Emeli Sandé’s career, buoyant after her performance during the Olympic Games opening ceremony, enjoyed another boost yesterday after she scooped two prizes at the Ivor Novello Awards in London.
The Scottish singer and songwriter triumphed with her song, Next To Me, which was named best song musically and lyrically and won a second prize for the most performed work.
Calvin Harris, the dance music star from Dumfries, was named songwriter of the year. Harris, whose hit singles include the number ones I’m Not Alone and Sweet Nothings, recently set a new record after he became the first artist to have eight top 10 hits from one album, all drawn from his release 18 Months.
Among the other winners was Noel Gallagher, the former guitarist and founder of Oasis, who was celebrated for his outstanding song collection. Since quitting the band he has established an acclaimed solo career releasing an album, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, in 2011. The awards, now in their 58th year, are much-prized by the music industry as they are chosen by songwriters and composers.
Sandé has experienced a hugely successful 12 months, performing at the Olympic ceremonies and topping the charts with her debut album Our Version Of Events. Last month, the album set a new record for the longest unbroken top 10 run for a debut album, surpassing the 62-week span of The Beatles’ Please Please Me.
Alt-J, who had already won a Mercury Prize, took the award for best album with An Awesome Wave at the ceremony, staged at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
One of the most cherished awards, best contemporary song, went to Pelican by The Maccabees, who were also Mercury nominees last year. Marc Almond, who began his career with Soft Cell and went on to have a string of hits on his own, was given the inspiration award. His hits have included Tainted Love and Bedsitter with Soft Cell, Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart with Gene Pitney and solo singles such as Jacky and The Days Of Pearly Spencer.
Former Moody Blues star Justin Hayward was given the outstanding achievement prize, while US songwriter and performer Randy Newman was given the international award.
While Sandé was unable to attend the event after heading to the United States to appear in the final of American Idol. Gallagher was given a standing ovation as he accepted his award and thanked “everyone who has ever played on one of my songs”.
He went on to dedicate the award to his wife Sarah and described a recent conversation they had in which he said he wanted to turn the garage of their new home into a “creative space” to write songs.
He accepted the award from Kinks star Ray Davies, who joked: “I don’t know why I’m here. I haven’t done anything to help this man’s career at all.”
Harris had guests laughing as he began his acceptance speech by telling them: “Like my lyrics, I’m going to keep it brief and repetitive.” As a dance music producer and DJ, he said he did not feel as though he belonged in a room of songwriters and composers. “To be honest, I can’t believe I was even let in the door of this whole ceremony. It feels like I shouldn’t be here, let alone holding this thing. ”
Marc Almond said one of the greatest accolades a music act could have was to know that they had inspired other artists. He paid tribute to everyone who had advised him over the years, adding: “I don’t always take that advice but I’m standing here today so something’s gone right somewhere.”