The GIT Award 2015 – Artists, bands and industry heads pick their winner ahead of Kazimier show


Artists, bands and industry heads make their picks. 

With the big announcement just a day away, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke and Paul Higham ask Liverpool’s brightest and best to weigh up their favourites among this year’s GIT Award nominees.

We’ve had the shortlist in our grubby mitts since February, but as this year’s ceremony creeps ever closer, it feels as though we’re still no nearer to separating the twelve contenders for this year’s coveted GIT Award.

It’s arguably the strongest showing the award’s ever seen, just look at the potential our One to Watch winner Louis Berry is showing for a start, yet with all our city burgeoning and blooming when it comes to the arts, it’s had the unfortunate downside of making our annual fanatical placing of theoretical bets completely damn impossible.

Whether chief GIT Peter Guy and his panel of mystic musos will plump for D R O H N E‘s electro swarms or the sultry soul of Roxanne Jones, the sumptuous psychedelia of Jane Weaver or anything inbetween remains as yet unknown to us, and to be honest we’re struggling to decide ourselves.

It’s a tricky one, but thankfully we’re not alone. To help us find some sort of clarity we decided to throw the question out to the bulk of Merseyside’s writers, musicians and industry big cheeses to see who they think’s worthy of this year’s gong.

Tomas Adam: Getintothis photographer

I think Circa Waves should win this year’s GIT Award – they are the most recognizable Liverpool band in the world and Europe right now.

Chris Burgess: Getintothis writer and Singles Club editor

This year’s award has a massively talented shortlist – it’s almost impossible to pick a clear winner.
The ones that stand out for me personally are D R O H N E, Circa Waves, Gulf and Lapsley. All very different artists with very different takes on music. I think Circa Waves just edge it, personally, although a win for any of them would be entirely appropriate.
I also hope the Inspiration Award goes to that busker with the cardboard guitar.

Chris Carney: Threshold Festival organiser

I’d like like to back Xam Volo. After having the pleasure of hosting him at Threshold Festival and seeing him climb the ranks of the LIMF Academy, I think it would be great to see someone young, hot off the press and doing such mature and textured music take the prize. Not only would it be well deserved but also a great encouragement to the up and coming of the scene. 

Patrick Clarke: Getintothis new music editor

I’m torn between all the nominees this year, all of them are fantastic but on my personal tastes alone it’s got to be We Are Catchers, impeccable production and the kind of forward thinking yet retro aesthetic that I’ve always really loved. I’ve also got a real soft spot for Hooton Tennis Club, they bring their A game to every live show and are always really infectious. Xam Volo is fantastic too; I don’t think I’ve met anyone in Liverpool more committed to their music, and his live set at Threshold Festival last weekend was probably my highlight of the whole event.

Adele Emmas: Bird

There’s a lot of great nominees for the GIT awards this year which just goes to show how much brilliant music is coming out of the city at the moment. It’s hard to say who I think will win but I’d love to see All We Are get the award as they’ve worked really hard over the past few years and it’s been great to see their progression. Their new album’s great too and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do next.

Paul Fleming: Baltic Fleet (former GIT Award winner)

The nominees demonstrate again the quality and depth of the scene with some genuine innovators on the list too. There’s a lot of success stories and acts on great labels in there. I’ve got a lot of respect for all the acts, I love Lapsley‘s tone and production, it’s sort of timeless. It’s hard to pick one act though and everyone’s at a different stage. Amazing quality and success throughout.

Nicholas Glover: Loved Ones

There’s such a wide variety of genres between the acts. There’s some that I haven’t heard yet, so I’m looking forward to seeing them all live at the awards show. I hope people shut up and listen.The Sundowners are partly West Kirbyites, so I’m backing them to win and keep up the strong West Kirby / Hoylake performance at the GITs over the years. Lapsley’s production on record is fantastic. It will be really interesting to see how it transmits live. Circa Waves look like they’re doing to be the big breakout success this year. Based on the strength of output so far, All We Are should probably win.

Alistair Groves: The Motor Museum

It’s impossible to pick one tip – this year I’m a genuine fan of all of the nominees.  Lapsley, Circa Waves and All We Are are obviously set for big things, but Xam Volo and Roxanne Jones are hugely exciting prospects and could be the new breed of whats to come!

Paul Higham: Getintothis writer

Such is the strength of the field any of the nominees could credibly and deservedly walk away with the prize. Some are more well known than others and have justifiably been lauded in these pages and beyond. Hooton Tennis Club have come on leaps and bounds: from handing out free CDs at last year’s Sound City to touting a freshly pressed new single on Heavenly Records while confidently supporting Sleaford Mods last month. It’s been quite a year.

All We Are have translated their promise into tangible success with a mighty debut album on Double Six. Jane Weaver emerged as the success story of 2014, with a striking masterpiece of an LP that topped the year-end polls. Circa Waves defied convention by going straight in to headlining slots proving themselves to be a thrilling live band. Xam Volo and Roxanne Jones have also proved that Liverpool is much more than boys (and girls) with guitars. Both are testament to the melting pot of talent and sheer diversity of the sounds on offer in our fair city.
As you might have guessed, I’m struggling to pin down a favourite, but there are two that stand out for me.
D R O H N E feel quite unique in what they do and they are as unpredictable as they are elusive. Heavy yet ambient, their blend of electronica is dark, murky and never short of thrilling.
The mercurial and enigmatic Esa Shields would command my other vote. A rare talent that might have permanently fallen by the wayside, a result of not playing the relentless self-promotion game. Idiosyncratic, complex and intriguing, his songs brim with ideas and adventure. Beautiful yet dark. He would make a worthy winner, of that I’ve no doubt.
Andrew Hunt: Outfit
Esa Shields for being a patient, fearless individual and truly enigmatic artist.
Chris Bye: Music Manager, Arts Council England
Well, it’s a veritable humdinger this year and certainly the most diverse selection the awards have seen. Probably the toughest batch yet in terms of making a call. All We Are and Lapsley are obvious choices, having both notched up recent triumphs. Hooton Tennis Club could also be an easy shoe-in given the success clearly coming their way but quick. Two acts I think would be interesting to see win would be D R O H N E or Gulf, both of whom have already produced quality work and to me, represent genuine potential. But here you are twisting my arm and if forced to make a decision then I’d have to go for Jane Weaver. No disrespect to the other names on the ticket, awesome indeed as they are, but for me she stands apart as something pretty darn special. Not so much acid-drenched as stood shin-deep in folky waters with hands raised to space and the esoteric, tentacled beings that reside therein. Critically revered and deservedly so. I dig her. 
But whoever wins, all you have to do is go through the nominees to see that Merseyside is absolutely on it. Pick a genre and I guaran-damn-tee there are a bunch of acts here that will make you fall to the floor and praise be for the gift of ears. Should make for an interesting night.  
Gaz Jones: Getintothis photographer

Xam Volo – like the Mercury music awards the GIT award doesn’t like to choose the favourites. We always get a slight surprise, that’s why I’m putting my money on Xam.

Tom Konstantynowicz: Getintothis contributor

I can’t really look past Låpsley for this, in a year she’s gone from online demo buzz to national airplay and an acclaimed EP.  Her ambient style coupled with a natural creative spark has everyone in the industry absorbed and eager to see what she’ll do with her debut long player.

Adam Lowerson: Getintothis writer

The shortlist for the award this year is incredibly competitive, and you could make strong cases for most acts on the list winning. However, for me Xam Volo is a stand out contender. His Binary in Blue EP is a brilliantly warm and soulful collection of songs and gives soul his own modern twist.

Craig MacDonald: Getintothis contributor

In my eyes the winner should be The Sundowners. As a group they are everything the GIT Award has stood for since it began. Great musicians that have grafted to get to where they are but are still building on it and continue to draw you into their spell. Outstanding.

Ryan Murphy: Hooton Tennis Club (GIT Award Nominee)

As for GIT winners, I’ve been listening to that Ovum Caper LP by Esa Shields – it’s bloody great! It reminds me of The Books, Ariel Pink, Dumbo Gets Mad, and all the best bits of Animal Collective, but with this lovely, heavenly vocal gluing it all together. I’d like to see something so brilliantly skewiff take the crown as it were.
We’re just really happy to be part of all of this; it’s been an astonishing past few months! We’ve been in and out of recording studios, we’ve taken bookings for various festivals, we’ve been on our first mini tour, and a new series of Twin Peaks has been announced, along with Mulder and Scully promising to resurrect The X Files – I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s been an exciting year thus far!
Earlier this year I moved in next door to Becky and Guro from Stealing Sheep and All We Are, respectively. It’s been handy for cups of sugar, swapping lyrics and song ideas, borrowing a hairdryer, etc. It’s been quite an interesting experience. I’ve built myself a mezzanine bed, learnt how to double-glaze windows (lo-fi, DIY style), and bleed radiators.
Last year was incredible, too. We played in the Palm House in Sefton Park, where we saw both Gulf and Xam Volo knock the socks off the rhododendrons! We also got the chance to support Circa Waves at their home-coming party in 24 Kitchen; lovely seeing those guys, swapped some mix-tapes, drank some beers.
It’s great to hear that Liverpool’s Impropriety are hosting the night! They had their last “improvathon” at the Kazimier, quite recently in fact. I managed to watch about eight hours of it. The whole thing was totally out of control. I think I caught them just as they we’re on the turn; slowly loosing their collective grip on reality – a theatrical descent into the 31st, and final hour…

Will Neville: Getintothis contributor

I’m backing Hooton Tennis Club as I loved their somewhat shambolic indie sounds when I first heard them at Sound City last year; and they bribed the audience with a free CD to seal the love. They’ve continued to grow since then and I’m eagerly awaiting an album. They can surely go on to be successful while remaining an interesting band

Vicky Pea: Getintothis writer, photographer and head of social media

There’s several ways to approach the question ‘who will win the GIT  Award 2015’. There are acts I think should win it, acts I think could win it and acts I want to win it, so it makes things incredibly complicated. With that in mind i’m taking it back to basics and will pick the act who’s voice has been stuck in my head since I first heard it and that is Xam Volo. Young and still relatively unknown I cannot wait to see him perform on Saturday night. I’ve listened to a lot of music from the 12 nominations over the last couple of months and although the standard is incredibly high and surprisingly equal, it’s his track Sapphires that I always come back to first.

Shaun Ponsonby: Getintothis writer

In a strong list with many potential winners, I’d plump for We Are Catchers. Full of infectious west-coast melodies, delicious harmonies and a breezy pop sensibility they are the perfect feelgood springtime band. Someone just needs to tell the weather outside to get on message.

 Jason Stoll: Mugstar

For me it’s got to be Jane Weaver. Her latest album, The Silver Globe, is a haunting masterpiece. Her voice is truly beautiful, mysterious and timeless. Argent, especially the ‘Tom Furse Extrapolation’, is the best thing I’ve heard in a long while. My first introduction was many years ago when I bought a Fender Bassman off the bass player from Jane’s old band Kill Laura
I really like Hooton Tennis Club. They sound like a future thinking PavementEsa Shields recent track on The Wire Tapper CD is amazing. But definitely Jane Weaver
Emma Walsh: Getintothis deputy editor
In terms of untapped potential few other artists have excited me as much as Xam Volo. His enthusiasm and passion for music is infectious, his tunes get right into the nooks and crannies of your brain and brood there like earworms. There may be more familiar names on the shortlist but this is the one you’ll want to remember on the night.

Martin Waters: Getintothis photographer

In true Mercury Award fashion I’m not going for the obvious choice – which, lets face it, should be Lapsley, she’s going to be unsoppable come festival season – no, I’m going for my own personal favourites The Sundowners. Maybe it’s my Wirral bias or just the memory of their packed out performance in the Kazimier in February, but this is one group who are even better than their growing reputation suggests.

Vocalists Fiona Skelly and Niamh Rowe’s West Coast harmonies combined with Alfie Skelly‘s guitar work wouldn’t be out of place in one of Fleetwood Mac‘s numerous line ups. Don’t believe me? Just check out their 2013 Glastonbury performance of Don’t Come Knocking and thank me later. And from a gig photographer’s perspective, they look just as good as they sound and really do know how to put on a show.

Matthew Wood: Getintothis Writer

Probably considered a bit of an outsider but Esa Shields is a stand out for me, Ovum Caper is a gem that has remained undiscovered for many but the the award could lead to some much deserved recognition.

Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee All We Are here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee Circa Waves here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee D R O H N E here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee Gulf here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee Hooton Tennis Club here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee Roxanne Jones here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee Lapsley here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee Esa Shields here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee The Sundowners here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee XamVolo here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee Jane Weaver here.
Read our feature interview with GIT Award 2015 nominee We Are Catchers here.