Debbie Harry, Johnny Marr, Dave and Idles light up the AIM Awards

Debbie Harry, Johnny Marr, Dave and Idles light up the AIM Awards

Debbie Harry, Johnny Marr, Idles, Dave and Freya Ridings headed a star-studded list of winners at the 2019 AIM Independent Music Awards. 

The ceremony, held tonight (September 3) at Camden Roundhouse following a long run at The Brewery, was hosted by Lauren Laverne and climaxed with the awards’ first ever live show, headlined by former Smiths guitarist Marr, who also picked up the AIM Pioneer Award.

Marr was presented with the honour by his longtime friend, The Cult guitarist Billy Duffy, who later joined him on stage for a run through The Smiths' How Soon Is Now.

The Kinks’ Ray Davies present Debbie Harry with her Outstanding Contribution award. The event also saw performances by Ms Banks and One To Watch award winner Georgia, while AJ Tracey gave a surprise performance before the awards got underway.  

The list of winners tonight reflects the boldness of the independent community

Paul Pacifico


Dave claimed two of the biggest awards of the night: Best Independent Album for Psychodrama and Best Independent Track for Funky Friday ft. Fredo.

Idles' second LP Joy As An Act Of Resistance secured them Best [Difficult] Second Album and also picked up UK Independent Breakthrough. 

Idles’ label Partisan Records received Best Independent Label thanks to the success of their roster, which also includes Fontaines DC, Cigarettes After Sex and John Grant (in the US).  

Home to talent such as Kashmere, Hubbards and Glass Caves, Manchester-based label Scruff Of The Neck were named Best Small Label while Jade Bird took home International Breakthrough. 

Freya Ridings picked up the PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist while Scottish songster Gerry Cinnamon won Best Live Act, decided by public vote. Confessin’ the Blues, a compilation curated by The Rolling Stones and released by BMG, received Best Creative Packaging. 

Elsewhere, Merlin CEO Charles Caldas took home the Indie Champion award, with Eleven Seven founder Allen Kovac receiving the Innovator award. A special video was sent by Sir Richard Branson, congratulating Kovac.

"I’ve known Allen since the early '90s when Allen was managing Meat Loaf whom Virgin Records had signed and Allen was pushing myself and the Virgin team to allow Meat Loaf to upload one of the first songs to the fledgling internet," said Branson. "As innovators we would do anything for music and of course, we did just that." 

AIM CEO Paul Pacifico, said: "The list of winners tonight reflects the boldness of the independent community - artists and labels who are unafraid to push the boundaries and take risks to produce some of the UK’s most cutting-edge cultural output. As we celebrate AIM’s 20th year championing independence, it’s amazing to see that creative spirit celebrated in this way at a venue like the Roundhouse."

AIM Independent Music Awards Winners & Nominees

In order of presentation

Best Live Act (in association with Songkick

  • AJ Tracey

  • Calpurnia

  • Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes 

  • Gerry Cinnamon WINNER



Best Small Label (in association with Proper Music Group)

  • Fuzz Club Records

  • Killing Moon

  • Local Action

  • Scruff of the Neck WINNER

  • Speedy Wunderground


Best Creative Packaging (in association with MCPS)

  • Various Artists, hand picked and curated in collaboration with The Rolling Stones, “Confessin' the Blues” WINNER

  • Murlo, “Dolos”

  • IDLES, “Joy as an Act of Resistance”

  • Various Artists, Sick Music 2019 compilation 

  • Keith Richards, “Talk Is Cheap”


UK Independent Breakthrough (in association with YouTube Music)

  • Black Midi

  • Ezra Collective

  • Gerry Cinnamon


  • Jade Bird


Outstanding Contribution to Music in association with Merlin         

  • Debbie Harry WINNER


Best Independent Album (in association with Spotify)

  • Better Oblivion Community Center, “Better Oblivion Community Center”

  • Christine And The Queens, “Chris”

  • Dave, “Psychodrama” WINNER

  • Fontaines D.C., “Dogrel”

  • Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, “End of Suffering”

  • Jade Bird, “Jade Bird”

  • Jordan Rakei, “Origin”

  • Little Simz, “GREY Area”

  • Snapped Ankles, “Stunning Luxury”

  • Swindle, “No More Normal”


Best [Difficult] Second Album (in association with Key Production)

  • Erland Cooper, “Sule Skerry”

  • IDLES, “Joy as an Act of Resistance.” WINNER

  • Julia Jacklin, “Crushing”

  • Maribou State, “Kingdoms In Colour” 

  • SOAK, “Grim Town”


PPL Award for Most Played New Independent Artist 

  • AJ Tracey

  • Cosmo Sheldrake 

  • Freya Ridings WINNER

  • Guru Randhawa

  • Jorja Smith


International Breakthrough (in association with Creative Industries Federation)

  • Afro B

  • Jade Bird WINNER

  • Maribou State

  • Nilüfer Yanya



Innovator Award in association with Amazon Music

  • Allen Kovac WINNER


Best Independent Video (in association with Vevo)

  • Christine and the Queens, “5 Dollars”

  • Hot Chip, “Hungry Child” WINNER

  • John Grant, “He’s Got His Mother’s Hips”

  • Caleb Steph, “Black Boy”

  • FKA Twigs, “Cellophane”


Best Independent Track (in association with Facebook)

  • Dave, “Funky Friday (ft. Fredo)”  WINNER

  • FKA Twigs, “Cellophane”

  • Fontaines D.C., “Boys In The Better Land”

  • Georgia, “About Work The Dancefloor”

  • JARV IS, “Must I Evolve”

  • Jai Paul, “Do You Love Her Now”

  • Holly Herndon, “Eternal”

  • Little Simz, “Selfish (ft. Celo Sol)”

  • Sharon Van Etten, “Seventeen”

  • Four Tet, “Teenage Birdsong”


One To Watch (in association with BBC Music Introducing)

  • Arlo Parks

  • Barney Artist

  • Georgia WINNER


  • Larkins


Best Independent Label (in association with [PIAS])

  • Brownswood Recordings 

  • Domino 

  • Nuclear Blast 

  • Partisan Records WINNER

  • Rough Trade


Pioneer Award in association with Bucks Music Group 

  • Johnny Marr WINNER


Indie Champion in association with ClientEarth              

  • Charles Caldas WINNER

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