AND SO, like some sort of crazed rollercoaster, we hurtle into the third week of what we lovingly refer to as “the Q Awards planning process”. Or, more precisely, things are trundling along in quite the merry fashion.
You see, nothing much at this point changes with regard to basic procedure. Meetings are still conducted at a leisurely pace and frequency. No one attending them has yet started hurling abuse, randomly swearing and/or weeping like a baby. Save for me, that is, and I can’t help it.
It is almost possible, each and every year, to believe that it will always be thus. And that come, say, September, one won’t be threatening to tear a hapless band member’s innards out for having the audacity to request a vegan menu, or leaping like a salmon at even the most perfunctory bit of good news (wa-hey! The tableclothes have arrived! And they’re all red! Break out the bubbly!). Stress, we love it.
Some things, though, are happening, or indeed have happened. At last count four major artists and one national treasure had confirmed that, yes, they would very much like to join Q for some back slap-age on 8 October. This, clearly, is no bad thing. Well, not entirely. Aside from the awards that you vote for (and did I mention how we love you for it?), the Q Awards is also the happy home to a selection of merit awards, wherein we, Q, doff our collective cap to those whose body of work we feel in our bones really does deserve to be applauded and, oh yes, awarded. And there’s the rub.
The way the allocation of merit awards works is thus: come the start of each year we, Q, identify a wide cross-section of musical folk we would very much like to honour, and then invite them to our party. In doing so, we are fully aware that not all of them will be able to come. A few, indeed, will not want to come, and a plague upon all they know and love. Er… Anyway, as of now, more of said meritees have accepted at this point than we would normally anticipate.
As I said, good. Except, I think I may have mentioned a couple of weeks ago (and deluded myself in the meantime that anyone was paying attention), this year we are increasing the number of awards you vote for, which should mean – given the application of basic logic – that there will be less merit awards. To prevent the ceremony going on, much like this blog, for so long people will begin requiring medical treatment before it concludes. An unexpected number of people saying they’ll come (the swines!) threatens not so much to upset the applecart, as to place a live hand grenade underneath it and run for cover.
We’ll cope, we always do. Even when the venue on the day smells of either boiled cabbage or wee (opinion was divided), as it did three (or so) years ago. But that’s another story…
…Better to discuss one of the awards decided upon by you, the great and the good. Let’s try Best Live Act on for size, shall we. Now, if it were up to me, which it isn’t, The Hold Steady and Bright Eyes would both be shortlisted for the award this year, so good have both been on the two occasions I have seen each of them thus far in 2007. But I rather suspect that their names may be absent whenever this year’s final nominees are debated. Prove me wrong, please.
I am equally certain that Muse will be on the list, and rightly so. Notwithstanding their monumental achievement in playing, and packing out, two nights at Wembley Stadium, as they did this summer, Muse are a band everyone – and I do mean everyone – would concede can do the business on stage. They’ve been nominated in this category a time or two before, too.
Muse might well win this year. But so too might Arcade Fire, and this would be no less just. I’ve seen them three times so far in 2007: once (at London’s Porchester Hall), they were mesmeric. Once, at the capital’s Brixton Academy, they were good, but mundane by comparison to the earlier gig. At Glastonbury, they were mighty.
During at least one of these gigs, I believe I may have shouted to the person with me, or indeed anyone within earshot, that the Arcade Fire were the sort of band you spend years waiting expectantly for. On their night (and most nights are their night), they’re that good.
I now keenly await a flood of nominations for The Fray.
Till next time…
Paul Rees – Editor
12:06 PM | 23/07/2007
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