Gavan Reilly's Portfolio writings, ramblings, mumblings

The Choice Awards

Gav Reilly preview Ireland’s answer to the Mercurys…

This month marks the beginning of a new era (okay, that’s a little too emphatic but it’s certainly a sign of consolidation) for the Irish music scene with the announcement of the first winner of the brand spanking new Choice Music Prize for the best Irish album of 2005.

Billed as the Hibernian equivalent of the internationally respected Mercury Music Prize, the winning opus will be selected by a panel of twelve of Ireland’s elite media professionals, chaired by the much-respected music journo from the Irish Times, Jim Carroll. The group’s task is to select the offering that best sums up the year of Irish music that was 2005.

The shortlist reads as a who’s who of veritable Irish musicality. Bell X1‘s Flock, The Chalets’ Check-In and eponymous offerings from both Turn and Hal are all starlets of the scene like Cane 141, Joe Chester and Emmett Tinley among them. Works from Duke Special, Julie Feeney and Nick Kelly make up the rest of the nominated albums. The winning entry will be announced amid much pomp in Vicar Street on February the 28th in a ceremony being jointly hosted by the awards’ sponsors IRMO, IRMA, RAAP and Today FM, who will supply a full advertising campaign free of charge to the winner.

The victorious party will also get 10,000 shiny euros (probably in cheque form so not all that shiny, admittedly) and a specially commissioned award for the occasion.

If you feel like popping along and rubbing shoulders with the Irish musical elite you can, of course, buy yourself a ticket from all the usual places for €25.