Menezes singer wins folk awards
Published 07/02/2011 | 22:17
A haunting track detailing the death of Jean Charles de Menezes at the hands of police has been named song of the year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Chris Wood's song Hollow Point was named after the type of bullets used to shoot the Brazilian at Stockwell Tube station in 2005, and won the singer one of two awards at the ceremony. He was also named singer of the year.
Another double winner at the event - hosted by Mike Harding and Barbara Dickson - was 11-piece combo Bellowhead, named best group and best live act. Mother and daughter duo Eliza Carthy and Norma Waterson also won two prizes.
Shanty singers Fisherman's Friends were rewarded for keeping folk music alive and bringing it to new audiences with an honorary prize, the Good Tradition award.
The seafaring ensemble, who continue to earn their living primarily from the water, have helped to up the profile of traditional tunes by taking them into the top 10 of the album charts. A film is being prepared about the Cornish group and they have recently won an advertising deal with Young's frozen foods.
Wood - a musician who plays violin and guitar - has previously won the song of the year category at the folk awards in 2006, but that track, One In A Million, was an update of a traditional tune.
Hollow Point appears on his Handmade Life album and before writing the seven and a half minute song, he read the Independent Police Complaints Commission report into the events around the shooting.
He said of the experience: "I could not take it all in one sitting. What was so harrowing was the realisation that the police officers were 'ordinary' people trying to do their best, but that events had overtaken them and that they and Mr de Menezes' family would have to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives."
Mr de Menezes was shot in a case of mistaken identity following attempted terrorist bombings on July 21, 2005. Wood has said such episodes should be preserved and explored by folk music.
Other winners at the 12th Folk Awards included Donovan who was given a lifetime achievement award. The singer - one of the leading lights on the UK's 60s folk scene, performed his 1965 hit Catch The Wind at the event, in front of today's leading lights.