by / March 6th, 2011 /

Choice Music Prize Ceremony

It’s getting so you know Choice Music Prize season is upon us. Beards are stroked down to a thin stubble as the very nature of awards ceremonies is pondered aloud. You may spot some of the nominated artists on your travels around our capital looking tidy and pleased with themselves. If all this wasn’t unsettling enough, ten of the best Irish LP’s of the preceding 12 months are being valued in terms of bookies odds.

Nine of these ten hopefuls running in the 19.30 at Vicar St are here tonight to be inspected and heard in the parade ring. This live element is a curious devise of the music awards ceremony, one that sees some of our horses struggle to break into a canter over their allotted two-song set.

First out of the starting stalls are Halves, this year’s token sonic-adventurer selection. They make some lovely sounds, and were it a prize for Best Soundtrack, you could imagine them and their as-yet unconceived film winning. James Vincent McMorrow manages to silence the room with his impressively delicate but sometimes cloying Americana. Vicar St doesn’t agree and rewards his soulful disposition with a particularly hearty cheer.

Just after, I spot State ne’er-do-wells Niall Byrne and Alan Reilly beckoning me. They insist that I hear their predictions, and, relieved neither have asked me for a few hundred words on something or other by Monday morning, I take notes. Reilly, possibly speaking in tongues, mumbles the words ‘two’, ‘cinema’ and ‘door’ at one stage before going back to his iPhone to watch over Planet State. Creepy.

Before there’s time to discuss with the lads why Fight Like Apes had sounded like a pet shop on fire, Cathy Davey’s being introduced on stage. Everyone likes Davey, you feel. Everyone really likes Davey when she invites Conor O’Brien on to play guitar on ‘Army of Tears’.

Morrissey’s just walked past and someone called Angela is telling me all about their scarf, so Two Door Cinema Club’s acoustic set isn’t given the full working capacity of my concentration. I do register however that ‘Something Good Can Work’, eh, works better than ‘I Can Talk’ and surmise that the band were being genuine when they gushed how great it was to be here. Villagers were one of the last acts to play, a fortunate billing decision for tonight’s other contenders. Naturally, they showed why they were favourites to come in a few lengths ahead of the others.

Elsewhere, it had been messy. O Emperor got a bit carried away and Cast of Cheers were more intent on dancing about while gadgetry looped their guitar licks. MC Alison Curtis, bizarrely, couldn’t pronounce Adebisi Shank, who were also too blustery and contrived.

The usual mix of gasps and hoorays greeted the announcement that Two Door Cinema Club had passed the post. As a band becoming accustomed to champagne and paycheques, they received a room-full of respect and a standing ovation for donating the €10,000 to charity. What sort of precedent this now sets for successive winners, many of whom are bound to be in need of the cash, remains to be seen. For now, let’s just get to the bar and try to find Morrissey.

Photos by Sean Conroy.

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  • Peter81

    I really dislike these reports where the writer takes on this smug onlooker position.

    “someone called Angela is telling me all about their scarf, so Two Door Cinema Club’s acoustic set isn’t given the full working capacity of my concentration.”

    I mean really, put down your butterfly net and write honestly. Nobody will think any less of you because you cynicism dial isn’t set to 11.

  • Hil

    Eh Peter81, if you finish that paragraph (in which I HONESTLY report that a stranger was telling me all about their scarf while Two Door were playing) you will also see that I go on to compliment the band, as I do other acts elsewhere in the text where I felt it was deserved. How is that cynical?

    Reports like this are to give those who weren’t there a feel of what the night was like. I could robotically write ‘then this happened and then that happened and it was good’, but I don’t think it would be fun for people to read. has already reported on the facts of the night; who won, who was playing etc. My job is to tell a story about MY experience that night and fill people in on the subtleties I observed.

    You may be au fait with Spinal Tap but I’m not sure you understand the meaning of ‘cynicism’. Look it up. Then, re-evaluate if you truly believe that spending a Saturday morning writing up a report like this for no pay counts as ‘cynical’ behaviour. A lot of people volunteer their time and effort for this website so if you have constructive criticism for us the very least you can do is frame your argument a bit better.

    Ta ta.

  • James

    I too agree with Peter81 on this one. The second last paragraph needs more expanding.
    O Emperor “got a bit carried away”, in what way?
    Cast of Cheers, “were more intent on dancing about while gadgetry looped their guitar licks”. Wasn’t this meant to be a live performance, not an album playback?
    Adebisi Shank, “who were also too blustery and contrived”, again a great live band, how someone could call their performance contrived is beyond me. You must have been too busy looking for Morrissey as he’s mentioned in this reviews more than the nominees.

  • Conor

    I can confirm that there was a woman talking to him about a scarf because she was talking to me all night before she went down and sat beside him, she just would not stop speaking….

    Then she spotted a seat and we fully encouraged her to have a nice sit down >_>