Yet again the Yanks have done well in the Best International Band Supported By Austin, Texas category at the 2015 NME Awards but Aussies Tame Impala and Canadians Arcade Fire have also snuck in on the impressive list, and they’ll be battling Foo Fighters, Haim, Interpol and Queens Of The Stone Age for the award. With past winners including The Killers, Kings of Leon and My Chemical Romance, this is one weighty title to take on and your votes decide who’ll be hauling the gong overseas and giving it pride of place on their mantelpiece. Voting closes at 3pm [GMT] on Friday January 30, so vote now before it’s too late. Click here to vote. All will be revealed on February 18 at London’s O2 Academy Brixton.
Never anything less than spectacular, 2014 was a bumper year for Arcade Fire. Their dazzling headline set at Glastonbury fitted in the middle of a world tour that saw them tackling a different regional cover at every show and bringing on a host of A-list guests, including Debbie Harry from 2014’s Godlike Geniuses Blondie and David Byrne of Talking Heads. A glitzy as the mammoth mirror ball they dragged on the road with them, Arcade Fire have never picked up this gong before – could now be their time?
2012 winners of the Best International Band, could this be the year that Foo Fighters do the double? They’ve certainly put the time in. Last year saw the release of album number eight, ‘Sonic Highways’, as well as its accompanying television series, and a string of surprise gigs, including a run of UK shows which saw them playing in teeny tiny venues. There’s no rest for the wicked either – later this year they’re heading to Wembley Stadium for two massive gigs and some predicted festival headline slots.
Danielle, Alana and Este made a splash at 2014’s awards, but will last year’s winners hang onto their crown? The Los Angeles sisters topped their ‘Days Are Gone’ album campaign by playing Glastonbury two years running – an honour the Eavises bestow on only a very few acts. They’ve recently been hanging out in Hawaii with new best mate Taylor Swift, proving that the sky’s the limit for their pop-leaning, Fleetwood Mac vibes.
Riding the crest of one hell of a comeback, Interpol’s 2014 release ‘El Pintor’ was regarded by many to be the band’s best LP in years. As brooding as ever, but with a extra lust for life, New York’s moodiest rockers returned at full volume. Their gigs were just as impressive as the album, reminding everyone what a brilliant band they were and still are. But are they the best? We shall see.
Queens Of The Stone Age
Pulling off their first UK festival headline set – a co-dependent bill-topper with Paramore – Queens Of The Stone Age bought their stately desert sex-blues to Reading and Leeds Festivals last summer and showed us why we’d be fools to mess with them. 2014 saw frontman Josh Homme croon his way through a rare solo show in London as part of James Lavelle’s Meltdown festival, showing the man’s got range as well as the biggest balls in rock.
Psychedelic scamps Tame Impala were still pulling in praise for 2012’s ‘Lonerism’ last year. Frontman Kevin Parker also got to flex his collaborative muscle, working with Mark Ronson on tracks for the Brit producer’s current album. Mostly though, the band were in the studio, working on their third album, which is set for release later this year. They’ll be headlining End of the Road Festival too – 2015 looks set to be another big year for the Princes of Perth.
Vote for your Best International Band supported by Austin, Texas at this year’s NME Awards with – YES – Austin, Texas! here. Tickets for the ceremony at o2 Academy Brixton on February 18 are on sale now.