The 2014 Carlton Dry AIR Awards celebrated the wealth of independent talent Australia has on offer last night at North Melbourne’s Meat Market Art Space.

The ninth year delivered 14 awards, recognising some of Australia’s finest talent, including multiple award winners Violent Soho, international breakthrough artists Courtney Barnett and Sheppard, and first time nominee Remi, all taking out awards.

Check out our full gallery of the night here 

We went along for the ride, and came away with this:

1. Meg Mac performed the musical highlight of the night

Kicking off the night, Meg Mac made first use of the Meat Market art space with a performance of her widely applauded track ‘Every Lie’. In front of some of the industry’s biggest players, the songstress cemented why she is one of the most intriguing personalities through her soulful vocal ability and encompassing stage presence.


Meg Mac Performed ‘Every Lie’

2. Remi’s next 12 months are going to be massive

2014 has gone up another notch for Melbourne MC Remi and his production counterparts Sensible J and Dutch. On top of pocketing the AIR award for Best Independent Hip Hop Album (nudging out the likes of Allday, Thundamentals and Horrorshow), the rising talent walked away $50,000 richer thanks to the Carlton Dry Global Music Grant. The accolades capped off an action packed night for the MC, who concluded the event with a performance of the raw percussive single ‘Tyson’.


Remi Belted Out ‘Tyson’ To Conclude The Night

3. I Oh You are champions at sniffing out Aussie rock talent

As well as walking away with the prize for Best Independent Label, I Oh You had one of the best representations of any label on the night, with hard rock players Violent Soho walking away with two scalps (Best Independent Album & Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album), as well as other I Oh You acts including DMAs and DZ Deathrays featuring among other award nominations. Talked about trio DMAs proved why they’re one of the most sought after live acts in the country with their mid-event performance – a sample of what they’re taking around the country during their highly anticipated tour.


Violent Soho Made Two Trips To The Stage Last Night

4. Independent jazz and classical is alive and well in Australia

Paul Grabowsky Sextet, winner of Best Independent Jazz Album for his creation ‘The Bitter Suite’,  summed up his award category perfectly – “Every jazz musician in Australian is an independent artist”.

The award for Best Independent Classical Album was awarded to Gurrumul / Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the collaboartion ‘His Life And Music’ and truly showcased the diversity spread across Australia’s independent music scene.


Paul Grabowsky Sextet Took Out Best Independent Jazz Album For ‘The Bitter Suite’



Carlton Dry Global Music Grant Winner – Remi

Best Independent Artist – Courtney Barnett

Best Independent Album, presented by Rdio – Violent Soho – Hungry Ghost

Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year, presented by PPCA – Sheppard

Best Independent Single/EP, presented by Levi’s – Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener

Best Independent Label – I OH YOU

Best Independent Hip Hop Album – Remi – Raw x Infinity

Best Independent Country Album – Halfway – Any Old Love

Best Independent Blues And Roots Album – Dan Sultan – Blackbird

Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album – Violent Soho – Hungry Ghost

Best Independent Jazz Album – Paul Grabowsky Sextet – The Bitter Suite

Best Independent Dance/Electronica or Club Single – Peking Duk – High

Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album – RÜFÜS – Atlas

Best Independent Classical Album – Gurrumul / Sydney Symphony Orchestra – His Life And Music