Jape the surprise choice as Ritual takes the plaudits


DUBLIN ACT Jape has won this year’s Choice Music Prize – Irish Album of the Year 2008.

Ten albums by Irish artists were shortlisted for this year’s prize by a panel of Irish music and media professionals and last night at a live awards show in Dublin’s Vicar Street venue, Richie Egan (who uses the name Jape) was judged the overall winner for his “Ritual” album. He wins a cheque for €10,000 and a specially-commissioned award.

From Crumlin, the 32-year-old Egan began in music as a member of the band Redneck Manifesto, but using the name Jape he has released three solo albums. He has also been nominated as “Best Irish Male” in the upcoming Meteor Music Awards which take place on March 17th.

The Choice Prize, now in its fourth year, generally rewards critical acclaim over sheer commercial sales and has thrown up some surprising winners over the years. Jape/Richie Egan was not the bookie’s favourite to win this year.

Many of the shortlisted acts played live last night to a capacity crowd in a show that was hosted by DJ Alison Curtis and broadcast live on Today FM. The 10 judges finally came up with an overall winner at 10.30pm. Egan expressed his surprise at winning, saying that this year’s shortlist was the strongest ever. Such was the closeness of the vote that the judges finally decided on a secret ballot to come up with the winner.

Egan’s three solo albums have all attracted a good deal of interest from the music industry. A song off his second album, “Floating” was a radio hit and is covered frequently in live appearances by the US band The Raconteurs who are fronted by Jack White of The White Stripes.

Fight Like Apes: Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion”

Mick Flannery: White Lies

Halfset: Another Way of Being There

Lisa Hannigan: Sea Sew

David Holmes: The Holy Pictures

Jape: Ritual

Messiah J The Expert: From The Word Go

Oppenheimer: Take The Whole Mid-Range And Boost It”

R.S.A.G: Organic Sampler

The Script: The Script