Ivor Novello awards 2015: Clean Bandit and Hozier triumph

Artists famous for their hit Rather Be collect award for best contemporary song, while Irish singer-songwriter Hozier scoops prize for best song musically and lyrically and Bombay Bicycle Club win best album

Clean Bandit have scored a double win at the 60th Ivor Novello Awards, with their chart-topping song Rather Be taking awards for best contemporary song and most performed work.

It was a triumph for the classical/dance crossover band’s chief songwriter, Jack Patterson – who appeared to collect the award – but also for his co-songwriter James Napier, whose growing influence on British pop music was evidenced by his credit on another artist’s nominated song, Sam Smith’s Stay With Me.

“For me this is much more significant than the Brits,” said Patterson, speaking after their victory on Thursday. “It’s a huge honour because it recognises proper stuff – sitting down and thinking about chords and structure and meaning and sentiment and actually crafting music, as opposed to the stuff you have to deal with on a daily basis, such as getting my hair done.”

Napier added: “Someone said when I first started out that I was trying too hard, and that I should just let the music do the talking. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s true – I had to put my head down and concentrate on my songwriting craft.”

The other big winner at the awards, which took place at Grosvenor House in London, was Irish singer-songwriter Hozier. His breakthrough track Take Me to Church scooped the prestigious prize for best song musically and lyrically. Accepting the award, Hozier said: “It’s an honour to be in this room, sharing it with so many people who have shaped my life. This time last year, I was completely unknown. A lot of this music was recorded in my attic.”

The Ivor Novellos, which began in 1956, aim to reward excellence in British and Irish songwriting and composing. They have long been respected by songwriters, as the prizes are voted for by fellow songwriters. “This is the one award that really counts, because it comes from people you respect – no offence to all the other awards!” said Ed Sheeran while collecting his award for songwriter of the year.

Sheeran’s prize helped him continue the stellar rise that will see him headline Wembley stadium for three nights in July. It was presented to him by Elton John, who said: “This guy next to me has so much enthusiasm for what he does; he loves to embrace other artists, he has a joie de vivre that is so essential. And if he wants it, he will have a career as long as mine. I hope he doesn’t get into half the trouble I got into.”

The Ivors inspiration award – previously won by Dizzee Rascal, Johnny Marr and Siouxie Sioux – this year went to Manic Street Preachers. “Songwriting is a really magical thing for us, and it’s never failed to get us through a lot of tough times,” said the band’s Nicky Wire, before going on to make quite possibly the only acceptance speech that’s ever included Philip Larkin, Karl Marx, Aneurin Bevan, Public Enemy, Top of the Pops, Joe Calzaghe and Abba.

Bombay Bicycle Club won the best album award for their fourth LP, So Long, See You Tomorrow, while Bob Geldof and Midge Ure accepted a special anniversary award for the success of Band Aid. David Holmes won best original film score for his work on 71, while Natalie Holt and Martin Phipps won best television soundtrack for The Honourable Woman.

Black Sabbath were also honoured with a lifetime achievement award. Speaking before the ceremony, Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi said: “I’m still always writing songs. Even when we’re not touring, I will sit in the bedroom and write songs, just for my own pleasure. It’s not something I can switch off, really.”

Other awards included a classical music award for Judith Weir, a special international award for American composer Paul Williams, and an outstanding song collection award for Albert Hammond.


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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