The London Music Awards: HA. HA.

It's that time of year again. It's time for the London Music Awards. That time of year where I always need to pinch myself to make sure this isn't some kind of nightmare.

I can't think of a more clever way to make a bucket full of cash while pretending to help support culture and scene building in London. Way to do the least amount of work possible.

Let's start by looking at the nominee page. Take a gander! Hmm, the first thing I notice is the heinous amount of nominees. To me, this is saying, "Instead of curating the list, we just put every goddamn band/producer/etc on the list, so that everyone in London will spam all their friends, family and fans to come vote. This gives great exposure to our website, our "magazine" (Scene Magazine) and we'll probably be able to get a bunch more online advertisers to PAY US"

From their website: "Those who receive the greatest number of votes receive The London Music Award in their category." So, unlike the Jack Richardson Music Awards, where groups of judges and experts in each field determine who is mose deserving in the scene, The LMAs just let the public choose. I'm all for empowering the people, but don't you think this might skew the results a little? Let's think about this, perhaps there are types of music that are enjoyed by people less likely to spend all day on the internet. Perhaps, a band, who may very well be the best band in the history of bands, doesn't spend all day promoting their nomination on their facebook page-I wish there were more bands like this..

Beyond the dubious nature of their nominating process, is the fact that they charge admission for the ceremony. So, on top of making a band spend weeks spamming the internet, now they're expected to pay to attend the ceremony AND probably sell tickets to all their adoring fans, cause really, who wants to show up to an awards show without an entourage? Whether or not you like the JRMAs, at least it's free to attend.

Not only do the LMAs exploit musicians in London, receiving an award from them is basically as good as winning a grade 3 class election. It's less than a popularity contest, it's just a "let's see how many people will click my name" contest.

Let's all take a moment to think about how brutal Scene Magazine is, and how much of a joke the LMAs are and always will be. And congradulations to all the nominees.

March 5, 2013 - 1:25pm

agreed in full

March 5, 2013 - 2:37pm

I've heard the same thing from musicians, even ones who "won" the awards. What London doesn't need is a phoney music awards ceremony. What London definitely needs is brutal honesty about the problems plaguing the scene; and Scene is indeed worthy of such criticism.

March 5, 2013 - 3:58pm

Well said Paterson. When we founded the Jack Richardson Music Awards one of our mandates was to make sure that every musician that performed at the ceremony, regardless of whether they played one minute or ten, would get paid a decent fee for their efforts. What better way to "Honour & Acknowledge" London's musicians?

Here's a little history lesson

March 5, 2013 - 4:20pm

The LMAs are a total joke. My band won beat Pop group in 2007 without playing a single live show in 7 years.

<a href="/blog/london-music-awards-ha-ha#comment-3350" class="active">I&#039;m not &#039;into&#039; the local</a>
March 6, 2013 - 8:59am

I'm not 'into' the local music scene so please excuse any ignorance that may come across.

I get what you're saying and given that it's backed up here in the comments by many people I know and respect that have experience with the LMAs it is clear that you're not alone in your feelings towards the 'awards'. I get that. (I could also comment on Scene Magazine as a whole but that's a different topic)

So, rather than writing this post, giving the LMA more attention that it seems you believe it deservers, why not boycott it, message all of the other bands/artists that have been nominated and collectively ask them to be a) removed from that list, b) tell their friends not to vote for them or c) not show up/accept any award.

But more importantly, why not spend your time and energy to create something that makes the LMA irrelevant? If the LMAs aren't providing a value, or even worse, doing a disservice to culture in the city why not change that?

You've claimed here on Fuse to be an organizer and a cultural influencer so I'd challenge you to spend your time and energy to do just that; organize something better and actually influence the LMAs in a constructive (perhaps disruptive) way.

When it comes down to it, all you've done is driven more attention to the LMAs. Many people will read this post, disregard your opinion, go to the list and click on a name they recognize whether this was your intention or not.

March 6, 2013 - 12:27pm

That's like saying writing something negative about the conservative government is going to make people vote for them.

The whole point of independent media like fuse is to be able to express your opinion that isn't being represented in traditional media. Obviously, since clearly many people agree with me and share my views on the subject, it's important for us all to find out that we're not alone in our way of thinking. It's called solidarity... and sometimes it's enough knowing other people feel the same to get the ball rolling.

