NEW ZEALAND MUSIC AWARDS 2014: You come a long way, baby

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NEW ZEALAND MUSIC AWARDS 2014: You come a long way, baby
Here's something I sometimes tell the young students in my New Zealand Music Studies course at the University of Auckland: The first music awards show I went to in about 1988 was held in a small room in what is now the Langham Hotel.

That room must have held maybe 60 people and my recollection was – aside from Herbs who made up quite a crew – there were very few musicians present.

It was attended by record company people and music writers like myself.

I don't even recall any music being played that night.

As they say, “You come a long way, baby”.

For years now the annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards has been given national television coverage, it is heavily sponsored by Vodafone among other major corporates (which is why you get a few often uncomfortable looking Warriors on stage making some presentation) and the red carpet is littered with various All Blacks, models and glitterati . . . none of whom you ever see at a gig.

If that sound snarky, it isn't meant to be.

Just an illustration of how far New Zealand music has come in terms of its national profile, and how embedded in our culture it is today.

bannerIt wasn't always so of course. Older folk will remember how mainstream radio – sometimes programmed from overseas – wouldn't play songs by New Zealand musicians (not good enough/doesn't fit our format/poorly recorded etc among other excuses). It's hard to believe in these days of our Lorde that there were serious and on-going discussion right up to government level about a legally enforced music quota just to get programmers in New Zealand radio stations to play music made in their own country.

For many, many years I judged various categories (general, Maori, roots, folk and jazz) and it was actually quite easy: there weren't that many albums or songs to consider.

This year, despite an invitation, I didn't . . . simply because there are so many albums, songs and artists. I just didn't have that much time. I'm too busy writing about it as it happens and when I can . . . or talking to music students at uni about everyone from Pixie Williams and Ray Columbus to Upper Hutt Posse, Savage and Dawn Raid. Shining a light on a history most do not even know exists.

So when we were celebrating New Zealand music this year at Vector Arena in Auckland, on November 20, it was worth remembering, it wasn't always like this.

Here's a rundown of who was up for what, and who won . . . and where Elsewhere has something on the artists they are highlighted (just on the first reference). There are also video clips and images where relevant, and some of the awards at the end had already been handed out.

Personally I was delighted to see Supergroove there getting that New Zealand Legacy Award. When I edited The Voice – the Herald's first attempt at a stand alone entertainment lift-out section I chose to put them on the cover of the first issue in a photo which had them walking on water. They were the biggest band in the land.

You can't please everyone though, because one of the major cinema chains wanted their new blockbuster release on the cover and when they saw Supergroove there they immediately withdrew all their advertising in attempt to kill off The Voice. It worked, although we took about nine months to die.

No matter. That was the right decision. Supergroove were always going to be more important than Independence Day . . . and time has proven me right.

So have a listen and a look . . . and if you are ever in Auckland and near the Langham pop in for a look: far right after the lobby, about the size of school classroom.

Album of the Year

81UCy35CwhL._SL1500_WINNER: Lorde - Pure Heroine
. (free stream here)

Sol3 Mio - Sol3 Mio
. (selected songs free here)

The Naked And Famous - In Rolling Waves
 (free stream here)

Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One (free stream here)

Ladi6 – Automatic. (free stream here)

Single of the Year

Lorde – Team

Broods – Bridges

David Dallas – Runnin

Ladi6 – Diamonds.

The Naked And Famous - Hearts Like Ours

Best Group

WINNER: The Naked And Famous - In Rolling Waves

@Peace - @Peace and the Plutonium Noise Symphony

Sol3 Mio - Sol3 Mio


NZ Herald Legacy Award

Supergroove (right)

Best Male Solo Artist

WINNER: David Dallas - Falling Into Place

Liam Finn - The Nihilist

Stan Walker - Inventing Myself

Best Female Solo Artist

Lorde - Pure Heroine.

Ladi6 – Automatic.

Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

WINNER: Broods.


Sol3 Mio

Best Rock Album

WINNER: Blacklistt – Blacklistt

Clap Clap Riot – Nobody/Everybody

Ekko Park - Tomorrow Tomorrow Today

lordeBest Pop Album

WINNER: Lorde - Pure Heroine

Benny Tipene – Toulouse.

Stan Walker - Inventing Myself

Best Alternative Album

WINNER: Tiny Ruins - Brightly Painted One

Grayson Gilmour - Infinite Life!

Liam Finn - The Nihilist

Best Urban/Hip Hop Album

WINNER: David Dallas - Falling Into Place

Ladi6 – Automatic.

PNC - The Codes

Best Roots Album

WINNER: Tama Waipara - Fill Up The Silence

House of Shem – Harmony

Mark Vanilau - Dark Horizon

Best Electronica Album

WINNER: Opiuo – Meraki

Bulletproof - #Listen

Sorceress - Dose

Best Music Video

(article continues below these clips)

WINNER: Campbell Hooper - Hearts Like Ours (The Naked And Famous)

 Thunderlips - Stranger People (Doprah)

Tom Gould - Runnin (David Dallas)


Best Maori Album

WINNER: Rob Ruha - Tiki Tapu

House of Shem – Harmony

Tama Waipara - Fill Up The Silence

Best Gospel Christian Album

WINNER: Mosaic Music - You Surround

Lifestyle (of Worship) - Lifestyle (of Worship)

Saving Grace - The Urgency

Best Classical Album

WINNER: Jack Body - Poems of Love & War

Dame Gillian Whitehead – Alice

Voices 16 - Voice of the Soul


Best Album Cover

WINNER: Anna Taylor & Ken Clark - The Nihilist (Liam Finn, right)

Henrietta Harris - Infinite Life! (Grayson Gilmour)

Robert Wallace - Automatic (Ladi6)

Best Producer

WINNER: Joel Little - Pure Heroine (Lorde)

Thomas Healy - Brightly Painted One (Tiny Ruins)

Thom Powers - In Rolling Waves (The Naked And Famous)

Best Engineer

WINNER: Joel Little - Pure Heroine (Lorde)

Doug Jane - Waiata (Dame Kiri Te Kanawa).

Hayden Taylor - Blacklistt (Blacklistt)

People's Choice Award

WINNER: Stan Walker


Sol3 Mio

David Dallas


NZ On Air Critics' Choice Prize line-up


Lake South.


Additional Tuis presented in 2014:album_300x300Auckland Council Best Pacific Music Album:

WINNER: Sol3 Mio - Sol3 Mio

David Dallas - Falling Into Place.

Ladi6 - Automatic

Best Country Album

WINNER: Kaylee Bell - Heart First

Anna van Riel - Whistle and Hum.

Marian Burns - The Paris Sessions

Best Folk Album

WINNER: Tattletale Saints - How Red is the Blood

Into The East - Fight From the Inside.

Chris Priestley - Unsung Heroes

Best Jazz Album

WINNER: Nathan Haines - Vermillion Skies

Phil Broadhurst - Flaubert's Dance

Reuben Bradley - Mantis: The Music of Drew Menzies

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