Anyone who attended the gala for the Anchor Award 2022 now knows three things:

    1) A newcomer this year looks mostly male, white, with a guitar around his neck. More on the two exceptions later.

    2) New music in 2022 is retro and surprisingly often sounds like the early 80s, when the artists on stage were not yet born.

    3) The most promising young presenter is Pelle Almqvist, who is the main singer of the not so new band The Hives.

    In its seventh year, the award ceremony has become much more of a gala, the moderation duo Aminata Belli and Sven Gätjen are doing well and chatting away every break in the renovation in an entertaining and confident manner, the jury (including Bill Kaulitz, Joy Denalane and the Brazilian trans artist with 35 million -Follower superstar Pabllo Vittar) is awesome, the tech issues kinda keep it “indie”. And yet the basically likeable event seems a bit out of date.

    The Nominees Are…

    Of the seven nominated acts who will be competing for the golden triangle-shaped award on Saturday evening at the St. Pauli Theater, five are male and all are dominated by guitars. In detail:

    Vlure, black and kilt clad, cropped, roaring EBM and synth-rock reminiscent band from Glasgow.
    Ekkstasy, 18-year-old from Vancouver in a torn t-shirt and gut wounds poses alternating between Morrissey and Robert Smith.
    The Haunted Youth, a powerful, technically correct psych pop band from Belgium with long hair and a keyboardist (also long-haired).
    Philine Sonny, a young cardigan songwriter from Unna with a male backing band and convincingly classic and hung-sounding songs (and a restrained non-performance).
    Cassia, a trio of boys from Manchester with perfect, hit-sounding pop songs and Peter Hook memory bass. Lime Garden, a four-piece female band from Brighton, idiosyncratically styled as if they were the protagonists of a Cure video, the rhythmically intricate, genre-defying and a bit makes dreamy songs.

    And The Anchor Award Goes To…

    That was fun. And in the end, Cassia won, not undeservedly, because they can do everything it takes to make a hit, and the Anchor’s “Right There” already has 6 million views on Spotify. (Sounds a bit like Django Django or Everything Everything, patent “indie pop”, as it is often called.) The three demonstrate that Cassia comes from Manchester – more precisely: Macclesfield, Home of New Order and Happy Mondays – when they armed with beer bottles and lazily accepting their award on stage.

    Who actually deserved an award: the jury member Pelle Almqvist, who appeared in a white suit and a 70s memory hair dryer wave, who had to bridge an unsuccessful conversion break in a chat with Aminata Belli, which the two managed almost as well as Marcel Reif and Günter Jauch did in 1998 legendary 78 minutes in Madrid when a goal fell over in the game between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Ok, Belli (“there is a little Kaschemme round the corner”) and Almqvist (“Blue Curacao without alcohol? Makes no sense”) only had to bridge 7 minutes, but it was extremely entertaining. If things don’t go well with The Hives, the singer should change careers.



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