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Baltic Fleet Win GIT Awards 2013
Laurie Tuffrey , April 23rd, 2013 10:33

Justice Collective recognised with Inspiration Award at awards ceremony last week. Photographs courtesy of Marie Hazelwood, Gaz Jones and Sakura

Baltic Fleet were announced as winners of this year's GIT Award, the prize celebrating Merseyside music, at the awards ceremony last Friday.

The moniker is the synth rock project of Paul Fleming, Echo & The Bunnymen's touring keyboardist, pictured above with Peter Guy, founder of the awards and editor of the Liverpool Echo's Getintothis blog that gives the prize its name. Fleming was awarded the prize by former Q editor Andrew Harrison and the Quietus' own John Doran, who also deployed an espresso-powered DJ set to bring the night to a close.

Alongside Fleming, acoustic singer-songwriter Tyler Mensah was given the People's Choice award, as voted for by the readers and listeners of Getintothis, Bido Lito!, Seven Streets and Juice FM.

The most powerful moment of the evening came when the Justice Collective, the group of campaigners and musicians that recorded the Christmas number one 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' and donated all proceeds to the families of Hillsborough disaster victims fighting for justice, were recognised with the Inspiration Award.

Collecting the award, Keith Mullin of The Farm (pictured below), who helped organise the single's recording, dedicated the prize to Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams, who passed away last week. In a poignant acceptance speech, Mullin said: "I remember the frustration of not being listened to and ignored, victims, friends, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters accused and viciously wronged. We knew what had to be said, but the words were buried, so we screamed, fought and never gave up, 'we're braver than you believe, stronger than we seem and smarter than you think'. Today I remember you, those who lost their lives needlessly, those left behind broken; I remember the pain, the hurt, and the injustice, and I remember all who have fought with integrity for so long, for justice, I will 'never forget', today I shed more tears, I remember you!"

His bandmate Peter Hooton added: "I accepted this award on behalf the tremendous team behind the Justice Collective - they were truly inspirational and everyone involved from the music industry gave their time and effort free of charge. But really this is an award for the 24 year campaign for justice by the families and survivors."

Steve Rotheram MP, another of the single's organisers, praised the collective for keeping Hillsborough at the forefront of the news agenda, and there were also messages of support for the Justice Collective from the former Liverpool FC player and manager Kenny Dalglish, the team's Jamie Carragher and Everton FC's Leighton Baines.

Head to Getintothis for more reporting and a picture gallery from the night.

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