Molly backs new Countdown-style TV show
Exclusive: Homegrown live music will make its long-awaited return to prime-time free-to-air television with new show The Sound following in the footsteps of the Sunday night institution of Countdown.
The passion project of Australian music impresario Michael Gudinski will premiere on Sunday at 5.30pm, with performances by Kiwi global sensation Benee, iconic legends Nick Cave and Mark Seymour and festival faves DMA's and Lime Cordiale, who are in a chart battle this week with their new records.
Gudinski's Mushroom Vision has bankrolled the ambitious show and licensed it to the ABC.
Despite Australian television networks habitually insisting music TV doesn't rate, Gudinski proved them wrong with his Music From The Home Front show on Anzac Day which peaked at 1.4 million viewers, a huge audience for a Saturday night.
The explosion of online gigs during the pandemic shutdown, including Gudinski's State of Music series which attracted more than two million views, has also confirmed the voracious appetite of music fans for live performance.
And Gudinski believes The Sound will prove a hit in getting families back together on the couch for "appointment" viewing which will showcase artists from all ages and genres.
"This has been long overdue in Australia. It is vital we get artists of all ages the opportunity to play their new songs instead of covers or a minute-long snippet of old hits," he said.
"Music From The Home Front showed the value of music to people and there has been such frustration in the Australian music industry that apart from breakfast television and the odd appearance of Q & A, there's nowhere for them to play on TV."
Countdown guru Molly Meldrum who hosted the long-running music show from 1974 to 1987 is also a cheerleader for The Sound.
"This is a fantastic idea, I love that The Sound is getting the Countdown timeslot … It's going to continue that history Countdown had of supporting Australian talent, which is something I've always been passionate about," Meldrum said.
Mark Seymour, who released his acclaimed new record Slow Dawn with his band The Undertow in May, has been an outspoken critic of the lack of support for Australian music from commercial radio and television networks.
"At last! A new music show on national tele. Long have we waited for this. It will be a game changer and a much-needed platform to get Australian music back into homes across the
country once again," Seymour said.
The Sound will be hosted by Jane Gazzo, who helmed the edgy Saturday morning music show Recovery in the late 1990s.
She will be joined by a special guest co-host each week, with legendary actor Bryan Brown interviewing Lime Cordiale for the first episode; he starred in one of their early music videos filmed by his daughter Matilda.
The first episode will also feature Eskimo Joe performing their comeback single Say Something, Kate Ceberano, Steve Kilbey and Sean Sennett serving up a slice of their recently released collaboration The Dangerous Age and the regular Introducing segment will showcase rising artist Jerome Farah's politically-charged debut single I Can't Breathe.
Nick Cave has offered The Sound the world premiere of a song from his much-anticipated solo concert IDIOT PRAYER: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Place which will stream globally on July 23.
And in a coup for the first-ever From The Vault segment, Midnight Oil has given permission for The Sound to air US Forces from their historic Oils on the Water concert on Sydney's Goat Island in 1985. The Oils famously boycotted Countdown because the show requested artists mimed their performance and the band refused to do so.
All of the new performances on The Sound each week will be filmed live with full production in theatres and studios under COVID-19 restrictions.
Originally published as Molly backs new Countdown-style TV show