by / February 22nd, 2010 /

Meteor Awards – No Fun(derland)

America have the Grammy Awards, Canada the Juno Awards and the United Kingdom the Brits; all a blend of live performances and award presentations that serve to highlight and commend the outstanding artistic achievements within the music industry over the past year. Considering the prestige and credibility that is associated with the previously mentioned awards, it is almost laughable then, that the closest Irish equivalent is the Meteors. As the television coverage opens to the strains of Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ soundtracking a montage of minor celebrities posing on the red carpet, it’s difficult not to note that they are as irrelevant, embarrassing and uninspired as the Meteors themselves. Amanda Byram who, bafflingly, was enlisted as master of ceremonies for a second consecutive year, did nothing to dispel such deprecation with her summary of the awards; ‘we’re going to have a few drinks and hand out a few gongs’.

Byram, whose career highlights thus far include presenting the 2003 Miss World pageant, reality makeover show The Swan, Total Wipeout and appearing in 2006 film A Dog’s Breakfast, fittingly barked her way through the festivities, failing miserably to rouse an inert crowd with a cringe worthy assault that included sardonic anecdotes about aspiring to be in the middle of Funderland presenting the Meteors when she grew up, mocking Christy Moore for refusing to cancel a concert in Mullingar to be in attendance and branding the Scots ‘Paddys who can’t swim’. Nationwide toes doubtlessly curled as humourless quip after humourless quip fell mortifyingly flat and all that remained was for Amanda Byram to model a series of identikit black dresses that resembled doilies and togas.

Since their announcement at the beginning of January, the Meteor Awards nominations had been a wholly justifiable font of indignation and derision. Following a year which joyfully showcased the flourishing creativity and vibrancy of an abundance of contemporary Irish artists, it was somewhat galling to be presented with a list of nominees that, rather than being bastions of what is praiseworthy and pertinent within Irish music, simply emphasised the farcical nature of the awards. Arguably uniformed and illogical nominations included Snow Patrol’s greatest hits compilation Up To Now for Best Irish pop album, whilst the entire Best Irish Male category (Jerry Fish, Jack L and Christy Moore to name but a few) read like an homage to redundant singer-songwriters who were last even remotely relevant sometime in the late -90s.

The recognition of progression and innovation was eschewed for the multiple nominations of stock bands (note: U2, The Coronas, Delorentos) that appeared to be honoured for their ability to, at some stage in their increasingly stagnant careers, have garnered airplay and placed high in the Irish charts. Nominations eluded being written off as a complete act of blind jingoism with the Best Irish Female category, which encompassed a host of well-deserving recipients such as Valerie Francis and Laura Izibor, and was eventually won by a tearful and staggered Wallis Bird, who exclaimed ‘I have nothing written and I’m wearing terrible shoes.’ Other champions were The Script, who claimed Best Irish Live Performance for their stint at Oxegen last year, whilst Best Irish Album was awarded to the Coronas for Tony Was An Ex-Con.

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  • Westlife sans stools? Must have had their regular pre-Meteors enemas so.

  • Patrick Conboy

    I’ve seen a vision of hell and Amanda Byram is the host. Therefore, I’m off to get a bible and some rosary beeds and I’m going to repent!

    But seriously, she was awful. It was the old car crash scenario; you don’t want to watch it but you can’t avert your eyes. She played-up the “Oirish” factor so much she should’ve worn a leprachaun costume…

    The whole thing was just as you described but, nevertheless, certain other publications will dress it up to sound like it was the event of the year…

  • johnny hotpants

    hrm mullingarrrr, meteors christy?? shut yer corporate muck hole Byram, ye bleedin oxygen thief

  • You could probably go one step further and say “the world has the Grammys” since it’s the only award show on the planet that actually attempts to incorporate an international dimension.

    But the Meteors was truly awful this year – even more so than usual. I couldn’t believe the names that were up for Best Male – is Jack L still alive? I thought he’d be running a restaurant in Roscommon by now, or something similarly retired local superstar-y.

    I don’t know who Patrick Bergin is, but I’m fairly sure he was hammered, and the humanitarian bloke seemed to think he was addressing a bunch of 4-year-olds, he talked that slowly.

