The Age and Music Victoria celebrated the 10th Anniversary of The Age Music Victoria Awards tonight with the induction of 10 Victorian music icons into the Hall of Fame at a star-studded concert presentation at the Palais Theatre.
The evening commenced with a VIP cocktail party where the first four Hall of Fame Awards were presented. The first Victorian icon to be officially inducted was the legendary Palais Theatre itself by a man who has graced its stage on too many occasions to count, Tex Perkins. Accepting the Award was Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, the Hon. Martin Foley MP, and the venue’s CEO, Neil Croker.
Bill Armstrong AM, of Melbourne’s historic Armstrong Studios, was welcomed into the Hall of Fame by his longtime friend, Normie Rowe, before radio personality Billy Pinnell took to the podium to induct the late Stan ‘The Man’ Rofe. Stan’s brother, Roy Rofe, accepted the Award on behalf of Stan and his extended family.
The final icon Award was presented to Sunbury Festival by Brian Cadd and accepted by its founder, John Fowler.
Prior to the commencement of the all-star concert, Uncle Jack Charles welcomed the audience to country before host, RocKwiz’ Brian Nankervis, introduced Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson and Vika Bull who tipped their hats to the Palais Theatre by performing The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter (The Rolling Stones played their first ever Victorian concert at the Palais Theatre in 1965).
With musical backing by The EG Allstars featuring Bill McDonald (musical director), James Black, Ash Naylor and Ben Weisner, the audience was treated to a tribute by Normie Rowe AM to Bill Armstrong AM with his 1965 hit, Shakin’ All Over. Mark Seymour was next onstage to honour Stan ‘The Man’ Rofe with his rendition of The Loved One, before Brian Cadd had the room singing along to his classic, Little Ray of Sunshine, in honour of the Sunbury Festival.
Next up was a trip down memory lane when The Thunderbirds were inducted into the Hall of Fame by their former lead singer, Marcie Jones, after Paul Williamson took to the stage to perform their 1961 hit, Wild Weekend, with The EG Allstars.
The Seekers were not able to attend tonight’s event due to their touring schedule and rehearsals for the upcoming theatre production of “Georgy Girl” and their old friend and 3AW roving reporter, David Mann OAM accepted the Award on their behalf. Melbourne’s own Kate Ceberano played musical tribute to the iconic four-piece with her version of I’ll Never Find Another You.
Unfortunately Olivia Newton-John AO OBE was able to attend due to her concert schedule and accepted the Award via video link. Ms Newton-John was inducted by her old friend, Barry Gibb, also via video after Angie Hart paid tribute by performing A Little More Love.
The next inductee to be honoured was Archie Roach AM, who this year also celebrated the 25th anniversary of his debut solo album, Charcoal Lane. Archie was joined onstage for a live performance of two of his most poignant songs - Took the Children Away and We Won’t Cry – by Paul Kelly and Craig Pilkington before he was welcomed into the Hall of Fame by his long time friend and fellow musician, actor and Aboriginal elder, Uncle Jack Charles.
The next artists to take the stage were Kingswood’s Fergus Linacre and Alex Laksa who, along with the one and only Vika Bull, tore up the stage and had the audience in awe with their performance of their AC/DC smash, Highway to Hell.
Angus Young from AC/DC said earlier this year that “Victoria has a special place in our hearts, especially the early years of the band” and that special place was reciprocated tonight when Music Victoria CEO, Patrick Donovan, inducted the band into the Hall of Fame. AC/DC are currently in Adelaide and were unable to attend the event and the award was accepted on their behalf by David Albert, Managing Director of Alberts.
The final induction of the night was made to “The Voice” of Australian music, John Farnham AO, by his longtime friend, Denis Handlin AM, Chairman & CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand & President, Asia.
John Farnham’s distinguished career spans for over 30 years and shows no signs of slowing down with yet another No. 1 ARIA Album this year (Two Strong Hearts with fellow inductee, Olivia Newton-John) and shows scheduled throughout November and December, including his final show at Qantas Credit Union Arena (formerly the Sydney Entertainment Centre) before the venue’s demolition.
John and his 9 piece band, complete with a cameo from two bagpipers, then took to the Palais Theatre stage for a 30-minute, hit-laden set featuring That’s Freedom, Pressure Down, You’re The Voice before returning to the stage for the epic encore of AC/DC’s anthem It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll).
Patrick Donovan, CEO of Music Victoria, said, “How amazing to have this incredible collection of Victorian music icons celebrated on one night in our most stunning live music venue. We look forward to adding further inductees in coming years, and eventually seeing a permanent bricks and mortar Victorian Music Hall of Fame established. We are proud to be able to continue celebrating our most famous music treasures.”
First introduced in 2006, The Age Music Victoria Awards (formerly The Age EG Awards) are the largest publicly voted music awards in Australia. Unlike the annual Awards which were announced on 11 November 2015, selection of The Age Music Victoria Awards 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame inductees was made by a voting panel including former inductees, musicians and music professionals, all of whom had their work cut out for them in selecting just ten inductees from Victoria’s long and illustrious musical heritage. Eligibility required inductees to have been Victorian residents when they made a significant contribution to Victoria culture.
$5.00 from every ticket sold was donated to the event’s charity partner, Support Act Limited, to help musicians in need.
A free, public exhibition of more than 50 items connected to the inductees is currently on display at Arts Centre Melbourne and includes costumes, rarely seen before photographs, posters, programmes and album covers. Highlights of the exhibition include one of Angus Young's early AC/DC schoolboy uniforms, Judith Durham’s stunning 1960s beaded performance gown and tambourine, Kylie Minogue’s red sequined Better The Devil You Know costume worn at the Palais Theatre and original recording equipment from Armstrong Studios.
The items on display are drawn from Arts Centre Melbourne’s extensive Performing Arts Collection and from the inductees themselves. A selection of images from the exhibition can be downloaded from www.dropbox.com/sh/6hn9muo7eg8ju0j/AAAENILsJKD8bvGjkehrLcDSa?dl=0
Full biographical material and pictures of all The Age Music Victoria 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame inductees can be downloaded from:
The Age Music Victoria 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame Concert
Friday 20 November 2015
Palais Theatre, St Kilda
Featured performances from John Farnham, Archie Roach, Paul Kelly, Normie Rowe, Brian Cadd,
Kate Ceberano, Mark Seymour, Phil Jamieson, Vika Bull, Angie Hart, Kingswood,
Paul Williamson and Craig Pilkington.
Arts Centre Melbourne presents
The Age Music Victoria Awards 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame Exhibition
31 October 2015 - 28 March 2016
St Kilda Road Foyer Gallery
Open daily until late