Awards 2003

The Venue

The Hammersmith Palais has long been one of the country's most legendary venues playing host to all the most important music genres that swept the UK over the last 100 years. Originally christened the Palais de Danse, it was launched in 1919 to introduce Europe to jazz. It quickly shot to fame for its stylish décor, giant ballroom and live bands- qualities that have stayed consistently true to the venue today. In the 1920's it was all about the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, until swing and be-bop took over in the 1940's and 50's. By the 1970's The Hammersmith Palais had become a hotbed for punk rock, Ska and reggae. The Clash named one of their most famous songs after the venue: "(White Man) in the Hammersmith Palais". This cult record has since been revered by all sorts of stars including the notorious Steve Jack Ass. The 80's and 90's saw all the biggest British bands headline with unforgettable appearances from the likes of the Sex Pistols, The Police, U2, Primal Scream, Oasis, Ian Brown and more. By 2000 the Palais reverted back to being a dance venue shortly after Slipknot tried setting fire to the place. They now host some of the most popular nights in clubland like School Disco. 2003 sees the Hammersmith Palais fuse dance with rock and a programme of events which offer both forms of music, from past attractions such as Roni Size, to forthcoming live rock act, Grinspoon and this years NME awards. By promoting the two biggest genres of the moment the Palais protects its place in the history books as one of the UK's most important venues.

The Host: Andrea Oliver

Brought up in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Andrea left, after a brief sojourn into hairdressing for West London in 1981. Being music oriented with a distinctive smoky voice she quickly became involved in the music scene, dividing her time between London & Bristol . Alongside Neneh Cherry she fronted the band Rip Rig and Panic who broke up in 1983; then after the birth of her daughter she became involved with the Brighton based band Kalimba - an African influenced band. In 1990, Andrea and her brother joined forces to become the Mighty Hog described, as "a mix of anything that has ever grooved". She remains very much involved in music and is currently working on a project with the design and music collective Tomato. As well as her musical talents Andrea also has a great screen presence, which first became apparent when she was asked to do a pilot called Native Tongues in 1993. The show brought her to the attention of numerous industry people and she went on to host Backstage at the Brits for Initial TV and Carlton, the hit cult show Badass TV with Ice T on Channel 4, a short film for the BBC and various projects for Channel 4 such as Crazy Sexy Cool - a documentary made in association with Couch Potato Television. Her credits on this project included consultant, associate producer and interviewer/ interviewee proving she can contribute on all levels. She was also recently invited by Diverse Productions to join the panel alongside people such as Jon Snow and Darcus Howe to take part in Channel 4's White Tribe debate.Andrea's strong and distinctive voice has been used on several documentaries including The Reggae Boyz, which detailed the Jamaican National Football team's journey to France in 1998. She also does extensive promo work for the BBC as well as various ad campaigns including Bodyform and Mastercard (the Brits and MOBO campaigns).Andrea has for the 4th year running been invited by The Brit Trust and Nordoff Robbins to host their annual Woman Of the Year Awards. She was the host of the hugely successful popular afternoon show on GLR for three years and is the host of The Selector a show for The British Council that is broadcast in over 15 different countries which has been nominated for a Sony Award in Music Programming . Andrea recently hosted coverage for BBC 4 of the first ever Radio 3 World Music Awards, she was also invited to take part in the charity gala performance of the Vagina Monologues at The Royal Albert Hall , the cast included amongst others Isabella Rosselini, Maureen Lipman, Jemma Redgrave , Meera Syal and Beverly Knight

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