Judges revealed for Merseyside GIT Awards 2015

Iconic record label bosses, industry heavyweights and respected UK journalists are among the 16-strong judging panel to preside over Merseyside new music prize The GIT Award 2015.

For the first time in its four year history, The GIT (Getintothis) Award panel features founders of three globally-renowned labels, a member of the UK’s key industry body plus its first international representative from an overseas blogger and talent scout.

Joining the judging panel for the 2015 prize is ex-Cocteau Twins member Simon Raymonde – founding owner of Bella Union records who has signed acts such as Flaming Lips, Fleet Foxes and The Walkmen.

Rich Walker, General Manager of 4AD label, home to critically-acclaimed Bon Iver, Daughter, Grimes and The National will also sit on the panel and joining him is Jeff Barrett, founder of Heavenly Recordings (Doves, Beth Orton, Saint Etienne) which celebrates its 25th birthday in 2015.

New journalists and bloggers joining the panel for 2015 include the GIT Award’s first ever international judge – Belgian-based Jarri Van der Haugen who runs Disco Naïveté, a ‘buzz blog’ which broke artists such as Lana Del Rey and Haim; Shell Zenner, North West Amazing Radio presenter and blogger; Robin Murray editor of Clash magazine and Chris Torpey, editor of monthly Liverpool music paper Bido Lito!

Also new to the panel are Victoria Smith, manager of The Arts Club, one of Liverpool’s leading inner city venues and Dot Levine, head of campaigns and communications at UK Music – the umbrella organisation which represents the collective interests of the UK’s commercial music industry.

Returning for the 2015 panel are Mike Deane, the founder and director of Liverpool Music Week, John Doran, editor of acclaimed pop culture webzine The Quietus, Mike Walsh, deputy programme director and head of music at Xfm and Simon Price, music journalist with decades’ worth of experience writing for a host of national titles.

GIT Award founder and Liverpool Echo journalist Peter Guy joins Liverpool music promoter, Steve Miller, the man behind club night EVOL. Completing the judging line up is Yaw Owusu, music manager and curator of Liverpool International Music Festival.

On being chosen for the GIT Award, Simon Raymonde reflected:

“For more than half of the 17 years I have been running Bella Union, I have been mostly disinterested and disappointed in the music coming out of the UK.

“Maybe this is in part due to being 15-years-old in 1977 and having my mind blown and my life taken over by the likes of The Slits, Josef K, The Pop Group, Joy Division, Wire, Buzzcocks, PiL, Associates, The Cure, etc.. The end result being that no subsequent period of British music seemed to affect me close to that degree.

“As the label formed in 1997, I subsequently turned my eyes and ears toward America, and found bands like Midlake, Lift To Experience, Beach House, John Grant, Fleet Foxes, Explosions In The Sky instead. It continued to bother me through the first decade of the 21st Century that UK music was still obsessed with sounding like the Beatles or The Kinks, and I think the only British band on the label at one point was My Latest Novel.

“Since around 2008, something happened, maybe the end of Labour’s time in Government coming up, the initial euphoria of Tony Blair as PM replaced by that jaw-dropping reality that he was just another false prophet, the widening economic disparity between North and South, all suggested a sea-change in art and culture, in a way harking back to the late 70s where we just stopped and said ‘ok you know what? F*ck this, we are not standing for this sh*t any more’, and somehow all that energy and excitement that flows through the creative minds of today’s young musicians and artists I see as their way of combating the bleak prospects they see ahead of them in Cameron’s Big F*cking Society.

“And my soul is enriched and my heart swollen from the incredible variety that is coming out of the UK. I now have around 15 UK-based artists on the label, and appropriately I am in the process of trying to sign a couple of bands from Liverpool as I write this.

“I’ve been spending most weekends this past year on trains up from my coastal home town of Brighton to all the corners of our fair isle, and beyond, and it is no exaggeration to say, without wishing to put the curse of ‘scene’ upon it, the most consistently exciting bands right now ARE from Liverpool. That is an irrefutable fact.

“I present a weekly radio show of new and unsigned music from all over the world, and you only need to listen to a cross-section of the shows from the last year, to hear that my claims are wholly justified! It is therefore an honour to be involved this year with Getintothis’ GIT Award.

“Forest Swords were worthy winners last year, and with such a wonderful array of talent again on show this year, I have no doubt, the judges will all pick an artist to make you all proud.”

The fourth edition of Liverpool’s new music prize The GIT Award 2015 returns with a special showcase ceremony at The Kazimier on Saturday 4 April 2015.

The GIT Award is the first, and only, regional award of its kind championing new emerging talent within Merseyside’s eclectic arts and music community, pushing innovative musicians right across the world, and the nominations process to find 12 shortlisted artists is already open.

The 16 judges will decide the 12 shortlisted nominees and the eventual winner for this pioneering award. The GIT Award 2015 winner will follow on from Loved Ones (2012), Baltic Fleet (2013) and Forest Swords (2014) and receive £1000 prize money on Saturday 4 April 2015 at the Kazimier.

A special Inspiration Award, recognising significant outstanding achievement in Merseyside’s music industry will also be presented. Past Inspiration Awards have been won by Africa Oye (2014), the Hillsborough Justice Collective (2013) and the team behind Liverpool’s Kazimier club (2012).

A ‘One To Watch’ prize will also be on offer, following in the footsteps of last year’s winner – and newly-signed to XL Recordings, Lapsley.

Liverpool has long been considered a hotbed of musical talent and The GIT Award is committed to putting the city’s most innovative new bands and artists on the national and international stage.

Musicians, bands and creative types who would like to enter for this year’s prize are asked to send four tracks to getintothis@gmail.com

Businesses who would like to get involved with the GIT Award can email getintothis@gmail.com for more information.

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