RM Hubbert Really Fucking Deserves the SAY Award

hubby Okay, I should probably start this post by repeating all my usual tedious caveats: this is purely subjective, I think RM Hubbert deserves his recently-announced SAY Award win because I love the album, but I don’t think any one band on that list can really ‘deserve’ to win the award more than another. Got it? Good. We shall proceed.

Obviously, as the label of a rival band also nominated for this award I have to be outraged that RM Hubbert has won. And I am. It was obviously a fix/same old Glasgow cliques/indie snobbery/some other excuse. But for all I am gutted for Meursault, I am still delighted for Hubby.

Firstly, if you want to know what I thought the Scottish album of the year for 2012 was, Song, by Toad Records bands aside, you need look no further than my 2012 end of year list, where 13 Lost and Found finished behind only the sadly neglected Cokefloat by PAWS and the unelectable, secretly phenomenal and more-under-the-radar-than-a-fucking submarine Fluoxetine Morning by Now Wakes the Sea. So to find me agreeing with the panel about this particular decision should hardly be a surprise. You know I think this is an awesome record.

But there are a couple of other reasons too. Firstly, Hubby is an awesomely nice guy, so I really am just genuinely happy for him. Again, this is totally subjective and you may not care about this stuff, but a nice man has just received public recognition for a fantastic piece of work. That happens depressingly rarely in the music industry, and it makes me happy.

Secondly, there is the issue of the prestige. As I said on my recent podcast about the SAY Award, RM Hubbert does not exactly make passively acceptable pop music. He isn’t going to sell thousands and thousands, and this kind of publicity will be a godsend if he wants to spend the rest of his life making music. Not that I am claiming to know his sales figures of course, but without wishing to stir up an already-dead non-controversy, he’s clearly no Calvin Harris. But without widespread radio play and the fawning of the popular press, this will be a massive boost to public awareness of his music, and that is invaluable to someone who doesn’t write songs which you could call anthemic.

And finally, the money. To Emeli Sandé and Calvin Harris it seems, from their total lack of interest in their longlist nominations, that £20,000 is not that important. For RM Hubbert, and indeed every other band on the shortlist, it really is important. Hubby is not a demanding man to record, he could get three albums out of that money, possibly more. Or he could quit his job and spend a year trying to push himself as an artist as hard as he can for twelve months, and finally be free of the hand-to-mouth requirements which dog most independent musicians. An award like this basically means there will be plenty more RM Hubbert albums still to come, and I think this is awesome news.

So basically, all I am trying to say (pun not intended, but not unwelcome either) is that this result makes me happy.  Sure, I thought it would be Django Django, but they’re doing plenty well enough on their own terms already. And sure it should have been Meursault, but maybe people thought Hubby’s tattoos were better than Neil’s. And yeah, it could have been anyone, but the album of the year award has gone to someone who not just wrote great songs, but who constructed a fantastic album from them, and who will genuinely benefit from this award.

Well done old chap, you deserve it.

And if anyone reading wishes to buy the album in question, do so here.

More: