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Courteeners, English Teacher, Louis Tomlinson honoured at first ever Northern Music Awards

Courteeners, English Teacher and Louis Tomlinson were among the acts to be honoured at the first-ever Northern Music Awards.

The inaugural ceremony – hosted by the UK’s largest music therapy charity, Nordoff And Robbins – took place at the Albert Hall in Manchester last night (April 23) to celebrate northern artists, festivals, venues and industry figures.

Presented by BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Chris Hawkins, the event featured live performances from Courteeners frontman Liam Fray, as well as English Teacher, Lisa Stansfield, The K’s and more.

Guest presenters from the region included former Manchester United footballer Gary Neville, New Order‘s Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Norris, and Grimsby-born actor Thomas Turgoose (This Is England).

Neville awarded Courteeners with the Band Of The Year prize. Responding to the nod, Fray said: “It’s really nice to be in a room with this much talent… but this isn’t about us, it’s about Nordoff And Robbins and the work that they do, it’s about music, and the way they’re changing lives with music and sometimes even saving lives with music.”

The singer also delivered an acoustic rendition of Courteeners’ classic single ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ and a cover of Oasis‘ ‘The Masterplan’.

Rising Leeds band English Teacher picked up the Best Newcomer award, and performed ‘Albatross’ and ‘Albert Road’ from their acclaimed debut album ‘This Could Be Texas’ (watch the video below).

Soloist and former One Direction member Tomlinson was named Artist Of The Year.

In a video acceptance speech, the ‘Faith In The Future’ singer said: “It means the world to win Artist Of The Year, thank you, thank you, thank you. And thanks to Nordoff And Robbins for doing such an incredible thing.”

The Charlatans‘ frontman Tim Burgess received the Northern Music Award 2024, and said was “incredible to be recognised” at the inaugural ceremony.

“Music is important on so many levels, and I’m a firm believer in the unique way that it can connect people,” he continued.

“It means a lot to me to be able to support the great work of Nordoff And Robbins, who use music therapy to unlock life for some of the most vulnerable people in society – and through the funds raised by everyone coming along to the Northern Music Awards, we’ll be opening up music therapy to even more people across the north.”

  • READ MORE: Courteeners’ Liam Fray on ‘St. Jude’ hitting Number One: “We feel pretty blessed”

Other winners included The K’s (Breakthrough Act Of The Year), The Reytons (Disruptor Award) and Melanie C (Special Recognition Award).

Lisa Stansfield, meanwhile, took home the Northern Icon Award. She commented: “Music and singing are in my blood as much as being a proud Mancunian, so to be named Northern Icon at the first ever Northern Music Awards is an immense privilege.

“I’m incredibly proud to support Nordoff And Robbins to raise money for a new music therapy centre for the people of Greater Manchester. The benefits of music therapy are simply life-changing, helping children and adults who are otherwise isolated to break through barriers and find a connection.”

Elsewhere, Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club and Manchester’s Band On The Wall were both named Inspirational Venue Of The Year under 500-capacity and 2,000-capacity, respectively.

The full list of winners from the 2024 Northern Music Awards is:

Artist Of The Year – Louis Tomlinson
Band Of The Year – The Courteeners
DJ Of The Year – DJ Paulette
Newcomer Of The Year – English Teacher
Breakthrough Act Of The Year – The K’s
Music Moment Of The Year – Aitch At Glastonbury
Special Recognition Award – Melanie C
Northern Icon Award – Lisa Stansfield
Northern Music Award 2024 – Tim Burgess
Disruptor Award – The Reytons
Festival Of The Year – Beat-Herder, Lancashire
Inspirational Venue Of The Year (Under 500) – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Inspirational Venue Of The Year (Under 2,000) – Band On The Wall, Manchester
Industry Icon – Michael Adex, NQ
Music And Culture For Wellbeing Award – Dancesyndrome, Everybody Dance, Lancashire

Nadra Shah, Director Of Engagement And Communications, Nordoff And Robbins, said: “The Northern Music Awards are all about honouring the massive musical talent that continues to come out of this region. We want to thank all the artists, venues, festivals, music industry teams, sponsors and music fans who have come together to celebrate with us and make this first-ever awards a reality.

“We’ve had an amazing night honouring the enormous success of both established artists and some of the region’s most exciting new emerging talent. The awards aim to support and help to grow the ecosystem of northern musicians whilst shining a light on the transformative work that Nordoff And Robbins does with music therapy to connect with some of the region’s most isolated communities.

“In 2024 we’re celebrating 20 years of music therapy in Greater Manchester and we’re excited that this show will support our vision to open a brand new music therapy centre for the people of the city – helped by the money raised from these awards.”

The Northern Music Awards are due to take place in a different northern city each year, kickstarting a new chapter in celebrating the diverse talent from this part of England, per a press release.

The charity’s official website reads: “We deliver music therapy to a range of clients across the UK, including some of the most vulnerable people in society. We meet the growing need for music therapy by training music therapists and ensuring that their skills are not only maintained but developed.

“We research music-making and its potential to inform how we can support our clients and people in challenging situations.”

Meanwhile, Courteeners are set to make appearances at TRMSMT Festival in Glasgow and Lytham Festival in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire this summer. Find any remaining tickets here.

English Teacher, meanwhile, released their first album ‘This Could Be Texas’ earlier this month via Island.

In a glowing five-star review, NME wrote: “[It is] everything you want from a debut; a truly original effort from start to finish, an adventure in sound and words, and a landmark statement.”

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