Liverpool’s music scene united in glorious style last night as the GIT AWARD 2012 was presented to a worthy first recipient.
Merseyside’s music scene united at Leaf on Bold Street last night as Loved Ones picked up the first GIT Award.
On a triumphant night for Liverpool, 12 shortlisted acts gathered along with the cream of Merseyside’s music industry to celebrate the finest sounds from the city.
Dubbed by the national music press as the Scouse Mercury Prize, The GIT Award brought together musicians from all sides of the Liverpool music spectrum together with over 80 creative industries for the biggest city music industry showcase for years.
And Loved Ones were the first act to pick up the inaugural honour – the first of it’s kind in the UK – from Paul du Noyer, celebrated Liverpool music journalist and author Liverpool – Wondrous Place.
Performances on the night came from ten of the 12 nominees, including hip hop stars Bang On and Miss Stylie, guitar bands Mugstar, Loved Ones and the Tea Street Band.
There were also innovative sets from Ex-Easter Island Head, Forest Swords and female folk trio Stealing Sheep showcasing the diversity on offer within the city. LIPA students Ninetails and Toxteth soul star Esco Williams completed the dazzling array of talent.
Alongside a host of videos from all the artists, former Coral guitarist and nominee Bill Ryder-Jones gave an exclusive screening of his latest film score while journalist John Robb hosted the packed-out night at Leaf.
Founder of the award, Liverpool ECHO journalist Peter Guy said: ‘This is a special time for Liverpool – not just the music scene, but the city as a whole – we’re leading the way as visionaries, creating some of the finest art, music and innovative happenings in the world – and the musicians gathered here tonight are at the forefront of what is a new, flourishing time for music within the city.‘
The Kazimier’s Venya, Michael and Laura collect the first GIT Inspiration Award designed by Sam Venables.
Away from the main prize, a special honour named the Inspiration Award was given to the team behind influential club The Kazimier, based in Wolstenholme Square, for services to the Liverpool music industry.
The Kazimier team have revitalised the music scene in Liverpool in much the same way Cream and Eric’s did beforehand, playing a part in shaping the cultural spirit within the city.
Guy added: ‘I think the one thing that’s stood out for me about this experience has been the collaborative nature of Liverpool – the musicians, promoters, writers, artists and the whole creative pool working together.
‘And tonight that collaborative force is reflected in a special award, which I hope will continue for years to come.
This special honour, is the Inspiration Award has been created to recognise individuals away from the stage who bring so much to Liverpool’s music scene.
‘Individuals that have passion and flair but match this with dedication, humility and enthusiasm – in essence they make Liverpool’s music scene tick.
The first Inspiration Award, like the GIT Award itself, arrives at a fitting time.
‘It’s exactly four years this week that a word which meant little to anyone a short while ago, suddenly became synonymous with everything that is good about Liverpool music. The Kazimier means many things to Liverpool’s music scene – it’s an arts collective, a club, a touring venue, a music hub, a theatre company, a record label, a secret society and even the best night of your life.
‘But most of all The Kazimier is a group of people in love with creativity, the arts and music – and in the four years they’ve been telling their story – they’ve reinvented Liverpool like few before them.‘
Launched at Liverpool Music Week in November 2011, the GIT Award received more than 380 entries up until the closing date at the end of February 2012.
The 12 act shortlist was then decided by a judging panel comprising top names from Liverpool Football Club, NME, Vice Magazine, The Quietus and The Guardian alongside the cornerstones of the region’s music scene – Getintothis, Bido Lito Magazine, Waxxx and EVOL.
Winners Loved Ones now will receive prizes including recording studio time, a showcase at this year’s Liverpool Sound City and Liverpool Music Week, as well as having a promo video shot by Virgin Media Shorts filmmaker of the Year nominee Ian Gamester to be screened at FACT, the city’s art house cinema and creative technologies centre.
Kevin McManus, former NME journalist and director at Liverpool Vision, said: ‘The GIT Award is a brilliant concept. The only surprise is that no one has done it before. Liverpool bands continue to produce exciting new music every year and these awards are a celebration of the city’s musical strength. The nominees showcase just how vibrant and diverse the music scene is in Liverpool at the moment. I can’t think of another UK city that could produce a line up anywhere near as strong as this, but it’s Liverpool!‘
‘I anticipate the GIT Award to go from strength to strength and become a fixture on the Liverpool music calendar that everyone in the industry looks forward to and I urge the city’s organisations to support this great initiative.‘
Matt Wilkinson, NME new bands editor, said: ‘Liverpool’s always had one of the UK’s most exciting and eclectic music scenes, and the GIT Award has tonight award reflected that.
‘Sadly there aren’t that many places in the UK that could get away with doing something like this, but the quality of the acts nominated this year proves that Liverpool undoubtedly can. I hope the award returns next year as it’s a great way of bringing local acts to a wider UK audience – and not just the so-called music industry experts, but genuine music fans too. It’s a good thing, without a doubt.‘
For pictures, reports and reaction stay tuned to Getintothis.
Pictures by Marie Hazelwood.