Saturday 22 October 2016

Irish stars David Holmes, Iain Archer and Villagers' Conor O'Brien bag awards at Ivor Novellos

Published 20/05/2016 | 08:08

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Conor O'Brien from Villagers performs at St John-At-Hackney on February 11, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Ball/Redferns)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Conor O'Brien from Villagers performs at St John-At-Hackney on February 11, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Ball/Redferns)

Several Irish stars have landed gongs at the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards held in Grosvenor House in London on Thursday.

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Conor O'Brien of Villagers won Best Album for Darling Arithmetic while Northern Irish DJ, composer and producer David Holmes won Best Telebision Soundtrack for London Spy.

Also, Northern Irish songwriter Iain Archer co-wrote Hold Back the River with James Bay which was awarded the PRS for Most Performed Work Award.

Meanwhile, Adele has crowned her comeback year with an award, winning Songwriter of the Year for the second time.

The 28-year-old released her third album 25, which features hits Hello and I Miss You, to critical acclaim in October and broke first week sales records in the UK and US.

Adele, who previously won for 21 in 2012 and for Most Performed Work for Rolling In The Deep, sent a thank you message from Germany where she is on tour, saying: "Thank you so much, I won on my last album as well so to win on this one is a dream.

"I was secretly pregnant then so I couldn't enjoy the night as well. But cheers, bottoms up, enjoy."

Also receiving his third award at the ceremony at London's Grosvenor House was Damon Albarn, who was given a standing ovation before his rambling thank you for the "wonderful and life-affirming" Lifetime Achievement award.

The Blur frontman and Gorillaz co-founder paid tribute to Scottish rock band Simple Minds, who were at the ceremony to receive the Outstanding Song Collection award, celebrating their 39-year career.

Recognising his influence on the British music industry, Canadian singer Bryan Adams, who released his 13th studio album Get Up! last year, received the PRS for Music Special International Award.

He thanked his manager, Bruce Allen, and told an anecdote about opening for The Kinks as a young artist, made more poignant by Ray Davies handing him the award.

Manchester alt-rock band Happy Mondays, consisting of Shaun Ryder, Paul Davis, Mark Day, Paul Ryder and Gary Whelan, received the Ivors Inspiration Award, their first Novello.

James Bay also picked up his first Ivor Novello award for Hold Back The River, the second track from his debut album Chaos And The Calm.

Accepting the PRS for Music Most Performed Work, which goes to the most played song in the UK in 2015, he said that he "definitely didn't expect to win".

It was a case of student surpassing the teacher for Jamie Lawson and his mentor Ed Sheeran as the 40-year-old singer won Best Song Musically and Lyrically for Wasn't Expecting That against Sheeran's Bloodstream and Wolf Alice's Bros.

Lawson said: "Thanks, I wouldn't be here at all without a 24-year-old ginger kid who decided to sign me to his record label and put this song out into the world."

BBC Two espionage thriller London Spy won the award for Best Television Soundtrack, while sci-fi hit Ex Machina won Best Original Film Score.

The ceremony provided a bounty of other first-time winners, including Portishead's Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley, who won the PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music award.

Barrow said: "I don't believe you can judge music but I've been brought up here. You can't judge it, it's just f****** wrong.

"I'm not going to say thank you because I don't believe in these things and Beth (Gibbons) doesn't talk anyway so we're the perfect band for this event."

Distinguished British conductor-composer Oliver Knussen, who was co-artistic director of Aldeburgh Festival for 15 years and is composer laureate for London Sinfonietta, made a passionate plea for the BBC to champion new composers as he accepted the Ivors Classical Music Award.

He said: "There are an extraordinary number of incredibly gifted young composers... please BBC don't relegate all of us to a two-hour slot that you seem to regard as a place to put pond life."

Songwriter Wayne Hector, who is responsible for 31 number ones and over 100 million record sales including One Direction's Steal My Girl and History, took home the Ivors International Achievement Award, recognising exceptional success outside the UK.

Accepting the best contemporary song Novello for All My Friends ft Tinashe and Chance The Rapper, Snakehips lauded their fellow nominees Roots Manuva and Skepta.

Host Paul Gambaccini praised Bay and told the crowd that his performance of While My Guitar Gently Weeps had been a "highlight" of Sir George Martin's recent funeral.

Sir George was among artists including Prince, David Bowie, Lemmy and Natalie Cole remembered in an "in memoriam" tribute.

Presented by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (Basca) and now in their 61st year, the awards celebrate excellence in songwriting and composing and are highly respected because they are voted for by industry members.

Here is a full list of winners:

:: Best Song Musically and Lyrically - Wasn't Expecting That by Jamie Lawson

:: Best Contemporary Song - All My Friends by Snakehips feat. Tinashe and Chance The Rapper

:: PRS for Music Most Performed Work - Hold Back The River by James Bay

:: Album Award - Darling Arithmetic by Villagers

:: Best Original Film Score - Ex_Machina

:: Best Television Soundtrack - London Spy

:: International Achievement - Wayne Hector

:: Lifetime Achievement - Damon Albarn

:: Outstanding Song Collection - Simple Minds

:: PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music - Portishead

:: PRS for Music Special International Award - Bryan Adams

:: The Ivors Classical Music Award - Oliver Knussen

:: The Ivors Inspiration Award - Happy Mondays

:: Songwriter of the Year - Adele

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