I’m still reeling from the news that Q Magazine is no longer with us, but it seems a fair assumption that the Q Awards probably won’t happen again any time soon. Tickets are still on sale for the event on 14th October 2020, at an eye-watering £999 per person, so let’s hope I’m wrong about that, but either way, I never got around to summarising last Autumn’s Q Awards ceremony, so let’s jump onto it now.
The 2019 event took place at N on N, and were presented by Nadine Shah.
Q Best Breakthrough Act Presented by Red Stripe
Working Men’s Club
Winner: Pale Waves
Q Best Track Presented by Absolute Radio
Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved
Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
FKA Twigs – Cellophane
JARV IS – Must I Evolve
Lizzo – Juice
Róisín Murphy – Incapable
The 1975 – People
AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove
Stormzy – Vossi Bop
Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall
Winner: Lewis Capaldi
Q Best Album
Dave – Psychodrama
Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Fat White Family – Serfs Up
Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 1)
Little Simz – Grey Area
The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
Sleaford Mods – Eton Alive
Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
Q Best Live Performance Presented by The Cavern Club
The Courteeners – Heaton Park
Doves – TCT at Royal Albert Hall
Florence & The Machine – BST Hyde Park
Ariana Grande – The O2
Michael Kiwanuka – End of the Road
The 1975 – Reading Festival
Stormzy – Glastonbury
The Streets – Brixton Academy
The Strokes – All Points East
Neil Young & Bob Dylan – BST Hyde Park
Winner: Michael Kiwanuka
Q Best Solo Act
Q Best Act In The World Today Presented by Rocksteady Music School
We found out a few weeks ago who was in the running for this year’s Mercury Prize – in case you weren’t fully paying attention, here’s that list again:
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Everything Everything – A Fever Dream
Everything is Recorded – Everything is Recorded
Florence + The Machine – High as Hope
Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
King Krule – The Ooz
Lily Allen – No Shame
Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon?
Novelist – Novelist Guy
Sons of Kemet – Your Queen is a Reptile
Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life
Well, on 20th September, the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith hosted this year’s ceremony, where the winner was revealed to be Wolf Alice.
While I don’t think the Mercury Prize is technically ever particularly bad for anybody’s career, it seems to be a little variable in terms of the success it provides (although I’m sure the £25,000 comes in handy). The Official Charts website had an interesting analysis of past winners, which reveals just how commercially unsuccessful some of the winners have been, particularly in recent years (last year’s winner Sampha peaked high, but is one of the worst selling of the lot). The Guardian article includes some nice analysis of the sales patterns for this year’s ceremony.
It’s also worth taking a moment to browse the previous nominees in one big list, which for some reason is an analysis I’ve never got around to doing. Turns out the panel adore Radiohead, but they have never quite got around to letting them win. PJ Harvey, of course, is somewhat surprisingly their favourite artist, having won twice and with two more nominations to her name. Impressive, given that only just over 300 albums have ever been nominated – maybe white rock is just a lot more accomplished than other forms.