Coverage of The Meaties
Points of note upon arrival - the crowd, predominantly female, was rather well turned out. The totty count was high. Other points include innumerable vacant seats in tiered block C and a prevalent hum of vomit. The Point was a preferable venue and I reckon if you asked any of the 'celebs' in attendance, they would agreed. That aside, host Dara O'Briain opted to refer to it as the "beautiful surroundings of the RDS, not the one that smells of horse, the one that Funderland is in" (hence the bang of vom). He could've just said "the one that makes this look like it's being held in a community hall."
• First up was a performance of 'Addicted to Company' by wee Paddy Casey which the crowd enjoyed (although, given the banter coming from the stage manager 5 minutes earlier, any form of entertainment would've come as a welcome relief). Dara pointed out that 'Addicted to Company' could also be called 'Fond of The Ride.'
• Two dudes (Liam Cunningham and Matthew Reese?) presented Best Irish Pop Act. A pointless award considering Westlife have won the last seven years on the trot. They all managed to get a go off the mic before Cian bellowed "TANKS" to their "record company Sony B BMG" into it and that they'd see everyone in the audience in Croke Park.
• Best Irish Female was announced by Patrick Bergin and an exceptionally shrill Michelle Heaton (seriously, she perforated my drums). After the names of every Irish female who's released anything over the last five years was read out, Cathy Davey was quite rightly crowned the winner. She thanked Oliver Walsh and legged it.
• Best Irish Male was introduced by Stephen Rea (obviously not as busy with the Jameson DIFF after party as he was last year) as Duke Special. Peter, voice shaking, managed to get out "Sh*t. I'm a bit freaked out. Thanks to everybody up in that row."
• The Cake Sale members gave 'Some Surprise' a whirl. Lisa Hannigan looked stunning. Lightbody looked mildly pained, as usual. They make a lovely couple. In more important news, the album is still on sale and has raised more than a quarter of a million for Oxfam.
• There was then the first of FIVE commercial breaks. This was a chance for the backline for the next performance to be set up, for the celebs/nominees pegg it to the bar, and the stage manager to get some "action" shots of the crowd. He very kindly informed us that, after the show was recorded, it was "ED DIT TED" so he needed us to look like we were enjoying ourselves. Apparently it was our "chance to shine". One of his many motivational quips included "Westlife have just invited you all home!" How we trilled.
• Tom Baxter and his band performed 'Better'. According to Dara, the violinist bore a striking resemblance to Russell Brand
• Most Downloaded Song was presented by two birds from The Clinic, one of which I'm almost certain called Mundy 'Mandy'. Yes, Mundy and Sharon Shannon's rendition of Galway Girl was popular enough to win.
• What appeared to be a slightly inebriated Eddie Jordan (in saying that, from my perch, he also looked like Barry Manilow by way of Phil Spector with a perm) alongside Gordon D'Arcy awarded Paddy Casey with Best Irish Album. Paddy too opened with "Sh*t". He redeemed himself, however, admitting "Cathy Davey should've gotten this one."
• A very excited Diarmuid Gavin announced he harboured romantic feelings for Sinead O'Conner before awarding Mary Donohoe the Humanitarian of The Year for her work on the Rose Project in Africa. She got a deserved standing ovation. It was unfortunate that the crowd started screaming at an emerging Republic of Loose while video footage of Aids sufferers was being shown.
• The duet between Sinead O'Conner and Republic of Loose was a lot of work for a few minutes. There was ROL's full band and three backing singers, however said singers were rendered redundant by Sinead's 20-strong gospel choir. Mick Pyro ambled out mid-song in a slick grey suit to spit out a rap about potatoes.
• The next ad break saw Dara whip around to inform the ever undulating crowd of nominees/celebs/hangers on to "Stay where you are! The smoking section's closed, the bar's closed so don't move." They didn't adhere.
• The stage manager didn't need to rouse the audience into a frenzy coming back from the break, for Boyzone were on stage in a flurry of obscenely tight white jeans, trilbys, and Mikey in the middle (possibly to make him feel relevant). They side-stepped through a medley of their hits (three in total), with Keet BUSTING out the moves to the point of hilarity. When they (finally) vacated the stage, Dara fitfully put it: "You'd have to be some sort of hard-hearted monster not to have enjoyed that."
