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We on Award Tour

January 4, 2010

Dope on a Rope’s comprehensive awards ceremony for 2009

The results are in and the imaginary votes have been counted. Without further ado, let’s see who’s taking home a coveted Dope on a Rope gold rope to wear with pride over their Tommy Boy t-shirt.

Best Film

– A fairly tight category what with some huge releases in the ’09. Afrikaans alien thriller District 9 deserves a mention, as does a return to form for Quentin Tarantino with Second World War adventure Inglourious Basterds. Just making it in to the end of year list has to be Where The Wild Things Are – a joyous adventure from start to finish. Joining these in the shortlist are a clutch of decent American comedies including I Love You, Man, Funny People and The Hangover which show that the ‘bromance’ genre is alive and well. The year really belongs to the Brits though – Danny Boyle scooping a Best Director for the excellent Slumdog Millionaire and a brilliant turn from Mr Sheen as Brian Clough in The Damned United. Shane Meadows delighted with the low-key Le Donk and Scorzayzee, but there was only one real winner for this filmgoer…

In The Loop – With dialogue tighter than Chris Hoy’s thighs, Armando Ianucci pulls out all the stops in this political comedy. Bringing in My Girl and Tony Soprano to add to the top notch cast of The Thick of It, the writer delivers one of the best British comedy films in years. Fuck Richard Curtis, I won’t do what he tells me.

Best TV programme

– 2009 has been a year of some reflection. Especially when it comes to war. This can be seen in the intelligent retrospective war dramas Generation Kill on HBO/Channel 4 and the Beeb’s Occupation. Both taut, engaging and believable they represented a benchmark for drama this year. Comedy highlights have been sparse, including a disappointing new series of Peep Show, but the return of this consistent gem made the year worthwhile…

The Thick of It – Comedy doesn’t get better than Armando Ianucci’s sublime backbench satire. If you haven’t seen this, then get the boxset of series one and two along with the specials and indulge your endorphines this depressing month.

Best Game

– Nothing – not even Left 4 Dead II, not even Fifa 10 – could come within groping distance of Modern Warfare 2 this year. Possibly the biggest game release of all time was reflected in the quality of play in this sublime shooter. Guaranteed addiction.

Best Album

– If you know Dope on a Rope, you’ll know that they thought 2009’s hip-hop offerings were a little wick-wick-wack. With unimpressive long players from Jay-Z and Raekwon, most heads looked towards the indies for musical delectation. California native Fashawn’s Boy Meets World was a consistent debut LP with clever reminiscence raps and quality beats from Exile. A+. GOOD Music newbie Kid Cudi delivered an under-rated album in Man on the Moon, whose spaced-out beats and thematic flow deserved repeat plays. Taking the top podium, though…

Mayer Hawthorne – A Strange Arrangement – When Hawthorne – nee Andrew Mayer Cohen – dropped Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out on a sweet heart-shaped 7″, everyone was intrigued and even a little confused. Where had Stones Throw label boss Peanut Butter Wolf found this classic gem? It didn’t sound new, and it certainly didn’t sound like a white DJ from Michigan. His sorrowful vocals and doo-wop backing have earned him fans all over, including ex-Radio 2 host Terry Wogan. Drizzly ditty I Wish That It Would Rain was Dope on a Rope’s favoured track for playing during our miserable spells of weather this year.

Best Ubiquitous Club Track

Obviously

3. Kid Cudi – Day N Nite (CROOKERS Remix). Hated on by the rapper himself, this sweet-as-a-Kinder Bueno banger came with its own official video appealing more to the Babycakes era than his original. As likely to be heard at a children’s birthday party as a works Christmas do.

2. Major Lazer – Hold The Line ft. Mr Lexx and Santigold. Diplo and Switch’s Major Lazer project was absolutely everywhere this year. I think even my mum, the Dope Momma, bought the album. Full of heavy basslines, wonky ragga sound effects and even catchy hooks, it may be the album that defined the year universally. This standout single featuring Santigold/Santogold had dancefloors skanking from Brighton to Berwick all over 2009.

1. La Roux – In For The Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey Remix). You probably saw that one coming, but nobody said this was exactly an imaginative list. Pure class from June Ackland’s daughter and the childlike dubstep don. Fast forward to 4.10, FTW.

Best Gig/Club Night

– 2009 was the year for stopping in on the weekend with some cheap supermarket wine, a good homecooked meal and slouching in front of a £3.00 DVD. Going out is a young man’s game. Next….

Best Beverage

– Towards the back end of the year, those winter favourites the old vino rosso and a meticulously stirred Old Fashioned warmed the cockles but what a brilliant summer it was for the avid beer and cider drinker. Apple-based sauce such as Thatcher’s Gold, Savanna Dry and Scandinavian Rekorderlig’s fruitiness were a cut above most. Light ales were very much en vogue in 2009 with plenty of East Mids micro breweries offering their own takes on the golden nectar. Derbyshire was big in the game with Ilson-based Blue Monkey churning out cracking brews (most notably the stunning 4.3% Evolution) and Ashbourne’s Derventio Cleopatra at 5%. The latter’s apricot notes summed up perfectly a summer’s afternoon whiled away on the banks of the River Derwent. But taking the crown on behalf of all things liquid…

Nottingham Extra Pale Ale – Based on an award-winning 19th century recipe, this thoroughly modern brew ticks all the right boxes for Dope on a Rope. A complex beer with just the right amount of hoppiness and bitterness, EPA’s modest 4.2% makes it very drinkable and an absolute classic. The fact that it is brewed 15 minutes’ walk from Dope Towers is a bonus.

Best Celebrity Death

2009 made this is a hotly contested category, with many big names young and old tapping out. Genial artist and childhood hero Tony Hart sadly passed away as did Eastender Wendy Richard and Coronation Street’s Blanche – Maggie Jones. Farah Farwcett and Natasha Richardson, both beautiful and young actresses, were tragic additions to the list with fellow Hollywooder Patrick Swayze. Seemingly invincible gourmand Keith Floyd quaffed his final Fleurie and Stephen Gately was departed from his Boyzone buds. Making the most headlines was Jade Goody’s submission to cancer – a battle that saw the marred reality star become something of a tragic hero to many. Just making the list was the untimely death of gorgeous actress Brittany Murphy, a mystery which also plagued this year’s winner… drum roll, please…

Michael Jackson – Well, who the fuck else? It’s Michael fucking Jackson, son!

(Taking the gong on behalf of MJ will be his trusted friend and confidant Martin Bashir)

Goodnight. Here to play us out are N-Dubz. Have a dope 2010!

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