry Assn. awards, held Oct. 29 in Sydney, has proved both a ratings winner and a catalyst for album sales.

The live broadcast on the free-to-air Ten Network drew an audience of 1.26 million viewers in the five capital cities, up from 1.12 million last year. Regional viewing figures have yet to be reported. The broadcast gathered 34.6.% of the 25-39 age group, 20.9% of the 40-54 group and 16.5% of the 18-24 demographic, according to Ten.

Ed St. John, chairman of the ARIA awards committee and president/CEO of Warner Music Australia, said: "It's immensely satisfying to be able to produce an awards ceremony that so obviously connects with people; to bring together the best in Australian live music performances and then see a direct response from consumers."

Meanwhile, 10 acts featured at the gala -- including significant winners Wolfmother, Eskimo Joe and Bernard Fanning -- benefited from the exposure.

Wolfmother saw their self-titled debut set through Modular/Universal improve to No. 7 from No. 18 on the Motorola ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart, published Monday (Nov. 6). The power trio won best group, rock album and breakthrough artist - album on the night.

Their single "Joker & The Thief" -- which they performed during the telecast before smashing-up their equipment -- entered at No. 8 on the Motorola ARIA Top 50 Singles chart, and their previous tracks "Woman" and "Minds Eye" also saw chart climbs.

Mushroom/Warner act Eskimo Joe's album "Black Fingernails, Red Wine" jumped to No. 6 from No. 14. It went double platinum (140,000 units) last week, says Warner Music Australia. The band won best single ("Black Fingernails, Red Wine") and best music DVD ("Eskimo Joe") on the night.

Powderfinger singer Bernard Fanning, who took male artist and best album for his solo "Tea & Sympathy" (Dew Process/Universal), also saw a strong sales surge. The album jumped to No. 15 from No. 53. The single, "Watch Over Me", which he performed with Kasey Chambers and Clare Bowditch, also found new fans. It re-entered the chart at No. 49.

Human Nature, who finally won a trophy for best-selling album after 15 unsuccessful nominations in ten years, improved 2-1 with their second Motown tribute set, "Dancing In The Street" (Sony BMG).

TV Rock's debut single "Flaunt It" (Sony BMG), which took best dance track and highest-selling single, vaulted to No. 40 from No. 70.

Albums by the Hilltop Hoods (Obese), the Veronicas (Sire/Engine Room), Pete Murray (Sony BMG), Jesse McCartney (Sony BMG) and John Mayer (Sony BMG) also moved up the charts.

Network Ten's chief programming officer, David Mott, added: "These chart results are fantastic and clearly demonstrate the power of television to influence album sales. We're delighted with the ratings for this year's telecast; our partnership with ARIA is strong, and we are already looking forward to next year's show."