Chart for stowaways – 18 August 2018

Here’s the latest album chart:

  1. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  2. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  3. The Human League – Secrets
  4. Goldfrapp – Silver Eye
  5. Sparks – Hippopotamus
  6. Underworld & Iggy Pop – Teatime Dub Encounters
  7. Gorillaz – The Now Now
  8. Jon Hopkins – Singularity
  9. Depeche Mode – Violator
  10. Saint Etienne – Tales from Turnpike House
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Q Awards 2018 – Nominations

Time now to look at the decidedly mundane list of nominees for this year’s Q Awards, which will take place on 17th October.

Q Breakthrough Act presented by Red Stripe

  • Amyl & The Sniffers
  • Goat Girl
  • Tom Grennan
  • The Magic Gang
  • IDLES
  • Bugzy Malone
  • Nakhane
  • Novelist
  • Nadine Shah
  • Jorja Smith
  • Rejjie Snow

Q Best Track presented by Firestone

  • Love It If We Made It – The 1975
  • This Is America – Childish Gambino
  • Girlfriend – Christine & The Queens
  • The Man – Goat Girl
  • Make Me Feel – Janelle Monae
  • Bells & Circles – Underworld & Iggy Pop

Q Best Album

  • Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – Arctic Monkeys
  • Hunter – Anna Calvi
  • Who Built The Moon? – Noel Gallagher
  • Joy As An Act Of Resistance – IDLES
  • Marauder – Interpol
  • I’m All Ears – Let’s Eat Grandma

Q Best Live Act presented by The Cavern Club

  • David Byrne
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • Liam Gallagher
  • Stefflon Don
  • Taylor Swift
  • Wolf Alice

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Absolute Radio

  • Christine & The Queens
  • Drake
  • Noel Gallagher
  • Janelle Monae
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Sophie

Q Best Act In The World Today presented by Rocksteady Music School

  • The 1975
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Florence & The Machine
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • St Vincent
  • Paul Weller

Q Best Festival/Event presented by Pretty Green Clothing

  • All Points East
  • British Summertime
  • Isle Of Wight Festival
  • Latitude Festival
  • RIZE Festival
  • Spotify Presents: Who We Be

You can vote for your favourites here, until October 5th.

Q Awards 2017

The 2017 Q Awards in association with Absolute Radio (for that was the ceremony’s now drearily over-commercial name) took place at the Roundhouse in London on 18th October, hosted by Christian O’Connell. Let’s take a quick look at who won, and probably also a quick chuckle at the ridiculously long commercialised award names while we’re at it.

Of course, on the plus side, the sponsorship of individual awards does help you tell all the almost-identically-named ones apart…

Q Best Breakthrough Act, presented by Red Stripe

Nominees:

  • The Big Moon
  • Formation
  • Girl Ray
  • HMLTD
  • The Moonlandingz
  • Pumarosa
  • Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
  • Sampha
  • Shame
  • Stefflon Don

Winner: Rag ‘n’ Bone Man

Q Best Live Act, presented by Cavern Club

Nominees:

  • Liam Gallagher
  • The Killers
  • Lorde
  • Radiohead
  • Stormzy

Winner: Liam Gallagher

Q Maverick, presented by Roundhouse

Winner: Viv Albertine

Q Innovation In Sound

Winner: Wiley

Q Best Video, presented by Pretty Green

Nominees:

  • Eagles of Death Metal – Nos Amis (Our Friends)
  • Iggy Pop & Josh Homme – American Valhalla
  • The Rolling Stones – Havana Moon
  • Sleaford Mods – Bunch of Kunst
  • The The – The Inertia Variations

Winner: Sleaford Mods

Q Best Track, presented by Flare Audio

Nominees:

  • Liam Gallagher – Wall of Glass
  • Kasabian – You’re in Love with a Psycho
  • Kendrick Lamar – Humble
  • Lorde – Green Light
  • Ed Sheeran – Shape of You

Winner: Kasabian

Q Best Album, presented by The Box Plus Network

Nominees:

