Hitting the right note in 2012
THIS year proved to be a steady if slightly unremarkable one for popular music in Cornwall.
Big-name gigs were few and far between and it's telling that there were hardly any votes in this year's What's On Music Awards for the Eden Sessions or Boardmasters.
It was the smaller gigs that proved of most interest with the likes of the Princess Pavilion, Bunters and Miss Peapod's pulling in a range of fascinating artists from near and far.
Perhaps the biggest surprise this year is Devoran Village Hall trouncing the competition to win the best small venue category thanks to its acoustic sessions.
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Richard Willson, of Probus, summed up the feeling of many when he wrote: "The superb acoustics, the friendly, intimate atmosphere and the sheer quality of the line-up this year also makes it the best folk venue."
It's good to see some relatively new talent push the old guard from the top spots with The Beutons, Lilium and Gareth Lee all gaining mass votes for best indie band, best rock band and best male.
Andy Bellis, of The Beutons, said: "Thanks to everyone who voted for us and everyone who's been to any of our gigs this year. We're about to record our first proper EP this month with John Cornfield which we aim to release at the start of next year. Considering all the amazing bands there are in Cornwall it makes this all the more special."
While Gareth Lee added: "Big thanks to everyone that voted and have been to a show or bought an EP. Plus huge thanks to my band and all the local guys/gals who have helped me out this year with booking me for gigs, giving write-ups, doing recordings, taking photos, playing the tunes on their radio show and everyone I've gigged with. I'm really grateful to be part of an amazing music scene in Cornwall."
With some of my favourite gigs of 2012 – Wild Beasts/Alt J, Mark Lanegan, The Damned – taking place at the new-look Princess Pavilion, it is only fitting it should take the best large venue crown.
Julian Munday, of the Pavilion, said: "It's always nice to win something and this charming old venue certainly deserves a shiny award to put on its walls especially after an intense year of hosting a record number of events from pumping rock gigs, to children's workshops to humungous beer festivals. And thanks to What's On for promoting our events."
Finally, person of the year goes to Liam Jolly, a well-deserved winner.
With SW1 Productions he has been part of the team behind sell-out gigs by the likes of Ben Howard and Rizzle Kicks at Plymouth Pavilions and, on his own, Liam runs the weekly B-Side indie club night at Truro's Bunters bringing the sort of bands we'd rarely see to Cornwall. He is also a brilliant drummer and poster-boy for the Cornish music scene. And this year was more remarkable for him receiving a haircut.
So here are the results in full:
Best large venue
Winner: Princess Pavilion, Falmouth
Runner-up: Lusty Glaze, Newquay
Last year's winner: Princess Pavilion
Best small venue
Winner: Devoran Village Hall
Runner-up: Bunters, Truro
Last year's winner: Bunters
Best indie band
Winner: The Beutons
Runner-up: PJP Band
Last year's winners: Crowns, Tiger Years and Auction For The Promise Club
Best rock band
Runner-up: Brother & Bones
Last year's winner: Everything Burns
Winner: Gareth Lee
Runners-up: Dom Youngman, Jack Wallen
Last year's winner: Ruarri Joseph
Runner-up: Saskia Maxwell
Last year's winner: Kezia
Runners-up: Blues In The Bay, Falmouth; Lafrowda, St Just; Boardmasters, Newquay; Party In The Park, Penzance; St Ives September Festival
Last year's winner: Boardmasters
Best local gig
Joint winners: Brother & Bones, Bunters, and The Computers, Bunters
Runners-up: Crowns/PJP Band/Bangers/Lily and Meg, Princess Pavilion and Gareth Lee, Bunters
Best name gig
Winner: Wild Beasts / Alt-J, Princess Pavilion
Runners-up: Ed Sheeran, Boardmasters; Folk Session, Eden Project; Temper Trap, Princess Pavilion; Suzanne Vega, Minack Theatre
Best regular night
Winner: B-Side, Bunters, Truro
Runners-up: Red Lion, Newquay, and Humphry Davy Open Mic Night, Penzance
Last year's winner: B-Side
Best folk act
Winner: Travelling Talesmen
Best jazz act
Winner: Johanna Graham Trio
Best covers band
Person of the year
Winner: Liam Jolly
Last year's winner and this year's runner-up: Frank Pellow, Duelling Kazoos