Joy Division and New Order legend revealed as judge for North West Music Awards 2021

A brand-new music awards has been set up to recognise the best new music coming out of the North West.

By Matthew Calderbank
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 3:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 3:32 pm
The North West Music Awards 2021 will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 19 and can be streamed for free online
The North West Music Awards 2021 will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 19 and can be streamed for free online

The North West Music Awards will take place for the first time tomorrow (Wednesday, May 19) with 15 award categories celebrating the best of the region's new music.

The awards will shine a light on the region's unsigned talent after an incredibly challenging year for those striving to make a name for themselves in the music industry.

Among the nominees is The Ferret - Preston's very own music venue, which has been shortlsited for 'Best Online Stream'.

The awards organisers say the "well-loved" Ferret has gone to great lengths to continue promoting local bands by hosting regular live-streams on its Facebook page throughout lockdown.

Blackpool country singer Emma Moore has been shortlisted for the 'Best Solo Artist' award, whilst folk-rock songwriter Kind-Hearted Thieves, also from Blackpool, has been nominated for his debut single 'Nevermoor'.

The event is the brainchild of music industry students at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston who have recruited an impressive panel of judges for the show.

Sitting on the panel is legendary Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook, singer Rowetta (best known for her work with the Happy Mondays), British record producer, musician, and remixer Graham Massey (808 State) and nightclub owner Aaron Mellor (CEO of Tokyo Industries).

There will be 15 award categories and these will celebrate the efforts and achievements of songwriters, bands, promoters, venues and labels from across the North West.

Mr Mellor said: "This is exactly what the region needs right now and I’m excited to see the talent this event uncovers."

Awards spokesman Fay Toulios added: "This isn’t just an award ceremony for artists. It goes much wider than that. It’s a celebration of the best of the entire industry."

Originally planned as a live event, the organisers said they were determined not to let COVID-19 "stop the party" and so the awards will go ahead as an online event.

The awards will take place at the Gorilla bar/music venue in Manchester but music fans in Blackpool will be able to watch a live stream at the Waterloo Music Bar in Waterloo Road from 7.30pm (Wednesday, May 19).

You can also watch the event streamed live here.

A public vote has taken place and the finalists have been selected. Those shortlisted have written, produced, played, promoted and filmed some of the freshest new music to be released over the past 18 months.

Full list of 14 categories:

• Best Studio / Producer

• Best Grassroots Venue

• Best Online Stream

• Best Promoter

• Best Independent Record Label

• Ground Breaker Award

• Best Album (brand, merchandise, and artwork).

• Best North West Solo Artist

• Best New DJ

• Best North West Band

• Best Video

• Best COVID Response

• Best New Track

• Night Time Hero

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