Chart for stowaways – 16 June 2018

These are the top albums this week:

  1. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  2. The Human League – Secrets
  3. Sparks – Hippopotamus
  4. Tracey Thorn – Record
  5. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – The Punishment of Luxury
  6. Kylie Minogue – Golden
  7. Chvrches – Love Is Dead
  8. Jon Hopkins – Singularity
  9. Chicane – The Place You Can’t Remember, The Place You Can’t Forget
  10. Portishead – Portishead

Ivor Novello Awards 2016

The 2016 Ivor Novello Awards occurred on Thursday 19th May at Grosvenor House, in London.

PRS for Music Most Performed Work

  • James Bay – Hold Back The River
  • Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand
  • Years & Years – King

Winner: James Bay

Best Television Soundtrack

  • Stuart Earl – And Then There Were None
  • Edmund Butt – From Darkness
  • Keefus Ciancia and David Holmes – London Spy

Winner: London Spy

The Ivors Classical Music Award

Winner: Oliver Knussen

International Achievement

Winner: Wayne Hector

Best Song Musically and Lyrically

  • Ed Sheeran and Rudimental – Bloodstream
  • Wolf Alice – Bros
  • Jamie Lawson – Wasn’t Expecting That

Winner: Jamie Lawson

The Ivors Inspiration Award

Winner: Happy Mondays

Album Award


  • Villagers – Darling Arithmetic
  • Jamie xx – In Colour
  • Gaz Coombes – Matador

Winner: Villagers

Songwriter of the Year

Winner: Adele

Best Original Film Score

  • Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury – Ex_Machina
  • John Powell – Pan
  • Faris Badwan and Rachel Zeffira – The Duke of Burgundy

Winner: Ex_Machina

Best Contemporary Song

  • Snakehips feat. Tinashe & Chance the Rapper – All My Friends
  • Roots Manuva – Cargo
  • Skepta – Shutdown

Winner: Snakehips feat. Tinashe & Chance the Rapper

Outstanding Song Collection

Winner: Simple Minds

PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music

Winner: Portishead

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Damon Albarn

PRS for Music Special International Award

Winner: Bryan Adams

More here and here.

Music for the Masses 40 – 14 May 2005

This was the last ever Music for the Masses, just a little over a decade ago, and it would go out with nothing but a sombre wave on the webcam, ten minutes before the end. Over the preceding five years, I had immensely enjoyed doing the show, and would spend another eight years or so wondering how to recapture those times. Eventually, it was reincarnated in the shape of the blog you’re reading today.

The last track had to be, of course, the fantastic Sweet Harmony by The Beloved.

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Show 40: Sat 14 May 2005, from 6:00pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: Everything But The Girl.

  • Portishead – Glory Box
  • Basement Jaxx – Where’s Your Head At
  • Kings Have Long Arms feat. Phil Oakey – Rock & Roll is Dead
  • Sohodolls – Prince Harry
  • Everything But The Girl – Missing (CL McSpadden Powerhouse Mix)
  • Underworld – Pearl’s Girl
  • Client – Don’t Call Me Baby
  • Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart
  • Garbage – The World is Not Enough
  • Everything But The Girl – Walking Wounded
  • Wolfsheim – Kein Zurück (Live) [The Live Bit]
  • Vic Twenty – Wrong
  • Moby – Raining Again
  • Luke Slater – I Can Complete You
  • Röyksopp – Poor Leno
  • Everything But The Girl – Blame
  • Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygène (Part 2)
  • Goldfrapp – Tiptoe [Electromix]
  • Jolly Music – Radio Jolly (ADULT Remix) [Electromix]
  • Massive Attack – Butterfly Caught (Paul Daley Remix) [Electromix]
  • Alpinestars – Green Raven Blonde
  • The Beloved – Sweet Harmony (Live the Dream Remix)

The Electromix feature from this show still exists, and will be included on a future Playlist for stowaways.

Music for the Masses 37 – 23 April 2005

The post-Easter run of shows introduced two new features, both pre-recorded mixes. The Live Bit consisted of ten minutes or so of live material, while the Electromix was a trio of dark electronic tracks mixed together. I had a lot of fun with this week’s by trying to censor My Robot Friend‘s track in creative ways.

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Show 37: Sat 23 Apr 2005, from 6:00pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: Delerium.

