As always, the annual New Zealand Music Awards was a big night.

It was one to leave the industry sore of back (from the slapping) achy of ear (from that loud stuff the young people play these days) and tender of liver (thanks to the sponsor's product).

The evening might be remembered for the triumphs of Fat Freddy's Drop and others, but was memorable for other things that didn't make the results list. And not just Ahmed Zaoui joining the all-star chorus for the finale of Dave Dobbyn's Welcome Home.

Here, from the Herald's entertainment team (who got home at a decent hour, but thank you for asking) are some unsung unofficial awards from the night and other random observations ...

Taking It On the Chin Award:
Don Brash sitting in the front row, for the constant insults he endured from presenter Oliver Driver, the packet of earplugs he got from co-presenter Jaquie Brown and the plastic bottle somebody lobbed at him from behind.

"Poor Don", thought many of those present. Give the guy a break. After all, he was game enough to turn up to an event that resembled a Labour Party rally with a bigger booze budget, so maybe the chap didn't deserve to be the target of Driver's punchlines for the entire evening. Good audition for getting the gig of warm-up guy at the next Labour conference though.

Worst Pun Award:
"From Bach to Beethoven and Bach again." - Sir Howard Morrison while presenting the classical award. More amusingly, Sir Howard also claimed to have invented the term "chur", proving once again what a national treasure he is.

Hurry Up And Get On With It You Self-Indulgent Actor Person You Award:
Antony Starr, of Outrageous Fortune, whose attempted comedic preamble was longer and more mystifying than most winners' acceptance speeches.

Award for Actor Person Who Actually Got On With It:
The brisk Danielle Cormack - though she said she was in a hurry because it was "mimi time".

Stuck Record Award for the Same Speech Every Year:
Prime Minister Helen Clark for her usual taking-Kiwi-music-to-the-world, more-Kiwi-music-on-the-radio rah-rah (copyright 2000/2001). Look forward to it next year.

Award for Indecision:
Three winners for the international achievement award? How very NCEA.

Award for Self-Accompaniment:
Russian-born Christchurch songbird Yulia, who as she accepted one of her two awards started singing along to her Into the West blasting from the speakers. Oh how disappointed we were she stopped after a few lines because we sure felt a singalong coming on by then.

Award for Best Rock'n'Roll Anecdote:
Tim Finn joked that his greatest international achievement was when Iggy Pop told him, "I want to be your slut". Brother Neil pointed out that Mr Pop was coming to the Big Day Out so Tim had a further chance of taking him up on his kind offer.

The Night's Oddest Cultural Irony:
White guy P-Money wins hip-hop award. Samoan guy Jonathon Lemalu wins classical award for his opera album. Whatever next? A Maori golf champ?

Award for Best Award Anecdote:
Ray Columbus' reminiscence about the first awards 40 years ago, which were held in a motel near the airport. Funnily enough, some of the 2005 finalists probably woke up late yesterday wondering what they were doing in a motel near the airport ... .