THE VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS 2017/18
On the last Wednesday night of March, the leather ‘n’ lace clad and spiked ‘n’ studded Punks of London arrived to the Islington O2 Academy for the first Vive Le Rock Awards. The overall impression the night imprinted was that of a reunion / piss-up, but also served as a giant fuck you to mainstream music media. It was a healthy reminder of what Punk is all about, and how some of the most revolutionary bands in history have been long overdue a traditional award (or reward actually, in the words of Charlie Harper) in the sphere of the conventional industry.
Since 2011, Vive Le Rock has satiated the millennia’s rockers of all ages worldwide. Those hungry for not only news primarily, but oftentimes a reminder of what they’ve always loved. Predominately Punk, but adept enough to expand into correlating genres, they masterly blend old and new, big and small- quite simply because their passion and championing of the subject makes it easy to be all encompassing. As an Independent, British brand who lives and breathes music and Subculture, we of course hold a treasure like Vive Le Rock close to our hearts. Vive Le Rock is today’s best example of an Independent music magazine- and we wholeheartedly appreciate the time, effort and care it took to organise an event set up to thank those mavericks who have been long neglected by corporate music industry. Though, as genuine Punks- this crowd relishes the distance from the norm and the cheap-suited bigwigs- they love their music and don’t give a toss.
A group reminiscent of a Vince Ray illustration, the Vive Le Rockers opened the ceremonies with Link Wray’s Rumble, before bringing on the man who started it all. Founder and Editor-in-Chief Eugene Butcher- a man who is everything you hope he would be- talking the already packed and sweaty venue through the inception of Vive Le Rock like it were two guys in the pub. Ginger Wildheart was our host for the evening- front man of Newscastle’s The Wildhearts. He was joined by the likes of Steve Diggle of Buzzcocks fame, Brix Smith-Start of The Fall and Shakin Stevens in giving out the awards.
The winners of the evening were:
Band of the Year – The Damned
Album of the Year: The Professionals
Best International Act- Michael Monroe
Pioneer- The Cure
New Blood- Booze & Glory
Best Live Band- Cock Sparrer
Best Roots Band- The Selector
Best Reissue- Gary Crowley
Film of the Year- Rebellion: A Punk Movie
Rock in Peace- Malcolm Young
and of course Charlie Harper of UK Subs left his usual spot accepting pints at the bar to merrily accept the King Rocker award.
Between the ceremonial award giving, the night was studded with collaborative performances from some of our favourite frontmen playing favourite hits. Notable moments include TV Smith playing Gary Gilmour’s Eyes, Michael Monroe playing MC5’s Kick Out the Jams and Ginger Wildheart joining the Vive Le Rockers to perform Ace of Spades. Ending with a short but flawless performance from The Damned. Playing New Rose, Neat Neat Neat, Love Song and Jet Boy Jet Girl one after the other with an accompanying brass band was nothing short of a treat. A band we have always considered as the most skilled, enjoyable and Punk Punk band the world has ever seen.
Amongst the acceptance speeches, the words “We’ve never gotten an award before” came up speech after speech. Captain Sensible’s tirade on Jon Savage and his dismissal of The Damned’s work in the early Punk scene in ‘England’s Dreaming’ was definitely our favourite. Never the wallflower, Sensible’s honest and entertaining dialogues with the crowd is often as anticipated as the music at shows. The audience jeered and cheered, as Sensible pointed out- beer can in one hand- that if weren’t for the fans, who knows where they’d be? Because in the end, whose opinion do you respect more? The suits at the top; one writer’s perspective, or thousands of music lovers, fans and followers?
Thanks to the Vive Le Rock Awards to remind us of what it’s all about.
More photos of the night to be released on our Instagram– so if you don’t follow us all ready, head there now to make sure you do.