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:: Spotlight :: 2006 Jack Awards

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Some of Australia’s biggest names in the music scene came out to celebrate at Star City Casino, which played host to the 3rd Annual Jack Awards recently. The Jack Awards celebrates the Australian Live Music industry thanks to Jack Daniels. The Living End walked away with 4 awards including Best Drummer, Best Male, and the coveted award Best Live Band. Bands such as The Vines, Ian Rilen from Rose Tattoo, Youth Group, The Hard Ons, Faker, Gerling & The Mess Hall were amongst many other industry stalwarts who were there to toast what makes the Australian Live Music scene so special.

Close to 1200 guests, members of the music and entertainment industry, gathered to witness who the Australian public voted as Australia’s finest for the past 12 months.

With over 120, 000 votes cast via the on-line voting site and SMS, it’s clear the Australian live music scene is crackling with passion, energy and innovation and continues to set world standards.

The All Star Jam treated audiences to a passionate Pete Wells Tribute performance. The super group included Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon) lead vocals, Brad Shepard (Hoodoo Gurus – replacing Tim Rogers) on Lead Guitar, Hamish Rosser (The Vines) on drums, Chris Cheney (The Living End) on guitar and the veteran Rose Tattoo bassist Ian Rilen. Belting out the Rose Tattoo classic ‘Bad Boy For Love’ Pete Wells partner and band mates were in the audience to witness this incredible moment in Aussie Rock and Roll.

Dubbed ‘The Living End’ awards, it’s clear they are the Australian public’s most popular band. Taking home the honour of Best Live Band up against Cut Copy, End of Fashion, Grinspoon, The Mess Hall and hot favourite Wolfmother.

Best Newcomer went to Faker (pictured) who performed on the night along side Van She, Rat Cat, The Hard-Ons and The Mess Hall.

Jack Daniels also announced the launch of exciting new project to link their two major involvements – the annual Jack Awards and sponsorship of the Jack Daniel’s Racing V8 Supercar Team. The series will consist of two heats, one in each of Sydney and Melbourne, in which invited bands and rock stars from around the country will battle each other in a no-holds-barred Karting competition. Watch this space!!!

The real stand out this year apart from the bands was the way the categories were introduced. Instead of throwing to an animation or quirky short film, in the spirit of the Australia’s only Live Music awards, each category was introduced through 20sec live theatre. This was an Australian first for an Awards show!

Best Guitarist – An abstracted Neon guitar was wheeled on stage and plugged into the wall by two guys from a Devo video. The neon’s fired up to a guitar solo and Mark Evans the original Guitarist from ACDC presented.

Best Bass – Rosso rode out onto stage on a three wheeled dragster push bike with a chrome bass woofer on the back.

Best Newcomer – Saw the the freakish looking surf/punk clut band Goons of Doom burst out of an egg!

Best Tour Art – Ultra violet light covers the stage and fluro feet and hands pasted up tour posters.

Best Drummer - Saw Lara Bingle strut down the centre of 10 smartly dressed drummers playing electronic drum pads.

Best Photographer – A huge projection of an eye blinks and stared at the crowd to audio that sounded like an old Duran Duran track.

Best Live Venue – Two guys that looked like they were straight out of a Kraftwerk wheeled on stage one of the hugest neon signs in Australia and Darren from Gerling presented.

Best TV Appearance – Huge plasma screens come from side of stage and down from the ceiling to form Jabbas head. Jabba interacted live with the crowd while announcing the award.

Best Male – 100s of balloons rain from the ceiling carrying female Bonds underwear.

Best Female – A two meter high cocktail glass reveals out of the stage floor with a burlesque girl swishy around inside it dressed in red leather.

Best Live Band - Three technologic workers appeared on stage with a huge conveyer belt where they loaded boxes spelling out the category name.

The after party was at an Italian restaurant on the casino piazza that felt like a Hollywood hills party from less than zero. The main features were a giant white unicorn and Greco Roman statuettes all wrapped in neon snake lights. No one stopped celebrating despite the rain!

THE LIST OF WINNERS:
Best Band – The Living End – presented by Mark Evans – former Bass guitarist of AC/DC
Best Male – Chris Cheney – The Living End presented by Yumi Channel [V]
Best Female – Sarah Blasko - presented by Kim Moyes – The Presets
Best Lead Guitar – Pat Davern (Grinspoon) presented by Ian Moss - Cold Chisel
Best Bass Guitar – Chris Ross - Wolfmother presented by Rosso (Merrick and Rosso)
Best Drummer – Andy Strachan – The Living End presented by Lara Bingle
Best Newcomer - Faker presented by The Goons of Doom
Best Tour Art – James Bellisini for Grinspoon presented by Ken West (Big Day Out)
Best Rock Photographer – Tony Mott (won last year) presented by Kathy McCabe
Best Live TV Appearance –The Living End, Channel [V] bus Melbourne presented by Jabba

Best Venues - State by State
NSW – The Annandale
QLD – The Zoo
VIC – The Corner Hotel
SA – The Barton Theatre
ACT – The Green Room
WA – Amplifier Bar

Gentleman Jack Award – Michael Chugg presented by Jabba

The Jack Awards will return in 2007.