One of the biggest awards of the night, this year it’s an insanely tough call when it comes to who’s going to be named Best British Band Supported By Marshall Amplification at the 2015 NME Awards with Austin, Texas. One of the strongest line-ups there’s ever been, every vote matters in his hotly contested category. From the old guard of The Libertines, Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys to the new wave of Alt-J , Chrvches and Royal Blood, it’s proof if ever it were needed that the UK is on dazzling musical form right now. Voting closing at 3pm [GMT] on January 30, so get your votes in now or forever be a properly miffed with yourself. Click here to vote. All will be revealed on February 18 at London’s O2 Academy Brixton.
Last year four became three, but the loss of a band member didn’t stop Alt-J from casually conquering the world. Their second album ‘This Is All Yours’ went straight to Number One in the Official UK Albums Chart and earlier this month they played a monumental, sold out show at London’s The O2 Arena. An NME Award would be the cherry on the top, but do these crisp packet-licking folktronica titans have what it takes?
High Green heroes The Arctic Monkeys have already bagged the Best British Band gong three times, first in 2006, then in 2008 and also last year, at 2014’s ceremony. Do they have it in them to score the award for the fourth time? They might not have released an album last year, but they toured 2013’s ‘AM’ far and wide, including killer headline sets at Reading and Leeds Festival and T In The Park. Alex Turner best get his sharpest suit down to the dry cleaners just in case.
Like Alt-J before them, Chvrches have succeeded where many others have failed – last year the Scots trio broke America with aplomb. With only one album to their name – 2013’s ‘The Bones Of What you Believe’ - it’s still early days in the group’s career, but they’ve impressed with their giddy live show and frontwoman Lauren Mayberry’s slick, gutsy spin on electro-pop.
Following on from last year’s triumphant headline set at Glastonbury, Kasabian have more than earned their nod as one of the UK’s great rock and roll acts. Their fifth album ’48.13’ wasn’t just a record; it was a pop art concept with a matching stage show, bizarre in-jokes between Serge and Tom and one hell of a wow factor. Props also go to the guys for consistently being the most quotable dudes in music. Could it be an Eez-eh win for the Leicester lads, who last won the award in 2012.
The greenest of contenders, Royal Blood maybe comparative babies in this category, but that doesn’t mean the Brighton duo don’t stand a pretty good chance of taking home the prestigious award. They only got together in 2013, but they’re already one of the most exciting acts in the UK, with their debut, self-titled LP from last year scoring plaudits from the Arctic Monkeys to Dave Grohl and Jimmy Page.
This is definitely not The Libertines’ first time at the rodeo, but these cowboys haven’t been around for the last decade, so lets ease them back in gently. Pete, Carl, John and Gary won Best British Band two years on the trot, back in 2004 and 2005 – but do they have what it takes to win again 10 years down the line. Well, the fevered reaction that met their Hyde Park and Ally Pally shows would suggest yes, they bloody well have.
Vote for your Best British Band supported by Marshall Amplification at this year's NME Awards with Austin, Texas here. Tickets for the ceremony at o2 Academy Brixton on February 18 are on sale now.