Forget the BRIT Awards. THIS is the Shockwaves NME Awards 2010 – the biggest day in the alternative music calendar, celebrating the best in original musical talent voted for by the fans. In our opinion, way more ‘rememorable’ than the future ex Mrs Cole miming through a song that’s sentiment she’d already given up on. And anyhow, we never got invited to The BRITs but we got two Charlie Bucket style golden tickets for this one….
Waiting outside the rainy O2 Brixton Academy we were taken aback when a total stranger with the AAA sticker slapped to his thigh offered us pit passes! You know, access that only the pro-photographers get! That was it, from then on the night just got better and better. We entered the Brixton Academy alongside the red carpet and proceeded to do a bit of talent spotting from the top of the stairs. We arrived at the same time as ‘Best Album’ nominees The Horrors. However, the arrival of The Mighty Boosh over shadowed even the Godlike Genius award winner himself, Paul Weller. The typical NME readers were shrieking like 10 year olds at a Jonas Brothers gig!
After the excitement of the red carpet, the chosen few were escorted past the VIP guests to the pit right by the stage along with our complementary t-shirts and beer (thanks to Turborg!). Jarvis Cocker took to the stage to warm up the crowd with his own version of the game show ‘Catchphrase’. A screen shot of a snow scene and some chimps created Arctic Monkeys… you get the picture.
The ceremony opened with a bang with a surprise performance from Kasabian who played ‘Vlad the Impaler’ from their recent album ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ which, like The Horrors, was also nominated for ‘Best Album’. To add another dimension to the performance, Noel Fielding was dancing round the stage throwing paper mache body parts into the crowd. At one point he thought it would be a good idea to steal my beer, take a swig and proceed to spray his adoring fans in the stuff. Anything goes at these awards – we’re putting the plastic glass on eBay so keep your eyes peeled.
Then the presenting of awards began. No surprise that Muse won ‘Best British Band’. “Wow” Matt Bellamy exclaimed with genuine modesty “This is really unexpected.” Following Muse in the series of awards were; Paramore who, to the crowd’s disgust, won ‘Best International Band’. Jamie T took home the award for ‘Best Solo Artist’. Bombay Bicycle Club beat NME and zavvi.com favourites and last year’s winners The Big Pink for ‘Best New Band’. However, they came up trumps with their single ‘Dominos’ which won best track, and with a live collaboration performance with Lily Allen during the ceremony it’s clear to see why.
But it wasn’t just the musical talent that were winning the awards, some of the greatest musicians in history graced the podium to present awards including; Bernard Sumner from New Order, Mick Jones from The Clash, Slash (as in THE Slash), Liam Courteener of The Courteeners, and, erm, Effy from Skins… Not ones to gossip but Liam Courteener was sporting an odd looking cut on the bridge of his nose – like when someone hits you but you say it was a door. Anything to tell us Liam?
The presentation of the unique awards was interjected by live performances from a top class line up. On top of Kasabian and The Big Pink were The Maccabees, Biffy Clyro with Marina and the Diamonds, a stunning performance by Hole and The Specials (who had earlier won the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’).
There were also a number of awards that weren’t presented on the night. Best and worst dressed was won by Lady GaGa, I’m sure she’d be thrilled. Although you would have thought a well respected music weekly like The NME would deal with the best music in the past 12 months and not worry about trivial elements like stars ‘individual way of dressing’. You would have thought that stuff died out with the Smash Hits Awards and their eagerly awaited categories like ‘Best Haircut’!
Then, the big one, the award for best album which was presented by Noel Fielding and Courtney Love. We had been hoping, with everything crossed that The Horrors would win with their truly spectacular album ‘Primary Colours’… “This makes me very happy” said Noel with child like glee as he read out Kasabian’s name (he’s pretty good mates with The Horrors too, so they might have been halfway out of their seats!). Even through our disappointment we have to give it to the Leicester boys, their album ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ is pretty amazing.
The ceremony concluded with a trip down memory lane looking back at the amazing career of the Godlike Genius, Paul Weller. After a somewhat unnecessarily drawn out speech from the new editor of the NME, Krissi Murison, the Modfather, Paul Weller, graced the stage to do what he does best – with a band featuring Gem Archer from Oasis and Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine. After a selection of his solo tracks he closed the awards with “A Town Called Malice” I recall scanning the academy beaming as the previously seated celebrities were up on their feet despite the copious amounts of alcohol that had been consumed. I distinctly remember seeing Rhys from The Horrors beaming with glee and having the time of his life, even though he was to leave Brixton award-less. I believe the whole night is pretty much summed up in this vivid memory.
Watch the NME Award 2010 highlights here…
Right, now for the Oscars….
Words by Gem Bowles and Ciara Hill, Same Teens
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