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    Are There Too Many Award Ceremonies?

    awards1.jpgWe all know that Kaiser Chiefs picked up three awards at the Brits and U2 won five Grammys.


    The Baftas have only just been handed out and it's the Oscars next. Tonight, the Shockwaves NME Awards will be broadcast live from Hammersmith Palais in London on E4.


    Once again Kaiser Chiefs lead nominations with a record six nods, Franz Ferdinand and Oasis both have five and newcomers Arctic Monkeys have four.


    But is it getting confusing? Are there too many award ceremonies around today? Vote in our new poll here.There are definitely too many award ceremonies, especially in the month of February. As it happens, I love watching award ceremonies on television and can't get enough of them. And it is obvious that there is clearly an audience out there for them too, otherwise broadcasters wouldn't televise them. But I think the important point to remember is that there is a solid commercial reason behind the glitter of award ceremonies.


    If your product, be it a film, book or biscuit gets a gong, then the resulting publicity means more profile, which results in increased sales. It's as simple as that. Awards ceremonies are a PR tool which has become a highly sophisticated one - witness the adverts which the Hollywood studios take out in the trade publications to trumpet their latest offerings, saying "look at our film, make sure you vote for it".


    Studios spend millions of dollars each year on this. Why? Because it works. We've all seen the posters heralding "winner of X Globes/Oscars/Grammys/Baftas" and "award-wining act/artist/film always looks good on a press release, after all. A movie star's fees can double overnight once they're perceived to be an Oscar winner. The public takes notice too and consequently go see the movie, buy the book - if it's got a gong, it's got to be good!


    The classical record industry, which I've been involved with for many years, is somewhat more subtle about the process of nominating artists for awards. But the cache of winning is no less under-estimated. CDs are stickered with references to the given award, adverts taken out in review magazines alerting readers to the fact that their recording won. The pop world is not nearly as subtle probably because there is so much more money at stake. And, of course, artists love getting awards. Perhaps for them it's a fluffy, "they love me" kind of thing.


    Although most artists, in my experience, have an awareness of their commercial worth, or at least the commercial worth of winning awards. So let's not be taken in by the weepy speeches, the schmaltz, the tackiness and all the backslapping that goes on at these events. It's all about money in the end.


    But hey, we all like dressing up and getting a bit of recognition now and then, don't we?


    Oh, how we all wish we could be there!


    Winter can feel like a musical wasteland on terrestrial television when cop dramas and soaps rule the prime time viewing slots. Great movies tend to be scheduled in the day when most people are working, or very early in the morning when it's too late to bother staying up. In the summer we have live coverage of Glastonbury and Reading and the occasional concert from Hyde Park. Later with Jools Holland offers us one of the few chances of livening up our dark nights at home in our living rooms with a blast of rock, rhythm and blues. That's why it's great that the Brits and other award ceremonies including the Baftas are televised. They give us the chance to see our favourite bands and actors given credit for their performances and we can share a tiny bit of their moment of glory.


    No two performances are ever the same and fans could hear Coldplay, U2, Razorlight and Franz Ferdinand on stage at several award shows and never tire of them. Award ceremonies can give us the chance to see how the idols from our childhood are getting on now, too - most recently Deborah Harry, Madonna and Paul Weller - and how they are managing to stay cool and survive in the youth-led music industry. We have already seen Leeds band Kaiser Chiefs steal the show at the Brits. They are also leading the way with a record breaking six nominations in tonight's ShockWaves NME Awards at London's Hammersmith Palais. If the event is as good as the Brits were at Earls Court, then I will be happy to see Kaiser Chiefs take the long walk to the stage amid all the cheers and adulation all over again.


    Oasis made a welcome comeback in 2005 with their fine Don't Believe The Truth album while last year's five-time nominees Franz Ferdinand impressed with their much-antici-pated second album You Could Have It So Much Better. Razorlight who played with Oasis at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium before Christmas are scheduled to appear tonight too. Sheffield newcomers Arctic Monkeys and the Editors, The Magic Numbers and Maximo Park will all be in the awards frame.


    This year's Godlike Genius Award goes to the "Madchester" sound's Ian Brown, the singing prophet from The Stone Roses. With rock music surging back and new talent emerging all the time, awards ceremonies are a great way to bring on the new talent and to celebrate our old favourites - over and over again!


    Source: http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk

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