So on Thursday the 9th of June this year I fulfilled my teenage ambition of attending the Kerrang! Awards. If only 16 year old me had known that this day would come, she wouldn’t have believed it. With the experience in my pocket I’m left with a basket full of mixed feelings. On the one hand I’m really glad I went and had the experience, if anything to get a grip on what the night is really about and quench my curiosity. I know I’d have been annoyed if I’d left it another year. On the other hand, while I might, at a push, attend the after gig, I don’t think I’ll attend the ceremony bit again.
To start with, you spend a hell of a long time queuing. As a rock fan and gig-goer I spend a good chunk of time doing that anyway, but this was ridiculous. There was a point where I was really tempted to skip the after gig and go home, because you had to queue there again.
The ceremony was hosted by the Darkness’ Justin Hawkins and Skindred’s Benji Webbe. Benji was actually pretty funny and he seemed relaxed and natural. Justin, however, was a bit stiff and awkward, and didn’t really seem to want to be there. Oh, and random tidbit for you here, I shared the train ride to the event with Justin’s lovely looking brother Daniel Hawkins, so there’s that! He was dressed smartly in a dark suit with a striped black and white tee under it, and his hair was all fab and curly. What is it with blokes in the music industry with lush looking hair? What do they use on it, exactly? Is there a special hairdresser that only musicians use?
But anyways, back to the subject at hand, before I get all distracted. The fact is, the awards ceremony seemed a bit fake. I know these things have a tendency to be anyway, but I was still disappointed. Usually at these events it feels like home, that I’m among fellow rock lovers who are keeping it real, but it certainly didn’t feel like it at this event. This felt much too mainstream and commercial, much too we’ve-been-paid-to-shove-this-down-your-throat-so-you’ll-like-it. And I didn’t like it.
I was happy that I got to see All Time Low, Blink 182, and Frank Carter in the flesh, that was pretty cool. But I wasn’t happy that Iron Maiden, MAIDEN FOR GOTH’S SAKE, didn’t win Best British Band. Asking Alexandria got that one. And when Baby Metal got Best Live Act, are you actually kidding? And while I am very fond of All Time Low, and I love their song Missing You, Panic! At The Disco should have won Best Track, hands fucking down. And the one of the biggest slaps in the face is that 5 Seconds of Summer was even among the nominees at all. What a disgrace, they’re not a bloody rock band in any shape or form.
So you can see why it was a slightly painful experience for me. As a real rock fan, I cringed every time a really good band was mentioned and didn’t get so much as a whistle of acknowledgement, while others more unworthy got massive cheers. It was all so phoney.
The two saving graces were the after show and the goody bag! I’m glad I got to see Asking Alexandria who put on a good show, but because the show itself was so massively delayed, I didn’t stick around after that to see A Day To Remember. I would have missed the last train home by miles and ended up stranded in London until the morning.
So, after Asking Alexandria, I nabbed my goody bag and headed out. Apart from all these bits and bobs, which included the latest copy of Kerrang! and a very nice bag (now I can shop at Tesco’s in style!), it also contained a drink and some snacks which I scoffed on the train, because by then I was famished!
My favourite part of the goody bag was this pack of Rock Legends Top Trumps! What a lovely touch! Although I wouldn’t have included Gerard Way and Amy Lee in the cards. Awesome rockstars they may be, but legends, along with the likes of Lemmy, Dio, and Ozzy? I think not, guys.
All in all, I don’t regret going, I just wish the Kerrang! Awards was more true to the music, and actually promoted music and bands that deserve the recognition and that are a credit to the genre. They alos need to be a bit more organised. People pay good money to attend these things, they don’t deserve to stand in a queue for hours for their efforts.
Next year I’m definitely going to Metal Hammer’s Golden God Awards instead.