Liverpool Post music columnist Jamie Bowman on why Liverpool deserves the GIT Award.
There are many reasons why February is the most depressing month. Valentines Day and the inevitable cold snap are two, but surely the main reason to hide under the covers until March is the annual music industry smug-fest that is the BRIT Awards.
This year the BRITS looks like a being a battle between the all conquering Adele, whose 21 appears to have become as ubiquitous as the common cold, and ginger haired urban guitar strummer Ed Sheeran, whose collaborations with grime artists will surely get the ever credible hungry judges hot under the collar.
Last year’s ceremony was hailed as a reinvention for the much maligned evening as less mainstream talents such as Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons and Arcade Fire received awards much to the presumed bemusement of red carpet interviewer Peter Andre and the majority of the watching ITV audience.
Yet, for all these nods to authenticity, we still had to endure James Corden, Justin Bieber and the bizarre sight of Boris Becker presenting a gong. And there lies the problem with the BRITS in a nutshell – as hard as it tries it will never, ever be cool.
For me early memories of the BRITS are a strange mixture of Jonathan King and Annie Lennox.
Then there was the infamous year when the awards were hosted by Mick Fleetwood and Sam Fox (honestly I’m not making this up) in a display of presenting incompetence which made Ferne Cotton look like Richard Dimbleby.
In 1992, the KLF made a brave attempt to humiliate the organisers after a bizarre performance involving machine guns, death metal and a dead sheep, but the ceremony still seemed determined to slap the back of Phil Collins and Rod Stewart whilst handing out Best Newcomer awards to Beverley Craven and Tasmin Archer.
The mid-90s saw a brief rise in fortunes as the dominance of Blur in 1995, Oasis in 1996 and Jarvis Cocker‘s heroic protest against Michael Jackson, struck a blow for Britpop, but ever since the turn of the century the likes of Ms Cotton, The Chris Martin Band and Joss Stone have all returned the BRITS to its rightful place as a corporate embarrassment.
Thank goodness then that not all music ceremonies are cursed with a similar cringe factor.
This April will see the inaugural Getintothis Award, a new prize designed to judge the finest recordings to be released on Merseyside within the last calendar year.
It is a great idea and surely few cities deserve their own music awards more than Liverpool. One of the key factors which prevents me thinking this could be a BRITS-style embarrassment is the people involved.
Organiser and Liverpool Post & ECHO music blogger Peter Guy is a safe pair of hands and he deserves a lot of credit in bringing together a judging panel which includes EVOL promoter Steve Miller, Guardian journalist Alexandra Topping and John Doran, editor of one of my favourite music websites, The Quietus.
Guy has also stated that there is no restriction on what type of music could win. Unlike the BRITS there will be no toe curling attempts at defining terms like “urban”, “rock” and “dance”. Instead the awards will simply reward what they believe are the best new sounds in the city. Surely this is the way forward.
With music becoming more and more DIY there is no reason why some of the most exciting noises being made in the UK shouldn’t be being made way outside the cosy confines of the mainstream music industry.
Hopefully the GIT Award will help bring it to the fore before James Corden comes along and spoils it all.
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