How goes it? 🙂
Sorry it’s taken me til now to get to blogging. Yesterday was taken up with travelling home, radio interview, appearance on local news tv and just generally trying to catch up with emails and some of the lovely messages you lot have sent through…I think I will be doing that for most of today as well which is right lovely ! 🙂
So anyways, if you didn’t manage to catch it I was lucky enough to win the Horizon Award which is for emerging talent and the contribution they have made to our folk scene over the past year.
Check out the link below, you can watch the folk awards there and there is a full list of nominees’ winners and links to highlights etc 🙂
So then, I am quite sure that this post is going to be a completely confused ramble of excitedness but I am going to try and tell you the full story of the day leading up to it, my experience of going to the folk awards for the first time, the after party and what happened next (perferably in that order)
I woke up a bundle of excitement, which was a very welcome change from the nervous adrenaline that I had previously been experiencing! And knowing that I had to nip to town to get a few last minute bits and bobs (bangles to be precise) I hopped into my scruffs, got all my 3 potential outfits for the evening ready and in the car…in fact by the time Rob finished packing the car, I think I had all but the kitchen sink and my pink elephant totempole! But anyways, I found what I needed and we headed straight over to my folks and piled everything and ourselves into their navy blue wonder vehicle and set off for Salford. The journey was picturesque as we went through Derbyshire, up to Glossop and on to Manc from there…the snow on the hillside and the sheep in the fields…it was stuff of folk song I can tell ya 😉 . We did as we always would do on any Wardy journey, stuck the ipod on and sang like crazy people all the way, Bohemian Rhapsody, Itchycoo Park, all the classics 🙂 in fact in the ipod shuffleness we did even get Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’…which in the law of my scrumptious mum mean we have to stop the car, get out and boogie on the side of the road, which scared a lot of passing traffic I am sure. But we had fun 😀 (we have to do it to the B52’s ‘Love Shack’ if it ever comes on too)
Wednesday pm – the arrival and getting ready
When we arrived at MediaCity UK, the new home of all things BBC, we were staying in an apartment there…it was very swish I can tell ya! White walls, dark wood flooring, posh bathroom, even posher kitchen and a glass coffee table that everyone but me seemed to bash their shin on at some point within the first 10 minutes :s hehe. Seeing as various family members where going to be making the journey up we thought it best just to have a base for everyone to congregate at 🙂 So we went down to ‘Booths’ which is Waitrose but even posher…it was that posh that they had nearly sold out of quails eggs lol :p . We got all things tasty, saw Steve Knightley purchasing some hot grub and headed back up to the apartment to start the long process of getting ready, freaking out, gathering the fam and stuffing our faces 😀
The next bit is all a bit of a blur really cos it seemed to fly by all too fast. I did my face and despite taking 3 potential outfits settled on one straight away – a vintage 70’s maxi dress which I described in a previous blog as being Farrah Fawcett meets a mirror ball-esque :p . In the process of getting dolled up I got a phone call from Radio Derby and did a little chat live on air with them…really good to see that despite loosing Folkwaves that the main shows are still willing to give air time to folk 😀 I think the chat was mainly me rambling on like a nutter getting all excited but anyways, after that was done I mounted my mighteous Irregular Choice shoes and off to The Lowry Centre we went.
Wednesday pm – The Folk Awards
In we went and straight away I saw loads of people I knew, which put my mind at rest I can tell you, all the nerves changed to the excitement of just being there. I have said a lot over the past couple of days that just being counted amongst a load of musicians who I deeply respect and whose music I love was plenty enough…winning was an added cheeky bonus. So we took our seats, my mum and dad in the circle, my sis and one of my bro’s up in the gods, Rob’s folks stuck behind the camera crane thing. Me and Rob defo got the best seats out of all of us :p
We’d worked out I was on the end of a row so thought that could bode well for potentially having to get out and go up on stage 🙂 but on getting into the theatre most of the nominated acts were on the end so that put and end to that notion and all there was left to do was wait. Luckily both my categories were in the first half…otherwise I think I might of exploded with the tension!
So we watched the awesome Martin Simpson + Band open the show and I cheer extra loud for Will Pound’s harmonica solo (cos he is quite frankly one of the loveliest fella’s in folk) and for a split second I kinda forgot what we were here to do and was just enjoying some cracking live music, then Mike (Harding) and Julie (Fowlis) got to introducing the show and the nominees for the first category and it all became very real again knowing that Horizon Award was up next.
