Relive some of the funniest and most surreal speeches from over the years
No matter who wins, there’s always at least one thing you can guarantee at the VO5 NME Awards – that there’ll be some memorable acceptance speeches. Whether they be sweet reminisces, bizarre ramblings or displays of sparkling wit, our favourite bands and artists never let us down. Let’s recap some of the most memorable victories in recent times then get voting for your chance to see your number ones lighting up the podium on February 15. Don’t forget – you can be there in person, too. Head here to snap up some tickets for the most rock’n’roll night of the year.
Won: Best New Band 2009
Speech: They sent up all those who come to awards shows armed with pre-prepared speeches, with Andrew VanWyngarden saying “Thanks a lot, lemme get my speech out here” while delving into his pocket, only to pull out a “gummy spider”. Add in a “hey, fuck yeah!” and then he and bandmate Ben Goldwasser were off.
Who: Paul McCartney
Won: Songwriter’s Songwriter 2014
Speech: Macca got a bit sentimental talking about his memories of NME. “Well the NME for me brings back so many memories,” he began, before reminiscing on seeing his first picture of Elvis on the back page. He also revealed some of The Beatles’ old hi jinx with the mag. “Finally, we got down to London and got to meet the people on the NME and that was another wow,” he said. “One of the things we liked to do was we used to try and plant a false story in the NME and we actually got in with George was Billy Fury’s cousin, which he wasn’t. Living on the edge, man. Know what I’m saying? Oh yeah!”
Who: Noel Gallagher
Won: Godlike Genius 2012
Speech: It was a classic Noel speech – witty and irreverent. “Not a lot of people know, but when I was born that tune was playing, which did in fact fucking freak me mam out,” he said as his own ‘AKA… What A Life’ rang out around the venue.
He continued: “I’d like to start by saying to all the people [on the balcony] who bothered to buy a ticket or a CD or, more importantly, a t-shirt – cos that’s what fucking counts, is the fucking merchandise – thank you very much. Thank you very much. All the people down [on the tables] who ever cited me as an influence, you are welcome. I’d like to thank Johnny [Marr], who was the first person outside of Oasis ever to show any interest in what we were doing. And I’d also like to thank the NME for still giving a shit after 20 years.”
Who: The Libertines
Won: Best British Band 2004
Speech: Recited Siegfried Sassoon’s ‘Suicide In The Trenches’, of course.
Won: Best Music DVD 2005
Speech: Noel went up to collect the award solo and tried to explain his brother being MIA. “I think Liam’s a bit too overwhelmed to come up here and accept this. Either that or he’s in the toilets being very 1995 [touches nose],” he said, before sending a message to Creations Records’ boss (and the rest of the music industry. “I’d like to thank Alan McGee – we’re out of contract in about six weeks, that’s all I’m saying.”
Who: Arctic Monkeys
Won: Best Live Band 2014
Speech: It all started off so eloquently with Alex Turner addressing drummer Matt Helders. “So, Matthew, as the sun sets on awards season for another year, just the big two left, eh? I’m talking about, of course, the Oscars and the NME Awards. That said, I’d like to thank the academy.” And then it all fell apart with Turner admitting: “I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist that one. I think I used all my best shit last week so thank you very much.”
Who: Taylor Swift
Won: Best International Solo Artist 2016
Speech: She was pretty confused by the middle finger trophy, let’s say. “This feels a little aggressive,” she said in a video speech, before admitting she’d realised it was a “strange compliment”.
Who: Fat White Family
Won: Philip Hall Radar Award 2014
Speech: Lias Saoudi invited unofficial spokesperson Patrick Lyons up to the stage and let him do all the talking in a bizarre speech. Saoudi encouraged his rambling chat, telling him to “tell ’em how you feel”.
Who: Arctic Monkeys
Won: Best New Band, Best Track, Best Band 2006
Speech: For their first award of the night, Alex Turner attempted humour, quipping: “Nobody told us it was fancy dress.” At their second time on the podium, the frontman complimented guest presenter on her “professionalness,” before congratulating Sugababes on their cover of ”I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’. Then-bassist Andy Nicholson chimed in: “Wrong key, though.”
Finally, for Best Band they brought We Are Scientists’ Keith Murray up to coach them on their award accepting, who chided them for their sass. Turner immediately disobeyed him, saying: “In all honesty, I suppose we’re supposed to display some gratitude – we are grateful cos voted for by the people and all that, we’re very happy about that – but who else were gonna be Best British Band at the moment, you know what I mean? You don’t write about something that much and then not tell you they’re Best British Band.” He had some words for host Russell Brand, too, after he’d done an impression of their Sheffield accents earlier in the night. “I suppose you’re gonna say something about being from up north again,” said Turner. “Aye, cos that were funny, weren’t it?”