Ham Sandwich is listener`s choice as Kells band scoops Meteor

Story by Tom Kelly

Saturday, 23rd February, 2008 9:00am

"HamKells-based  band Ham Sandwich won the `Hope for 2008` award  at the Meteor Irish Music Awards in Dublin on Friday night.

The award-winner was voted for by listeners of 2FM and is a tremendous boost for the band, coming in the same week as they release their debut album `Carry the Meek`.

Hm Sandwich is made up of Niamh Farrell (vocals) Podge McNamee (vocals/guitar/piano) Johnny (bass guitar) Darcy(guitar/piano) and Ollie Murphy (drums).

Their underground status and cult acclaim has seen them guesting alongside such reknown performers as Electric Six, Whitesnake, Pere Ubu, Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, My Morning Jacket, The Bluetones, I`m from Barcelona and The Buzzcocks amongst others.

True DIY enthusiasts they have spurned the norms of booking themselves into a studio, to instead build their own studio in a dormitory at Headfort House, with the help of Frames producer Karl Odlum. Their hometown fondness has also seen them turn this 18th century mansion into the location for their music video for single `St Christopher` which includes their followers dancing along to their music in the house`s expansive ballroom. Their music has garnered them a wide selection of admirers including legendary Beach Boys producer Van Dyke Parks, Bono, who vehemently advised them to change their name, and Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan who requested copies of the bands music prior to his solo performance in Dublin earlier this year and invited them along to his show. They have a number of gigs coming up in Dublin and around the country.

Also at the Meteors, Westlife were named Best Irish Pop Act for the eighth year in succession with Cathy Davey winning the award for Best Irish Female and Duke Special the award for Best Irish Male.

Amy Winehouse won the Best International Female award with Bruce Springsteen named Best International Male. Radiohead took the Best International Band award.

Arcade Fire`s `Neon Bible` was named Best International Album.

The award for Best Irish Album went to Paddy Casey for `Addicted to Company Pt 1` while Sharon Shannon and Mundy won the Most Downloaded Song award for their collaboration `Galway Girl`.

Aslan were named Best Irish Band while Damien Dempsey was the winner in the Best Folk/Traditional category.

The award for Best Irish Live Performance went to The Blizzards for their set at Oxegen last year with Muse winning the Best International Live Performance award for their set at the same festival.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to The Saw Doctors while the Hope for 2008 award.

Today FM presenter Ray Foley won the award for Best National DJ and Red FM`s Keith Cunningham was named Best Regional DJ.

The late concert promoter Jim Aiken was posthumously honoured with the Industry Award. The Humanitarian Award went to Rose Donohoe, founder of the Rose Foundation, who received a cheque for €100,000 for the charity.