Bill Ryder-Jones crowned The GIT Award 2016 winner at Constellations event

Git Award (4)

Steve Power (second left) receives the GIT Award 2016 from Heavenly Recordings’ Jeff Barrett (centre) and Bella Union’s Simon Raymonde (right) with host Roger Hill looking on (left)

As Liverpool music heads came together to celebrate a great year in Merseyside music, Bill Ryder-Jones took home the top honour, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson reports.

Bill Ryder-Jones topped off a great 12 months as he was crowned the GIT Award 2016 winner at last night’s ceremony at Constellations.

In a night packed with performances from nine of the nominees, a kaleidoscopic house band and various DJ sets, the three-time nominee from Wirral was recognised for his much-lauded album West Kirby County Primary, and while he wasn’t present on the night (he is on tour in Europe supporting Mumford & Sons), family friend Steve Power (and father of Liam of By The Sea and Ryder-Jones’ touring guitarist) collected the GIT Award on his behalf in front of the hundreds of Merseyside music fans in attendance.

He did, however, tweet his thank you’s in the humorous message below…

Earlier on, Atlantic Records‘ pop starlet Taya received the One to Watch Prize, following in the footsteps of Louis Berry and Låpsley, while Liverpool Vision‘s Kevin McManus received the Inspiration Award, a prestigious prize which has previously gone to The Kazimier, Hillsborough Justice Collective, Africa Oye and Deltasonic founder Alan Wills.

Award winners were presented with this year’s unique, and stunning trophies, designed once again by ArchiPhonic, with each of the nominated acts also receiving a memento, while Bill Ryder-Jones also received a £1000 prize.

The 12 nominees, which included some well established Liverpool artists such as Stealing Sheep, Mugstar and Ryder-Jones himself, showcasing the strength of Merseyside’s musical output, but on the night it very much felt like the next wave of young bands were ready to make themselves known. The likes of Trudy and the Romance (who teamed up with Pink Kink for a rousing Don’t Bring Me Down by The Beatles to start the show), RongoRongo and MiC Lowry were particular highlights, and showed us that the future is definitely bright for Liverpool music.

Crowds gather early in the evening

Crowds gather early in the evening

The nominee performances were broken up by a half hour mega-mix of Prince hits from Getintothis Cosmic Slop columnist Shaun Ponsonby, bringing a party atmosphere to Constellations.

With this year being the GIT Award‘s first away from the Kazimier since 2013, Constellations had a lot to live up to. The early punters were treated to a no-holds-BBQ and glorious sunshine in the beer garden, and were entertained by DJ sets from Pink Kink and journalist Jamie Bowman, before the event properly kicked off in the evening.

With projections across the walls, two stages assuring that there was never a big wait for the next set and a great house band courtesy of the powerhouse Tosin Salako and his trio, the atmosphere throughout the night was electric and, most importantly, light hearted and fun.

The party lasted long into the night over at the Black Lodge Brewery, with a DJ set from Heavenly RecordingsJeff Barrett and Danny Mitchell reeling out an eclectic mix of tunes, topping off a truly great night for all.

Although the GIT Award reflects on the achievements of Merseyside’s musicians, this year more than ever it felt like a window to the future of the scene. With as diverse a shortlist as it’s ever had, and some artists like 17-year-old L U M E N and upstarts Trudy and the Romance only in the infancy of their musical career, there are signs that the scene will continue to grow.

Bring on next year.

Pictures by Getintothis’ Tom Adam and John Johnson.

Here’s some social media reaction from the evening