The VPME Awards 2009

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2009 ? How was it for you ?  In part 1 of our review of 2009 we reflect on the music that moved and inspired us and pay tribute to the musicians involved.

Album Of  The year 2009

Album Of 2009-Emmy The Great-"First Love"

1. Emmy The Great-“First Love”


Quite simply an amazing album of brutal honesty, wit and intelligence which cuts  through the big label endorsed shite like a laser. Anybody who dismisses  Emmy The Great as quirky or twee hasn’t been listening. This is an album that will still move me and make me cry  when I’m old and infirm as much as it did when I first heard it.  It’s timeless.  (Review here)


Emmy couldn’t be with us to collect her beautiful award, hand crafted from the finest pixels, she’s gone all Mariah Carey 😉   but via her I-phone she was able to send us this rather moving victory speech…..

EMMY: “I’d like to start my acceptance speech for this prestigious and important jpeg by saying thank you. However, I literally cannot remember who any of you people are. Ever since the album came out there has been considerable Von Pip buzz and I’m afraid the attention has gone right to my head. I’m currently to be found sitting at home waiting for confirmation of my MBE and overseeing plans for a giant gold bust of my head to replace the statue of Nelson Mandela or whatever in Trafalgar Square. It’s not yet been commissioned which is weird but I guess it’s just the hectic Christmas season. On the music front, I’ve been busy firing almost everybody I know and growing my hair to the point where I can plait it like a raver.  My new album, ‘Half-Chinese Democracy’ will be out in about ten to fifteen years. Please leave me alone now. Bye.

Ps I’ve just had word from my manager, who I’ve fired, that this needs to be more grateful. Fine. Thanks. It’s a lovely trophy. I’ll put it on the mantelpiece next to all my other trophies*

*porcelain cats from Argos”

And EUEN from the band had this to say: “You know those moments when somebody says “I loved it when you.…”   Or “remember that awesome moment when you …..” or “the way you dealt with that situation was so good …..” and you have no recollection of having involvment in said praises? Well that’s how I feel with this  album “First Love” by “Emmy the Great”. I really enjoyed my supposed involvement, according to everyone who saw me there. And thanks to the Von Pip blog. If there are any other smash hit albums I’ve worked on, please, let me know.

2.Patrick Wolf -The Bachelor

Wolfs 4th album famously partly funded by donations from fans via the internet is a triumph on every level and it’s the album his obvious talent had always threatened to produce.  Like a distant male relative of Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds Of Love’ , Wolf has produced something of a Baroque masterpiece.

3. Metric- Fantasies

“Fantasies” is Metric’s fourth studio album and possibly their best work to date, the sleek production has given rise to a slightly more radio friendly feel but it’s done in such a way that is unobtrusive and merely serves to help the band achieve a sound that is bold and dramatic whilst still retaining their intrinsic “Metric-ness”. (interview with Emily Haines here)


4. A Place To Bury Strangers -Exploding Head

An amazing album that combines sonic fury with an urgent adrenaline fuelled pop sensibility. They clearly don’t list bands who have influenced their sound merely to  appear ‘hip’, nope these lads have a genuine understanding of and appreciation for, bands such as  The Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. And it shows.

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5 .Howling Bells- Radio Wars

Listening to a Howling Bells album often feels like you’re being bewitched and slowly, subtly seduced, as they draw you into a world where beauty and nightmares are never far from the surface. Their songs are invariably haunting, menacing and unique, unique in the sense that you really couldn’t imagine anybody other than Juanita Stein singing them. She breaths life into each song, giving them depth, meaning and beauty, whilst the band provide the perfect stage upon which Juanita’s vocals can weave their subtle magic. (review here, interview with Juanita here

“Into The Chaos”-Howling Bells

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6. The Xx- The Xx

The XX prove that less is more as their skeletal arrangements showcase songs of pristine pop beauty that need neither gimmick or the honking horns of Mark Ronson. It’s a subtle, shimmering album and may well be regarded in time as one of the great debuts.


