Arctic Monkeys, Maccabees, Slash, Lily Allen and Bernard Sumner arrive at Shockwaves NME Awards

Groups hit the red carpet for the ceremony

Arctic Monkeys, The Maccabees, actor Mat Horne and Bernard Sumner have all arrived at the Shockwaves NME Awards tonight (February 24).

The acts hit the red carpet to enter London‘s O2 Academy Brixton venue, posing for photographers and talking to journalists.

Felix White from The Maccabees was impressed by a member of Maximo Park‘s beard, saying: “I’ve just seen Paul Smith‘s got a beard, so that’s exciting. It’s a really strong beard.”

They also revealed that they are hoping to hang out with Paul Weller and The Specials, while comedian and actor Mat Horne said: “I’d like to see The Maccabees win!”

Lily Allen also arrived, and seems to have a secret admirer in the shape of legendary guitarist Slash, who said: “You know what, I don’t know if I’ve been to these awards before… I think I have! But I’m here now. I just really want someone to introduce me to Lily Allen, I guess.”

Leigh Francis, dressed as his Keith Lemon alter-ego, said: “I’m into leather. You know Chico? Yesterday I did a video with him, we swapped belts, I had a Marks and Spencers belt and he gave me this one [shows off gaudy glittery skull belt].”

“My musical icons are Charles And Eddie (sings ‘Would I Lie To You’),” he revealed.

The DrumsJonathan Pierce was excited by his debut Shockwaves NME Awards ceremony, saying: “It is our first time at the awards. It’s our first time at everything. Who do we want to win? All our friends from the NME tour.”

New Order and Joy Division legend Bernard Sumner was also on the red carpet and proved he’s an awards veteran.

“I’m doing alright!” he said. “I’ve come prepared, I’ve got these [shows alka seltzer]. Drinking? Yeah, tea, coffee, orange juice… Who do I want to win? Maybe Oasis.”

Arctic MonkeysMatt Helders, arriving with bassist Nick O’Malley, displayed some good sportsmanship as his arrived on the red carpet: “Kasabian? I love them, there’s no rivalry. Who do I want to meet? Slash! Kasabian should win. But I want to win Best Live or Best Album, as long as it’s not Worst Album!”

NME.COM and NME Radio are coming live from the Shockwaves NME Awards. Keep checking NME.COM/awards for news reports, photo galleries, video interviews, backstage blogs and more.

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Photo gallery – the history of the NME Awards.

Get the special Shockwaves NME Awards issue of NME, out now, featuring a free Domino records CD, then next week’s NME (out March 3) for the ultimate Awards review.