Live review: The Queensland Music Awards – The Powerhouse, Brisbane – 30/3/15

blank realm

Blank Realm

THE talent-rich sunshine state celebrated another fantastic year of music and creativity at the Queensland Music Awards at Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm last night, with big wins for Violent Soho, Sahara Beck, Bobby Alu, The Amity Affliction and Airling.

Hosted by six-time veteran Sarah Howells of triple j and the wonderfully hilarious Fred Leone of Rival MC and Yarwah fame, the event – moved from its normal September slot to avoid clashing with BIGSOUND – proved to be another fine showcase of the outstanding range of quality music coming out of Queensland in recent months.

While Violent Soho bagged album of the year for Hungry Ghost, freakishly-talented teenager Sahara Beck deservedly grabbed the gong for most popular female, and a laidback Bobby Alu picked up the most popular male award, leaving last year’s winner Jeremy Neale empty-handed.

The Amity Affliction accepted their award for most popular group with a video message from somewhere on tour in the northern hemisphere, while Airling not only performed her excellent track ‘Wasted Pilots’, but also snagged the pop award for the same song.

In an unfortunate yet sweet set of circumstances, The Grates’ pair Patience Hodgson and John Patterson were unable to accept their award in the rock category as they had to put their infant child to bed, while The Vernons not only won the regional gong for ‘To The Sky’, but also the hearts of a packed room with an acceptance speech including the words “My parents will be filthy they didn’t come tonight.”

yarwah

Yarwah

The excellent The Medics deservedly picked up an award in the Indigenous category for their track ‘Wake Up’, with singer Kahl Wallis giving thanks in poetry form, while country rock ‘n’ rollers Halfway nabbed gongs in the country category and for song of the year for ‘Dulcify’.

With live performances from Yarwah, Halfway, Sahara Beck, MKO, Airling, Katie Noonan + cln, Blank Realm (who were, by far, the outstanding live performers of the evening) and We All Want To, the Queensland Music Awards for 2015 proved to be another celebration of everything that’s great about music in the state, with every nominee deserving of being a winner.

A special mention has to go to host Fred Leone, who not only performed with his excellent band Yarwah and helped introduce the #notON campaign aimed at stamping out violence against women, but was a constant source of hilarity throughout.

“I’m getting on towards middle age for a black fella,” he said, at one stage, to awkward laughter. “I’m 36 and we die around 50.” At another point he had the room in stitches while, after listening to Sarah Howells talk about and thank her dressmaker for a bit longer than was perhaps necessary, he uttered the immortal words “And I would like to thank Trade Secret at Chermside for these pants – $30.” What a dude.

Full list of winners:

SCHOOLS (GRADE 6 – 12)
SASKIA
Song Title: ‘Days Of Doom’
Writers: Saskia van Iperen, Alistair Marsden

POP
Airling
Song Title: ‘Wasted Pilots’
Writers: Hannah Shepherd, Tom Iansek, Graham Ritchie

ROCK
The Grates
Song Title: ‘Holiday Home’
Writers: Patience Hodgson, John Patterson

BLUES/ROOTS
Leanne Tennant
Song Title: ‘Bearing The Crown’
Writers: Leanne Tennant

COUNTRY
Halfway
Song Title: ‘Dulcify’
Writers: John Busby, Chris Dale, Ben Johnson, Elwin Hawtin, Luke Peacock, John Willsteed

URBAN
Dubmarine
Song Title: ‘None the Wiser’
Writers: Joel Alexander, Terry Cassels, Paul Watson, Paul Donehue, Jeremie Nagabbo, Mikael Strand, Nick Torpy, Billie Weston

FOLK/SINGER SONGWRITER
Quintessential Doll
Song Title: ‘Live Like I’m Dying’
Writers: Steph Linsdell

WORLD
Mzaza
Song Title: ‘Enfants du Chemin’ (Children of the Road)
Writers: Pauline Maudy, Greta Kelly, Jordan Stamos, John Robertson, Stephen Cuttriss, Chloe Ann Williamson

JAZZ
Laique
Song Title: ‘Closing Time’
Writers: Kylie Southwell

ELECTRONIC/DANCE
Michelle Xen
Song Title: ‘Short Term Plan’
Writers: Michelle Oxenham

HEAVY
Guards of May
Song Title: ‘Numbers’
Writers: James Harden, Keita Neralic, Richie Harvey, Damian Saloman, Levi Russell

CHILDREN’S MUSIC
The Kangagang
Song Title: ‘Hungry Crocodile Chomp’
Writers: Carolyn Simpson

VIDEO
The Kite String Tangle
Song Title: ‘Arcadia’
Writers: Daniel M Harley

INDIGENOUS
The Medics
Song Title: ‘Wake Up’
Writers: Kahl Wallace, Jhindu Lawrie, Andrew Thomson, Charles Thomas

REGIONAL
The Vernons
Song Title: ‘To The Sky’
Writers: James K Nikiforides, Jonathan K Nyst

THE BOQ PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD – MOST POPULAR FEMALE
Sahara Beck

THE BOQ PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD – MOST POPULAR MALE
Bobby Alu

THE BOQ PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD – MOST POPULAR GROUP
The Amity Affliction

SONG OF THE YEAR
Halfway
Song Title: ‘Dulcify’
Writers: John Busby, Chris Dale, Ben Johnson, Elwin Hawtin, Luke Peacock, John Willsteed

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Violent Soho
Album: Hungry Ghost

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