7.Raveonettes-In And Out Of Control

8. The Yeah Yeah Yeah- Its Blitz

9. Charlotte Hatherley -New Worlds

10.The Joy Formidable – A Balloon Called Moaning


11.Florence & The Machine -Lungs

12.Fight Like Apes- And The Secret Of The Golden Medallion

13.Echo & The Bunnymen-The Fountain

14. The Boxer Rebellion-Union

15. Fanfarlo- Reservior

16.MorrisseyYears Of Refusal

17.Mumford And Sons-Sigh No More

18.Silver Sun Pickups-Swoon

19. Lisa Hannigan See-Sew

20.Bat For Lashes-Two Suns

21.Camera Obscura -My Maudlin Career

22.Biffy Cylro-Only Revolutions

23.Katsen-It Hertz

24.The Pains of Being Pure at Heart-TPOBPH

25.Animal Kingdom-Signs & Wonders

26.Theoretical Girl-Divided

27.Hockey-Mind Chaos

28. The Dead Weather-Horehound

29.Regina Spektor-Far

30.Kill It Kid -Kill It Kid

31. Paloma Faith- Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful?

32. Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications

33. Fever Ray- Fever Ray

34. The Thermals-Now We Can See

35. Spinnerette – Spinnerette

36. La Roux-La Roux

37. Sky Larkin-The Golden Spike

38.Bombay Bicycle Club-I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose

39. Richard Hawley-Truelove’s Gutter

40.Asobi Seksu – Hush

Single /Ep Track Of The Year 2009

Single Of The Year -Marina And The Diamonds

1.Marina And The Diamonds-I am Not A Robot

Probably listened to this song more than any other this year, personal reasons make it very special but its also a f**king great pop song from a singer who doesn’t follow the conventional rules.

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2. A Place To Bury -Strangers -Keep Slipping Away

3.Metric-Gimme Sympathy

4.Julian Casablancas-11th Dimension

5.The Raveonettes-The Last Dance

6.Marina And The Diamonds-Obsessions

7.Patrick Wolf-Vulture

8.Emmy The Great-Edward Is Dedward

9.The Joy Formidable-Whirring

10.Bat For Lashes-Daniel

11.Exlovers-You Forget So Easily

12.Echo & The Bunnymen-I Think I Need It Too

13.The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart-Young Adult Friction

14.Yeah, Yeah Yeahs-Zero

15.Emmy The Great-First Love

16.Patrick Wolf – Damaris

17.Metric -Help I’m Alive

18.The xx-Crystallised

19.Isa & The Filthy Tongues-Big Star

20.Marina And The Diamonds-Mowgli’s Road

21.Biffy Clyro-The Captain

22.Mumford & Sons-Little Lion Man

23.Hockey-Song Away

24.The Raveonettes-Bang!

25.Animal kingdom – Tin Man

Best Reissue/Compilation 2009

The Jesus & Mary Chain-The Power Of Negative Thinking

Compliation Of The Year 2009 -The Jesus And Mary Chain


One of the biggest misconceptions about the Jesus & Mary Chain has always been that they were nothing more than dour nihilistic ‘noise terrorists’. What the “Power  of Negative Thinking” clearly demonstrates is that simply wasn’t the case.  It’s true The JAMC were often architects of their own downfall in a “business” sense but this retrospective offers proof positive that musically they have few equals. “The Power of Negative Thinking” provides 81 non Album “A side’s, plus the bands entire history of  B-sides, demos, and covers.  It showcases that the Reid Brothers were not only writers of melodious,  pristine pop songs and true iconoclasts but also reveals their rich love and understanding of rock’n’roll history and its mythology.  ‘Psychocandy’ regarded by many as their opus , may have taken Phil Spector’s musical template and beat the living shit out of it,  fusing it with guitar distortion and effects but that was only part of the JAMC’s musical legacy. Forget the riots, forget the feedback and Jim and William’s punch ups,   because these distractions should not be allowed to overshadow the Mary Chain’s  music which has stood the test of time and furnished us with songs that can rightly be regarded as  bona fide classics.   They paved the way for bands like My Bloody Valentine , Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr et all  to become media darlings and their influence is still apparent today in bands such as The Raveonettes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Gliss and a Place To Bury Strangers. The fact that they remain one of the most under-appreciated bands in music is still baffling  but for me their songs were genuinely life changing. ‘The Power of Negative Thinking’ reveals what true fans of the band have always known and is something that is rather surprisingly so often overlooked- this band has soul.  The Reid Brothers may never make it into the rock n roll hall of fame, they may have burnt too many bridges and that fact probably isn’t something they’d lose any sleep over but surely it’s about time their legend was afforded the respect it deserves. This is truly what Rock n’ Roll is all about.

