Lighthouse Poole

On Friday evening I had the privilege of co-hosting the 2023 Original Music Awards at its new home of the Lighthouse in Poole. Hangover Hill’s Matt Black and I had 23 awards to give out to a host of Dorset’s best musicians and support crew.

The evening started off at 6pm with the red-carpet welcome, all the nominees were given the chance to get their photographs taken in glamorous fashion by our pool of photographers. The evening was a true coming together of hundreds of like-mined people from the local music scene, who very rarely get to meet as most weekends they themselves are out gigging.

Matt Black

There was a tremendous buzz in the air as the doors opened; our guests sat down and were served a scrumptiously hearty meal, lovingly prepared by Mel Berkhauer and her first-class team. Last year’s best newcomer Millie Watson was on hand to serenade the guests while they ate. Her wonderful voice rose about the hum in this huge concert hall as she provided some top-class entertainment.

Millie Watson
Millie Watson 12345

The awards ceremony went better that we could have hoped for, Matt had lovingly put together all the fantastic graphics and audio for the huge screen at the back of the stage. This made our job of presenting very easy as it was our prompt to give out each award in order. The fact that we are both familiar with all the artists and nominees made it easy to talk about them and give our guests the lowdown.


The winners were selected from a list provided to us by hosts of venues across the County and the selection panel narrowed it down to just three per category. The panel is made up of Tim Heywood, Adam “Ski” Hart, Ben Bennett, Andy Tebbutt-Russell and Samantha Singer. Coming up with the nominees was hard enough, however selecting the actual winners was a tough job too.

Soulhole 1234

After giving out all 23 awards, local band Soulhole featuring frontman Jordan Digby in his rather brightly coloured jacket entertained us with a host of their original tracks, along with a few well-chosen covers. The band got the audience out of their seats and up to the front dancing. This ended what was a wonderful night full of many highlights including the positivity of everyone coming together to celebrate the local music scene.

The great news is that we will be back at the Lighthouse next year to do it all again……..

I would personally like to thank all our sponsors who helped make the event possible: Printastique, ENTX, Absolute Music, Vocalzone, Plugin’ Baby, The Blue Boar, The Allendale Centre, Forest FM, English Media, Oak Productions, Dal Productions, Alex JT (The Lambies), Musicians Union and Robert Lowe Music. Also a big thank you to all the staff of the Lighthouse for their help in getting the event off the ground, we couldn’t have done it with out them.

Finally, thank you to Matt and Mel of Hangover Hill productions for letting me be an integral part of their team.

Original Music Awards 1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435

Winners and Nominees
Special Award – Belief and Strength
Ethereal UK- Yui Karlberg

Best Venue for Inclusivity and Accessibility
Winner: Lighthouse, Poole
The Allendale Centre
Brewhouse & Kitchen, Southbourne

Best Open to All
Winner: Si Genaro
The Acoustic Connection
Nicole McNally

Special Award – Most Original Artist Working Cross Genre
Winner – Bite the Boxer (Matt Park)

Best Songwriter
Winner: Plastic Jeezus
Phil “Jinder” Dewhurst
Polly Morris

Special Award: Support Original Artists
The Three Compasses, Charminster, Dorchester

Best Recorded Work – Single
Winner: Opalites & Ayriss – Sit Down & Shut Up
Regional One – “Hero” EP
Solucura – “I Am Weak”

Best Recorded Work – Album
Winner – Nick Capaldi – “You and All The Seasons”
Jinder – “Codetta”
Burg and The Vagabond Choir – “While the Iron is Cold and The Heart is Sore”

Best Technical Support
Winner: Steve Smith – RMV Sounds
Dave Allen
Dan Potepa

Best Promoter
Winner: James Choff – UMP Promotions
Fuelled By Cider
Hawkeye Houlihan

Best Original Music Venue
Winner: Tom Brown’s Dorchester
Cerne Abbas Brewery
Chaplin’s and The Cellar Bar

Best Backstage Crew
Winner: Hawkeye’s Crew
Jamie Park and Jack Ansell
Lamma Maund – Endorest Festival

Best Festival
Winner: Barnstomper
Teddy Rocks Festival
Wimborne Minster Folk Festival

Special Award – Brothers in Arms
Winner: Fraser D, Jason Poole & Al Sirpico

Best Artist Under 18
Winner: The Current Flavour
The Underground

Best Breakthrough Act
Winner: Burg and The Vagabond Choir
The Surge

Special Award – The Alex JT
Winner: Brothers Grimmer Family

Special Award – Un-Sung Hero
Winner: Dave Allan

Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Pronghorn

Best Live Act
Winner: Galaxy Thief

Best Solo Act
Winner: Nia Nicholls
Carley Varley
Shannon White

Best Small Band
Winner: Opalites
Johnny Phillips Trio
Plastic Jeezus

Best Band
Winner: The Two Man Travelling Medicine Show
South of Salem
Burg & The Vagabond Choir


OMA Red Carpet:
OMA Red Carpet:  12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546474849505152


Words by David Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures by Lynn Frances Photography
Video by Tim Heywood

Original Music Awards 2024