As we come to the end of an, ahem, “interesting” year, the awards ceremonies and award ceremony nominations season seem to be in full swing.
We have already had the inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of fame, in a list that included Depeche Mode, T. Rex, Nine Inch Nails and… The Notorious B.I.G and Whitney Houston. Now I have always thought that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was a little bit of a strange one, but if the latter two are Rock ’n’ Roll then frankly, I’m the Pope.
In the meantime the Grammy Award nominations managed to upset the obviously fragile egos of both The Weeknd – who despite having the best-selling album of the year didn’t get a single nod, and Justin Bieber, who took issue with his inclusion in the “pop” category. The Canadian tweeny sensation is obviously still under the delusion that his music is being purchased by bad boys straight outta Compton, rather than 13-year-olds in the suburban mid-west who wear their baseball caps backwards and spend Saturday nights in the carpark of the local fast food outlet. Until their parents come to pick them up.
If you think about it, the mere concept of having an awards ceremony for music is misguided. Music is an entirely personal affair. An album that may affect you on a visceral level, tearing out your still-beating heart and stomping on it with raw emotion, may not raise a flicker of interest with your friends.
Writing about music has often been described as being a relevant as dancing about architecture. The awards ceremonies themselves are nothing more than a marketing affair to drum up awareness and sales, and personally I stopped watching them after Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood’s infamous car crash as co-hosts at The Brits in the mid-80s.
The only (unintentional) exception to the rule of awards ceremonies being used to shift records is The Mercury Awards. Year after year the winners of this award – Skepta, Sampha, Ms. Dynamite, Speech Debelle – tend to disappear without trace from the musical landscape.
So as 2020 drags itself across the finishing line that that unspeakable thing that the cat sometimes brings in half alive and you have to beat to death with whatever’s nearest (normally a Mercury Award winning album), let’s forget about award ceremony shenanigans and get back to the serious business of enjoying our favourite music. If you love it and connect with it, that’s all that matters – even if the only award the artist ever got was his Cycling Proficiency!!