LONDON STYLISTS: The Ivors - Paying Tribute to Era-Defining Styles

The 61st Ivor Novello Awards 2016 were a joy to celebrate with music's finest their outstanding songs which helped shape and culturally define our time.

Their songs were the soundtrack to our lives - and evolutions of style - from Simple Minds in the 80s, through to 90s and beyond with Happy Mondays, Portishead, Snow Patrol (Gary Lightbody and Johnny McDaid), Blur and Gorillaz (Damon Albarn) among many.

To stop and honour these songwriters was to share a special moment as we listened to tribute speeches and collections of music videos spanning decades, each song filling us with a different memory of our lives - reminding us what pioneers they are.

The Ivors celebrated songwriters old and new. A few of my favourites take us back to iconic styles of the 80s and 90s - being a Stylist I had to share these music videos for the style inspiration!  Quotes and snippets from the Awards follow:

OUTSTANDING SONG COLLECTION - Simple Minds

Damon Albarn pays tribute to Simple Minds during his acceptance speech for Lifetime Achievement Award:

Looking back on it now I loved pretending that I was in U2, but I just think that Simple Minds were cooler. ‘Promised You A Miracle’ - I listened to it when I started doing this new Gorillaz record and it just blew my mind.
— Damon Albarn
You might say they had nothing else in their lives... Well, as tower-block kids from Glasgow, neither did we. This was the thing, and the core was music, trying to get that dynamic where the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  It’s still wired to that.
— Jim Kerr
For us, the world makes sense through music, and we escape through it, too.
— Jim Kerr
Looking dapper: Jim Kerr and Simple Minds before receiving their Outstanding Song Collection Award at The Ivors 2016 (Image Stylist's own).

Looking dapper: Jim Kerr and Simple Minds before receiving their Outstanding Song Collection Award at The Ivors 2016 (Image Stylist's own).

Jim Kerr's banter with Creation Founder Alan McGee who pays tribute to Happy Mondays had us laughing.

In 1988 and 1989, music was really boring. These guys came along and changed it. Suddenly it was okay for DJs to work with bands.
— Alan McGee
Alan McGee it’s a good job you weren’t on our table when you said nothing was happening in 1989 - I’d have chinned you. I’ll see you in the park in about an hour’s time.
— Jim Kerr

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT - Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award at The Ivors 2016 (Image Mark Allen)

Damon Albarn receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award at The Ivors 2016 (Image Mark Allen)

Before award presentations commenced I ran into Damon Albarn and first thing I happened to see were his shoes - being a typical stylist I couldn't help but notice his pink Converse!  Later, we were brought to laughter again when bandmate from Blur Graham Coxon, in his tribute to Damon, seemed to disapprove of the choice:

The first time I saw him, he was shouting ‘I’ve got a social disease’ in a school as he gave a very energetic performance in a school assembly. I thought ‘this boy’s got some nerve’. He told me that I had crap shoes, but as you can see I got my own back today.
— Garahm Coxon

Damon Albarn receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award at The Ivors 2016:

True songwriters are people who are able to release themselves from something that’s really affected them by writing a song about it.
— Damon Albarn
At the end of the day, if you’re not connected to the spirit you’re not making true music.
— Damon Albarn

BEST SONG MUSICALLY & LYRICALLY - Gary Lightbody & Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol nominees

The Ivors also honours songwriters who've contributed to writing songs performed by other artists.  Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and Johnny McDaid were honoured with a nomination for their work with Ed Shearan and Rudimental on Bloodstream

In 2005 when Snow Patrol won an Ivor Novello Album Award for Final Straw they weren't able to attend to collect it, making this year's Ivor Novello Awards the first the group were able to attend including Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Johnny McDaid and Jonny Quinn. While we eagerly anticipate the next Snow Patrol album they told us we can expect it soon, most likely in 2017.

INSPIRATION AWARD - Happy Mondays

Happy Mondays were the first band to bring the underground 90s dance scene to their music. To inspire everyone to dance they even brought dancer Bez into the band to show us how it's done. Completely changing the landscape of music at the time, promoting a dance culture which brought people of different backgrounds together.

From Oasis' Noel Gallagher to countless bands the Happy Mondays have been an inspiration, influencing artists from Robbie Williams to Kasabian.

PRS FOR MUSIC OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO BRITISH MUSIC - Portishead

Retaining an air of mystery by famously not giving interviews Portishead's Beth Gibbons, tougue-in-cheek sticks her fingers up at us grinning ear to ear as bandmate Geoff Barrow collects the award:

I don’t believe you can judge music but I’ve been brought up here. You can’t judge it, it’s just f***ing wrong. I’m not going to say thank you because I don’t believe in these things and Beth (Gibbons) doesn’t talk anyway so we’re the perfect band for this event.
— Geoff Barrow

The press reports Barrow as being ungrateful although to me they seemed to come across as being playful - in any event, if there was ever to be a band 'too cool' for anything, surely it would be Portishead?  In an age where artists 'Instagram their breakfast' (as the Ivors programme writes) thanks Portishead for keeping the fantasy alive.

For more photos from The Ivor Novello Awards 2016 please visit my Instagram @marikapage_fashion_stylist

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