  • Jakatta – American Dream
  • Björk – Army of Me
  • Lemon Jelly – Make Things Right
  • Faithless – Tarantula
  • Delerium – Daylight
  • Alpinestars – Burning Up
  • Portishead – Sour Times
  • Happy Mondays – Hallelujah
  • Groove Armada – At the River (Live) [The Live Bit]
  • Client – White Wedding (Live) [The Live Bit]
  • Erlend Øye – Sudden Rush
  • Paul Keating (Closer to Heaven Original Cast Recording) – Positive Role Model (The Almighty Definitive Mix)
  • Delerium – Fallen
  • Moby – Spiders
  • Everything But The Girl – Mirrorball (Jazzy Jeff Remix)
  • Ultravox – Vienna
  • Tiga & Zyntherius – Sunglasses at Night
  • Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan – Silence
  • Death in Vegas – Hands Around My Throat [Electromix]
  • My Robot Friend – Sex Machine [Electromix]
  • Leftfield – Phat Planet [Electromix]
  • Goldfrapp – Hairy Trees

The Live Bit and Electromix features from this show both still exist, and will appear in a future Playlist for stowaways.

Mercury Prize Winners 1992-2013

Last year, we looked at the nominees of the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize in excruciating detail (you can find the links below). This year, let’s just take a very quick browse through the list of winners!

  • 1992 – Primal Scream – Screamadelica
  • 1993 – Suede – Suede
  • 1994 – M People – Elegant Slumming
  • 1995 – Portishead – Dummy
  • 1996 – Pulp – Different Class
  • 1997 – Roni Size / Reprazent – New Forms
  • 1998 – Gomez – Bring it On
  • 1999 – Talvin Singh – Ok
  • 2000 – Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of Bewilderbeast
  • 2001 – PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  • 2002 – Ms. Dynamite – A Little Deeper
  • 2003 – Dizzee Rascal – Boy in da Corner
  • 2004 – Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
  • 2005 – Antony and the Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now
  • 2006 – Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
  • 2007 – Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
  • 2008 – Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
  • 2009 – Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy
  • 2010 – The XX – XX
  • 2011 – PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  • 2012 – Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
  • 2013 – James Blake – Overgrown

Which does make for a slightly odd list when you see it all together – it’s a mix of legends and total drivel… but who are we to judge? That’s the job of the judging committee.

If you want to delve into the gory details of previous years, you can find them here: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. The nominees for 2014 can be found here, and we’ll take a look at the winners next week.

Portishead – Dummy

Two decades ago this week saw the release of Portishead‘s debut album Dummy. Always slightly enigmatic and mysterious, the group appeared largely out of nowhere, and subsequently disappeared into relative obscurity afterwards, only surfacing about once a decade with a new album, which although excellent and significant chart hits, seem to get almost entirely forgotten by the world at large.

Dummy wouldn’t really conquer the charts until the following year, and yet it must be one of the strongest debut albums I’ve ever come across. The first track is the Theremin-styled Mysterons, full of cold and wintry misery. Within the first minute, the haunting vocals and slightly dub-inspired backing draws you in and refuses to let you go.

The second track is the brilliant second single Glory Box (that’s the one about “nobody loves me / not like you do,” in case you’re having trouble working out why the name Portishead should be familiar to you). The vocal is even more haunting this time, and the instrumentation absolutely spot on. If you can avoid being drawn in by this stage, you have no heart.

There is, relatively speaking, some filler on here too – neither Strangers nor It Could Be Sweet really grab me in the same way as their predecessors. So it’s up to Wandering Star to recapture the mood. Driven by a slightly dirty bass sound and a bit of daft record scratching, it could very easily be awful, but somehow all the ingredients come together, and it ends up totally brilliant instead.

Then comes first single Numb, with its Hammond Organ backing and yet another quite exceptional vocal performance. I’d probably have dispensed with the record scratching by this stage, but the rest of the backing gives it a moody air of mystery.

Roads and Pedestal are less endearing, although they certainly do nothing to detract from the mood. The curiously named Biscuit may be a little unintelligible at times, but as a prelude to the final track it definitely has its place, and it’s full of all the moody vocals and noises that graced previous tracks.

Picking a favourite between Sour Times and Glory Box would be tricky, but it’s definitely Glory Box which is the more expressive of the two. There isn’t a lot to it – a high string sound, a huge bass, some slightly trippy drums, and yet another exceptional vocal. But somehow all the magic is there, particularly in the vocal performance. This must be one of the best closing tracks in the history of music, and although it didn’t quite manage the top ten, it was still a significant hit in its own right. At the end, it fades unusually over the first verse again, making it sound as though it might just carry on forever.

However you look at it, Dummy is an exceptional debut, and is also pretty much defining of its era too. Three years later the slightly anonymous follow-up Portishead would sell well (about half as well as the first album) and Third, which followed more than a decade later was also successful, but neither would be anywhere near as memorable as the exceptional Dummy.

