So after getting thoroughly sunburnt on the right hand side of my body during the red (err, black) carpet proceedings of the 26th ARIA Awards, us media were then shepherded into a bunker for the rest of the evening: the media room. In a bit of a comical scene, people ran for the electrical outlets (we’d been in the sun without electricity for hours, remember?) and one photographer, who rather stupidly set up and opened his laptop on the table where one of only three tvs in the room were sat, stepped down hard on my sandaled foot that I nearly shouted in pain.
But who gets back here in the media room? Certainly during my first time with such a privilege, I was not going to make a scene. I was going to enjoy it for what it was worth. If you were wondering what the tvs were for, they were to remind us that there was a delay in when the show would be broadcast on national Australian television. While two of them showed the live action, one at the start was showing the local network and only when we saw the show playing on actual tv were we allowed to Tweet or other social media the heck out of anyone who had won, once the embargo was lifted.
Like the Oscars, the media room for the ARIAs was kitted out with a media wall and a fake award for each of the winners pose with while countless photographers’ flashbulbs went off. (Just so you know, by my estimation an ARIA award must weigh at least 5 kilos, as when I tried holding the sample after most everyone had left the media room, it felt like I was holding an anvil.) As I’m not a photography nut, what was more interesting to me was what the winners had to say during their press conferences. They were welcomed to the stage by former triple j and current Radio National presenter Robbie Buck as they were sat along a pretty non-descript oblong table with a white tablecloth on the stage. While countless journalists had their backs to the stage, typing out on deadline pieces for their outlets, I could sit and listen to everything that was said.
The first exciting moment was when The Temper Trap won Best Rock Album for their second and self-titled album. It was news to me when our AU Review friends told they’re actually a much bigger deal outside Australia than they are *in* Australia. (Well, maybe this explains why they’ve all moved to London and in this interview in October, Toby and Jonny actually like being in London.) You can listen to most of the press conference below; the audio is slightly cut off at the beginning, but they were responding to Buck’s question of how it felt to receive an ARIA via video conferencing 2 years ago; for obvious reasons, they much preferred being in Sydney to accept their awards this time around.
As we’ve supported The Temper Trap ever since the first utterances of ‘Sweet Disposition’ began to make the rounds and had the pleasure of hosting them on our very own stage at this year’s Liverpool Sound City, it was a proud moment that TGTF could share in. This proud moment was made all the sweeter when it came time for the band to leave the stage and return to their seats in the Sydney Entertainment Centre. The eyes of guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto, who I first met in Boston 2 years ago, scanned the front row of journalists.
He stopped in front of me and gave me a puzzled look. “Mary, what are you doing here?” Having seen them play 8 times, 6 times outside of DC, I didn’t think it was any weirder to be seeing them in Sydney, so my reply was, “what do you think I’m doing here? I’m covering the ARIAs!” His initial shock wore off quickly, he grinned and then waved down the other guys. Suddenly I found myself in the middle of a massive Temper Trap band hug. I am one of those people that believe that things happen for a reason. What I have had trouble believing in lately: how life has a funny way of turning out just fine, even if it’s completely different from what your heart had hoped would happen and wanted. I went to Boston with a different intention; I had no idea 2 years later I would find myself in Australia, covering the famous ARIAs and toasting my prize-winning friends on their amazing awards. You can’t make this stuff up.
I hope I keep having opportunities to see the Temper Trap gig. They are genuinely nice chaps who have been appreciative of everything we’ve done for them. As I watched on one of the tvs just as they were playing ‘Trembling Hands’ for the thousands at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and the millions watching at home, I almost felt overwhelmed at what was enfolding right in front of me. I was so proud of them – and also proud for the role us here at TGTF have had in their path to stardom.
Stay tuned for part 2, to post tomorrow.