Excited about the Ivor Novello Awards today? What do you mean no? You didn’t even know they were taking place? You mean you’re not one of the 1,024 people following their tweets today?
Ok so the Ivors (as they’re affectionately known, apparently) aren’t that well known. They’re not as renowned as the Mercury Music Prize or as discussed as the Brits or the Grammys, but they’re just as important honest. They may not be televised, they may not be glam (Paul Gambaccini was keeping the audience entertained today), but they play a relatively important part in recognising songwriting talent.
The ceremony, named after Welsh songwriter and man behind wartime smash hit ‘Keep The Home Fires Burning’ (like we said, not that glam) hand out statues of Euterpe (nice touch) to those songwriters they (other writers) believe have shone. But like any other ceremony they attract controversy for their sometimes bizarre choices.
Last year’s Lily Allen fiasco (go argue on that one here if you’re still inclined) caused consternation. This year, they bestowed the triple on Benjamin Drew, or Plan B to his mum. He won the Album Award (for ‘The Defamation Of Strickland Banks’), Songwriter Of The Year, and PRS for Music Most Performed Work, collecting one statue from Elton John, his new BFF since they shared a stage together last year. On accepting he declared “I just want to promise to the world that I am never going to put out music that I don’t like”.
So there you go. A pretty big coup for someone who pretty much owned the charts until Adele rocked up. Did he deserve the wins though? While the genius of ‘Strickland…’, from a songwriting perspective at least, can’t be denied, he saw off competition from Bombay Bicycle Club and Everything Everything, and the latter would probably edge it in my book.
As for Songwriter Of The Year, what about the guys from Wild Beasts or Metronomy, or the team behind Adele? How about PJ Harvey? Alex Turner?
Let the debate commence…
Some of the winners at The Ivors today
Songwriter Of The Year – Plan B
Best Song Musically And Lyrically – Villagers, ‘Becoming A Jackal’
Best Contemporary Song – Tinie Tempah, ‘Pass Out’
Outstanding Song Collection – Steve Winwood
International Achievement – Muse
Outstanding Contribution To Music – Paul Rodgers
Best Original Film Score – How To Train Your Dragon
Best Television Soundtrack – Any Human Heart
Best Original Video Game Score – Napoleon, Total War
Most Performed Work – Plan B, ‘She Said’