Did you catch the results of Q Magazine’s music awards for 2007? I caught them in the Indie earlier this week. These days I don’t often get excited enough to write about music stuff on the blog but these awards really captured my eye. It wasn’t the winners to be honest – some of them were fairly easy to forecast; Amy Winehouse for best Album (B2B), The Arctic Monkeys for best band in the world today(!), the Muse for best live act – not the Kaisers? No they got the best video award as an excuse to get them up on stage. No it was the categories that amused me, for example Kate Nash won the award for breakthrough act whilst The Enemy won best new act. Is the difference the best new artist/band? If so why not say that? There were a few more contemporary awards but I can’t remember the winners to be honest.
But I really enjoyed the ‘nostalgic’ awards categories the best. It must have had something to do with this being the 21st anniversary of the awards. I think they were searching for categories for everyone who’s been successful in those 21 years. So we had an Icon award for Sir Paul McCartney, whilst Kylie won an Idol award. Eh? There was a Hero award for Tony Wilson (presumably that’s the late great gong), an Inspiration award for Damian Albarn (a hero but still living?), Lifetime Achievement (a hero for putting up with Morrissey for all that time?) for Johnny Marr, a Merit award for Ryan Adams (for heroically nailing Linsay Lohan? – nah that’s not an exclusive club) and a Legend award (for ingesting heroic quantities of ‘relaxants’?) for Ian Brown. Still with me? There’s more; they even had awards for classic songwriter (Billy Bragg), classic album (the Verve) and classic song (the Stereophonics). Well that’s just about everybody covered apart from Status Quo.
Sorry fellas, maybe next year when they introduce the iconic, legendary, classic chord award.
ps Whilst I’m on the subject of music, it was interesting to hear that Radiohead’s new album is on sale online, with fans invited to name their own price for the download. Simultaneously Madonna’s severed her long-term relationship with Warner Music to sign up with with a live music promoter. Prince has been offering his latest album free in the Daily Mail as he does his 20+ stint of concerts at the O2. Looks like the artists see that there’s more money to be made from live performances and merchandising rather than record sales these days, something the Stones have realised for years. Of course it’s v noble of these mega-stars to give their music away with £200m in the bank but the download, digital revolution and rise of social networking/youtube type videosites is allowing acts to breakthrough without major label interference. It’s not quite the end for the big record companies of course, they still have influence and /or ownership of huge back catalogues, but it is nice to see them squirming after stiffing us for years with CDs costing £15. My grandson is still amused when I tell him that the metallic piece of kit next to the telly is something to play music on – just music. And that those 200 little plastic cases standing behind them is my music collection, compared with that little nano thing his mum has.