Videos Of The Year

Videos Of The Year 2009

1.“I Say Fever” By Ramona Falls

Not just a great video, this is one of THE GREAT videos,we are talking of all time. Genius


2.” Mowgli’s Road” By Marina And The Diamonds

This is fantastic for many reasons but a big factor being that it was simply so unexpected. Just when you think Marina will do a straight pop video she comes up with something that is as bonkers as it is brilliant


3. “Do You Karate” By Fight like Apes

Maykay wrestling? has someone peeked inside my mind? A great video which encapsulates all the demented energy of their live performances. Great vid, great band.


Gig Of The Year

Gig Of The Year - Howling Bells

1. Howling Bells/ The Joy Formidable

review here

2. Emmy The Great/Exlovers

review here

3. Fight Like Apes

review here

4. Marina And The Diamonds

review here

Best Unsigned Band in The Universe

Run Toto Run

Run Toto Run- Best unsigned band in the Universe

A clearly overwhelmed and emotional Michael from Run Toto Run accepts his magnificent trophy on the bands behalf.

(Pop culture) Quotes Of the Year

Kevin CecilA campaign for Rage Against The Machine will not produce a non Cowell Xmas No1. Killing Paul McCartney, now that might work”

Marina Hyde (On how celebrities have infiltrated every sphere of life over the last ten years) “

This is your world,Try not to choke on it. The saddest part is that you weren’t even in a coma for that period, so future generations are going to regard you as complicit.”

And “I find it hilarious when Paris Hilton takes a ferret on the red carpet.That’s what celebrity is about. But when she wanted to go to Rwanda, I had a bit of a problem with it. In the end she didn’t get around to going because she was too, like, busy with other stuff. And look, I yield to no one in my admiration for Sharon Stone’s body of work but I just wonder if she is the right person to sort out the Middle East.”

and on Simon Cowell

“Simon Cowell has created a system in which all possible outcomes benefit him. It is a sort of anti-chaos theory: a system wherein even vast differences in initial conditions have no real effect on the outcome. The system allows for them. You could run a million different variations of the show through a Los Alamos computer the size of a barn, and the end result would always be the same: Cowell wins. In the anti-chaos of The X Factor, a tsunami of votes for a rogue act would lead to the most butterfly-like of variations in his final scenario – the difference of about 37 pence in earnings of tens of millions. The house always wins. In fact, as a business model, it makes Las Vegas look bleeding-hearted.”

JK (Read The Fanzine) If I hear La Roux’s “Bulletproof” one more time I might just be tempted to test out her claim”

Ellie GouldingCan I just say. I don’t take in the hype. EVER. I just like making music and running”

Tony Zanzibar ” Who The F**k Is Andy Von Pip”

Who The F**k- T-shirt Style Icon of the  Year : Paloma Faith


Remixes Of The Year

1.Howling Bells-Cities Burning Down ( Disco Bloodbath Effect)

2.Marina And The Diamonds-Mowgli’s Road Black Teeth Remix

3. Charlotte Hatherley-Alexander( Black n Red remix)

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Hype Of the year

The Horrors (review here )

Fashion Faux pas

James Allen’s tw*tty little cloak

A Cloak ??? WHY?


