No stranger to our pages, Kelly Oliver has featured regularly since her first EP release three years ago, with Far From Home. We've followed her progress and supported her releases and can only imagine what it would be like to watch a personal message of congratulations from iconic BBC Radio 2 broadcast Whispering Bob Harris, when she heard she had won a prestigious regional music award. As if winning Best Solo Female artist at the NMG Awards last year wasn't enough, Hertfordshire's folk sensation scooped another award on Friday 14th October. The New Music Generator (NMG) is a weekly radio show on Cambridge 105 fm, run by Tim Willett and since 2013, the awards have become an important cross genre celebration of original music within a 50 mile radius of Cambridge. Kelly was presented with the Breakout award for the artist from East Anglia who has made the most impact on the national scene. Awards founder and Cambridge 105 station manager Tim explained why Kelly had won the award by reminding the packed auditorium at West Road Concert Hall about her debut on national TV which came in August when Kelly performed on BBC One's Sunday Morning Live, which followed hot on the heels of her ITV Anglia news feature. Both TV appearances were linked to her single RIO which was the last track on her critically acclaimed second album Bedlam from which Kelly has also had the video for her single Jericho played three times on Sky TV.
Kelly's music, which has all been released on Folkstock Records, has now succeeded in gaining twelve spins on BBC Radio 2 across four different shows. Presenters Bob Harris, Mark Radcliffe, Alex Lester and Clare Balding have all chosen her music for their shows and Bob Harris has invited her to perform in three different sessions over the last two years at his home studio in Oxfordshire as part of his Under the Apple Tree Sessions. So it was fitting that Bob kindly provided a bit of celebrity gloss for the awards by sending a personalised video recorded at that very studio, congratulating Kelly on her great achievement.
'I was overwhelmed to have been awarded Breakout artist at the NMG Awards. It wasn't a publicly nominated category so I had no idea I would even be considered for it. Tim was reading out the description of the artist and I still hadn't realised that it could be me, and then my mum sitting next to me said 'Kelly, that's you!'. That was overwhelming enough but then a specially recorded congratulations video message from Bob Harris played out on the screen. I nearly cried! It was an amazing night and I want to say a huge thank you to the organisers and judges for supporting me and also for the support and encouragement from the local music scene and musicians.'
Catch Kelly live in Dorset on October 20th, 21st and 22nd as part of the Artsreach Dorset programme. Performing in Portland at Royal Manor Theatre on Thursday, Langton Matravers Village Hall near Swanage on Friday and Ibberton Village Hall on Saturday, Kelly will also be heard chatting on BBC Solent on Thursday afternoon on the Alex Dyke show. Kelly's album Bedlam is being released on vinyl on 30th October and will be available at the concerts. Find out for yourself why Whispering Bob is such a fan! Tickets can be found here http://www.artsreach.co.uk/programme/
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