South West Music Awards 2011 Exeter Corn Exchange

So tonight was the South West Music Awards. I really did not know what to think about this, we were given a couple of tickets as Secrets had been nominated for best indie act. The web site for the event was a little on the basic side, with very little info on it.

Turned up walked in, was not too many people there, saw a few old faces, bumped into Fred the promoter who after I said hello told me everything was going shit, oops that doesn’t bode well.

Me and Mike were sat at a table with some people from the band Loose Cannons who were all jolly good people, and the banter started up. We were presented with a goodie bag, this consisted of a load of CD-rs of people you have never heard of, a few flyers one party popper and one very small bag of malteasers.

So the event finally starts, there is some taiko drummers then John Robb comes on, from the start he starts to rip the piss out of the event, including making comments on who actually voted for any of the awards and who some of the bands are.

It starts to go into a Mick Fleetwood and Sam Fox does the BPI Awards where he calls up someone to present an award, wrong person who didn’t have a clue what she was presenting then it all went silent, and it was rather awkward for about 5-10 minutes.

Joss Stone was there, she is one of the most down to earth people in the room, no ego, she came over to our table and asked if she could have a chair, no big minders or any of that rubbish.

So the awards started to flow, Phil Beer got best folk act for show of hands. There there was another band on, few more awards, We didn’t win but we never though we would.

There was then a juggler, quite what this was about I have no idea, anyhow, a bit of banter came along, and someone that was suppose to have been the ex Drummer of Wang (Dance hall days) Chung. Anyhow this guy walks on to the stage, and starts calling the juggler through the PA a C**T and starts threatening him. Now the first question is, where was the security, as I didn’t see ANY there at all. The evening then starts to drag, long break in the middle, a band sound checks for AGES, finally we get more taiko drums, the john robb pops on, and we get another band few more awards the another band, who deadicat a song to the short angry man, he then gets up to have a go at him, this time I film it, not as funny as the first time, but still good. Joss stone gets an award then she legs it as fast as she can.

Its all painfully slow and over running now, most have left, few more awards to go then it’s the aftershow at Mama Stones.

The Aftersow, was suppose to be free entry to people with wristbands, I still got charged a fiver because the doorman said it was only free if you got there after 1 am, when it was only about 12.

Well was there for a bit saw Simon Hall from work, and chatted to John Robb, hes a good chap.

Looking back, this could be a really good event, It was all a little un professional, and many had paid 15 quid to get in one of the acts that won even complained on stage that they paid 15 quid and didn’t even get a free drink on arrival!!!

I did hope more would have turned up, so there could be a bit more musical networking, but as Phil Beer pointed out most bands are gigging on a Saturday night, this should have been early to mid week.

Either way, I had a great time, and I would go again!


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