So it gets to Horizon Award time, and the camera’s are rushing round trying to get shots of all the nominee’s faces…I make sure I am sitting up staright and am prepared to pull my best not too disappointed face hehe…and then Badly Drawn Boy, who was presenting this award, said something along the line’s of ‘she has……from Derby’ and the combination of singular female combined with my home town gave the game away before he had even said my name. We were sitting behind John Tams and family, his gorgeous wife Sally turned round, wiggled her finger at me and exclaimed ‘It’s you!’ accompanied by the rallying cry of ‘C’mon Derby’ from Tam 😀
I was blown away, I honestly had no inkling as to who would win and didn’t dare entertain too many daydreams that it could be me so as not to get my hopes up.
I then had the arduous task of making it from my seat, up the stairs and accross the stage without falling over in my beautiful but very high shoes (I took the opportunity to wear platforms as being both tall and incapable of singing unless my feet are firmly rooted, means it is very rare I get to wear such beasts!). I made it, and even managed to make a speech. I will admit to you guys that in the few daydreams I allowed myself, I did have think about who I would want to thank. The emotions I was feeling were all the obvious ones I guess, just awesome to recieve such a recognition, and a bit surreal really given I had watched the awards from my living room the year before and said to my folks, ‘well, all i’ve gotta do now is get there’ and for it to happen just a year later…well it’s cool beans! I also remeber thinking that the theatre looked very purple lol 😀
After recieving the award I was ushered off stage by Badly Drawn Boy and we headed into a room off the wings where a photographer was waiting to take our pic against a Radio 2 back drop, I can’t find it yet but I am hoping the pic will turn up online soon so I can stick it in my scrap book!
I headed back to my seat to the sound of wonderful Seth Lakeman doing his thing, and waited for the interval to see my folks. I was quite sure and content in the knowledge that I would not win Best Traditional track although it was cool to be included amongst the likes of my hero June Tabor with Oysterband, Emily Smith and Martin Simpson. On that note didn’t June and Oysterband just clean up! I’m not suprised, Ragged Kingdom is a cracking album!
Anyways, it gets to half time and me and Rob go dashing out to try and find my mum and dad…massive hugs, tears from my folks and lots of friendly faces all coming and saying congratulations which was a right lovely feeling. I tell you, I’ll be buzzing off this one for a while.
For a full write up from the Gaurdian check out the link below, where Colin Irwin has said: ‘Lucy Ward – a resplendent figure in blue hair and voluminous dress – took the Horizon award for best new act’…BOOM :p
Wednesday pm – The after party
Well after the ceremony was over, I’d hugged lots of people and seen my family off, me and Rob headed round to the bar at the Lowry where the wrist banded after party was cracking off. I’m not a great fan of this hobnobbing schmoozing malarky but it seemed to flow really easily, meeting new people and catching up with old faces. I guess that’s folk all over though aint it, a sense of community comes easily 🙂
Right then, the true highlight of the event ladies and gentlemen…
I GOT TO MEET AND HUG JUNE TABOR!
After chickening out of professing my love for here before, I felt that this might be my only chance, so as we passed each other I just stopped and blurted out how I find her music so inspirational and how the way she sings just speaks to my very core.
What a woman!
I don’t want to sound like a name dropper, but if I told you all the folkies I got to speak to I’ll sound like one, so in short, I got to talk to a hella lot of people I seriously respect. Just thinking about it now to write this here blog it’s…well…mental! I mean the Dubliners started up a sing song in the bar, a moment I will surely never ever forget witnessing.
Anyway, back to the apartment we trotted home about 1:30am, I know a lot of people stayed up much later, but we were shatterd and I wanted to get chance to see my mum and dad, cos as I said in my speech (sentimental bit coming here) my mum and dad help me soooo much, I wanted to be with them to share all the excited emotions and good stuff. Below is a pic of me, Rob and mum watching my acceptance speech back on the BBC Radio 2 website :p
I feel I have rambled muchos and that this is possibly the longest blog post in living history ever! So for that reason, I will save all the backstage details of my trip to East Midlands Today TV Headquarters, twas very cool.
Right then, after spending all of today slaving over a hot computer, I am off to a little family gathering to celebrate, CRACK OPEN THE PIES!
Ciao for now,
ps: I just wanted to say, it can be really hard to talk about things like awards without sounding really diva like. I really hope I haven’t come across that way and that it truly was a pleasure to just be there 🙂