  • You forgot to mention to constant pestering from shit bands for votes for the Meteors “shit new thing” award. I gather Amasis won, because she has more mates??

  • Ciaran

    Im glad this was written

  • T-Dog

    You might want to revise your first pararaph, prestige and credibility have not been associated with the Brits in at least 10-12 years, if ever.

    And anywho, what were you expecting? The Meteors or Irma’s or whatever they have been called down through the years have always been a joke, they’re a sad indictment of how hard it is for decent bands to break through into the irish mainstream and the Irish music scene as a whole. If I have to listen to one more pissed up scrubber singing Sex on Fire out at the smoking area of a pub I’ll burst my own f*cking ear drums with a rusty spoon.

  • Dan

    i went to the awards & i thought they were great. the script stole the show luv dem & westlife were great too. you ppl have no taste 🙂

  • paula

    Amanda Byram = Comedy Gold.

  • The performances were pretty damn good but my god they need to fill up the crowd. There was times when the camera panned across the crowd that it looked half empty.

    On another point:

    Amanda Byram was possibly the worst choice for a host for the awards. It was just PAINFUL to watch that woman on stage!

    They need to put on a person with credibility to host the awards, or at least some one who is linked to the Irish music industry in some way. Not a TV presenter/socialite!

  • Patrick Conboy

    @Dan – You’ve just won the ‘Ironic Post of the Day’ Award’. Well done! 😛

  • Does anyone even watch anymore? Meteor Awards have been slapping backs to diminishing returns for quite a long time now.

  • Karen M

    I think everyone knows how ridiculous the event is, it’s not for “Indie” – or whatever tag you want to put on it – type acts, its for acts whose ethos is to operate in the mainstream and unfortunatly that lumps westlife in with u2 and whoever else.

    I agree with most of what you’re saying… but I wouldn’t put Delorentos in the same category as those other bands.. and I’m not really sure what your point is regarding Wallis Bird? I felt she was honestly surprised and seemed humbled and delighted.

    Amanda Byram however, comes across as either not very bright or not very self aware.

  • @Karen M:

    “Nominations eluded being written off as a complete act of blind jingoism with the Best Irish Female category… eventually won by a tearful and staggered Wallis Bird, who exclaimed “I have nothing written and I’m wearing terrible shoes.”

    Sophie was pointing out that Wallis Bird’s award was one of the few positives about the whole event and was, as you said, humbled and delighted.

  • untitled

    sophie.. great read! i think you have capture the true essence of the meteors!
    its really very disturbing to see all the great music thats being ignored by ‘popular’ awards like this, but it is all a click! :/

  • Karen M

    @Patrick

    Yes, thats fair.
    Personally i feel that was one of the better categories, – apart from O’Riordan – and Wallis Bird is a very talented artist.

    Its funny though, by association the bigger an act gets the more they get lumped with the more mainstream-chasing ones, and therefore people who aren’t paying attention will lazily put them all together, and tar them all with the same brush.

  • Zane

    A typical response to any Irish event that is was crap… stop the the complaining not everything from Canada, US or the UK is uber cool.

    Maybe State should launch its own music awards show – oh wait it would probably only last one year like the magazine 😉

  • Zane what planet are you on? Read the site, we’re full of praise for Irish events on a daily basis. You can’t possibly read our live reviews section and think we dont like Irish music. We went to see God Is An Astronaut and CODES over the weekend. Come back and read the reviews in a day or two and see what we write about them if you dont believe us (and yes, they’re both Irish acts, just in case you’re an angry Westlife fan who hasnt heard of them…).

    The other thing you might notice (read comments above), is that almost everyone agrees with us on the Meteors. As you’ve just demonstrated, people are very quick to get on their high horses and moan online, and very few have called us on this one. You’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re certainly not just arguing with State.

    No one’s claiming State is perfect, but we put ourselves out there and make the effort, and – unlike a certain other local publication – our content is not driven by the need to dote on our advertizers. It’s very hard to start a publication. I should know, I’ve looked into doing it myself, and never got past the vaguest of planning stages. Unless you have a magazine that’s lasted more than a year you’d like to tell us about, I think you’d better stop your shallow mockery, no?

