Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

It’s time for weeping and gnashing of teeth: here’s the Choice Music Prize shortlist

The money says My Bloody Valentine, the head says Villagers, the feet say Mano Le Tough and the hunch says Girls Names for the gong and novelty-sized 10k cheque

So last year: Delorentos celebrate winning last year's Prize for "Little Sparks"

Wed, Jan 8, 2014, 15:15


Here we go again. It’s the nineth Choice Music Prize shortlist and the runners and riders are as follows (in alphabetical order):

And So I Watch You From Afar “All Hail Bright Futures” (Sargent House)
Bell X1 “Chop Chop” (Belly Up Records)
Girls Names “The New Life” (Tough Love)
Kodaline “In A Perfect World” (Sony Music)
Little Green Cars “Absolute Zero” (Universal Music)
Mano Le Tough “Changing Days” (Permanent Vacation)
My Bloody Valentine “MBV” (MBV Records)
O Emperor “Vitreous” (Big Skin)
Lisa O’Neill “Same Cloth or Not” (Song Seeds Records)
Villagers “{Awayland}” (Domino)

IMHO: very, very strong shortlist. Will be great to see My Bloody Valentine playing in the Vicar. Seeing as Kevin Shields was bellyaching and bawling like a big bold baby about the Mercury Music Prize blanking his album, surely the ideal riposte is for him to turn up here, play the gig and go home with the 10k cheque? Over to you, Kev. Personally, I hope Girls Names or Mano Le Tough win, though I think Villagers and Bell X1 are the real contenders here. That said, knowing the judges, it will probably be Kodaline.

Speaking of the devils….the judges responsible for picking that there shortlist are:

John Balfe (Entertainment.ie)
Aidan Butler (RTE Radio One)
Niall Byrne (Nialler9, Irish Independent)
Steve Cummins (Irish Post)
Shilpa Ganatra (Daily Star)
Daniel Gray (Totally Dublin)
Laurence Mackin (Irish Times)
Una Mullally (Irish Times and TG4)
Fin O’Leary (MCD Concerts)
Colm O’Sullivan (Today FM)
Niall Stokes (Hot Press)
Amy McGarrigle (BBC Northern Ireland)
Laura Kirkpatrick (Spotify)

Tony Clayton-Lea is the chairman of the judging panel. Four of the 13 judges have been on previous Choice Music Prize panels which is a bit silly because there should be a new slate of judges every year and there’s no shortage of newbies to call on, especially now as it appears that they’re drawing from non-media sectors. Then again, that’s probably just me.

The details: the Choice Music Prize live shindig takes place at Dublin’s Vicar Street on Thursday February 27 with as many bands playing as the organisers can strong-arm into doing so. Tickets for the gig go on sale on Friday at €23.50 (plus Ticketmaster taxeroos) each. As has become the norm, the live show will be broadcast on Today FM in a special four hour extended programme presented by Paul McLoone.

While the gig is going on, the judges will be elsewhere in the building eating their dinner, comparing their scars and selecting the winner. The winning act will receive €10,000, a prize fund provided by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), who will also be sorting out some class of a gong for each nominated act to put on their shelf or lose in the taxi on the way home or leave behind in the venue.

DOI: I co-founded the Prize in 2005 with Dave Reid, but have had no hand, act or part in it since April 2010. It’s showtime, baby. Now, who’s going to be this year’s whinger?