Story by Jude Clarke of Cambridge News
THE stars of the Cambridge music scene had their chance to really shine at an awards ceremony in the city last Friday night.
The NMG Awards ceremony, now in its third year, had upgraded from its previous home at popular music venue and pub The Portland Arms to the larger West Road Concert Hall.
The awards, which are linked to the New Music Generator (NMG) show broadcast on Cambridge 105 radio, celebrate the musical talent to be found in Cambridge and East Anglia (all nominees must be based within a 50 mile radius of the city).NMG presenter Tim Willett organises the high-profile ceremony, which is judged by a panel including Sheila Ravenscroft, the BBC’s Sue Marchant and Tom Simkins and Phil Pethybridge who runs The LIving Room stage at Secret Garden Party and The Den at Cambridge Folk Festival. All front of house and technical work on the night was provided by a team of Cambridge 105 volunteer members.
The glitzy event, which saw nominees arrive on a red carpet to be grilled and photographed by local media, interspersed award announcements with performances from nominees from around the evening. Several artists had accepted the organisers’ challenge to come together and produce a special collaboration for the event, including Tom Lumley and Breakthrough Act winner Oscar Corney; ‘Bearded Busker’ Alton Wahlberg and Dale Bennet (both vying for the Best Solo Male Artist gong, eventually won by Ethan Ash); and a beautifully composed, sung and delivered duet between Melody Causton, two-time winner of Best Female Solo Artist, and Rachel Clark, who bagged this year’s Best Solo Artist 18 & Under prize, as she did, too, in 2014.
As winner after winner came to the stage expressing their appreciation for the vibrancy of the Cambridge music scene and the help provided by Tim and Cambridge 105, the importance of supporting local musicians’ fledgling careers was underlined by the inclusion of a series of special Artist Development Prizes, with one-off opportunities handed out to the musician or musicians felt to be most deserving, including a slot at The Big Weekend in Cambridge courtesy of Cambridge Live, radio interviews with Sue Marchant (BBC Eastern Counties) and Tom Simkins (BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire) and a ‘Live Lounge’ recording session courtesy of event sponsors Cream Room Sound Productions.
The evening ended with a rip-roaring performance from double-winners CC Smugglers, demonstrating just why they’d been awarded not only the Best Folk/Roots Artist prize, but also the coveted Pride of Cambridge Award, given to an artist who is achieving success on the national stage.
See cambridge-news.co.uk/scene-and-heard for regular interviews with local musicians and more.See cambridge-news.co.uk/scene-and-heard for regular interviews with local musicians and more. To have your band featured in our What’s On supplement, contact our music editor on [email protected].
Best Male Solo Artist: Ethan Ash
Best Female Solo Artist: Kelly Oliver
Best Solo Artist 18 & Under: Rachel Clark
Best Pop Artist: Polar Collective
Best Alternative Artist: Cathedrals & Cars
Best Rock Group: Fenrir
Best Indie Group: Silver Screen
Best Electronic/Experimental/Urban: Frett
Best Acoustic Artist: The CoGo
Best Folk/Roots Artist: CC Smugglers
Best Group 18 & Under: The Staycations
Audience Choice: Trizzle
Breakthrough Act: Oscar Corney
Breakout Act: Horse Party
Pride of Cambridge: CC Smugglers
Artist Development Prizes:
A slot on stage at Strawberry Fair 2016 courtesy of Cambridge 105: Parkside
A slot at the Bury Fringe All Dayer courtesy of Toon Teen Industries: Mortal Tides
Acoustic Live Lounge session courtesy of The Cream Room: Ellie Dixon and Datum Plane
Song Writing development prize courtesy of The Cream Room: Tom & Paris
Big Weekend stage slot courtesy of Cambridge Live: The Abstracts
Live radio interview and acoustic session courtesy of Sue Marchant at BBC Radio: Sophie Fletcher
BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire live session courtesy of Tom Simkins: History & Lore
Stage slot at the Fiver night courtesy of Cambridge Junction: Silver Screen and History & Lore
A slot at Homegrown Festival 2016: Stretch Soul Gang
A slot at Secret Garden Party 2016 courtesy of The Living Room/Neon Street: Kelly Oliver
Read more: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/NMG-Awards-Stars-Cambridge-music-scene-shine/story-28002836-detail/story.html#ixzz3ovFugIAf