15 December 2012 (gig)
15 December 2012
The slight return of Django at the Artrocker Awards
Tucked away down an alleyway, beneath a rickety sign swinging in the winds, is the Sebright Arms, where the gathered souls are already warmed up with free Sailor Jerrys and Jaegermeister shots. Bottles are generously strewn around the tables of this old-fashioned pub with its red velvet seating: the perfect setting for some old-fashioned rock’n’roll gong-giving.
With the fashionably dressed indie fraternity waiting for this year’s show to begin, the vibe is friendly and buoyant – and thankfully free of all the self-conscious regalia of other lofty awards shows – with Xfm radio jock John Kennedy taking charge of proceedings from the low stage in the main room.
To run through some of the highlights…Having already won a Mercury Music prize and lined up to headline the NME Awards show, Django Django were the stars of the shebang, bagging both Band of the Year and Album of the Year.
Outfit of the moment wonderful Ozzie psych rockers Tame Impala graciously accepted their gong for International Band of the Year via a vid from Down Under. Quite right, cobber. Fellow Aussies Dark Horses were awarded Single of the Year for their deep, dark and gothic tune 'Radio'. The lovely, sparkly Lisa Elle picked up the award with Harry Bohay-Nowell ceremoniously wearing his hat.
The New Blood award went to melodic, jingly jangly indie popsters Dog is Dead.
Pulled Apart by Horses get the Jaegermeister Heavy Band of the Year, hoping they don't over do it on this notorious German cough remedy as few slurred and swaying punters are beginning to testify.
The poetically named Wet Nuns scooped Video of the Year. Animator Toni Buckby weaved a tapestry with 'Why You So Cold,' flowers of charcoal which draw and undraw themselves. An image of Christ emerges from a flower, a skeleton mandolin player dances on a table, vicars and priests are hung, kings are enthralled by a mini demon angel, a wolf, three headed beasts, images emerge amongst this stoner slur of Americana drawl.
Back to the prizes. Electro Act of the Year goes to conceptual post modern dance rockers, Public Service Broadcasting, who have been gaining a lot of attention over the past few months, this live electro act, evoke hautological visions of the past, propelling them into the future. Inspirational and danceable, as demonstrated by the crowd later on. Check out 'Spitfire', and 'ROYGBIV,' interesting stuff!
Tim Burgess hands out the Legend award. As Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert of New Order step up to take their prize, a journalist from the back shouts, 'You're the best band ever!' with a follow-up request for an interview. “Buy that man a drink!” retorts Morris.
As we move from afternoon to dark night, a number of well known journalists and musicians are looking progressively hammered. One unnamed hack spectacularly careers headlong into the door and is escorted outside to sober up on a cold bench.
Jon McClure of Reverend and the Makers gets the Icon award. Having a ciggie outside after, he says he’s on his way up to Dumfermeline for a gig. “I’m gonna get up on stage and do a Liam Gallagher,” he states, waving his award in front of him. “...Have some of this!!”
Tim Burgess meanwhile is in the live room downstairs singing with Hatcham Social as his backing band, playing a country set. Burgess muses as he sits crouched on the floor, his presence and tunes sweet, heart-warming and endearing.
Later the crowd are treated to a bit of Dark Horses and then are entranced and inspired by the post-modern electronic beats of Public Service Broadcasting, complete with back projections straight onto the drummer. Electronic praises are dished out: 'We are very pleased. Artrocker Thank you! Thank you!'
Tall Ships, who really should have won something, tantalize and treat us to the outstanding ‘T=O’, as we enter the room, grunge inspired experimental loops and beats. The punters sway as they try to get their bearings.
Everyone pulls on their coats to insulate them against the cold east London winds, with goodie bagged Goi Gio hats to protect them.
Walking into the dark, a procession of blue snowflake style bobble mark the end of an amicable, celebratory, old-school style day.
Oh, and the Sailor Jerrys helped.