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Double Wins for Courtney Barnett and Dan Sultan at The Age Music Victoria Awards

Dan Sultan took a critical risk in changing the creative team around him before making the Blackbird album in Nashville. The decision was vindicated yet again last night.  The acclaimed chart topping Blackbird was named Best Album at The Age Music Victoria Awards while he also went home with the Best Male Artist trophy.

Courtney Barnett woke up in Germany, where she is touring, to find that back in her hometown Melbourne, she’d won two awards. The 26-year-old took Best Female Artist while Avant Gardener was honoured as Best Song.
 
Over 74,000 votes were lodged online, organisers said, with a firepower winner’s list which showed off the diversity of Victoria’s music. The show, at the 170 Russell club in the city, was a sell-out.
 
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard won Best Band over Wagons, Client Liaison, Teeth & Tounge and Total Control.
 
Hip hop performer Remi was at Berlin airport when he got the news that his fast rise in 2014 saw him trump Best Emerging Artist.
 
Other winners were Saskwatch (Best Live Band), Cosmic Psychos (Best Regional Act), Meredith Music Festival (Best Festival), the Corner Hotel in Richmond (Best Venue) and Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine (Best Regional Venue).
 
Daddy Cool blew the place apart with an impeccable set after they were inducted into the Hall of Fame. On the weekend, at Face The Music, Daddy Cool had done a Q&A where they recalled the magic effect that Eagle Rock had internationally when it was released in the early ‘70s. No less than US producer Kim Fowley met them at Los Angeles airport in a wheelchair, touched Ross Wilson and jumped up again, hamming, “I can walk again!”
 
The song still has that mesmerizing effect as Ross Hannaford pulled out the first notes and Wilson called out “Now listen!” They played as an expanded six piece, with the EG Allstars’ James Black on keyboards and Peter Luscombe as second drummer joining bassist Wayne Duncan and drummer Gary Young. The set was a mix of stage faves, hits and rarities, including ‘Cherry Pie’, ‘Come Back Again’, ‘Hi Honey Ho’, ‘Donna Forgive Me’ and ‘Daddy Cool’.
 
Wilson said, “Daddy Cool first met, played, recorded and worked together in Melbourne and since those early days we've been inducted into the industry hall of fame in Australia.  As ‘hometown heroes,’ The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame means that little bit more because it's a cultural award, not a commercial one."
 
Russell Morris inducted the famed music journalist and author Ed Nimmervoll into the Hall of Fame (calling him “one of the nicest guys in the business”) before performing Black Dog Blues and The Real Thing, the latter given a guitar freak-out finale by Ashley Naylor.  Davey Lane fronted the EG Allstars for a tribute to the late Masters Apprentices singer Jim Keays with Living In a Child's Dream, Turn Up Your Radio and the singalong Because I Love You for which Glenn Wheatley appeared to do bass duties.
 
A host of singers as Jess Cornelius’ of Teeth & Tongue, Stonefield and Henry Wagons paid tribute to Melbourne’s music history, with The Loved Ones' ‘Everlovin' Man’ and Madder Lake's ‘12lb Toothbrush’. Cornelius particularly impressed with ‘Dear Prudence’, written by The Beatles and a hit n Australia for Doug Parkinson In Focus. Dan Sultan thrilled the crowd with an unannounced performance of ‘Same Man’ with the EG Allstar Band
 
The Age Music Victoria Awards studio partner Bakehouse will donate studio rehearsal prizes to all artists nominated, with winners also receiving recording time. All winners and their band also receive customised Crumpler tour bags.

For more industry news visit Christie Eliezer's Industrial Strength column.