It began, quite deliberately, with Keith Flint.
The Prodigy’s Champions Of London boomed across the Grand Connaught Rooms in London at 8.45pm last night, ringing the opening bell on the UK-focused A&R Awards, presented by MBW in association with Abbey Road Studios.
Backed by the likes of the BPI, Centtrip, Downtown, Hipgnosis, Spotify, Vevo and YouTube Music, the evening saw some heart-warming moments, not least British songwriter/producer extraordinaire, Steve Mac, paying tribute to his long-term manager, David Howells – and then Howells returning the favour. The duo mutually collected the A&R Loyalty Award.
Elsewhere, Independiente and Go! Discs founder Andy Macdonald won the coveted A&R Icon gong for his work with the likes of The La’s, Travis, Paul Weller, The Housemartins, The Beautiful South and So Solid Crew.
The prize was presented by Macdonald’s one-time mentee, Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, the current-day President of Columbia Records UK, who signed the likes of Gabrielle and Portishead in the ’90s while building imprint Go! Beat within Go! Discs’ walls.
The final trophy of the evening, the Sir George Martin Award, went to Universal Music Publishing Group UK boss, Mike McCormack (pictured). The likes of Robbie Williams, Annie Lennox, The Clash (The actual Clash), Simon Cowell, Paloma Faith and Jody Gerson paid tribute to McCormack (as did Peter Crouch and Jose Mourinho, for that matter). Predictably, McCormack’s acceptance speech brought the entire room to its feet.
Who else won awards? Some names you might know. Polydor, Warner Chappell, Alec Boateng, Lisa Cullington, Dipesh Parmar, Jimmy Napes, Jamie Oborne, TMS, Method Music… to name a few.
William Orbit was there. It was a whole thing.
More coverage will follow in the days and weeks ahead. For now, see below for the full list of victors.
More importantly, thanks to everyone who came and contributed to what MBW has boldly taken to describing as “the UK music industry’s most enjoyable night out”.
In our humble view, thanks to all of you, yesterday evening lived up to that promise.
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR – SUPPORTED BY DOWNTOWN
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – SUPPORTED BY ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS
SONG OF THE YEAR – SUPPORTED BY HIPGNOSIS SONGS FUND
Grace Goddard, Warner Music
A&R OF THE YEAR: ELECTRONIC/DANCE
Dipesh Parmar, Ministry Of Sound
A&R OF THE YEAR: HIP-HOP/GRIME – SUPPORTED BY SPOTIFY
Alec Boateng, Atlantic Records
A&R OF THE YEAR: ADULT CONTEMPORARY
Tom Lewis, Decca
A&R OF THE YEAR: POP/R&B
Lisa Cullington, BMG
A&R OF THE YEAR: ROCK/ALTERNATIVE
Jamie Oborne, Dirty Hit
PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR (1)
PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR (2)
MANAGEMENT COMPANY (THE DAVID ENTHOVEN AWARD) – SUPPORTED BY CENTTRIP
INDEPENDENT LABEL OF THE YEAR – supported by the BPI
MAJOR LABEL OF THE YEAR – supported by the BPI
THE Vevo DSCVR ARTIST TO WATCH
THE A&R LOYALTY AWARD
Steve Mac & David Howells
A&R ICON – SUPPORTED BY YOUTUBE Music
THE SIR GEORGE MARTIN AWARD
Mike McCormackMusic Business Worldwide