A love note to Melbourne Music: How the Age Music Victoria Awards affirms strength in community

Once again, Melbourne has hurtled through its famed Melbourne Music Week, seeing even more music injected into the already thriving music scene. The Age Music Victoria Awards are an integral part of the festivities, celebrating and showcasing that Victoria really is Australia’s music capital.

The awards were co-presented this year by community radio favourites Chris Gill (Triple R 102.7FM) and Lyndelle Wilkinson (PBS 106.7FM) – a salute to the immense influence of community radio in Victoria.

A.B. Original and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard dominated the awards, collectively taking out Best Live Band, Best Song and Best Band (King Gizzard) and Best Album, Best Hip-Hop Album and Best Aboriginal Act. With such a high calibre of musical talent across the state, the awards are no easy feat for the voters and judges – favourites by the likes of Tash Sultana, Clowns, Peep Tempel and Cable Ties went home empty handed. Victoria – you’re just too darn talented.

As the awards wound down, the punters filled 170 Russell, as some of the best and brightest in Victorian music took to the stage. In line with Victorian Music Award tradition, the EG Allstars Band performed some of the best tracks of the past year, alternating artists fronting the act – including Josh Teskey (The Teskey Brothers), Archie Roach, Gretta Ray and Mojo Juju.

Local legends Cable Ties kept things running, flawlessly delivering their unstoppable on-stage energy and relentlessly ferocious riffs. Nearly a year ago, the trio dominated The ‘Sup at Meredith Music Festival – seeing them live leaves no doubt that they will be going back. Gold Class made an appearance as well, their sombre post-punk remaining to be one of the most captivating and unique sounds in Victorian music. Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda rounded the evening out, turning the entire venue into a dancefloor. Only a violin, synth, drums and a sample pad, they were mesmerising – there’s no wonder why they’re fresh from an appearance at Glastonbury.

While there were definitely more than a few sore heads the next day, the awards were overwhelmingly affirming. I can’t wait to see what’s happening at the Awards next year – Victorian music isn’t just good, it’s the best.

Photo by Martin Philbey Photography.