AU ABROAD

Violent Soho, SAFIA, Remi and Courtney Barnett among the winners of the first annual AU Awards!


Editor-in-Chief Larry Heath with NSW Voice of the Year Steve Smyth. Photobomb from The Preatures' Gideon Bensen.

The Hive Bar in Sydney last night celebrated Australian live music, as the AU not only launched the first event in our LIVE sessions series, but also revealed the winners of the inaugural AU Awards!

Bolstered by acoustic performances by Canadian artist Tim Chaisson and Sydney's own Fanny Lumsden, the winners were revealed, further demonstrating the sheer amount of talent our contributors and editorial staff have witnessed over the past 12 months.

Martin Novosel (pictured below with Larry Heath), founder of Purple Sneakers and co-founder of Musica Copa took home the industry award, the inaugural "AU Award", for excellence in support of the Australian live music scene. Larry Heath, in presenting the award, said the award was given to Martin "for giving us some of our best nights, and for helping forge a scene for the "Indie Kids" of Sydney and across the rest of the Country".

"When he started club night Purple Sneakers back in 2005 at its original home of The Ambercrombie Hotel, it didn't seem to be an endeavour to re-invent the wheel, rather try and bring something better to the table for fans of music. It filled the gap between top 40 clubs of the Cross and Darling Harbour, and the Underground Club Scene that was often too "exclusive" or simply hard to find."

In receiving the award, Martin said he was honored to receive the award "from someone who is another small business person, who knows how hard it is, and how much work goes into a small business - especially one that is not in finance or in banking... one that makes a lot more money... we do it for the passion."

"Regardless what award it is, or who it is that's thanking you, whether it's a punter on the street in Newtown who says they read our blog, or an older punter who may have gone to the club nights, it's a genuine surprise when people thank you for what you've done, because you only do it before you love it, right? And you can't do them without people around you, and I have some amazing people around me. The only thing I've really been good at is finding great songs and knowing where they belong, and finding really great people to work with, heaps better than what I do. Gabe who runs the blog, Hume who helps me manage the artists, Stix who runs Copa with me... our 50, 60 writers around the country!"

Both Violent Soho and Courtney Barnett were multiple winners, with Soho taking out the biggest award (Best Live Band in Australia) and three others including Best Australian Tour and QLD Band. Courtney took home three with Best Guitarist, VIC Voice and VIC Artist.

Among the winners, who were announced by Larry Heath and Fanny Lumsden, Steve Smyth, The Preatures, Heidi from Cloud Control and the manager of Holy Holy were all on hand to accept their awards, with Steve running up the road to his performance at the Newtown Social Club shortly afterwards. Remi also kindly sent along this acceptance speech: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b-FBRGphWe

Best Instrumentalist, Heidi from Cloud Control, thanked her Piano Teacher, Jan, for "helping me win this award tonight", Steve Smyth, the winner of NSW Voice of the Year, was humbled as "this is the first award I've gotten for music... I'm very proud it is this one." Izzy from The Preatures - winners of NSW Best Live Act of the Year - kept things short and sweet, thanking the AU for their support and making sure we all acknowledged their great bass guitarist, Thomas Champion.

Earlier in the day, Editor-in-Chief Larry Heath announced live on 2SER that Brisbane's Ball Park Music had won the People's Choice Award for Australian Live Act of the Year, with KINGSWOOD and The Griswolds rounding out the Top Three, while 17 more awards were announced at the Sydney event at the Erskineville venue. The remaining awards were announced through Twitter.

Dean from Ball Park Music had this to say about the band's win: "We're really stoked on it. People have been voting for us lately. I don't view us as a band who has a following of people who would vote for us for stuff. But we came in second on the triple j poll, which was an epic surprise, and now this too. We're all a bit shocked but stoked none the less."

"There aren't many awards out there that recognise a band's live performance. We really pride ourselves on having a strong live show. A gig is really where a band kicks off a career. Unless you have a great recording that the right people hear, as a young band playing local shows, the way you grow a fan base is to have a strong live show and impressing people. So we started off with that as a focus, and we keep trying to grow it, so that if people come back for a second or even a twentieth time, we want to give you something better than the last time. So to be acknowledged for that is awesome. It's something we're really proud of."

The awards recognise the best in live music in Australia, taking into consideration performances between 1 November 2013 and 31 October 2014. The awards are published in the annual coffee table book Australia's Year in Music, which is out now.

2014 AU AWARD WINNERS

THE AU AWARD

Martin Novosel, Purple Sneakers.

AU LIVE ACT OF THE YEAR

Violent Soho - WINNER!
The Preatures
Bluejuice
The Smith Street Band
Kingswood

AU VOICE OF THE YEAR

Isabella Manfredi (The Preatures)
Hayley Mary (The Jezabels)
Chet Faker - WINNER!
Karina Utomo (High Tension)
Nkechi Anele (Saskwatch)

AU HEATSEEKER AWARD

Little May
Holy Holy - WINNER!
Apes
Harts
Tired Lion

AU HIP-HOP LIVE ACT OF THE YEAR

Remi - WINNER!
Illy
One Day
L-Fresh The Lion
Briggs

AU DJ/ELECTRONIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Flume
Slumberjack
Seekae
Rufus
SAFIA - WINNER!

