The six stations of the bNet radio network cover the main student centres, which gives the largely public-voted bNet NZ Music awards a pretty valid representation of the local alternative music scene. The 2003 Awards held in September saw The Datsuns and the Wellington dub/reggae massive holding sway.
The Datsuns (well Matt and Phil at least) drove out of Auckland with three red resin 'b' trophies - Best Live Act, Best Rock Release and International Achievement - a record Rhombus matched with the Best Video award for Clav Dub and Best Electronic Release, as well as Best Album for 'Bass Player'.
The 15 public-voted awards were rounded off with four chosen by a bNet voting panel. Warren Maxwell who is guitarist/singer for Wellington three-piece TrinityRoots, and also takes saxophone duties for Fat Freddy's Drop, was judged the nation's Best Musician in the year just gone.
Also from the capital and Fat Freddy's is MPC impresario Chris Faiumu, much better known as DJ Mu, who the judges rated as the nation's Best Producer .
Auckland-based acts tidied up most of the remaining categories, bNet listeners rating Verse Two as the Most Promising New Act. Scribe flowed through as the Best Vocalist/MC, and Concord Dawn's Morning Light (which also claimed a prize for enjoying the Most bNet Radio Play), as the Best Song.
Nesian Mystik's 'Polysaturated' was voted the Best Hip Hop Release, Salmonella Dub 'Outside The Dub Plates' the Best Downbeat Release and 'Riverhead' by Goldenhorse as the Best Pop Release. Kirsten and Geoff from Goldenhorse were in the make up chair getting ready to present the next award when their names were called, leaving a breathless Ben to run down from the top floor just in the nick of time.
With presenter Hugh Sundae and DJ Logikal holding down the stage between acts, performances on the night included the jet-setting Shapeshifter back from Ozzie, an awkwardly extended Dimmer, Sola Rosa, and Scribe and crew who made everyone stand up. Recent Flying Nun signings The Mint Chicks gave a blistering performance that even made the drunk guy in the corner wake up, and the record company chicks at my table take notice. The night was finished off with a nice little set from The D4, back home to get loose and work on new material.