You can find Dummy at all major retailers as a download or CD. Try here.

Live – August 2014

Here are your live highlights for the next couple of months…


Coming up in New York, Toronto and San Diego.

Full list of dates at Songkick

Pet Shop Boys

The Electric tour continues over the coming weeks in locations as exotic as Copenhagen, Bingley, Gateshead, Glasgow, Portmeirion, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Full list of dates at Songkick

The Chemical Brothers

The brothers are back with a one off date in Gallipoli, of all places.

More details at Songkick


Over the coming months, you’ll be able to see them in Belgium, France, and Ireland.

Full list of dates at Songkick

Heaven 17

This time they’re the main headliner in yet another eighties throwback tour, which seems to be hopping around larger and smaller venues in the UK through to the end of the year.

Full list of dates at Songkick




Chart for stowaways – 12 April 2014

This year, the album charts have continually featured guest appearances from way back when, and this week’s is no exception. Here it is:

  1. Moby – Innocents
  2. B.E.F. – Music of Quality & Distinction, Vol. 3 – Dark
  3. Depeche Mode – Black Celebration
  4. The Future Sound of London – Dead Cities
  5. The Postal Service – Give Up
  6. Deep Forest – Deep Forest
  7. Enigma – The Screen Behind the Mirror
  8. Erasure – Wild!
  9. Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward
  10. Portishead – Dummy

The BRIT Awards 1995

Alexandra Palace in London was the venue on 20th February 1995, and Chris Evans took to the stage to present the awards, now with a “voting academy” (I’m sure you were just as excited as everyone else was).

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1994 ceremony here, and the 1996 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Best British Album

Presented by Cindy Lauper. Nominees:

  • Blur – Parklife
  • Eternal – Always and Forever
  • Massive Attack – Protection
  • Oasis – Definitely Maybe
  • Pink Floyd – The Division Bell

Winner: Blur

Best British Dance Act


  • Brand New Heavies
  • Eternal
  • M People
  • Massive Attack
  • The Prodigy

Winner: M People

Best British Female

Presented by Jarvis Cocker. Nominees:

  • Kate Bush
  • Des’ree
  • Michelle Gayle
  • Eddi Reader
  • Lisa Stansfield

Winner: Eddi Reader

Best British Group

Presented by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Eternal
  • M People
  • Oasis
  • Pink Floyd

Winner: Blur

Best British Male


  • Eric Clapton
  • Elvis Costello
  • Morrissey
  • Seal
  • Paul Weller

Winner: Paul Weller

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Ray Davis. Nominees:

  • Echobelly
  • Eternal
  • Oasis
  • PJ and Duncan
  • Portishead

Winner: Oasis

Best British Producer


  • Ed Buller
  • Flood
  • Nellee Hooper
  • Trevor Horn
  • Stephen Street

Winner: Nellee Hooper

Best British Single

Presented by Lisa I’Anson. Nominees:

  • Blur – Girls and Boys
  • Blur – Parklife
  • China Black – Searching
  • D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better
  • East 17 – Stay Another Day
  • Michelle Gayle – Sweetness
  • Tom Jones – If I Only Knew
  • Oasis – Whatever
  • The Grid – Texas Cowboys
  • Wet Wet Wet – Love is All Around

Winner: BlurParklife

Best British Video

Presented by Simone Angel and Tommy Vance. Nominees:

  • Blur – Parklife
  • Jamiroquai – Space Cowboy
  • The Rolling Stones – Love is Strong
  • Seal – Prayer for the Dying
  • Suede – The WIld Ones

Winner: Blur

Best International Female

Presented by Jimmy Nail. Nominees:

  • Tori Amos
  • kd lang
  • Madonna
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Sinéad O’Connor

Winner: kd lang

Best International Group

Presented by Des’ree. Nominees:

  • Counting Crows
  • The Cranberries
  • Crash Test Dummies
  • R.E.M.
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Winner: R.E.M.

Best International Male


  • Bryan Adams
  • Warren G
  • Youssou N’Dour
  • Prince
  • Luther Vandross

Winner: Prince

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Tom Jones. Nominees:

  • Carleen Anderson
  • Counting Crows
  • Marcella Detroit
  • Warren G
  • Lisa Loeb

Winner: Lisa Loeb

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording


  • Elton John and Hans Zimmer – The Lion King
  • Various Artists – Forrest Gump
  • Various Artists – Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Various Artists – Philadelphia
  • Various Artists – Pulp Fiction

Winner: Pulp Fiction

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Sting.

Winner: Elton John


Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: corrected Echobelly’s entry and added Tom Jones’s missing nomination.