Chuckle Of  The Year

Oops Upside Your Head... I Said Oops Upside Your Head

Book Of The Year (Music/Entertainment)

Marina Hyde -"Celebrity"

1.”Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over the World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy” By Marina Hyde

2.”Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in Its Downfall” By Luke Haines

3. ” Goodnight Jim Bob: On the Road with “Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine” By Jim Bob

Who We’d Like To See Do Well In 2010

Not necessarily  a list of who I think will be big, I mean let’s face it some of those lists do have a tendency to be a little “hipsterish”. “Look at me I predicted a band I’ve never actually heard will be HUGE in 2010! ” Of course  I could study form and forecast who would do well in 2010  but  it’s not rocket science. It roughly  follows this formula “Do they have a big f**k off PR budget? Do they have media backing and essentially  are they willing to sell their soul to Satan ?…Check ?  Well logic dictates they could do very well in 2010. Easy-peasey, I’m a regular f**king pop Nostradamus.   No, this  list  may contain some artists which do appear in the “ones to watch lists” but I have tried to actually pick bands I like, regardless whether they are tipped by the great and good. Cos I’ve got integrity, like.  “Oh hello, Sony BMG ? Ah you want a flattering  article on Mr Cowell, well I’m not sure if….HOW MUCH!…. Is that in pounds ?? ? Of course, of course , I’ll have it done by 10.30 am …No, not a problem and no don’t thank me , thank YOU!

Anyway -to the list ….(Not all are bands are brand spanking new but there are some whom  I feel  may not yet have got the recognition they deserve)

The Beatles

Lissy Trullie


A Place To Bury Strangers

The Joy Formidable

Suzuki Method

The Boxer Rebellion

Marina And The Diamonds

Hook And The Twin

Run Toto Run

Rose Elinor Dougall



Sound Of Guns

Catherine AD

The Bookhouse Boys

The Indelicates

Everybody Was In The French Resistance Now

Eliza Doolittle

Polly Mackey And The Pleasure Principle

Sweet Jane

Tigers That Talked

Sarah Blasko

Thomas Tantrum

Nicole Atkins and The Black Sea

Soft Toy Emergency

The Xx

and new kids on the block The John Moore Rock N’ Roll Trio 😉

Villains Of  The Year

Every corrupt MP who fiddled their expenses.

Greedy Bankers

and obviously…..The X Factor


The VPME Awards- Samantha

Thanks Samantha!

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17 thoughts on “The VPME Awards 2009”

  1. Hi

    Just wanteed to say thanks for this super-sized round up of 2009.

    We did our own Best Tracks of 2009 post on The Recommender and are pleased to say we share a shit load of choices.

    Will definitely be popping back to keep up to date with Von Pip.

    ~All the best
    Mike & The Recommender Team


    • Cheers, checked out your top tunes, definitely kindred spirits in many areas ! Both have Marina No1 but with different songs 😉

  2. Thanks for including Kill It Kid in your albums of the year, appreciated.

    If anyone out there has a sack of money and wants to help us orchestrate a big PR campaign, drop me a line – until then we’ll keep hoping blogs like yours keep supporting us (and other acts like ours).

  3. Hello! For me, not the greatest of years for music…but I’d like to hear more from Trailer Trash Tracys, in particular, their demos show promise and sound nothing like their name would suggest. And fingers crossed that Poppy & The Jezebels release an overdue debut.

    Happy Christmas, Mr VP. 🙂

  4. I really enjoyed following you this year on stumbleupon. I have to say many of your picks were not surprises at all. I am very happy to see Jesus and the Mary Chain on your list. They are an old fav from my teen years. I look forward to seeing the new bands of 2010.

      • No argument with that from these quarters, (even though the release/copyright date on the “…Negative Thinking” set was 2008, who cares, if it means the Mary Chain get a listing/mention! 🙂 Did you send them a Pip stauette as well? I’m sure William would love one of those on his sideboard… ahem….)

          • Well, as far as the Mary Chain are concerned Pipster old fruit, the ends justify the means! And you never know, we might just get another gig out of them in 2010!…. fingers crossed… 🙂

  5. The Wolf album is amazing…Havent heard Emmy The Great so will have to track it down. Songs in here sound great


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