Music industry folk united in Bowen Hills for the Queensland Music Awards last night, with major winners including Emily Wurramara (who collected two of her four nominations), Tia Gostelow (youngest-ever winner of Album Of The Year) and Clea whose track Dreaming picked up both the Pop and Song Of The Year categories, earning her a star on the Fortitude Valley Walk Of Fame. Unfortunately for her, prime real estate in front of the McDonalds was already taken.
An incredibly powerful Welcome To Country set the tone before Amy Shark (who nabbed five awards at last year’s ceremony) opened the live performances of the night, saying hi with killer production and soaring vocals. QMusic President Michael Crutcher praised Shark’s humility informing us she had asked to play the event following a two-year period of collecting awards via video message and had said thank you to him backstage for letting her do so. Nah Shark, we should be thanking you. The Gold Coast singer-songwriter couldn’t stick around to pick up the Songwriter trophy she was awarded later in the evening.
Hosts Patience Hodgson and Mel Buttle showed the audience a rib-tickling, Hodgson joking she knows how to play three chords to thousands of people whereas jazz musicians know how to play thousands of chords to three people. Winner of the category, The Biology Of Plants, thanked those three people.
Buttle followed suit before announcing the World/Folk Award: “I love Woodford Folk Festival, love taking a pinger dropped in the mud… Good for your gut health.” Brisbane singer-songwriter Asha Jefferies deservingly took that one out.
Confident party-starters Confidence Man picked up the Export Achievement Award, and while they couldn’t be there in person to collect, Sugar Bones and Janet Planet praised Queensland via video message as the place where they learned how to party. From the empty, upturned wine bottles scattered across the tables, it seemed like most of the room were following suit.
DZ Deathrays blew the roof off with their performance of Like People (sans Red Wiggle), but missed out on the Rock category to triple j faves The Jungle Giants. The Heavy Award presented by Brisbane’s home of heavy, Crowbar, was presented to Dead Letter Circus.
It also proved to be a fruitful night for performer Emma Beau who walked away with the award for the Country category for her track Wild Heart, and The Kite String Tangle who, awarded the Electronic/Dance Award, would go on to DJ the afterparty and prove his chops.
Music videos form a very important part of Buttle’s Sunday morning comedown (hey, us too, we’re not judging) and this category was awarded to hip hop artist Buttah, who bounded on stage substituting Flava Flav’s clock for a number plate with his name because of course he did.
It was a late school night for Schools winner Tokyo Twilight who went on to give the venue’s strobe lights a workout with his performance of the winning track Little Things with collaborator DVNA. Among the other musical performers of the evening were Hip Hop/Rap winners Resin Dogs and Blues/Roots nominee Bobby Alu, however that category ended up going to Wurramara. Wurramara was onstage twice also collecting the Indigenous category for Lady Blue, tears in our eyes as she dedicated it to her Uncle who had passed away that evening. Gostelow came away with the coveted Album Of The Year prize for latest record Thick Skin.
The highly respected Grant McLennan Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan, who at 90 charmed the stage, and the delightful Pool Shop was named as this year's winner of the $10,000 Billy Thorpe Scholarship.
As for the publicly voted categories, it is no doubt that live music is the heart and soul of the industry. NightQuarter on the Gold Coast was given the nod for Regional Venue Of The Year after a heartbreaking closure (owner Michelle Christoe promising good news to come later in the year) and beloved venue The Triffid, took home Metro Venue Of The Year after a plug for new venue The Fortitude Music Hall. The Big Pineapple Festival took out Festival Of The Year for the second year in a row.
And so another year of Queensland music’s night of nights is wrapped. Follow the link here for a full look at all the winners.
The Triffid, Newstead