There are many great things about working for NME. There are the endless opportunities to make an idiot out of yourself in front of your heroes – Patti Smith, Poly Styrene and Debbie Harry included; the chance to go to gigs every single night of the week; and the close proximity of the office to Borough Market, meaning I can regularly have world-beating cheese toasties for lunch and the occasional overpriced chocolate-stuffed doughnut. Perhaps greatest of all, though, is the annual NME Awards, a night of next-level debauchery, famous people doing silly things, incredible music and, not forgetting, lots of hard work. I’ve clambered up the ranks and been given a slightly more important job every year.
A decade ago I was mainly chasing the likes of Alex Turner and Teddy Sheringham around the room asking for silly quotes while simultaneously minesweeping tables for leftover whiskey and trying to get Sarah Harding to give me my lip gloss back. But last year I was holed up in the hallowed green room, interviewing all our lovely guests straight after they came off stage. This meant I was chatting to everyone from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Wiley, M.I.A., Dua Lipa, Louis Theroux, Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Skepta – who, quite fabulously, mistook his bottle of Jameson for a microphone. We’ve all been there, Skepta. By the time you read this, this year’s event will have already happened and I’ll hopefully be through the worst of the hangover and just about able to keep solids down. But for now, here are some personal highlights from years gone past, not including the time a member of an unnamed indie band made me cry for daring to interview him. Oh dear.
2007: When Kate Moss and Pete Doherty were asked to leave the ceremony early after being, erm, ‘overly amorous’. Bear in mind it takes a lot to be thrown out of the NME Awards, so this was impressive work.
2009: When The Cure played their closing set and a mystery man – some say he worked in ‘accounts’ – lay down across a table by the stage and proceeded to have endless bottles of wine and jugs of beer poured over him as he gleefully writhed around. The video is still on YouTube and it’s still amazing. 2016: When I refused to stop hugging Run The Jewels’ Killer Mike and tried to convince El-P to let my cat make a guest appearance on their ‘Meow The Jewels’ project. As of yet, my cat has not featured on any major-label rap records. Here’s hoping we can finally make that happen at this year’s bash