AU DRUMMER OF THE YEAR

Dan Williams (Art vs Science / The Philly Jays / East)
Tim Adderley (sleepmakeswaves) - WINNER!
Kram (Spiderbait)
Michael Richards (Violent Soho)
Lachlan West (The Griswolds)

AU GUITARIST OF THE YEAR

Ash Grunwald
Alex Laska (Kingswood)
Gideon Bensen (The Preatures)
Courtney Barnett - WINNER!
Otto Wicks-Green (sleepmakeswaves)

AU BASS GUITARIST OF THE YEAR

Janet English (Spiderbait)
Steph Ashworth (Something For Kate)
Luke Henery (Violent Soho) - WINNER!
Alex Wilson (sleepmakeswaves)
Jennifer Boyce (Ball Park Music)

AU INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR

Heidi Lenffer (Keys, Cloud Control) - WINNER!
Xani Kolac (Violin, The Twoks)
Brendan Champion (Trombone, Lime Cordiale)
Paul Furness (Keys/Trombone, Ball Park Music)
Heather Shannon (Keys, The Jezabels)

AU TOUR OF THE YEAR - AUSTRALIAN

Violent Soho with The Smith Street Band / Luca Brasi (July 2014) - WINNER!
Sticky Fingers "Land of Pleasure" Album Tour (September 2014)
The Smith Street Band & The Menzingers With Grim Fandango (March 2014)
Chet Faker "Built On Glass" Album Tour with Yumi Zouma (June/July 2014)
Courtney Barnett + D.D Dumbo. (September/October 2014)

AU TOUR OF THE YEAR - INTERNATIONAL

Neutral Milk Hotel / M Ward / Superchunk (Soundwave Touring, November 2013)
Arctic Monkeys (Frontier Touring, May 2014)
City and Colour (Chugg Entertainment, Nov/Dec 2013)
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (Frontier Touring, February 2014)
Queens of the Stone Age / Nine Inch Nails (Frontier Touring, March 2014) - WINNER!

AU FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR - TOURING

Laneway Festival - WINNER!
Soundwave Festival
Listen Out
The Blurst of Times
Falls Festival / Southbound

AU FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR - NON-TOURING

Byron Bay Bluesfest - WINNER!
VIVID
Mona Foma
Meredith
Splendour in the Grass

NSW BAND/ARTIST OF THE YEAR

The Preatures - WINNER!
Steve Smyth
Sticky Fingers
Little Bastard
One Day

NSW VOICE OF THE YEAR

Steve Smyth - WINNER!
Isabella Manfredi (The Preatures)
Nikki Thornburn (Iluka)
Hayley Mary (The Jezabels)
Andy Bull

NSW VENUE OF THE YEAR

Brighton Up Bar
Oxford Art Factory - WINNER!
The Newsagency
Sydney Opera House
Metro Theatre

VIC BAND/ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Courtney Barnett - WINNER!
The Peep Tempel
Apes
Saskwatch
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

VIC VOICE OF THE YEAR

Courtney Barnett - WINNER!
Dan Sultan
Gossling
Henry Wagons
Ella Hooper

VIC VENUE OF THE YEAR

The Corner Hotel - WINNER!
Ding Dong Lounge
Howler
The Forum Theatre
Northcote Social Club

SA BAND/ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Bad//Dreems - WINNER!
Sincerely, Grizzly
West Thebarton Brothel Party
Horror My Friend
Glass Skies

SA VOICE OF THE YEAR

Anna Bouras (The Villenettes)
Joshua Calligeros (Sincerely, Grizzly)
Rachel Cearns (Valkyries)
Chris Panousakis (Timberwolf)
Tkay Maidza - WINNER!

SA VENUE OF THE YEAR

The Gov - WINNER!
Jive
Rocket Bar & Rooftop
Thebarton Theatre
Tenth & Gibson

QLD Band/Artist of the Year

DZ Deathrays
Violent Soho - WINNER!
Velociraptor
Dead Letter Circus
Ball Park Music

QLD VOICE OF THE YEAR

Jordan Rakei
Jeremy Neale (Velociraptor)
Thelma Plum
Kate Miller-Heidke - WINNER!
Hannah Shepherd (Airling)

QLD VENUE OF THE YEAR

Black Bear Lodge
Crowbar
The Brightside
The Tivoli - WINNER!
The Zoo

WA BAND/ARTIST OF THE YEAR

The Brow
The Love Junkies - WINNER!
Our Man in Berlin
POND
Timothy Nelson and the Infidels

WA VOICE OF THE YEAR

Timothy Nelson - WINNER!
Sophie Hopes (Tired Lion)
Abbe May
Felicity Groom
Haydn Mansell (Our Man in Berlin)

WA VENUE OF THE YEAR

The Bakery - WINNER!
Mojos
Amplifier/Capitol
The Ellington Jazz Club
Perth Arena