Shockwaves NME Awards 2010 – What We’ve Learned

So the feedback from Paul Weller’s stunning greatest hits set is dying away, the O2 Academy Brixton is emptying of punters, taxis are leaving for the after-show at Plan B – and Photo Director Marian Paterson is making her annual attempt to rid the photo room from random liggers (rough head count: 645) so she can shoot for next week’s mag cover.

It’s been a blast. A good time, then, to round up a few key learnings from tonight’s show…

Opposites attract
Unexpected collaborations/pairings were everywhere tonight, from Lily Allen and The Big Pink doing ‘Dominos’/’You’re So Vain’ – which they apparently only decided on earlier today, necessitating a last-minute legal call to Carly Simon herself – to Matt Bellamy chatting to Slash backstage (see next week’s mag for more on that), and Courtney Love presenting an award with Noel Fielding (OK, maybe that one’s not so unexpected).

Oh, and not forgetting Biffy Clyro and Marina’s show-stopping rendition of ‘Many Of Horror’.

Jarvis Cocker – he’s still got it
The other day we brought you the wisdom of Jarvis Cocker – but tonight the Awards host proved he’s still as sharp-witted as ever. Ever the droll philosopher, he was full of choice pronouncements, like this one: “We’re going to spread the jam of love on the toast of existence.” Hey, he never said he was deep…

The riff is king
Biffy, Muse, Kasabian – these were the bands we celebrated tonight, all of them mighty of hook and chunky of riff. This year, carefully crafted urban vignettes were out (sorry, Monkeys); hefty, irresistible man-rock was in. Woof!

We foolishly overlooked the biggest celebrity of the night
Taxi for Crispin Firestarter..?
Crispin Firestarter

You’re never too old to rock
The Specials, Courtney Love, Wellaaaah… say what you like about heritage rock and the nostalgia industry (and, cynical bastard that I am, I often have), tonight these acts proved that they’re legends for a reason. And that reason is that they’re still genuinely worshipped. Because they’ve changed countless lives with their music.

And that fondness and respect comes spilling out on nights like this. Sound schmaltzy? Well, if you’d seen Paul Weller close the show with ‘Town Called Malice’, you’d be gushing too. Never was the phrase Godlike Genius more apt. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and sit in a darkened room for a little while…