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A short while ago, we put up the shortlist of songs that had been nominated for Ivor Novello awards, from the last year’s crop of quality pop and roll. And when I say ‘shortlist’ that’s what I mean, because the Ivors work from a selection of three possible winners per award, and there are only thirteen awards in total (most of which fall within the purview of lifetime achievement).
So it’s even more remarkable that the ever-present Emeli Sande managed to walk away with two of the three big song-based awards – best song musically and lyrically and most performed work – for her single “Next To Me,” without even being in the room.
The third song award, best contemporary song, was won by the Maccabees for their joyful worrygasm “Pelican”
An interesting state of affairs, if only because it means that Bat For Lashes did not win anything for “Laura,” a song which deserves every plaudit in the honor roll.
As for the other ten awards: Calvin Harris won songwriter of the year, and joked that, just like his songs, he would keep his speech “brief and repetitive.” Alt-J won album of the year for “An Awesome Wave.”
There were trophies for movie and TV music too, with awards going to Dario Marianelli, who won best original film score for Anna Karenina, and John Harle, who won the best television soundtrack prize for a BBC2 documentary on Lucian Freud. Errollyn Wallen, whose work featured in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, won the classical music award;
From here on down, it’s all tributes to being good at music for a long time. Noel Gallagher won the outstanding song collection trophy, and dedicated his award to his wife Sarah, who claims never to have seen her husband writing much of anything. Randy Newman was honored with a special international achievement award (quite right too), as was Gavin Rossdale from Bush. Trust me when I say that’s a situation that feels a lot more weird from the UK angle, where Bush were never that big a deal, than it might in America.
Marc Almond won the inspiration award, and snarkily thanked “the many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many record labels I’ve been on … we got there in the end.”
And the actual outstanding achievement award went to Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues. This despite never quite finding that lost chord he was after.
Just to reiterate: “Laura” by Bat For Lashes won nothing. Awards are silly.
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic