An evening spent celebrating the achievements of the best in alternative music was one I was very excited to be a part of. As my Uber pulled up to O2 Forum Kentish Town, my mind was full of questions. Would there be any diva behaviour or social mishaps? Would I get to finally meet Bring Me The Horizon? Would there be free booze? Was I over-dressed? Under-dressed, even?

Here are the 10 things I learned at Heavy Music Awards 2019.


1. The heavy music world knows how to dress up.


      Photo by Eleanor Sutcliffe – Instagram @eleanor_sutcliffe

Although this was certainly no Met Gala and there were some lazy boys in t-shirts and jeans, the Heavy Music Awards brought out the best in dress. No one did it better than MSRY and BLAX though, who came dressed to impress. If there were an award for Best Dressed (which there totally should be), those boys would be clearing space for it on their shelves.


2. Delaire, The Liar know how to put on an incredible show.

       Filmed by Luigi Sibona – Instagram @luigi_sibona

Delaire provided just the performance we needed to open the show and kick-start our night. Although not yet nominated for any HMAs, this duo are set for huge things; especially if their phenomenal HMA performance was anything to go by. And they seemed to enjoy it just as much as we did.


3. So do Cancer Bats.

       Filmed by Moshhh – Instagram @moshhhrocks

What a way to close the show. There were distant whispers of several unofficial afterparties doing the rounds of the Forum, but before anyone could even think about leaving, it was time for the performance everyone had been waiting for. And they did not disappoint.


4. The stairs in the Forum are scary.

Especially if you’re wearing heels or wedges. Think dark cinema but with stairs 4-times the size and several more feet to fall and potential bones to break. Especially tricky after you’ve had a few rum and cokes. I envied the casually dressed.


5. Laura Jane Grace is a born presenter.

Laura Jane Grace

         Photo by James North – Instagram @jamesnorthphoto

And all-round sweetheart. With elegance and poise, she was a natural; let’s hope she’s back again next year. There’s also something about her tone of voice that is oddly soothing. Can I hire her to read me a bed-time story every night?


6. Poppy is (possibly) real.


       Photo by James North – Instagram @jamesnorthphoto

There has been much debate over the authenticity of YouTube sensation Poppy, with many convinced she’s actually a robot or a very life-like computer animation. However, she was there in the flesh (or was she?) to present an award with Matt from Haggard Cat. She did seem pretty convincingly real but come on, we’ve all seen Humans on Channel 4. She also announced the winner so quietly that they didn’t even realise they’d won.


7. Architects are the most gracious and humble band in the UK. Or maybe even the world.


       Photo by James North – Instagram @jamesnorthphoto

They won two awards for Best Live Band and Best Album, and seemed genuinely overwhelmed and very grateful. They spent most of the evening blending in with the crowd and hanging out with people by the bar. With not the slightest obnoxious air about them, you wouldn’t have known they were double award winners (three years in a row, I might add) if not for the two big slabs of metal in their possession. They’re also probably HMA record-breakers.


8. Heavy Music Awards are also a bit of an excuse to get drunk.

Seriously, you should have seen the bar queues. Drink for every time you correctly guessed a winner, anyone? For some, it was a bit of a Reading & Leeds Festival warm-up, with quite a few people heading off to the festivals that night after the show. The party never stops in the heavy music world.


9. The actual awards are very heavy.


       Photo by James North – Instagram @jamesnorthphoto

Maybe that’s why they’re called Heavy Music Awards. They could very much be considered deadly weapons. I’m guessing all winners will be cancelling their gym memberships right away – who needs to lift weights with these big metal blocks around? Just don’t drop it on your toe.


10. We’re terrible at predicting winners.

Did any of our predictions turn out to be correct? No. Not one. None. 0/10. 0%. But at VultureHound, everyone’s a winner to us. It’s the taking part that counts, right?