Wednesday 21 November 2018

Here come the judges

Now that the shortlist has been announced for this year's Choice Music Prize, the countdown has begun to select the Irish album of 2006. As a member of the 12-strong judging panel this year, I should declare that I'm not an impartial observer of proceedings.

By and large, I think it's a strong list that shows the rich diversity of the music scene in Ireland - from the soaring stadium anthems of Snow Patrol's Eyes Open (Paddy Power's favourite at 6/4) to the streetwise hip-hop of Messiah & The Expert's Now This I Have To Hear (a 16/1 outsider); from the nu-folk picking of Fionn Regan's The End Of History (8/1) to the weird'n'wired electronica of Si Schroeder's Coping Mechanisms (14/1) via the cock-o'-the-walk white funk of Republic Of Loose's Aaagh!

Such eclecticism is to be welcomed, especially when it sometimes seemed as if the deluge of 'sensitive singer/songwriters' in our midst threatened to drown out other voices.

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