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Elbow land two Ivor Novello Awards (2009)


Story by Jack Foley

MERCURY Music Prize winners Elbow continued to sweep all before them by picking up two awards at the Ivor Novello awards (2009), including the main award for best song.

The group, fronted by Guy Garvey, triumphed with One Day Like This, while Grounds For Divorce won best contemporary song. Both songs are taken from their current album, The Seldom Seen Kid.

Other winners on the night included Duffy and The Ting Tings, but the ceremony belonged to Elbow and they were typically gracious in victory.

Picking up the band’s first award for best contemporary song, a clearly delighted Garvey said: “It’s a great honour against fierce opposition with some great songs.”

And upon returning to the stage for the main prize, he added: “This is really something else.”

He then went on to talk about being in the band, explaining: “We’ve got this great support surrounding us from our friends and family but, on a personal note, I’d like to say that, if nothing else ever happens to me in my life, these four boys have made the whole thing worth every single second.”

Duffy success

Among the other winners at the Grosvenor House Hotel ceremony, Welsh singer Duffy collected her prize for most performed work, for her hit single Mercy.

Standing alongside co-writer Steve Booker, the singer thanked those who had helped shape her career.

“I was a girl from Wales, I did not know what music was,” she explained. “I knew I had a set of pipes and that would get me a frigging long way.”

Further awards

Motown legend Smokey Robinson and electro pioneer Vince Clarke were also presented with special achievement awards, while dance music veterans Massive Attack and Scottish singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins were also recognised at the gala occasion.

Upon receiving his accolade, Robinson, 69, told the audience he had flown to the UK for one day to pick up his special international award, saying: “I think creativity is a gift from god – some people get gifts from god. For everybody in this room, creativity is your gift and it’s what you get.”

Vince Clarke, meanwhile, said it was “a real honour” to get his award for outstanding song collection, in recognition of his numerous hits with acts such as Depeche Mode, Yazoo, The Assembly and Erasure.

His presence marked the first time in his 30-year career that Clarke, 48, who had been on hand to pick up an award.

Forty nine-year-old Edwyn Collins, meanwhile, formerly of 1980s Glaswegian band Orange Juice and best known for 1994 hit A Girl Like You, received the biggest round of applause of the night when he took to the stage with a walking stick to pick up the inspiration award.

The singer suffered two brain haemorrhages in 2005 before spending a further six months in hospital after a surgical scar became infected with the MRSA bug.

He commented: “It’s good to be back. Cheers for the special award.”

Absent winners

Among the many winners who could not attend the ceremony were Coldplay, who could not claim their best-selling British song prize for Viva La Vida because they are on tour in the US.

Likewise, Manchester newcomers The Ting Tings are also currently mid-tour, in Europe, and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, who won best original film score for his work on the Oscar-winning movie There Will Be Blood, was also absent.

The 2009 fellowship award, meanwhile, went to veteran lyricist Don Black, 70, who co-wrote hits including Born Free and Diamonds Are Forever, as well as musicals including Aspects of Love and Bombay Dreams.