Oct 17, 2012

Review: 2012 Jagermeister Independent Music Awards

Variety rocked the spirit of being indie at the 2012 Jagermeister Independent Music Awards, writes Angela Allan.

There was a battle of the beards between Chet Faker and Henry Wagons, presenters downing shots of Jager on stage, a revelation about host Dylan Lewis’ “Fanta pants” nickname and dropping the c-bomb at a blue light disco, and keeping the spirit of independent music "idealism" alive at last night’s seventh annual Jagermeister Independent Music Awards.
Held at Revolt Arts Space in Kensington, the awards had performances by Paul Kelly with J Walker and Dan Kelly, who was excited to play "what could be a 12-minute jazz odyssey.”

“We’ve never played it together live. It’s very experimental,” said Dan of the song. “I’m pretty excited for a Tuesday night. It’s a bit early for me. Tuesday night is usually a musician’s night off.”

Up for best independent single or EP for Gasoline, first-time nominee Alpine’s Lou and Phoebe were intrigued by the ceremony’s “Andy Warhol vibe in a secret venue”. But there was another first for Lou: “I’ve never had a Jagerbomb! I’m going to crack my Jagerbomb virginity tonight.”

While former Powderfinger guitarist Darren Middleton was romanticizing about a different first time: “I’d like to fall in love with a new band tonight.”

Lindsay McDougall – Triple J’s The Doctor and lead guitarist for Frenzal Rhomb, who were nominated for best independent hard rock or punk album for Smoko At The Pet Food Factory (they lost to DZ Deathrays’ Bloodstreams, sparking a humorous Twitter war between the two bands soon after).

“We’re up for Best Band That Is Still Around. It’s kind of a pity nomination. It’s like, if your dad is on life support and he’s like, 95 years old and you go on holidays and you come back, you’re like, ‘F—k I gotta go to the hospital,’ and your dad is still there and you bring him some flowers. That’s what our nomination is like.”

Aside from the life support, McDougall was presenting an independent music award for the first time, but remembered some advice from his first ARIA presenting gig.

“Marieke Hardy was my co-presenter and she said, ‘Don’t effing embarrass me, Lindsay,’ so that is my tip: don’t effing embarrass Marieke. That’s all you need to remember. I’m going to take that to my grave.”

Winners of best independent dance/electronica album for Hyperparadise, Hermitude performed Speak of the Devil with B-boy dancers churning out a slick routine. Later on, band member Angus Stuart (aka Elgusto) reflected on receiving the phone call announcing their nomination.

“We were in the studio and we had our heads in crazy analogue synths and we got the call and we were stoked, we were jumping around. It’s just a nice thing to be nominated.”

Performer Lanie Lane, who took the gong for best independent blues and roots album for her debut To The Horses, was a favourite among attendees, including best independent country album nominee Luke O’Shea, who was humbled by listeners embracing country music.

“You know, country music isn’t about dogs running away any more, it's really about speaking to the people and the stories behind it. That’s why I’m so excited about this new phase of country music.”

True to form, 360 spoke his mind when we was awarded best independent hip-hop album for Falling and Flying, saying that he really didn’t feel independent as his label receives funding from a major. But it was indie darling Chet Faker (aka Nick Murphy) – the only multiple award winner on the night for best independent single or EP for Thinking in Textures, and breakthrough independent artist – whose stripped-back unannounced performance of I’m Into You created a poignant halo of sound that silenced the room.

And the winners of best quotes from the “red” carpet…

“Quite honestly, it’s actually nice getting to see people that I only ever tweet abuse at. And people that I play on the radio. I’ve never met Chet Faker but I’ve seen his beard in the distance.” – Lindsay McDougall, Frenzal Rhomb

“I’m probably going to stay off the Jagermeister, but don’t hold me to that – just because it’s really early in the week, and I don’t want any Wednesday bleakness. But apart from that, [I like] seeing all the winners hugging each other.” – Dan Kelly

“I’m afraid I’m so far up the country-music anus, I don’t know any other genre of music, but I’m looking forward to seeing Lanie Lane perform. She’s a sweetheart and I like what she’s doing.” – Luke O’Shea

“I’m going to have to vote for 360, as I did a song with him!” – Gossling