Thursday, December 20, 2007

The 2007 Jock Awards

Welcome back once again to the second annual Jock Awards (like the Oscars, but without Billy Crystal presenting).

Without any further ado (or any ado at all), let's get down to the awards.

The Stone Roses award for Album of The Year: (Nominees: The Enemy - We'll Live and Die In These Towns; The Pigeon Detectives - Wait For Me; Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare; Kings of Leon - Because Of The Times; The Cooper Temple Clause - Make This Your Own)
Scooping the prestigious (in no-one's eyes) Album of The Year award for the second consecutive time, the Arctic Monkeys proved they are no flash in the pan. Moving on from their classic debut, Favourite Worst Nightmare was louder, harder and grittier - Matt Helders' drumming alone is ferocious. Another faultless record from the Sheffield lads - now it's "difficult third record" time.

The Strawberry Fields Forever award for Single of The Year: (Nominees: Arctic Monkeys - Fluorescent Adolescent; The White Stripes - Icky Thump; Soulja Boy - Crank Dat (Soulja Boy); The Enemy - We'll Live and Die In These Towns; The Pigeon Detectives - I'm Not Sorry; Kings Of Leon - On Call)
A tough category to call, given that singles aren't really singles any more - they're just a means to promote an album. But for making me sit up and take notice, it would probably have to be The White Stripes' Icky Thump - one of Jack White's most finger-blistering guitar riffs shoe-horned into an odd-sounding track containing Meg White's standard mono-beat and what sound like untuned bagpipes. Sadly, the album from which the track is taken failed to live up to expectations.

The Rolling Stones award for Live Act of The Year: (Nominees: The Cooper Temple Clause; Kings of Leon; Miyagi; Go! Team; Primal Scream)
This category is also a tough one in which to select a winner, given the high standard of live performances which I've seen this year. Kings of Leon were magnificent at the start of December, whilst Go! Team and Primal Scream were both superb at this year's inaugural Connect festival. But the award must go to The Cooper Temple Clause, whose final tour I witnessed at Aberdeen's Lemon Tree, a venue which may now follow the band into the history books. It would be unthinkable to lose both in a single year. As always, the Clause gave a throat-shredding, instrument-swapping tour de force at The Lemon Tree, even without the sadly departed Didz Hammond, now a Dirty Pretty Thing.

The Goodfellas Award for Movie of the Year: (Nominees: Pirates of The Caribbean III; Transformers; The Simpsons Movie; American Gangster)
Twenty years on, and the Transformers have lost none of their magic. To see Optimus Prime, Starscream and Bumblebee in a real-life action movie was awesome. Roll on the sequels.

The Knight Rider award for TV Programme of The Year: (Nominees: Lost; Dragons' Den; Heroes)
At the end of the second series, I was starting to think that I was losing interest. But by the end of the third series of Lost, I was completely hooked all over again. They're going to get off the island - we know that much. But what happens? A special mention must also be made for Heroes, which would have been a clear winner if not pitted against Lost. Many a workplace debate has been had over the relative merits of Hiro Nakamura and Peter Petrelli.

The Marilyn Monroe award for Babe of The Year: (Nominees: Keira Knightley; Amanda Bynes; Hayden Panettiere)
Assuming that Mrs Wife has won this award from now until the end of time, we'll instead look for a runner-up. Keira's too skinny, so instead the winner is Amanda Bynes, whom I'd never heard of until I saw her in Hairspray. Yes, she plays a schoolgirl in the film (as does fellow nominee Hayden Panettiere in Heroes), but she's 21 in real life. And she's hot.

The Jet Set Willy Award for Computer Game of The Year: (Nominees: Football Manager 2008; Final Fantasy X2; Guitar Hero)
It may not be as addictive as previous versions, but Football Manager 2008 is still the single biggest drain on my free time, sleep and marriage. I WILL win the Champions League with Rangers....

The Godfather III award for Biggest Disappointment of The Year: (Nominees: The White Stripes - Icky Thump; Ian Brown live; The Cooper Temple Clause splitting; the closure of The Lemon Tree)
The White Stripes album may have been a turkey (I've decided - Jack White is a phenomenal guitar player, but a patchy songwriter at best), Ian Brown may have been in a differet time zone to the tune at his Dundee gig, and The Lemon Tree closing is a kick in nuts to all music fans in the northeast, but the biggest disappointment from my point of view was the demise of The Cooper Temple Clause. No more of their howling, roaring, electro-rock - a huge loss to the live music scene.

The Screamadelica award for Scottish Album of The Year: (Nominee: Miyagi - Lucky Face)It's been a pretty quiet year for albums of note north of the border, but the best of the lot is Miyagi's Lucky Face, released just last week at a gig in Edinburgh. They're also the only band ever to have had Groanin' Jock make a special guest appearance on guiro. Buy the record now.

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