Specials pick up Shockwaves NME Awards Outstanding Contribution To Music honour The Specials Tickets

Damon Albarn presents ska legends with trophy

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The Specials have picked up their Outstanding Contribution To Music award at the Shockwaves NME Awards tonight (February 24) from guest presenter Damon Albarn.

The band picked up the prize at London's O2 Brixton Academy then performed their classic songs Gangsters' and 'Too Much Too Young' live on stage.

Presenting the award, Damon Albarn called the band "an incredibly important part of my life."

He added that he'd first seen The Specials in person when he was a child. "I had chance to go to the Top Of The Pops studio and be in the audience, and I remember vividly standing beneath this person [singer Terry Hall]," he explained.

Albarn then introduced the band by saying: "They're just fucking amazing."

Singer Terry Hall kept his speech brief, but joked: "This is the most urban award we've ever received, I can't believe how gross it it! Thank you very much."

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.

To tune in to NME Radio, head to Sky Channel 0184, Virgin Media 975, Freesat 727, DAB or NME Radio. Plus get the award-winning NME Radio iPhone App now.

Follow the action on Twitter.com, at Twitter.com/nmemagazine.

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.

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