Dropout UK @ NME Awards, Brixton Academy
The Rock Stars BRITS Comes To South West London
In the bleak mid winter, frosty wind made moan. It also rains a hell of a lot. Alas, this did not dampen the spirits of the hipsters last night as throngs of music Mongols and their adoring fans united as one to flock to Brixton Academy for one of the biggest events of the year in an indie kid’s calendar.
The NME Awards seem to have a tradition of projecting an image of overpaid “rock stars” drinking overpriced alcohol and swearing too much. It can’t be argued that this isn’t true. Catchphrase however, is something one might not expect to find at a rock and roll awards ceremony. Alas, when Jarvis Cocker is the host for the evening, the man who liberated a generation of geeks with his oversized glasses and skinny stature; the man who showed it really is ‘hip to be square’ much better than Huey Lewis ever did, it is fair to estimate that the traditional etiquette of ‘cool’ will not necessarily be adhered to.
Cocker with his games of musically themed Catchphrase and hula-hooping skills to keep the crowd entertained during awkward backline changes, certainly did lend an element of charm to the evening which seems to have been the most positively received in a while.
Onto the awards themselves and it is fair to say that the night was very much dominated by the musical offspring of the big hitters in 2009, Oasis, with Muse and Kasabian winning Best British Band and best album respectively.
Before being merited for “West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum”, Kasabian kicked off the ceremony with a rather surreal performance featuring a cape-sporting Noel Fielding throwing faux (we hope), severed human extremities from a bin liner into the crowd, as one does on an average midweek night in South London.
The evening featured other performances aside from the Leicester homeboys and the Brixton Ripper; collaborations seemed to be the big thing with Lily Allen forging with The Big Pink to perform their award winning song “Dominos” and Marina (although without The Diamonds) working with Biffy Clyro, adding pleasant harmonies, but little else to their song “Many Of Horror”.
Courtney Love also gave an interesting performance with her band Hole to reaffirm everyone that she really does try to emulate Kurt Cobain in almost everything she does. Unsure as to whether that good…or bad…
Veterans of British Ska, The Specials took to the stage after being awarded a very well deserved prize for outstanding contribution whilst Paul Weller, Godlike genius of the year closed the ceremony with a rip-roaring set and a standing ovation from almost the entire academy.
Other notable awards went to Bombay Bicycle Club for Best New Band (and in our eyes, best drunk band; a Tequila bottle wielding Jack Steadman even remembered to thank his Grandmother.)
Best Live Band went to Arctic Monkeys whilst Glastonbury picked up the award for Best Festival yet again.
Best Live Event deservingly went to Blur at Hyde Park, easily beating off stiff competition from most notably Jay-Z and Oasis.
The shock of the evening for many it seemed was a not- so- shockingly drunk Shane McGowan coming onstage to premiere his Haiti charity single. Thankfully Jarvis Cocker was on hand to translate his indeterminable grunts. As ever, the founder of The Pogues acted as a prime ambassador for the Irish community.
As ‘divine genius’ Weller wrapped up the awards with his greatest-hits set it seemed everyone, celeb and punter alike, were ready for home. This is not least true of Courtney Love and Lily Allen who were spotted exchanging, “heated words”. We’re not ones to speculate but it sure didn’t look like they were exchanging baking tips!
Twenty gongs down and God (and expenses accountants) only knows how many bottles of champagne! and the NME awards are over for another year.
It’ll probably take that long for the majority of attendees (including us!) to recover…
Stay tuned to Dropout UK to keep up to date with the latest in new music and our tip offs for possible winners next year.