Forest Swords wins the GIT Award 2014

Will Fitzpatrick | 14 Apr 2014

We report back from the ceremony and concert announcing Forest Swords as the winner of the GIT Award 2014, plus the live concert featuring performances from Ninetails, Ex-Easter Island Head and others, celebrating the musical culture of Merseyside

Merseyside’s pop renaissance continues apace, asTri-Angle Records producer Forest Swords’ rapid ascension received another boost on Friday after winning the 2014 GIT Award. Wirral producer Matthew Barnes – for it is he – fended off stiff competition from the likes of Bill Ryder-Jones, Outfit and new Domino signings All We Are, and sent a message of thanks from his sold-out Brighton show. “I’m very pleased and honoured to be this year’s recipient,” he said, adding: “I feel proud to live and work on Merseyside, which has such a rich culture of music and art right now.” Uncomfortable with filming his own acceptance video, Barnes instead submitted a brief message from dub legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, who last year remixed his track Thor’s Son to spectacular effect.

Getintothis blogger and founder of the GIT Award Peter Guy was an endearingly excitable presence throughout, later enthusing that the evening “justified the hype” about the region’s forward-thinking approach to modern pop. Despite a bemused audience reaction to host Howard Be Thy Name’s rambling anecdotes and interminable “Cockney walks,” it was a night of appropriately boozey celebration in the glitzy finery of the Kazimier. Some acts were represented by videos, with other commitments weighing heavily on their schedules, but excellent performances from Mad Brains, a brass-augmented Ninetails and (in particular) Ex-Easter Island Head bent new minds to their various causes.

There were other awards to be won, of course: the ever-popular Africa Oye festival took the Inspiration Award, with visibly-humbled artistic director Paul Duhaney expressing the organisers’ hope to “inspire our audience for many years to come”. Meanwhile, electronic artist Lâpsley took the inaugural One To Watch prize, astounding revelers with her spectrally beautiful take on post-minimalist pop. It was left to the delightfully danceable All We Are to bring the main show to a spectacular close, acceding to demands for an encore before DJs Simon Price and John Doran sent the dancefloor spinning tipsily into bliss. If tonight represented the new Merseybeat, sign us up right now. 

GIT AWARD 2014 NOMINEES
All We Are
Evian Christ
Circa Waves
Dan Croll
Ex-Easter Island Head
Forest Swords
Mad Brains
Ninetails
Bill Ryder-Jones
The Tea Street Band
VEYU

INSPIRATION AWARD
Africa Oye

ONE TO WATCH
Lâpsley