With help in the judging process from:
Shaun Litton, Music Manager, Spice of Life
Enjoli Liston, Music Critic, The Independent
Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Music Critic, Financial Times
The 'snapshot' of Likes above was taken on Monday/Tuesday, July 4/5. For judging process, please see below.
Click on the title for a link to the original review.
Long list in competition - nominations: 24
MusicOMH review: '.. showed their strength, an ability to both make the contents of a venue bounce around in glee, while hanging on to their every word. Art Brut have always been an excellent live band. On tonight's evidence they are going to continue at that same standard for a long time.'
Independent review: '.. a born performer, whether at one of his many instruments or as a true frontman. His wide-ranging tenor vocals and sometimes beautiful lyrics can be either intimate or forceful; the earnest intro to '"House" and percussive chorus of "Accident & Emergency" showcase these twin specialities.'
MusicOMH review: 'From the reaction tonight, it will be a while before we get to see Chapel Club as up close and personal as tonight. They're a band on an upward trajectory, and the nation's stadiums and arenas will no doubt be ringing out to their riffs soon. Catch them while you can, for their moment is now.'
SouthSonic Review: 'Despite being 100% English, Max Raptor are every inch of American hardcore music fused with unmistakeable, thick British punk rock vocals - a refreshing twist in a culture overcrowded by a lot of bands clashing with identical hooks and sound.'
The Fleece, Bristol
Guardian review: '.. this evening was a reminder of why they are so distinctive. There were no gimmicks, but rather a no-nonsense blend of attacking, at times complex instrumental work mixed with the equally direct, theatrical enthusiasm of Boden's vocals.'
Shepherd's Bush Empire
Officially A Yuppie review: 'From the second they got on stage, the entire crowd were lifted to new highs, looking down to the circles and pits erupting on the floor and the amount of hands and fists waving in the air, the sea of humanity were fishing for a good time and Foals were going to give it to them.'
Guardian review: 'Beneath the dandyish vocal habits and nagging pop hooks, they make intricate, protean music teeming with complex melodies and unorthodox drum patterns.'
Shepherd's Bush Empire
NME review: 'This is an arena-ambitious, in-yer-face spectacle of melodic doom: ‘A Place To Hide’ and ‘Holy Ghost’ are as stormy and gothic as their haunted lyrics suggest, while ‘To Lose My Life’ blasts out like a celebratory suicide pact. There’s fear, death, blood and danger in the bones of these songs, but they’re glossed with a glistening synth sheen.'
O2 Shepherd's Bush
NME review: 'Of the (many) new songs, ‘Shine Like Stars’ is swooning stadium rock at its finest, with its inky synths creeping towards the most skyscraping of crescendos.'
Guardian review: 'Emmy is the mistress of exquisitely orchestrated moments of devastation.'
Guardian review: 'Smother isolates the elements that made the first two records so compelling – delicate, multi-layered soundscapes and a preoccupation with carnality that ping-pongs between the poetic and the explicit – and builds on their foundations.'
Guardian review: 'Their show, with its twinkling, fairytale orchestration and visual whimsy (flowers are entwined around mic stands, Khan-Panni wears a feathered fascinator), is bewitching.'
NME review: '.. they’re firing up the most fundamental elements of rock’n’roll, yet delivering them with the passion, snarl and jubilance of punk’s infancy.'
NME review: '.. it’s all one room, one pair of feet stamping on the floor, one set of hands clapping. No separation, only elation.'
Guardian review: 'Their album is vivacious and expansive, shot through with glee, and their live set is equally compelling.'
Shepherd's Bush Empire
Virgin review: 'His voice is astonishing with a strength that belies his size. A voice that is strong while retaining a crackle that adds sincerity to every word he sings.'
BBC review: 'It’s not merely a rehash of the original, but a cohesive, considered masterpiece in its own right.'
Telegraph review: 'The Scottish folk-rockers turned poetry into music in one of the most magical shows you could hope to see.'
Telegraph review: 'Perched on an amplifier, the two-time stroke sufferer performed a superb and uplifting set.'
O2 Empire, Shepherd’s Bush
Build A Rocket Boys! NME album review: 'Songwriter Guy Garvey cements his position as the laureate of the everyday.'
Album - Fiction/Polydor
NME review: '.. there’s obvious greatness in the rolling belter ‘Below My Feet’, which is awash with trademark religious imagery and stirring talk of flesh and desire.'
Guardian review: '.. the arrangements are delicious throughout: Just Before We Met opens with a pizzicato violin hook set against a synthesised bassline, before a harpsichord and electric guitar come in, the latter taking on the violin line.'
Album - Mercury
Independent review: 'When performing live, Calvi's painstaking precision and masterful attention to detail is exquisite. It's no wonder she has won praise from a host of big names from fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld to Brian Eno.'
NME review: 'Just one thing wrong with this spectacular set – it doesn’t take place in a stadium.'
We wanted to include work by established as well as those not-so-established artists and performers (some awards leave out many worthy contenders). The Facebook and Twitter numbers is a way to do this without specifying criteria but using audience reaction (criteria would always be contentious). Using audience 'likes' allows for a more 'democratic' way to judging the award.
Human nature is a wonderful thing and it is possible that artists and performers will encourage others to 'like' their nominations to increase their number. This is why reviews are also part of the judging process.
We understood at the outset that it was likely that all judges will not have seen/read/heard all entries in their category. We had a choice, either to limit the number of nominations to what judges can be expected to see, or to be more inclusive and bring in those from the Fringe who don't have huge audiences and yet produce amazing work. We decided to be more inclusive.
With so many awards and nominations it would have been impossible to run on the basis that each judge will have seen every nomination in their category and to recognise and nominate great talent/performance when it is reviewed.
In any case all are in good company and all are worthy of winning the award.
There is no perfect judging process, however, the democratic part to the judging process, and the review commentary, as well as the judges' expert opinion, will together give us a fair and transparent process and a credible winner.
Each nomination below is based on a highly rated review in the national press. There is a Facebook and a Twitter button with a number of 'Likes' against each nomination. There are also a number of Likes on the original online review (there may be other online reviews but we can only take one into account). We shortlist nominations with the highest number of Likes from both pages and ask judges in each category to help decide the winner from the shortlist. Very occasionally there is a review that does not have the Facebook and Twitter buttons because the publication has not included them and so we have taken the numbers from the award page.
Note that the number of Facebook Likes on the award page is occasionally different from that on the the online review. It's probably because the original review page was changed (perhaps being updated) in some way after the nomination and Facebook starts counting again, so to account for this we only take the highest number.
We ask each judge to give us their top three in order of preference from the shortlist. We'll merge that with the other judge's preferences and that should give a clear winner. If not, a discussion between the judges should do so, and if there is yet no agreement, the London Awards Director will have casting vote.
All nominees are invited to the ceremony.