The Red The White and The Blue get the award for the coolest comic-strip concept
Published: 3 January, 2013
by ROISIN GADELRAB
IT’S been another year of gigs, festivals and hit-and-miss interviews (I won’t mention the meanest interviewees) and so it’s just about time for our annual alternative CNJ Music Awards 2012...
• Best Camden Institution: The Camden Crawl. The Crawl has rightly won Best Metropolitan Festival at the UK Festival awards for the third time. We can’t wait for this year’s line-up.
• Special Mention for 2013: Music Walk Of Fame. Due to finally get off the ground this year, we expect this to become another reason to be proud of Camden’s musical heritage.
• Most disrespectful act prompted by nimbies + local government meanies: pulling the plug on Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney at Hard Rock Calling. This is not really Hard Rock Calling’s fault.
The Boss loves to play and is so dedicated to his fans that he just doesn’t know (or care) when to stop – to the delight of all who managed to catch his near four-hour set. Unfortunately, this was not so welcome at Westminster Council where strict curfews are imposed for all Hyde Park gigs so rather than wait for Springsteen and Macca to finish the song, the power was rudely cut leaving the peculiar sight of poor Bruce singing with no sound.
The wrath of band member Steve Van Zandt on twitter afterwards was justified.
• Best cover: James Arthur – Young by Tulisa. It was his first X-Factor audition, we heard the sob story, the sad parents and saw the unlikely geeky candidate in Jack Duckworth glasses take to the stage. And then... young Arthur brought this club song to life.
Special mention: Warehouse Republic, Summertime – soulful and moving.
• Coolest comic-strip concept: The Red The White and The Blue. The innovative idea to release a beautifully drawn graphic comic with the release of each song from the new album is inspired – and Camden features prominently.
• Serial gig crasher: Sir Paul McCartney. He joined Springsteen at Hard Rock Calling at Hyde Park (just before they pulled the plug), missed his cue at the Olympics opening ceremony, closed the Queen’s jubilee concert and features in the Justice Collective’s Hillsborough tribute video but the last straw was the moment he helped “reform” Nirvana, taking Kurt Cobain’s hallowed spot alongside former members.
To be fair, he’s less of a crasher than an invitee but isn’t the value of a national treasure that it’s rare, precious and often locked up in the Tower of London for long spells? Less is more Macca.
• Best rapstar reincarnation: Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion For real? No matter which king of the jungle he wishes to be, one look at Snoop’s dog-ear ponytails and he’ll never be able to shake that canine tag.
• Most weathered crowd: The Happy Mondays, The Roundhouse. While there may have been a small gathering of suits in the crowd, what was more apparent was the hardened faces of many of the Mondays’ fans.
The queues were longer for the men’s than the ladies and – unlike the overgrown parka-wearing Stone Roses fans who came out to play earlier this year – the male dominated Mondays crowd looked just a little bit harder and more moulded in Bez’s image.
• Reality show with original music: X-Factor. Feel free to scoff but, much as we like our underground indie, edgy electro and dark hip-hop, there’s still room for a bit of pop and trash TV talent shows. While X-Factor received the usual bashing and claims of dropped ratings, it deserved credit for one thing – the amount of artists with original work. James Arthur, Lucy Spraggan, MK-1 and Ella Henderson were all desperate to show off their own work.
• Muddiest city gig venue: Hyde Park became a huge marsh, Pete Waterman’s 80s festival was called off and it almost looked like the rest of the season’s gigs would have to be called off. But thanks to mountains of woodchip, it was rescued in time for Hard Rock Calling and the Olympics.
• Oddest upcoming gig: James Argent at the Jazz Cafe (January 17). If you don’t recognise the name, respect. If you do, shame. James is the crooner type from the Only Way Is Essex. An unlikely listing for the Jazz Cafe.
• Best interview: Tomoyasu Hotei – humble and generous; Rowetta – candid, brave and kind.
• Creepiest song lyric: Rita Ora’s RIP. Tinie Tempah’s rap in Rita Ora’s RIP contains the words “I’ll make you call me daddy, even though you ain’t my daughter...” Not hot and a bit gross, although this was at one point our record of the week...
• TV drama with the best music: Hollyoaks and The Vampire Diaries. These may be teen trash but the people who pick the soundtracks deserve an award for their choices, which often prompt a quick lyric search and a worthy introduction to new music.
Special mention: Gossip Girl – same reasons as above