  • Gorillaz – Humanz
  • Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
  • Sleaford Mods – English Tapes
  • Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
  • The xx – I See You

Winner: Gorillaz

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Help Musicians UK

Nominees:

  • Liam Gallagher
  • Lana del Rey
  • Ed Sheeran
  • St. Vincent
  • Stormzy

Winner: Stormzy

Q Best Act In The World Today, presented Buster & Punch

Nominees:

  • The 1975
  • Adele
  • Depeche Mode
  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Ed Sheeran

Winner: Ed Sheeran

Q Icon, presented by BMW

Winner: Liam Gallagher

Q Gibson Les Paul Award

Winner: Kelley Deal

Q Inspiration, presented by Three

Winner: Manic Street Preachers

You can read our coverage of previous years, starting with the 2016 awards here.

Preview – T2 Trainspotting (OST)

It’s difficult to predict whether the long-awaited sequel to Trainspotting is actually going to be any good, and honestly I think I’m more interested in the soundtrack. From a quick look, it doesn’t look quite as good as its predecessor, but there you go. This seemed one of the more interesting tracks, from Blondie. Other highlights include Iggy PopFrankie Goes to Hollywood, and, of course, Underworld.

Kraftwerk – Trans Europa Express

After Autobahn in 1974/5, Kraftwerk remained in experimental territory for Radio-Aktivität (Radio-Activity, 1975), but in 1977 they released perhaps the most mainstream of their albums to date, Trans Europa Express (that’s Trans Europe Express in English just in case you were unsure about the translation).

This was not an age in which you would have been likely to take the album with you while travelling, and so it’s important to remember just how evocative this LP would have been, conjuring up images of sitting in second class compartments surrounded by strangers, watching the West European imagery slide past the window.

Trans Europa Express opens with the gentle electronic arpeggio of Europa Endlos (Europe Endless), and it’s a full 90 seconds before most of the track arrives. When it does, it’s every bit as evocative as it needs to be. You’ll be nodding and tapping your feet in no time, as it whisks you past parks, palaces and hotels (or rather parks, hotels and palaces in the English version).

It takes a full ten minutes for Europa Endlos to arrive at its destination, and our itinerary allows a bit of time between trains for a wander around the city with the haunting Spiegelsaal (The Hall of Mirrors). It’s deeply melancholic, as it describes how everyone sees themselves in the mirror. Or something – it’s never been entirely clear to me what they were talking about in this track, and it even feels like something of a deviation from the concept of this album, but it does fit well musically.

The count-in of eins, zwei, drei, vier (on all editions) introduces the spectacular Schaufensterpuppen (Showroom Dummies on the English version, and there was also a French version called Les Mannequins). The deep choir pads are particularly haunting again, as the lyrics describe a Doctor Who-like scenario in which the window dummies smash through the glass and try to take over the world. Or something.

But Side B is where Trans Europa Express really comes into its own, with the title track mixing into the instrumental Metall auf Metall (Metal on Metal), and then the initially German-only track Abzug (literally something like “Discount” or “Distraction,” but “Ab Zug” almost means something like “Getting Off the Train,” which is no doubt a classic example of Deutsches Humor, and I suspect the lack of a comparable pun in English might be the reason why Metal on Metal combined both tracks on the original English version).

In total, the title track adds up to just under fourteen minutes, comfortably and justifiably a third of the entire album. Quite how it came about that they would invent breakdancing with this track is a mystery to be explored elsewhere, but undeniably this is one of the most influential pieces of music ever recorded. And the point where they bump into Iggy Pop and David Bowie at Düsseldorf City Station may not be something all of us can identify with, but it is another key point in the history of music.

Closing tracks Franz Schubert and Endlos Endlos add little, but wind the album down very calmly. You’ve reached your destination by this point, and are negotiating the last mile, trying to get back to your home and dreaming of your next travel adventure.

It is no exaggeration to describe Trans Europa Express as one of the most important albums of the 1970s, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable, which is something of a rarity. If there isn’t a copy already in your house, this should be amended immediately.

