MY BARNSLEY MUSIC AWARDS: PART 1 – NEW SONG, ALBUM, EP & VIDEO

bma-logo-fwThis time last year, the Live In Barnsley festival team were taking public votes for the inaugural Barnsley Music Awards; and only yesterday the 2015 Awards were announced to take place at The Barnsley Rock & Blues Venues on Friday 4th December, and while public voting doesn’t start until Monday 2nd November, I thought it was time I start to recount my own favourite moments from the last twelve months of Barnsley music.

2015 has been an exceptional, if somewhat quiet year for music in Barnsley. While the first half of ’15 has seen most of the finest and most important local releases in year, the latter half has been hushed. There has been less live music in the usual venues, from the usual promoters (myself included), and there hasn’t been many new bands appear on the scene either. However, there have been new promoters make a dent on the scene, such as those organised and pushed by Andrea Beevers’ Let The Music Speak For Itself Promotions and her vast array of folk-punk and celtic rock acts at The Polish Club and one of the biggest names on the UK live music scene, Sleaford Mods, hit Barnsley for a low-key date. Live In Barnsley Festival saw its third successful event take place, and the three day Underneath The Stars folk festival in Cawthorne saw over 8000 music lovers from around Europe descend onto Cannon Hall Farm to see some of the biggest names in folk, roots and country.

In what will be the first of three articles covering my own shortlists in various categories, here I look at my own personal contenders for Favourite Album, Favourite EP, Favourite New Song and Favourite Video.

Each lists will be topped by my overall favourite cut, alongwith the rest of my top five, followed by the rest of the shortlist in alphabetical order.

~ FAVOURITE NEW SONG ~
Despite only playing a couple of local dates and only issuing one song (and that was on a compliation), Aztec Doll still remain one of my favourite bands. Recalling the ice-cold disco gloom of Warpaint, the dreamtime melodies of Lush and the catchy pop hooks of Dum Dum Girls, Through Our Veins may be their only release of 2015, but it is my favoruite of the entire year, hands down and I cannot wait for the band’s debut album. Fingers crossed that will drop in 2016.

AZTEC DOLL – THROUGH OUR VEINS

THE BLACK LAMPS – THE ARCHIVIST
BRUJA – HORSEY & YOU
CUBIC – BLINDED
TENDER FIRS – SINISTER



The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican – Frisky In the Jar
Black Vines – Yul B.
Del Scott Miller – Clive
Four Authors – Monsters
Gilmore & Roberts – Cecilia
Ginger Tom – Life In the Dark
Hands off Gretel – Be Mine
Heavy Suns – Hold
The Hurriers – Spectemur Agendo
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman – La Moneca ( Queen of the Island of Dolls )
Mark Jackson’s CWOT – Pink Dress
New Party Army – Where Were You?
Paul Gilmartin’s The Danse Society – More Than Dreams
Pusher – Here She Comes
Seventh Son – Living on a Time Bomb
Subject – Messed Up 90s Kids
Taxi For Bob – Burning Bridges

~ FAVOURITE ALBUM ~
Released at the turn of the year by Of National Importance Records (who also issued the Misophonic Minds compilation), The Black Lamps’ debut album was years in the making. The four-piece, made up of members of bands such as Party Day, Danse Society, Bif, The Second Comin and King Palooka, are known as being perfectionists, taking years to write, develop and record their songs. The ten track album was a beautifully crafted masterpiece, poetic and atmospheric. The essence of The Cure, New Order, Arcade Fire, U2 and Eno are all present in some form or another, but more so a sense of place/home, and a sound that is nostalgic, warm, optimistic and uplifting.

THE BLACK LAMPS – THE BLACK LAMPS

THE BAR-STEWARD SONS OF VAL DOONICAN – TARN MACHINE
THE HURRIERS – FROM ACORNS MIGHTY OAKS
MARK JACKSON’S CRIMINAL WASTE OF TALENT – CWOT
MISOPHONIC MINDS: ANOTHER CORNER OF BARNSLEY COUNTER CULTURE – VARIOUS ARTISTS

Best Album

Cubic – 3
Del Scott Miller – First Three Eps
Gilmore & Roberts – Conflict Tourism
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman – Tomorrow Will Follow Today
Mourning Singers – Let The Quiet Hold You
Orgreave Justice – Various Artists
Paul Gilmartin’s The Danse Society – Reincarnated

~ FAVOURITE EP ~
My favourite EP by far this year is Bruja’s self-titled, debut EP. They started off the year by deleting their previous two albums from existence and starting from scratch, creating a new and defining sound for themselves. They booked themselves a joint UK tour with a handful of other bands, released some brilliant videos and played their debut London show.
Bruja could be THE next Barnsley band to make it. If you like Alt-Rock, Shoegaze or Pshychedelia, then this could be your bag.

BRUJA – BRUJA

THE BAR-STEWARD SONS OF VAL DOONICAN – THE DEVIL WENT DARN TO BARNSLEY
DEL SCOTT MILLER – THERE EP
[RETREAT] – A PUBLIC WITNESS PROGRAM
TAXI FOR BOB – STUCK IN HERE



Black Vines – Battle EP
Four Authors – Chapter One EP
The Hearts – Indie Funky Blues

~ FAVOURITE VIDEO ~
Not everybody is able to release a video and not everybody even wants to. However, when bands depend on exposure through social media, a music video is often a necessary tool. There are a handful of excellent local film-makers producing videos for local acts and here are my favourites. My favourite five include two prominent film makers in Giannis Kipreos – who has been producing Bruja’s videos on vintage VHS – and Liam Gilroy who continues to be on top of his game with his fourth video for Pusher.

BRUJA – HORSEY & ME (GIANNIS KIPREOS)
THE HURRIERS – HAPPY FAMILIES (BETHANY BAKER & LAURA HINCHCLIFFE)
KATHRYN ROBERTS & SEAN LAKEMAN – LA MONECA (QUEEN OF THE ISLAND OF DOLLS) (LAURA SAUNDERS)
PUSHER – HERE SHE COMES (LIAM GILROY)
TENDER FIRS – SINISTER (RORY GARFORTH)





Black China Dolls – They’re Coming, They’re Coming
Cubic – Somethings Wrong
Four Authors – Follow You
Gilmore & Roberts – Cecilia
Hands off Gretel – Be Mine
Heavy Suns – Hold
New Party Army – Arbeit
New Road Kings – Waiting for the Sun
Seventh Son – Living on a Time Bomb.
The Vegas Six – And Then There Were Six

~ PART 2 – BAND, SOLO ARTIST, NEW ACT & LIVE ACT and PART 3 – VENUE, OPEN MIC, EVENT & LOCAL CONTRIBUTION …COMING SOON ~

BARNSLEY MUSIC AWARDS 2015
FRI 4 DEC @ BARNSLEY ROCK & BLUES VENUE
Public swill open on Monday 2nd November at 5pm and close on Monday 30th November at 5pm. Follow facebook.com/LIVE-in-Barnsley-392626814151922/ for up to date news.

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