• The big man KC from Cork's Red FM won Best Regional DJ (many thanks to all of you who voted). I believe he was the third person to start his acceptance speech with "Sh*t" but I was too busy being the babbling informant on the phone to (co-presenter) Lenny, to take it in. I did notice he left the stage flanked by presenters Karen Koster and Lisa Cannon from Xpose. Nice.
• Best National DJ went to Ray Foley who really had to over-animate himself when accepting in order to compete with the crowd's piercing hormonal outpourings for award presenter Shane Ward. Foley crooned two bars of 'Journey' (as promised to his listeners during the week), while fellow nominee Rick O'Shea clapped far too enthusiastically, presumably in rage.
• The Industry Award went to the late Jim Aiken's family and was presented by Louis Walsh and Charlie Croft (who should really be given some kind of script for such situations in future).
• The Coronas banged out 'San Deigo Song' and the repeated refrain "Sleep all day, drink all night, we're not wasting our time." Unsurprisingly everyone in the crowd new the lyrics.
• Another ad break. Stage manager got the audience to scream some more for the "action shots" for RTE2's TV broadcast tonight. He seemed slightly upset that when he said "are you bored of me yet?" he was met with an affirmed barrage of "YEAAAHH"
• Cathy Davey did a stirring rendition of 'Reuben.' Dara's "favourite song of the night", incidently. Hardly surprising.
• Someone in the production meeting thought Brian Dowling and MTV's Ricky Haywood Williams would be a fitting duo to present Best Folk Trad Act. While Ricky attempted to woo the crowd by saying all the musical acts he'd ever spoken to in his life thought the best place in the world to play EVER is DUUUUBLLINNNN, Brian waved at whoever was looking at him. He was only momentarily distracted to receive a kiss from winner Damian Dempsey who looked like he'd come straight from Shelbourne Park dog track or his car lot. Dempsey then roared "FRUM DEH BATTHAM OF ME HEEERT, I'D..." and, alas, the rest was incomprehensible to me.
• Rick O'Shea basically called Dara a one trick pony before announcing the winner of 2FM's Hope for 2008 to be Ham Sandwich. A busy day for them considering only a few hours prior they'd been signing copies of their album in HMV. If anyone will dash the Kells band's future hopes it'll be Podge McNamee. Trying to be that crayzay all the time must be exhausting.
• The next few minutes was filled with various forms of disbelief. John Corbet (AKA Aidan from Sex and the City) sauntered out to present Best Live International Performance to Muse. Who actually turned up to accept. And all the while John kept waving appreciatively to the crowd of overenamoureds, failing to notice that Westlife were standing spread-legged on stage just to his right. Their touching 'Take That inspired video montage of yore' performance was over in a flash of a thousand mobiles.
• Another ad break. People leaving in their droves. Tempted to join them at this stage.
• Scouting For Girls put in a pitchy performance of 'Elvis Ain't Dead.'
• Instead of the friendly face of O'Briain, we were met with the vision Gerry Ryan in the flesh. He was there to remind us we'd lost a pop rock god. The man in the white suit, Joe Dolan. We were then wowed with a wall of unknown Dolan facts, like a life sized cardboard cut out of him used to reside outside every music shop in South Africa.
• Keith Barry informed us the Best Life Irish Performance of the year belonged to The Blizzards' stint at Oxegen in July 2007. It's probably the only time in his life Niall Breslin has been overshadowed… Shane Ward was waiting to perform behind him.
• If you think Wardy's only capable of singing along with a chipmunk, you'd be wrong… his execution of 'Breathless' was very impressive, especially that high note. He even did a few bars acapella while O'Briain stood (im)patiently waiting, his head shining hypnotically under the lights.
• Never in my days did I ever expect to see Aslan within reaching distance of Charlize Theron. Stuart Townsend perhaps, but not Charlize. They gave Dublin's hardest working band their gong for Best Irish Band. Billy could hardly contain himself, leaping in front of the podium to shout about it being "25 years coming". Alan, on the other hand, aknowledged that the likes of fellow nominees Delorentos (not to mention Fight Like Apes) were the way forward. He ended with "It's important that Irish radio supports Irish music."
• Hoards of people were leaving while Pat Shortt introduced The Saw Doctors to the stage for a three song 'Bog Monster Boogey' blowout. I joined the hoards.
For our photos, have a gander here.
Story by | 11:42 | Saturday 16th February 2008 | Gossip
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