I feel like you're saying all press is good press or something..

I don't need to create something new, because I already think (and proved) that the Jack Richardson Awards are a better alternative. I attend their ceremonies and heartily support them.

I already boycott the LMAs. I -don't- go to the LMAs nor do I suggest people vote for me the times I've been nominated (olenka and the autumn lovers, open house arts collective) And as for your suggestion to contact bands who have been nominated, this is exactly what this article is doing. I'm not going to search for the email addresses of100 (literally, 100) bands from the "rock category" let alone everyone else.

Actually, I'm pretty sick of the age old line "well do something about it instead of complaining" Sheesh. If I were complaining to a small group of friends, maybe, but I'm not. This is what I'm doing. I'm doing something. I'm writing about it.

And lastly, If the trade off of expressing my views to a large group of peers is that some people disagree with me and and then go support the LMAs (or anything I might write about) then I'm not too worried.

March 6, 2013 - 12:31pm

And sorry to go on and on... but seriously, not to toot my own horn, but I already do quite a lot of work. On top of just doing normal people stuff like having a job, I'm an artist, I put on shows, have a band, go to a lot of shows, and run the rag bag bazaar which is actually an incredible amount of work.

It is completely unfair to ask every person who is critical of something in the scene to go out and change it or do it the way they want. Not everyone is capable, not everyone has the time, the resources or even maybe the network of contacts. Things deserve to be criticized and anyone is allowed to do that.

I can think Taylor Swift sucks without becoming a pop icon myself.

March 6, 2013 - 10:19am

I forgot to give recognition of the Jack Richardson Music Awards. The fact is, there IS something better in London. Unfortunately, people constantly get confused between the two. That confusion is a big part of the problem. And Scene's attitude about the London "scene" is indeed brutal.

March 6, 2013 - 1:34pm

Noah, I agree with you and this is exactly why I tell every band that asks me to vote for them in the LMA's that they should know better than to ask me! I created the fuckin' things! They were taken away from me by a total scoundrel. They are a piece of shit and need to stop. There is no need for 2 award shows in this city. If one should go, I don't think it should have to be the not for profit one with a show that garners 700 people at a FREE event where all the musicians actually get paid for their time! We need other Londoners to speak out with us! One awards show is all we need. No we don't want your spam asking us to vote for you in that pathetic little popularity contest. Fuck off with that already!

<a href="/blog/london-music-awards-ha-ha#comment-3357" class="active">Hey Paterson, I don’t think</a>
March 6, 2013 - 1:52pm

Hey Paterson, I don’t think the intention of Kevin’s post was to call you out specifically or to ask what you’re personally doing about it. Seems he's just playing devil's advocate.

This type of article is great in bringing attention to what's wrong, but offers no suggestion or direction as to how to address the problem(s).

We all know and agree that there are many flaws with how the LMAs are run.

What we need to do now is figure out how to address it from here.

Personally, I think the first step would be to send a message to Scene Mag/Bret Downe (519-642-4780 to make them aware that we’re displeased with how it’s run and to ask for things (we need to be specific) to change. Give them a deadline to respond.

If changes cannot be agreed upon the next step would be an all-out boycott. Word spreads quickly, bands know other bands, getting the word out is easy.

We have the power to kill it, but we also have the power to make it what it should be.

March 6, 2013 - 3:11pm

Paterson - excellent article! I'm nominated often and just ignore the LMA's completely - the Jack's mean so much more! I know I'm not the only full time musician in town that feels this way.

As far as contacting Bret etc...all this action has taken place many times - I know this from being on the Jack's nomination committee in the past.

I'm making sure to circulate this article widely.

March 6, 2013 - 8:28pm

who DOESN'T know that the LMAs are a joke?

March 6, 2013 - 10:05pm

Not enough people it would seem. Spread the word.

March 8, 2013 - 12:30am

The London Music Awards are a farce, to be sure...But i'm not sure I entirely trust the Jack Richardson Awards Tribunal either. Case in point:

I kid, i kid...

