May 22nd, 2010 by Chris


WHERE: Capitol, Perth

WHEN: May 20

EXTRAS: Thursday Night’s Winners and Craft Award Winners

Awards mean little, but recognition means a great deal and for many the WAMI Awards is that recognition of all things original and local, oh and some bands played and some people from other countries and states popped over.

The line was long early and many missed the chance to see WAMI nominated singer Hayley Beth croon her way through a quick fifteen minute set. Hayely Beth oozed confidence and shone in front an extremely awkward and standoffish crown.

WAM big shot Paul Bodlovich introduced all things WAM, including a wonderful Welcome To Country before RTR’s Peter Barr and Triple J’s The Doctor took over hosting duties.

The Industry then spoke with Rolling Stone darlings The Emperors taking home Most Promising New Act, where The Kill Devil Hills surprised many by winning Best Rock Act. Eleventh He Reaches London deservedly won Best Hard Rock Act and the lovely cake lover Abbe May received the Best Blues Act WAMmington.

With awards and cake rolling away, from stage left to right or right to left, local hip hop act Black Poet diligently made their way onto the stage. Relatively unknown throughout the city, this all-Indigenous group performed well if just a little over oared with the situation.

Recently crowned and highly talented Best Funk Act The Brow Horn Orchestra hit the stage to deliver their fun, energetic, brand of funk jams and danceable beats. There is definitely something good about this band, even with terrible head wear, but they will benefit from tossing away some of the obvious funk band clichés and just rely on their talent.

The public now had their chance to speak as the awards switched from industry voted to the people’s choice categories. Eskimoe Joe received the Most Commerical Pop Act Award, while Birds of Tokyo won Most Popular Act and Karnivool took home Favorite Album. Surprisingly French Rockets/ Injured Ninja took home the Most Popular Single or their split 12”.

From an industry sense, Dave Cutbush is your Individual Media winner and his old place of work RTR FM is once again Best Media Organization. Hard rocking Soundwave won their first WAMI for Most Popular Music Event and the hosts of the evening The Amplifier Bar took home Most Popular Venue.

Will Stoker and The Embers graced he WAMI stage in-between boxes being presented, with two winners in their midst. Will Stoker is an engaging and highly entertaining front man and his band churned out good, if a little unoriginal, tunes. Moving on drastically from their beginnings and even their middle, this is a band that have talent, appeal and the ability to capture an audience. If there was a WAMi for Rock Swagger then Will Stoker would be the perpetual winner.

With the night drawing to a close, one award remained. The Golden WAMi is an award that recognises someone who has helped, encouraged and given their all to the scene. Peter Barr took out his third Golden WAMmington for his work as RTR FM’s Breakfast Presenter and Morning Magazine Producer: A wonderful man with a wonderful heart and a great love of Western Australian Music, congratulations.

I would like to say WAMI winners Sugar Army jumped up on stage but after twenty nominations the boys have yet to have their own little bit of WAMI sugar. This did not stop them doing their very best up on stage. A roaring sound burst from the stage and their extremely well honed live show smacks of professionalism, talent and a damn good knowledge of who their audience is. You don’t have to be a winner to be a winner.

The WAMI Awards of 2010 did little to surprise in terms of winners but hey it’s an excuse to hang out with friends, talk shit and have a bit of a time.

©Chris Wheeldon.

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