Mumford & Sons hand over XFM Inspiration award at O2 Academy Brixton

XFM DJ John Kennedy was given the XFM Inspiration award at O2 Academy Brixton last night (December 17), as part of the station’s Winter Wonderland event.

Usually given to a band or artist judged to have inspired the station, bands and music in general, previous recipients of the award include Suede and Manic Street Preachers.

Before Kennedy was presented with the award, video messages from stars such as Elbow, Paul Weller and The Maccabees were shown. Mumford and Sons then gave the DJ the trophy, with Marcus Mumford saying:

“We’re successful in completely surprising you, I think. It seems fitting that after 20 years and as the longest serving XFM DJ on the airwaves – and someone who has definitely inspired each of us, even before the band, to listen to new music – that you should get the Inspiration award.”

Ben Lovett added “Here’s to many more years of inspiring musicians, John.”

Kennedy, who presents the X-Posure show, is the only DJ to have worked at the station continuously since it began in 1992. In a short acceptance speech, he said:

“Wow. I’m completely baffled and really surprised. I was not expecting this. I had a big speech worked out for Mumford and Sons on how truly inspiring they are; a band who defy description and could never have been dreamt up by any record company or media manipulators. I had that all worked out and now I’m walking away with a load of stuff in my arms. Thanks to everyone who thought of this and thanks to you for listening to XFM and X-Posure over the years. Without you listening, I wouldn’t be on air.”

Earlier in the night, Theme Park, Lucy Rose and The Temper Trap all performed short sets, whilst main support The Courteeners previewed two new songs from their forthcoming third album ‘Anna’.

The London leg of XFM’s annual event was headlined by Editors, only their third UK show of 2012, following two hometown appearances in Birmingham in June. The band, led by Tom Smith, included three new songs in what was otherwise a greatest hits set – ‘A Ton Of Love’, ‘Formaldehyde’ and ‘Nothing’.

Dan Clements, 31, from Streatham said of the gig “I’ve had a great night, XFM always put on top gigs. All the bands were really fun but The Courteeners were the best. They’ve just got big tunes. Massive. The new songs sounded wicked.”

“John Kennedy’s one of my favourite DJs so I was really pleased for him,” added Natalie Shingler, 25, of Surrey. “We got tickets because we love Editors but every band was really good tonight. It’s definitely put me in the festive spirit.”

Editors played:

‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’
‘The Racing Rats’
‘Bullets’
‘A Ton Of Love’
‘Blood’
‘Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool’
‘Munich’
‘Formaldehyde’
‘An End Has A Start’
‘Nothing’
‘Papillon’