March 27, 2013 - 2:52pm

I miss ZED

<a href="/blog/london-music-awards-ha-ha#comment-3381" class="active">To put things in a much</a>
March 13, 2013 - 6:19pm

To put things in a much simpler way: if the the LMAs are truly a farce and widely known as such by those in the music community, a) why do they remain to exist, and b) what is this article adding to the discussion surrounding the LMAs that (apparently) hasn't already been discussed about extensively?

March 19, 2013 - 8:50pm

Anyone know anyone involved in the Jack Richies? Maybe we could work together for a better tomorrow.

March 19, 2013 - 9:12pm

Wow. People fightin' for integrity. Love these posts.

March 24, 2013 - 12:01pm

Has nobody been reading anybody else's posts or the links to the articles on the history of the awards?

Let me say it again. I, Ian Gifford, am one of the co-founders of both awards shows with Mario Circelli. We brought in the fellas, late in the planning stages, from a certain magazine whose publisher went behind our back and registered the awards and all the working titles as a business under his own name while we were working towards incorporating as a not for profit. We spent the better part of 2 years trying to get the train back on the not for profit track.

After we finally had to break ties with them, many musicians in the city embarked on boycotts of the London Music Awards. There are many bands and musicians to this day that uphold this boycott. This is not a new thing.

The simple fact is that London has no need for 2 awards shows.

The other fact is that an awards ceremony that has little to no discretion for what makes up a "nominee" and/or where they get listed in terms of categories and then charges the recipient of said nomination a fee to see if they got the most mouse clicks over someone else, is doing little to "honour" or "celebrate" the musicians of our city.

The only way a boycott succeeds and spreads is if people continue to talk and write about things as Paterson has. She doesn't need your advice to see things in a different light. She doesn't need to talk to anyone to see if they'll change their mind.

An entire committee of some pretty smart, accomplished individuals, sat around the table with the man himself in 2004 and gave him a chance to come back from the dark side but the dark force was too strong with him and now we have Paterson as a new hope for the future. (Padawan Munday? Nice ring to it ;-) )

Paterson is already in the know on these things folks and doesn't need your help or advice. She needs you to listen and take heed and maybe even think a little deeper about these situations. She's not just tearing paper and stamping her feet. She's talking about valid things as we all have been for close to a decade now. So get on board will ya?

Think about these things a bit:

Does London need 2 music awards?

If one group can put on an event that is free to the public with every musician getting paid for their performing in the show then why can't the other?

If one group can assemble people to put together a short list of artists with merit (that were all actually active in the year for which they were nominated) then why can't the other?

If one group can figure out how to control the internet votes so as to not allow constant over-voting by the public, then why can't the other?

This is not rocket science. It's supposed to be about "honouring" and "celebrating". Which of you guys with the brilliant advice have even made it to one of these awards shows to see how they run and just how the musicians are being celebrated?

The only reasons the other awards still exist is because is because that dude owns a magazine where he can print whatever he wants in it. Also, the musicians that get their names lumped into a list of 20 odd other acts that may or may not fit in the same category, are lulled into thinking that someone is doing something to "honour and acknowledge" them and then they spam all of their friends to vote for them, further advertising for a magazine that does little to honour and acknowledge the same musicians through the rest of the year.

Hey smart research guys, go back through the history of our local "entertainment" magazine and do a research of how many local acts have made the cover of that magazine. Seriously, you will find the results very intriguing I am sure.

If anyone wants further history or explanations as to why the LMAs should cease to exist, I would love to explain it to you. Let's meet for coffee. Better yet, meet me at the Jack Richardson Music Awards on April 14th and we'll have a drink and a toast to the other 5 bands that were nominated with the band I play with. We're very proud to be nominated and recognize that we have some stiff competition! As it should be!

March 28, 2013 - 10:49pm

well put Ian :)

<a href="/blog/london-music-awards-ha-ha#comment-3424" class="active">Bravo Paterson &amp; Ian! As</a>
April 2, 2013 - 10:45am

Bravo Paterson & Ian! As someone who was also involved in both the LMA's and the the Jack Richardson Music Awards, it is extremely sad to still see some musicians and bands fall for what Scene is pretending to do with the concept of Awards. For Scene, this is a revenue generator. That is first and foremost. The Jack's on the other hand are established to recognize, honour, and celebrate local musicians. Big difference.