Merseyside music scene GIT Awards 2012 shortlist announced

Posted on 28 March 2012
By Angela Johnson
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It has been a significant year for musical creativity and diversity on Merseyside and this has been confirmed by the 12 acts shortlisted for the inaugural GIT Award 2012.

The GIT Award, named after Liverpool music blog Getintothis and dubbed by the national music press as the Scouse Mercury Prize, celebrates the finest new recordings in the last 12 months on Merseyside.

Since its launch at Liverpool Music Week’s closing party in November 2011 up until the closing date at the end of February 2012, the GIT Award received more than 380 entries. The shortlist was then decided by a judging panel comprising top names from Liverpool Football Club, NME, Vice Magazine, The Quietus and The Guardian alongside the cornerstones of the region’s music scene – Getintothis, Bido Lito Magazine, Waxxx and EVOL.

The overall winner will be announced at The GIT Award 2012 Show on Friday April 27 at Leaf on Bold Street, where each of the shortlisted artists is expected to perform while being filmed exclusively by Mocha and Liverpool Football Club TV. Journalist and Goldblade musician John Robb will host the evening.

The GIT Award 2012 shortlist is:
Bang On
Ex-Easter Island Head
Forest Swords
Loved Ones
Miss Stylie
Mugstar
Outfit
Ninetails
Bill Ryder-Jones
Stealing Sheep
The Tea Street Band
Esco Williams

GIT Award founder and chair of judges, Peter Guy, said: “The first GIT Award shortlist highlights the wealth of new musical talent within Merseyside. The artists are ambitious and inventive, emotional and passionate, funny and profound. They evoke a sense of time and place, providing a wonderful snapshot of Merseyside’s varied sonic landscape proving why Liverpool is still the centre of the music universe.”

The winner will receive an incredible prize which includes recording time at Liverpool’s Sandhills Studio and a showcase at this year’s Liverpool Sound City and Liverpool Music Week. The winners will also play a gig at Vice Magazine’s London bar The Old Blue Last, as well as having a promo shot by Virgin Media Shorts filmmaker of the Year nominee Ian Gamester to be screened at FACT, the city’s art house cinema and creative technologies centre.

Dave Pichilingi, CEO Liverpool Sound City, said: “Sound City has always championed the vast pool of talent from Liverpool, and having worked with Getintothis since our formation in 2007, the GIT Award represents the perfect showcase to celebrate new music.”

Kevin McManus, former NME journalist and director at Liverpool Vision, said: “We’re really happy to support the GIT Award. Liverpool has a worldwide reputation for its creativity and continuing to produce some of the UK’s best music and most innovative music businesses. The GIT Award gives new talent an important platform and provides well deserved recognition for new acts breaking through.”

Matt Wilkinson, NME radar editor, said: “I’m really excited to be on the panel for the GIT Award. Liverpool and its surrounding areas are offering up some of the most exciting and diverse music around at present. I can’t wait to get stuck into the shortlist and find a winner.”

THE GIT AWARD SHORTLISTED ARTISTS:

The GIT Award celebrates and promotes the best of Merseyside music. The shortlist provides a snapshot of the year in music, recognizing artistic achievement across a range of genres.

Bang On
Bang On is Elliott Egerton, an MC from Tuebrook. Signed to Big Dada Records, his delivery effortlessly moves between funny and furious, as he spins yarns and nails metaphors that make rap sound like a good idea again. His debut album [sic] is out May 14 and paints a portrait of his city and through that, a portrait of his country and of a moment in time.

Ex-Easter Island Head
Ex-Easter Island Head is the brainchild of Aigburth multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Duvall and Liverpool University music student George Maund. A revolving ensemble of musicians, Ex-EIH compose and perform music using guitars as percussive devices by striking them with mallets to produce beautiful droning ambient soundscapes. They have performed in Liverpool’s World Museum and alongside American No Wave pioneer Rhys Chatham.

Forest Swords
Wirral’s enigmatic Matthew Barnes aka Forest Swords makes textured grooves as indebted to Liverpool’s rich musical heritage as it is the windswept and beautiful coastal environment from which it was born. Thunderous beats and cavernous guitar lines rub shoulders with R&B/hip hop and heavy drones. His 2010 debut Dagger Paths was named #1 Album of the Year in FACT Magazine.

