Billy Bragg, Geoff Travis amongst winners of the AIM independent music awardsLast night’s AIM independent music awards in London was a celebration of a new kind of indie culture. 

Long gone are the days of Crass records and gluing your own record sleeves all night in seedy bedsits, this new world is a glitzy and confident ceremony that saw awards for a whole series of big bands and artists reflecting the indie sectors big percentage of the modern market place and a move far way from its back room roots of the late seventies. Embodying this was the award to Geoff Travis of Rough Trade whose shop and label has been a mainstay of the scene since it started.

Geoff gave a great speech thanking his partner in crime Jeanette Lee and his achievements have been huge and they underline the movements move away from bedsit to the mainstream without losing its musical enthusiasm . It’s difficult now to even define what indie is apart from being vaguely guitar music made by well spoken young people and the list of winners reflects this 21st century version of the form with Vampire Weekend, Daughter and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis being the main winners of AIM- the key organization that holds the scene together third annual AIM Independent Music Awards at London hotel The Brewery.

Being winners of the indie champion award in 2011, LTW was glad to be back cheering on this year’s  winners on a hot evening of 21st century indie.

Franz Ferdinand, whose new album is currently number one in the mid week charts opened the proceedings with a three song mini set that sounded great and then the awards ceremony was presented by the ‘indie ant and dec’ …Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens with Lamacq being flummoxed by winning a lifetime award of his own presented by the gravelly hilarious Richard Hawley.

London folk-rockers Daughter scooped the Independent Album Of The Year Award for their debut, ‘If You Leave’, while New York’s Vampire Weekend won Independent Track Of The Year for ‘Diane Young’ from their third album ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’.

Billy Bragg was given the Outstanding Contribution To Music prize, presented by Glastonbury boss Michael Eavis.

Warp deservedly won the Independent Label Of The. Best Small Label reflecting a great year of very varied releases whilst new label went to went to Alcopop!, home to Johnny Foreigner, Stagecoach and Fight Like Apes.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Independent Album Of The Year (in association with Record Store Day): Daughter – ‘If You Leave’

Independent Track Of The Year (in association with Spotify): Vampire Weekend – ‘Diane Young’

Best Live Act (voted for by The Fly readers): Enter Shikari

Independent Breakthrough Of The Year (in association with 7digital): Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Independent Video Of The Year (in association with Vevo): Django Django – ‘WOR’

Hardest Working Band Or Artist: Frankie & The Heartstrings

Best ‘Difficult’ Second Album (in association with XFM): The xx – ‘Coexist’

PPL Award For Most Played New Independent Act: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Special Catalogue Release Of The Year (in association with Amazon): Various Artists – ‘Scared To Get Happy: A Story Of Indie Pop 1980-89’

Independent Label Of The Year (in association with Coutts): Warp

Best Small Label (in association with Disc Manufacturing Services): Alcopop!

Golden Welly Award (in association with UK Music, AIF and This Is Fake DIY): In The Woods

Indie Champion Award (in association with Consolidated Independent): Gilles Peterson

Special Recognition Award: Steve Lamacq

Outstanding Contribution To Music (in association with eMusic): Billy Bragg

Pioneer Award (in association with Nokia Music): Geoff Travis

 

1 COMMENT

  1. John, you seem to have lost sight of what makes indie political. It’s not about the instruments, it’s not about pretending to be a punk and packaging rebellion for the market, it’s about ownership and control of the means of production and distribution of music.

    “It’s difficult now to even define what indie is”

    How about music produced and distributed by companies unconnected to the global conglomerates who control 80% of the world’s musical output? Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

    “vaguely guitar music made by well spoken young people and the list of winners reflects this 21st century version of the form with Vampire Weekend, Daughter and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis”

    Vampire Weekend are signed to an independent record label (XL).
    Daughter are signed to an independent record label (Glassnote).
    Macklemore releases music on his own label
    Ryan Lewis is signed to Macklemore’s label

    Ditto Billy Bragg, who has retained ownership and control of the rights of every song he has written and recorded.

    Geoff Travis’s radicalism is double fold. Not only is Rough Trade independent of major labels and distributers, but you can purchase Rough Trade music from its own shop, bypassing the newly emerging distribution of giants such as Apple and Amazon.

    I’m not saying this awards thing was perfect (Enter Shikari are clearly fakes, distributed Warner Bros), but do try to understand what indie (still) means.

    An Amateur Anthropologist

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