The ARIAs are the Australian equivalent of the BRITs - when all the great and good in the Australian music industry indulge in a night of backslapping and self-aggrandising. I watched the show principally because the legend that is Nick Cave got inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. But, unexpectedly, the highlight of the evening didn't involve the long-haired Grinderman. The organisers of the BRITs tend to throw a strange collaboration into the mix - remember Tom Jones and Robbie Williams, or Bjork and PJ Harvey, surely one of the more bizarre and well worth another look. Well the ARIAs chucked hippy John Butler and country singer Keith Urban together for a "jam". And it was surprisingly wonderful.
I reviewed the John Butler Trio's latest record, Grand National, a few months ago and it really is a bit of a stinker. He lived down to his reputation when he accepted the award of Best Independent Release and launched into the kind of left-wing agenda driven speech that even Michael Moore might have baulked at. Keith Urban, a bona fide country superstar here in Oz (as well as being the hubby of one Nicole Kidman), also received an award for Best Country Album. I refuse to listen to the record because of its name - Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing. Jeez...
So when they came together, I really didn't expect much. How was I to know that Urban was an incendiary guitar player and that Butler could put aside the politics and thrash out a great tune? It really is well worth a listen - make sure to hang around for the last couple of minutes.
2006 - Review of Neosupervital's debut album, written by Doctor Binokular. The famously compelling review, complete with pie charts that compare the angst of Neosupervital with the angst of the reviewer. As you do.