Saturday, November 05, 2005


It would take a man with an icy heart to want to suggest that a music awards show might need to have a bit of a rethink, and nobody would suggest there's anything inherently wrong with the idea behind the UMAs ("born out of the need to build a worldwide and independent awards ceremony to recognise the achievement of British based artists, producers, club nights, dj’s , radio stations, record labels and artist that are or were previously underground and are a product of the current UK Underground Dance/Urban music scene."). Or to even go "erm... isn't that what the MOBOs are supposed to do?"

But holding it the day after the MTV EMAs and the Latin Grammys is a little like putting on your car boot sale the day the church runs the village fete; it needn't be a disaster, but you're going to have to have a certain confidence to pull it off.

Giving Heather Small the "thank god you're here" prize ("lifetime achievement" - that's two songs, then?) isn't a sign of much confidence. Craig David also got an "outstanding achievement" prize (presumably the achievement being having a career that's been kept alive solely by a man wearing a big rubber mask pretending he has no bladder control), while the reggae, drum and bass and jazz prizes (Maxi Priest, Roni Size and Courtney Pine) could have been awarded to exactly the same acts at any point over pretty much most of the last decade. There's nothing wrong with saying that Courtney Pine is the best British Jazz Artist, but that doesn't really suggest that British jazz is in the best of health.

Oh, and any music awards which include a prize for "best entrepreneur" (Marcus Miller) should probably be closed down straight away. Until Marketing Week introduces an annual prize for 'best single', there's no place for having businessmen in a celebration of music.

Also getting prizes:
Best DJ - Ras Kwame
Best newcomer - Sway Desafo
Best hip-hop - Skinny Man
Best album - Roll Deep - In At The Deep End
Best garage - Lethal B
Best chart act - Raghav
Best album - Jamelia - Thank You