Loved Ones
Loved Ones are Nik Glover, Rich Hurst, Ben Shooter and Jay Freeman. Mixing folk instrumentation and sampled beats to create richly textured backdrops, the group released their debut single Are You Hiding Out in Hell in 2011 and the follow up All Your Cry in March. The idea of family and friendships courses deep through their haunting yet profoundly beautiful music with their debut album The Merry Monarch expected late 2012.

Miss Stylie
Jade Jackson aka Miss Stylie cut her teeth in Liverpool’s clubs as an MC and DJ from the age of 14. Hailing from the streets of Toxteth, the former Liverpool Football Club ladies trainee striker, has performed at Glastonbury and on BBC 1XTRA. Her debut EP Heavy Salad drops on May 1 with an album due later in the year. The Streets’ Mike Skinner and US super-producer David Kahne are already championing Stylie’s flow.

Mugstar
Mugstar are Neil Murphy, Jason Stoll, Pete Smyth, Steve Ashton and Sam Wiehl a five-piece space-rock band from Huyton, Bromborough and Chester. Harnessing elements of krautrock with expansive instrumental noise and intense visuals, Mugstar (signed to Agitated/Important Records) pulse in an orbit of their own. The last 12 months was their most successful year to date with two extensive European tours and a record-breaking 40-minute remix release of their track Serra from Loop’s Robert Hampton.

Outfit
Outfit are Andrew Hunt, Thomas Gorton, Nicholas Hunt, Christopher Hutchinson and David Berger. In a whirlwind 12 months, the Wirral/Swiss pop collective have emerged from playing a debut gig supporting Les Savy Fav to releasing two sell out singles, playing at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall and London’s Royal Albert Hall and being named #6 in NME’s top bands in the world to watch. They release their new EP in April.

Ninetails
Philip Morris and Ed Black are second year music students from LIPA and together with Jake King and Washington DC’s Jordan Balaber they are Ninetails. Signed to Superstar Destroyer Records, their infectious math-pop has quickly won over an army of fans while their debut EP Ghost Ride The Whip sold out in under two weeks. In a hype-filled 2011 they racked up high profile support slots around the country with an album due later in 2012.

Bill Ryder-Jones
Bill Ryder-Jones is a songwriter from West Kirby signed to Domino Records. Drawing influences from modern cinema, Ryder-Jones released his debut album, If… in 2011. Recorded with the Liverpool Philharmonic across the city, the largely instrumental orchestral album was released to wide-spread critical acclaim. Ryder-Jones’ musical career began in 1996 as lead guitarist of psychedelic rock band The Coral.

Stealing Sheep
Rebecca Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer met while working on Lark Lane and together formed Stealing Sheep. Through a combined love of krautrock, 70s psych, gypsy jazz and electronica, the trio have hypnotized audiences across the land with their sepulchral lo-fi sonics and lyrical alchemy. After the release of two lauded EPs, their debut album is due out via Heavenly Records later this year.

The Tea Street Band
Nicholas Otaegui, Timo Tierney, Lee Smith, James Albertina and Dominic Allen are The Tea Street Band. Rising from the ashes of cult city band The Maybes?, their euphoric sound recalls the birth of acid house but reinvents it with a heady concoction of Balearic sun-kissed beats and shimmering guitar-flecked rock and roll. With a new EP on the horizon, The Tea Street Band are the bastard hybrid of Liverpool’s cutting edge warehouse scene and a guitar band truly worth believing in.

Esco Williams
Toxteth soul singer songwriter Julian Gill aka Esco Williams is the self-professed ‘Soul Powered Nerd’, whose evocative voice hits erogenous tones with skilful mastery and playful exuberance. Since creeping into music aged 17, the mild-mannered geek has made a lot of noise be it as part of the Sense of Sound Choir, performing with hip hop legend The RZA or being played listed on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Having been selected in MTV’s Brand New for 2012 Williams’ debut album New Challenger will be released later.

The winning act will head up shows at The Old Blue Last in London, Liverpool Sound City and Liverpool Music Week. They will also be given recording time at Liverpool’s Sandhills Studio.