Rumer, John Grant, Arctic Monkeys, Public Image, Ltd., Ringo Starr and Brian Wilson led the way at the Glenfiddich Mojo Honours List 2011 last night after winning gongs at the highly prestigious, star-studded annual awards ceremony.
Hosted by Mojo magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Phil Alexander at The Brewery in London’s East End, the event included guests Jimmy Page, Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr, Sir Bob Geldof, Phil Collins, John Lydon, Sandie Shaw, The Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines, Grinderman, Primal Scream, Gary Numan, Thomas Dolby and New Order’s Bernard Sumner to name a few. Consisting of key awards which were voted for by readers of the monthly music bible Mojo magazine, and users of its website www.mojo4music.com, the awards were described by Alexander as “a triumph for music,” as they celebrated the achievements of the last 12 months as well as career-long accomplishments, while at the same time supporting Glenfiddich’s ethos of inspiring people to realize their potential.
Suzi Quatro, best known for her hit “Devil Gate Drive,” took to the stage to present Booker T & The MG’s guitarist & Blues Brother Steve Cropper with the prestigious Gibson Guitar sponsored Mojo Les Paul Award.
During the awards ceremony, a Gibson Les Paul Standard Goldtop was signed by all winners and presenters on behalf of Mojo’s chosen charity, War Child.
Blessed with a voice reminiscent of Karen Carpenter and with her debut album, Seasons of My Soul, declared an instant five-star classic by Mojo on its release in November, Pakistan-born Rumer walked away with the highly coveted Mojo Breakthrough Award.
“It has been a remarkable 12 months for Rumer,” Alexander said of her win. “It’s all about the songs with her. That’s what’s made Seasons of My Soul one of the biggest-selling British albums in recent memory. She was nominated in three reader-voted categories at this year’s Glenfiddich Mojo Honours List which underlines the impact she's has among real music fans.”
Rumer was however beaten to the prestigious Mojo Best Album Award by seven times nominated Arctic Monkeys, whose fourth album, Suck it and See, triumphed. Commenting, Alexander said, “Mojo has always been proud to champion the Arctic Monkeys. They’ve been on the cover twice in two years. There is something about them that is incredibly special. I think it’s because they fit in a long line of truly great British artists. You can draw a line between the lyricism of Ray Davies and Alex Turner, stopping at John Cooper Clarke along the way.”
Pipped at the post by Grinderman’s “Heathen Child” for Mojo Song of the Year, velvet-toned baritone John Grant won the Mojo Best Live Act Award. Alexander paid tribute to Grant’s live performances by saying, “John has emerged as a thrilling and hugely confessional live artist. He has toured ceaselessly in the U.K. and each tour has seen him growing and building his audience. He is one of the finest artists to emerge in recent times.”
Futuristic synth pioneer Gary Numan was presented the Mojo Inspiration Award for his impact and wide-ranging influence, genuine enthusiasm and inspiration of everyone from Dave Grohl to Trent Reznor to Armand Van Helden. Commenting on Gary, Phil Alexander said: “In 1979 Gary Numan changed the musical landscape as we know it with the release of Replicas which made electronic music acceptable to pop and rock fans. He’s influenced everyone from Dave Grohl to Beck to Armand Van Helden. He’s also one of the most humble blokes you’ll ever meet, so this award is more than deserved.”
Joining Gary on the Mojo Honours List stage was the legendary John Lydon who swaggered off with Public Image, Ltd.’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. With a career spanning over three decades, Public Image, Ltd. was described by Alexander as “One of the cornerstones of alternative music. You can still hear the angular sound they created everywhere. They create music that travels far beyond the strictures of punk, it’s music that bristles with Lydon’s true personality. Theirs has truly been an outstanding contribution to music.”
True musical pioneers were also acknowledged at this year's ceremony with Primal Scream being presented with the Mojo Classic Album Award for the dance-influenced masterpiece Screamadelica, while Ringo Starr's immortal music legacy as a Beatle and beyond earned him the exalted Mojo Icon Award. “Ringo was the backbeat of one of the greatest bands of all-time,” enthused Alexander. “He’s the man who sang ‘With a Little Help From My Friends.’ He’s the only guy to ever visit the ‘Octopus’s Garden’! The man who directed T. Rex’s ‘Born to Boogie!’ Oh, and he's the voice of Thomas the Tank Engine! Teddy boy, mop top, all-star guy! There is and only ever will be one Ringo Starr!”
This year’s Mojo Hall of Fame inductee, Brian Wilson, flew into the U.K. especially to collect his award. Described by Mojo as a man that transcends genre, time and place, Alexander added: “As one of the principle architects of the Beach Boys sound, Brian sold us visions of America that were infused with romanticism, hope and in places, sheer fragility. You listen to his music and you are transported by what it does. He has a sense of composition that is utterly unique to the point where is almost defies categorization. Genius is the only word for it.”
Receiving this year’s Mojo Hero Award was soul legend Eddie Floyd whose 1966 classic, “Knock on Wood,” has been covered and recorded by over 100 artists ranging from David Bowie to Eric Clapton. Alexander described Eddie as “one of the founding fathers of southern soul music” and “a genuine titan of American music.”
Other winners on the night included psychedelic folk-rock pioneer Donovan, who was acknowledged with the Mojo Maverick Award by his friend, Led Zeppelin legend Jimmy Page. Squeeze collected Classic Songwriter and Martha and the Vandellas walked away with the Mojo Merit Award. Sweet Inspiration: The Songs of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham collected Compilation of the Year and the Mojo Vision Award went to Upside Down: The Creation Records Story.
Orange Juice’s mighty anthology Coals to Newcastle won Mojo Catalogue Release of the Year, and saw the much-loved Edwyn Collins reform his old band for one night only to collect the award, while this year's Mojo Medal Award – designed to recognize services to music – was awarded by Sir Bob Geldof to legendary DJ and broadcaster “Whispering” Bob Harris.
For more information on the 2011 Mojo Honours List, click here.
For more information on War Child, click here.
Photo Credit: Dean Fardell