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Local Talent Recognised at Scottish Awards


beetlejuice
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Last night I headed down to the Scottish New Music Awards in Glasgow. The ceremony itself was a bit of a shambles, and some of the nominees a bit odd (I have to admit that there were quite a few bands and singers I'd never heard of). However there were something like 14 Aberdeen nominations for the Industry categories, and three for the Music ones, and it was a bit of a laugh.

With around 20 nominations across almost as many categories, you'd think Aberdeen would be quite well represented but (perhaps obviously) the central belt seemed to rule the night. Only one man from the Granite City scooped an award, and that was Iain Macpherson of Bedford Records who has been crowned Producer of the Year. A well deserved win for Iain, I think, as his work always sounds superb.

I think it should also be said that everyone who was nominated deserves a big well done, and I'd like to thank anyone who nominated/voted for Hercules Moments or my ASR show Mixtape.

I know a good chunk of The Lorelei were there, as well as Iain and Steven Milne. Was anyone else from Aberdeen down? What did you guys think of the ceremony/winners?

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how were the nominees decided? not to take anything away from those who were nominated but it struck me a bit like they were just picked after a short afternoon on google looking for people that might fit the category. was it generally an exercise in selling tickets to the awards ceremony rather than nominating with a critical ear?

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Total embarrassment by all accounts. It appears that some time ago there was a website set up and nominations were invited for the many many categories. Some of these noms were then shortlisted somehow for the awards. (There was a post put up on this site ages ago looking for nominations but I don't think anyone paid it any attention.) I'm still not sure who the organisation was behind it, but I suspect it's some kind of promotions company. The Lorelei were somehow nominated, we still don't know by whom.

Looking at the final list of nominations which were selected for the awards ceremony it's a bizarre mix of pretty much all unknowns (ourselves included) - I get the distinct impression that the final lists were made up of anyone they could possibly get from the nominations sent in. So as we were selected for two categories, we got a pile of free invites to the ceremony, and some of the band decided to go for the hell of it and see what happened. I wasn't there but listened to it on Celtic FM. From what they saw, and what I heard, the ceremony itself was indeed a total shambles, the host was some dodgy camp club singer type (apparently he was on Britain's Got Talent once) who did some terrible covers, and the whole thing made Mick Fleetwood and Sam Fox look like consummate professionals. The results were just bizarre, - 'Artist of the Year'...Sandi Thom?? 'Cover/Function band of the Year'... A Michael Buble tribute act?

It just all smacked of some Glasgow music industry twats organising a night out to slap themselves on the back and get pissed. Nothing to do with 'Scottish New Music' at all.

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Our singer's fiance plays in a band from Dundee and they were nominated for the best rock band or some nonsense. Came back from the awards laughing at how much of an absolute farce it really was. Frosty exactly right, was basically a load of Glasgow 'judges' giving Glasgow 'acts' the 'awards' and turning it into a self congratulatory piss up - absolutely nothing to do with Scottish New Music whatsoever. Apparently the best punk band was actually a 2-Tone ska band who were as bewildered as everyone else that they won. Was all an utter nonsense by all accounts!

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Having spoken to a few people before/after the event, I have gathered the following info which may answer some of your questions...

Nominations

For the industry awards, they invited people to email in their submissions. For the music awards, they initially asked people to fill in a convoluted form, send in CDs and PAY for the privilege of nominating their favourite band(/themselves). They payment part was quickly revoked when no-one nominated anyone. Of all the bands nominated, I've barely heard of any of them - a couple were decent bands who deserve recognition (in my opinion The Lorelei's album is superb, as is Steven Milne's and Meursault's) - however the rest was a bizarre mix of unknowns. Not sure who nominated, but it certainly wasn't the cream of Scotland's musical crop.

(For the record, I received an email asking for nominations for the music awards (either self-released or on independent labels), as they weren't having much luck from the punters at that point. I nominated at least 20 Scottish bands - including Pensioner, Indian Red Lopez, Meursault, Sucioperro, Copy Haho amongst others - and only the 3 made it into the final shortlists. In all honesty, those three were pretty much the only ones I'd ever actually heard of.)

Voting

As for the voting, the industry awards were voted for with an online poll-type thingy. For this, you had to choose someone in each industry category - there were over 20. So instead of just being able to go on and vote for the person you wanted to vote for, you had to go through arbitrarily selecting people you'd never heard of in categories you couldn't care less about. I queried the organisers about the fairness of this system, but was met with a less than satisfactory response.

The music awards were listened to by a panel of judges. Someone I know was invited to be a part of the panel, and said it was rather messy - some of the voters were very self-important. Say a category had 5 nominees: apparently the panel were played five tracks, not told who they were, and had to pick one to win. Bizarre to say the least.

The Ceremony

Was a bit of a shambles to be honest. Things didn't work, most of the winners weren't there, and the whole thing just dragged and dragged. The Pop Cop article mentioned above pretty acurately describes it, and there's another good bit on Radar (http://radar.scotsman.com/viewpost.aspx?id=513). Details changed without being publicised, too, which caused a major amount of confusion.

HOWEVER, as much as we joke, jest, complain and generally bitch about the event, there are a couple of important things to note:

  • Even if it was a bit of a shambles, and even if Aberdeen didn't win much, it was nice to see a fair few people north of the Central Belt actually nominated.
  • The nominations were not only given by 'music industry professionals' but also by the general public, so it's nice to see Aberdeen folk being recognised for the hard work they do - admittedly not in the music awards, but the industry awards seemed to have an OK grasp of Scottish music behind the scenes.

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  • 4 months later...

Well I was "nominated" for this as well and if I hadn't been with mates watching the Scotland games at the time I probably would have gone down. No, it doesn't seem like it was all that professional, and no, it doesn't look like a massive number of people have piled man hours into getting it together, but it does seem like a genuine attempt to promote new Scottish music to a wider audience. Whether or not they were successful is up to your point of view.

HOWEVER. While I do commend their efforts (and by the looks of it it was only a couple of people behind it all), the response to the "onslaught of scathing comments from the blogosphere" is so childish and immature it makes the hair on my neck stand on end. This part, especially, made me feel especially irritated: "I, above all else, believe that each and everyone is entitled to their own opinion..." Then why do you slate them in a huge long blogpost? Make up your mind, mate.

Genuinely think this was a really good idea, just needed a little more work on the execution on a number of accounts. Bruce of SNMA, I'm aware you're likely to read this, so, genuinely, hats off to you, but maybe get a bigger team of people working on a project of this scale next time.

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I think its a stupid idea, especially at this level. Music awards?! Nah mate, cheers. Is this so someone can become "the next big thing" and have their 15 minute fame? That's about as far as any music career goes in this day and age if someone wants it as a career, anyway. I can hardly talk though, I once stole Son Henry's best of the rest award.

I mean, good luck to the man and all, I don't want to upset anyone.

Cool story Moose.

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I think its a stupid idea, especially at this level. Music awards?! Nah mate, cheers.

Agreed. Also if you're going to have an awards ceremony where you give nods to genuinely good, well-respected bands like Meursault, The Little Kicks, The Lorelei etc who have actually made PROPER albums, don't cheapen the entire thing by having an award for the best tribute/cover act. Imagine that at the Mercury Prize. "Well that's the album of the year, well done PJ Harvey, now onto the Matthew Kelly award for best Tribute Act".

Saying that, was there a free bar? Because if nobody had to pay to enter and the nominated acts got to go free AND there was a free bar, then it wouldn't be a bad night out. I'd almost certainly go.

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