After more than six years in the business, the head of Australian tour company Heathen Skulls is shutting up shop.

The new arrives via an announcement from Heathen Skulls’ Robert MacManus that the Australian tour of US thrash metal band Toxic Holocaust has been cancelled, axing a rescheduled visit from the band after an earlier tour alongside Skeletonwitch was scrapped. A new tour Iron Reagan was rescheduled for this November, but is now also shelved.

It’s with a certain level of regret and an equal amount of relief that I must announce the cancellation of the Toxic Holocaust and Iron Reagan Australian and New Zealand tour this November,” writes MacManus in a statement.

“Over the last 12 months, since signing onto to this tour, my financial situation has changed dramatically, the touring industry in Australia has become a lot more competitive and over saturated, because of such things, I’ve decided to pull back from touring as the risks involved are just too steep. At this point in time due to other pressing commitments, I no longer have the time or the financial resources to meet the demands of touring or to keep Heathen Skulls sustainable.”

MacManus says he has been in contact with other promoters in an attempt to “take over the tour so that it could still continue” but couldn’t make it in time for the scheduled November dates. However, “the tour is still on the cards for early next year, but it is now in the hands of another promoter and the bands themselves,” MacManus explains. Refunds for all shows are available at point of purchase.

Heathen Skulls have presented tours from NZ’s Beast Wars, Germany’s Kadavar, Swedens’ Blue Pills, US’s Earthless and Kylesa in the last year.

This Week’s New Tracks On Triple J

Hopium – Dreamers {Ft. Phoebe Lou} []
Cold War Kids – All This Could Be Yours [Downtown/Create/Control]
Daniel Lee Kendall – Under A Spell [Create/Control]
The Kooks – Forgive And Forget [Virgin/EMI]
Little May – Dust [Dew Process]
SBTRKT – New Dorp, New York {Ft. Ezra Koenig} [Young Turks/Remote Control]
Rolls Bayce – Don’t Get Me Wrong [Independent]
Yelle – Bouquet Final

Captives – Insomnia []
Courtney Barnett – Pickles From The Jar [Milk Records]
Kito & Reija Lee – Word$ {Ft. Zebra Katz} [Sony]
Odesza – Memories That You Call {Ft. Monsoonsiren} [Inertia]
Priory – Weekend [Warner]

Industry News

Boomerang Festival Forced To Swing Back In 2015 Due To Funding Cuts
Despite assurances that it would return again this October after its inaugural edition in 2013, the organisers of Indigenous arts and music festival, Boomerang, have announced that it is becoming a biennial event as a result of recent funding cuts to the arts and Indigenous industries in the latest Federal Budget. Boomerang Festival 2015 will take place on the 3rd – 5th October as organisers currently seek partners and supporters to ensure it’s return.

Festival Director Rhonda Roberts said in a statement: “While we are saddened the 2014 event is not taking place, by making our event biennial allows us to nurture and strategically look at the marketplace and seek financial support that will enable us to deliver an extraordinary event  and meet even the most discerning festival-goers’ expectations.” Last year’s Boomerang Festival drew 5,000 patrons to Bluesfest’s award-winning Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, while promoter Peter Noble personally financed the event; “an extraordinary moment of true reconciliation at work,” says Roberts. (via Boomerang Festival)

Aussies Up For International Awards
Singer-songwriter, activist, and roots music hero Ash Grunwald has been nominated as the ‘Best International’ act at the LA Music Critic Awards, the nod arriving following a national American tour with fellow Aussie Xavier Rudd. The LA Music Critic Awards winners will be announced 1st August. Meanwhile, Mullumbiby-born, LA-based rapper Iggy Azalea has landed seven nominations at the 2014 VMA’s (MTV’s Music Video Awards) as she excitingly tweeted. She’s up for categories including ‘Video of the Year’, ‘Best Female’, and ‘Best Pop’ for her breakout Charli XCX-featuring single ‘Fancy’.

New Aussie Labels Launch
Two new Australian-based record labels have entered the market. The first is Poison Thorn Records, aimed at singing alt-rock and metal bands; it’s the new venture of Possum Records founder Phil Israel alongside label manager Amber Ferguson. Poison Thorn will be distributed by Universal. The second is Fuze Records, the new dance and house music label from Sony Music Australia EDM Director and Konkrete Agency boss Jon Hanlon and the DJ/producer he manages: Maarcos. Their first release is Maarcos’ new single ‘Pyro’.

Bose Launches $20k Creative Development Grant 
Audio manufacturers Bose have launched a new $20,000 creative development grant, looking to reward creative talent across all mediums through an online campaign. The Bose Creative Development Fund is now open nationally, encouraging creatives to upload entries to Brand ambassador Guy Sebastian and DJ/producer Tigerlily are tasked with helping Bose Australia select the final winner of the $20k grant. (via The Music Network)

Artist Signings

Create/Control Signs Daniel Lee Kendall
Central Coast songsmith Daniel Lee Kendall has become the latest addition to the Create/Control family for the release of his much delayed debut album Daniel Lee Kendall Is Dead, set for release on 12th September. The first single from the album is ‘Under A Spell‘, which has already been playlisted by Triple J.

Little Sea Become First Signing Of Careless Management
West Sydney pop-rock breakouts Little Sea have become the first signing of Careless Management, the new venture by Australian manager Luke Girgis and Matt Cannings. The band have already sold out an Australian east coast tour for this July and August and pre-orders of their debut EP, Wake The Sun, has already seen them charting in iTunes Australia’s Top 20 ahead of its Friday 25th of August release.

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