  • nerja2007

    Jeysus, How typically Irish!!!! Everything is crap and shit, although noone can do any better, just get drunk in a pub and talk (here write) sh*te. And what did Amasis do to you for such a cruel review, I wonder? I have never heard of them too until the award, but their track sounds amasing -professional and at world class standard. This kind of music is unknown on Irish music scene, but now we have them to compete with the states, Uk and Sweden for a place on a true pop scene. And what was wrong exactly with their emotional acceptance of the award? As far as I heard it was a competition for unsigned band, and winning it is a once in a lifetime oportunity for those without management companies behind them. To me it looked genuine, although it was entertaining, as we, irish, do not display our true emotions publically. Why did State have to be so cruel to a poor girl? You don’t like Meteors- fair enough- but it is still the only big music industry award in this country. And it is so much better than all those Ireland got talent, etc. RTE shows that make me sick!

  • “Jeysus, How typically Irish!!!! Everything is crap and shit, although noone can do any better, just get drunk in a pub and talk (here write) sh*te.”

    How typically Irish of you. How is the Irish review scene ever going to compete with the States, the UK and Sweden when we have negative commenters like you writing sh*te about it? State is much better than Hot Press etc. magazines that make me sick!

  • Mo’Gwai

    Nerja: we are SO Irish, this is truth! We has many of good music all the year! Have you not listening with the songs all every band has here? This magazine, State, do you not read? Is much support of Irisher musics! Which number of the Amasis band have you never have met? Defending their honour, it seems you be doing in a painfully obvious way! Do not to be telling me porky pies, Nerja… Street team is fails!

  • Sophie Elizabeth Smith

    Dear Nerja2007,

    Amasis deeply offended both my eyes and ears, your sympathies should lie with me, and not the ‘poor girl’ in question. Similarly, I extend my greatest sympathies to you for clearly being incredibly ignorant and having a poor grasp of the English language.

    You describe Amasis as being of a “world class standard” and yet you don’t think the Irish music industry should have to bother competing at such a level? How tiresome they are, the criticisms insinuating that anything homegrown should be judged more easily and with a favourable bias, and coming out with ridiculous racial stereotypes; “as we, irish, do not display our true emotions publically”. How very curious, considering you’ve managed to leave a comment as emotional as an Amasis acceptance speech.

    State is a music publication that affords its writers the luxury of articulating their views and opinions without censorship, without having to euphemise, or romanticise the nature of an album, artist, or awards ceremony purely because it is of Irish origin. This isn’t a negation of national pride, nor the eschewing of championing homegrown talent. There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to heap praise upon someone or something that raises the bar for Irish music, but no self-respecting journalist would try to pretend that the Meteor Awards do that. I would suggest you either try to formulate a more informed opinion of the Irish music scene (you really do let yourself down with comments like “This kind of music is unknown on Irish music scene” or stop with the garbled rants.

    PS- I really hope you enjoy our upcoming coverage of the Choice Music Prize. I hope the organisers won’t be too upset to hear it isn’t a Nerja2007 endorsed “big Irish music industry award”.

    PPS- make sure you go out and buy Amasis’s CD!

  • Chantelle

    @ Nerja2007
    I really think Nerja2007 you went a bit overboard with your critisism. The author is clearly offended now. However, this is just an opinion and personally I think you have a point. Just a suggestion though- to cool off before posting smth like that next time.

  • @Chantelle: seeing as you and Nerja2007 appear to be the same person… perhaps you could have a word with yourself?

  • @Patrick lol, not the first time someone’s tried that, either, is it? For the record, guys and girls, while posting anonymously might seem like a good way to rant without taking any responsibility for what you’re saying, when you post under various different names we’ll probably notice they all have the same IP address. Especially when you’re the only person backing up a case and directing all your comments at… well, yourself.

    Congratulations Chantelle/ whatever other name you’re going by these days, you’ve managed to make yourself look like even more of a muppet. I really, really, hope ‘she’ comes back.

  • paula

    yawn.
    meteors suck.
    amasis suck.
    IP addresses suck.
    whatever.

    “a poor grasp of the English language”
    i really hate when people say this though.
    that annoys me the best.
    im glad my grasp on numerous foreign languages is spot on.