The NME guide to a sincere acceptance speech

How to accept your gong with grace.

The V05 NME Awards  are almost upon us, and on Valentine’s night 2018 the great and good of the music world will descend upon Brixton Academy for a night of laughter, cans and big bronze middle fingers. With Liam Gallagher, Lorde and Loyle Carner among the nominees, there will be acceptance speeches aplenty. Some will be shambolic, some will be moving, many will be boozy. And this year’s lucky winners can learn a thing or two from the victors of yesteryear.

Here, then, we proudly present… the NME guide to a sincere acceptance speech.

Keep ’em waiting

Last year, Sadiq Khan announced that Skepta had been crowned Best British Male. Yet the rapper got lost on his way to the stage and just couldn’t find the Mayor of London. I mean, come on, Sadiq’s small but he’s not that small.

Be musical

When Canadian art rock collective Arcade Fire picked up their Best Album gong for 2011’s sprawling ode the adolescence, The Suburbs, frontman Win Butler and co. expressed their gratitude through the medium of improvised jazz. Absolute Win!

Have a sense of humour

Pop titan Taylor Swift was somewhat perplexed, in 2016, to find that her Best International Solo Artist award award came in the form of a rude gesture. In the end, though, she saw the funny side of it. Saying that, I did Whatsapp her other day and she just replied with a load of snake emojis. Weird.

Do a poem

Back in the heady days of 2004, The Libertines were named Best UK Band, leading Pete’n’Carl to recite a WWI poem by the writer Siegfried Sassoon. I’m hoping this year Kasabian will recite the similarly poignant lyrics to ‘Eez-eh’.

Make the same excuse twice

In 2014, collecting The Arctic Monkeys’ Best Live Band gong, Alex Turned purred that he’d used all his best “shit” on a previous acceptance speech, the same excuse he’d made back in 2006. What a cheeky monkey!

And there you have it. Be musical but late, humorous yet poetic – and, above all, don’t try too hard. And, in case it doesn’t go your way, remember to practise a look of humility. Good luck, my friends, we’ll see you on the winner’s podium at the V05 NME Awards in Brixton Academy on Valentine’s night.

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