Newcomers Wolfmother, Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning and rock band Eskimo Joe were among the big winners Sunday night (Oct. 29) at the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards, h

Newcomers Wolfmother, Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning and rock band Eskimo Joe were among the big winners Sunday night (Oct. 29) at the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards, held at Sydney's Accor Stadium.

Fanning took male artist and best album for his solo debut "Tea And Sympathy" (Dew Process/Universal). The record earlier took two artisan awards, held Sept. 13 as part of the final nominations announcement, for cover art and video for the lead single "Wish You Well".

Eskimo Joe's "Black Fingernails, Red Wine" (Mushroom/Warner Music Australia) won pointy trophies for best single ("Black Fingernails, Red Wine") and music DVD ("Eskimo Joe"). The band had earlier taken out producer and engineer at the September event.

But the night belonged to Wolfmother, whose self-titled debut album for Modular/Universal helped the band to wins in the best group, rock album and breakthrough artist - album categories.

First-time winners had an impressive showing on the night. TV Rock's debut "Flaunt It" (Sony BMG) took out best dance and highest-selling single.

Hilltop Hoods fourth album "The Hard Road" (Obese), which in March debuted atop the ARIA chart, took independent and urban release awards.

Pop twin sisters the Veronicas, who recalled watching the awards as children and "rehearsing" their acceptance speeches, got to deliver one at the gala proper. The duo's debut album "The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of... " (Engine Room Music/ Sire Records) won the pop category.

Other first-time winners were EMI's Clare Bowditch for female artist; Human Nature for highest-selling album with "Reach Out: The Motown Album" (Columbia/Sony BMG); Youth Group for breakthrough artist single with "Forever Young" (Ivy League), The Audreys in the blues and roots category for "Between Last Night And Us" (ABC) and Bob Evans in the adult contemporary category for "Suburban Songbook" (EMI).

Other winning albums included Troy Cassar-Daley's "Brighter Day" (Capitol/EMI) for country release; Lano and Woodley's "Sing Songs" (Liberation Music) and the Wiggles' "Racing To The Rainbow" (ABC For Kids).

At Midnight Oil's induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame, Bono in a taped message observed, "theirs was a shrill voice" and commended their "red earth rhythms under urban rhymes."

Denis Handlin, chairman and CEO of Sony BMG Music Entertainment Australia, called them "true leaders, taking people where they should go, not where they want to go." He recalled how the Oils turned down the chance to appear on the Grammys to play an indigenous benefit in Sydney's Bondi on the same day.

Oils drummer Rob Hirst observed that not as many protest songs were being written about the Iraq war as there had been for the Vietnam War -- and encouraged Aussie musicians to speak out.

Silverchair, who performed the Oil's "I Don't Wanna Be The One" with a brass section, ended the performance on a high. Daniel Johns threw his guitar on the stage while he spray-painted "PG For PM" (Peter Garrett For Prime Minister) on the backdrop. The Oil's singer Peter Garrett is now a politician.

The ARIAs was telecast on free to air Ten Network.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print