Old and new stars dazzle at Meteor awards


It was a big moment for Ireland's musical veterans at the Meteor Music Awards last night as Dublin northside stalwarts Aslan took the award for Best Irish Band after 25 years in the business. Fiona McCannreports.

Aslan beat an up-and-coming generation of new bands, among them Fight Like Apes and Delorentos, for the accolade which is decided by votes from members of the Irish public.

Irish supergroup The Saw Doctors, who were also spawned in the 1980s, were also honoured at the event, taking home a lifetime achievement award after two decades of hits that include I Useta Love Her, Ireland's biggest-selling single of all time.

Newer musical stars were also in the firmament, with singer Cathy Davey, whose second album Tales of Silversleeve was lauded by critics on its release last year, voted Best Irish Female, while Duke Special took home the award for Best Irish Male.

Red FM's Keith Cunningham took home the top prize in a new category, Best Regional DJ, with Today FM's Ray Foley beating colleague Ray D'Arcy for Best National DJ.

For the eighth year in a row, pop sensation Westlife proved they are still kings of their genre, walking away with the Best Irish Pop Act accolade, and performing before a star-studded audience that included Oscar-winning actor Charlize Theron and her partner, actor Stuart Townsend, who were also entertained by the evening's host, Irish comedian Dara O'Briain.

Best Irish Live Performance went to Westmeath band The Blizzards for their show at the Oxegen festival last year, with English rockers Muse picking up the award for Best International Live Performance. The Most Downloaded Song went to Mundy and Sharon Shannon for Galway Girl, and the Hope for 2008 award, which was voted by RTÉ 2FM listeners, was presented to Ham Sandwich.

This year's Meteor Music Awards also boasted live performances from Cathy Davey, Sinéad O'Connor, Republic of Loose, and a duet by Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and Lisa Hannigan, who performed their hit single Some Surprise from charity album The Cake Sale.

The late Jim Aiken was also honoured at the event with an Industry Award, while Rose Donohoe, founder and chairwoman of the Rose Foundation, took home the Humanitarian Award, which came with a €100,000 cheque for the charity.

Meteor: the winners

Best National DJ:Ray Foley. Best Regional DJ: Keith Cunningham.

Best Irish Band:Aslan.

Best Irish Male:Duke Special. Best Irish Female: Cathy Davey.

Best Irish Pop Act:Westlife. Best Irish Album: Addicted to Company (Paddy Casey).

Best Irish Live Performance:The Blizzards.

Best Irish Folk Traditional:Damien Dempsey.

Best International Male:Bruce Springsteen.

Best International Female:Amy Winehouse.

Best International Live Performance:Muse.

Most Downloaded Song:Galway Girl, Mundy and Sharon Shannon.

Best International Album:Neon Bible (Arcade Fire).

Best International Band:Radiohead.