The essential version of TEE  is the German 2009 reissue, available as an import here.

The BRIT Awards 1996

Ah yes, the year in which Jarvis Cocker found Michael Jackson‘s pretentious performance of Earth Song a little over the top. Chris Evans was the host at Earls Court in London, on 19th February 1996.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1995 ceremony here, and the 1997 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Best British Album

Presented by Lenny Kravitz. Nominees:

  • Blur – The Great Escape
  • Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
  • Pulp – Different Class
  • Radiohead – The Bends
  • Paul Weller – Stanley Road

Winner: Oasis

Best British Dance Act

Presented by Vic ReevesBob Mortimer and Ulrika Jonsson. Nominees:

  • Eternal
  • Leftfield
  • M People
  • Massive Attack
  • Tricky

Winner: Massive Attack

Best British Female

Presented by Tina Turner. Nominees:

  • Joan Armatrading
  • PJ Harvey
  • Annie Lennox
  • Shara Nelson
  • Vanessa-Mae

Winner: Annie Lennox

Best British Group

Presented by Pete Townshend from The Who. Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Lightning Seeds
  • Oasis
  • Pulp
  • Radiohead

Winner: Oasis

Best British Male

Presented by Iggy Pop. Nominees:

  • Edwyn Collins
  • Van Morrison
  • Jimmy Nail
  • Tricky
  • Paul Weller

Winner: Paul Weller

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Robbie Williams. Nominees:

  • Black Grape
  • Cast
  • Elastica
  • Supergrass
  • Tricky

Winner: Supergrass

Best British Producer

Nominees:

  • Brian Eno
  • Nellee Hooper
  • John Leckie
  • Owen Morris and Noel Gallagher
  • Stephen Street

Winner: Brian Eno

Best British Single

Presented by Jo Whiley. Nominees:

  • Blur – Country House
  • Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You
  • Everything But the Girl – Missing
  • Annie Lennox – No More I Love You’s
  • Oasis – Roll with It
  • Oasis – Wonderwall
  • Pulp – Disco 2000
  • Simply Red – Fairground
  • Supergrass – Alright
  • Take That – Back for Good

Winner: Take That

Best British Video

Presented by Michael Hutchence from INXS. Nominees:

  • Blur – Country House
  • Blur – The Universal
  • Massive Attack – Protection
  • Oasis – Wonderwall
  • Pulp – Common People
  • Radiohead – Just
  • Rolling Stones – Like a Rolling Stone
  • Simply Red – Fairground
  • Supergrass – Alright
  • Take That – Back for Good

Winner: Oasis

Best International Female

Presented by Kylie Minogue. Nominees:

  • Björk
  • Mariah Carey
  • Celine Dion
  • kd lang
  • Alanis Morissette

Winner: Björk

Best International Group

Presented by Celine Dion. Nominees:

  • Bon Jovi
  • Foo Fighters
  • Garbage
  • Green Day
  • TLC

Winner: Bon Jovi

Best International Male

Nominees:

  • The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
  • Coolio
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Meat Loaf
  • Neil Young

Winner: Prince

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey. Nominees:

  • Tina Arena
  • Boyzone
  • Foo Fighters
  • Garbage
  • Alanis Morissette

Winner: Alanis Morissette

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Nominees:

  • James Horner / London Symphony Orchestra – Braveheart
  • Various Artists – Batman Forever
  • Various Artists – Muriel’s Wedding
  • Various Artists – Natural Born Killers
  • Various Artists – Waiting to Exhale

Winner: Braveheart

Artist of a Generation

Meaningless special award presented by Bob Geldof.

Winner: Michael Jackson

The Freddie Mercury Award

Presented by Roger Taylor from Queen.

Winner: The Help album for the charity War Child. Collected by Brian Eno and Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by, you know, Tony Blair from off of the Conservative Labour Party.

Winner: David Bowie

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: this piece originally omitted Annie Lennox’s nomination for Best British Single. Incidentally, my notes from 1996 also list Cast as nominated for Best British Video (for Alright) instead of Supergrass, but I suspect this is an error.