Foals and Arcade Fire lead the way in nominations for this year’s Shockwaves NME Awards, which take place in London on Wednesday (February 23). Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance and Hurts are also due to perform live. But the annual bash actually goes back all the way to 1953. Here’s a brief history.
Muse, Kasabian, Paramore, Jamie T, Arctic Monkeys, La Roux and The Big Pink won big at the 2010 NME Awards. Paul Weller collected the Godlike Genius gong and The Specials were recognised for their Outstanding Contribution To Music.
Roger Moore doled out the prizes at the NME Awards in 1968. The Rolling Stones appeared unannounced to perform ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ and ‘Satisfaction’, and also picked up an award. Cream, Scott Walker and Status Quo all played live, while Lulu and The Shadows picked up awards. Head to NME.COM/awards to vote in this year’s bash. Pic: PA Photos
The Beach Boys called in at the NME Awards in 1967 on their first ever trip to the UK, joining The Small Faces, The Move and The Troggs at the event. What with it being the height of psychedelia and all, Jimmy Savile compered in a pair of unfeasibly bright gold trousers.
Pic: PA Photos
Kylie Minogue won Best Pop Act at the 2002 event, but the evening was all about The Strokes, who won Best New Act, Best Album and Band Of The Year. The awards ceremony also featured ‘Little Britain”s Matt Lucas and David Walliams impersonating bands including The White Stripes, Eminem and, um, Macy Gray. Pic: PA Photos
2008 saw the first ever NME Awards USA, with Jane’s Addiction being awarded the Godlike Genius award. The original line-up reformed to perform on the night for the first time in 17 years. The Killers won Band Of The Year, My Chemical Romance took home the Best Live Band award and Foo Fighters won Best Album. Klaxons won three awards and Arctic Monkeys took home one, and MGMT won the Breakthrough Track award for ‘Time To Pretend’.
Pic: PA Photos
Muse triumphed at the 2008 awards, held at the O2’s IndigO2. The Devon trio won big for their Wembley Stadium shows in the summer of 2007, picking up Best Live Act. Arctic Monkeys went home with four awards, including Best Album and Best British Band, while Klaxons opened proceedings with a mighty version of ‘Atlantis To Interzone’. Pic: PA Photos
Primal Scream received their Godlike Geniuses award from The Clash’s Mick Jones in 2007. It was the most star-studded awards yet, with Pete Doherty and Kate Moss turning up to the bash and Beth Ditto and Jarvis Cocker perform a stunning version of Heaven 17’s 1983 hit ‘Temptation’. Just think, a year later she was performing with Mika at the Brits… Pic: PA Photos
King Monkey Ian Brown is flanked by the, um, Arctic Monkeys at 2006’s bash. Alex Turner’s crew picked up awards for Best British Band, Best New Band and Best Track, but were pipped to the Best Album post by Kaiser Chiefs. The Cribs’ Ryan Jarman also performed his famous dive onto Kaiser Chiefs’ table, impaling himself with a wine glass and nearly dying. Rock and roll. Pic: Dean Chalkley
1995’s awards saw Blur sweep the board, although Oasis, Gene, Manic Street Preachers and Portishead also picked up gongs. The ceremony also saw the beginnings of the Blur vs Oasis battle that would come to a head in the August chart war – during the backstage photocall Liam Gallagher informed Albarn that “your band is full of shit”.
As rock and roll didn’t really appear until the second half of the ’50s, the NME Awards concentrated on celebrating the music of trad jazz men before then, like Ronnie Scott, Ted Heath, Jonny Dankworth and Dickie Valentine in 1953. Only five awards, shaped like gilt crowns, were handed out each year.
Cliff Richard was one of the big winners alongside The King, Elvis Presley, at 1961’s NME Awards. Richard was booed by some of the audience when he took the stage to perform with The Shadows – it seemed many of them preferred the group’s twangy instrumentals.
Bands performing at the 1964 NME Awards included The Rolling Stones – seen picking up an award here – and The Beatles, who were pelted with jelly babies during their performance of ‘Long Tall Sally’ and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, after George Harrison had expressed a liking for them in a recent interview. Presented by Roy Orbison, 1964 was one of the awards’ most prestigious years. Pic: Getty
The Beatles played their final UK show (apart from the rooftop Apple gig, of course) at the 1966 NME Awards, dressed head to toe in black, and belting out ‘I Feel Fine’, among others. A cavalcade of legendary bands also performed, including The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces, The Yardbirds, The Who and The Walker Brothers. Phew. Pic: Getty
Blur’s Damon Albarn picked up awards for Best Track and Best Band at 2000’s NME Awards ceremony. Macca turned up once again, to collect the one-off award for Best Band In The World…Ever! on behalf of Wings – sorry, The Beatles. Super Furry Animals smashed up the stage and Godlike Genius Shaun Ryder was arrested after the party.
Like the ’70s, the NME gave no awards to anyone in the ’80s – mostly because most of the music of the decade was so irredeemably awful. Had they given out gongs though, we’re pretty sure restless creatives like The Cure would have scooped a great deal. Robert Smith’s group made up for it by performing at the Shockwaves NME Awards Big Gig at the O2 in London in February 2009.
2005’s NME Awards saw Franz Ferdinand pick up gongs for Best Track and Best Album for ‘Take Me Out’ and their self-titled debut respectively. New Order were honoured as Godlike Geniuses, performing ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, while Paul McCartney turned up to pick up Glastonbury’s award for Best Live Event, having headlined the event in 2004. The Libertines won the Best British Band award.
Pic: Dean Chalkley
Kings Of Leon won Best New Band and Best International Band at 2004’s ceremony, Radiohead’s ‘Hail To The Thief’ was given the Best Album title, while Ozzy Osbourne was crowned as that year’s Godlike Genius. Legendary Love mainman Arthur Lee, who died two years later, turned up to the awards, literally wowing everyone in the room.
Pic: James Quinton
The NME Awards moved to Shoreditch, east London, in 2001, but this didn’t stop U2 turning up to pick up their Godlike Genius award. Coldplay were named Best New Band, and also picked up the Best Track award for ‘Yellow’. Head to NME.COM/awards to cast your vote in this year’s event. Pic: PA Photos
Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer hosted the return of the NME Awards, temporarily dubbed the Brats, at London’s New Empire in 1994. Thom Yorke, Brett Anderson and Justine Frischmann featured on the cover of NME’s souvenir edition. Pic: Rex Features
The Libertines picked up the Best New Band award at 2003’s ceremony, which was held at the Hammersmith Palais to celebrate The Clash’s Godlike Genius award, and then became the event’s home for the next four years. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s drummer Nick Jago vied with Pete Doherty for the unofficial Most Wasted Person In The Room award, while the ceremony saw live performances for the first time since the ’60s. Pic: Dean Chalkley
Pete Doherty picked up the Best Solo Artist award in 2009. This year, that category is being contested by Dizzee Rascal, Florence And The Machine, Jamie T, Julian Casablancas, and Lady GaGa. Check out the full list of nominations here. Pic: Jacob Perlmutter
Dizzee Rascal’s up for a few awards this year, including Best Dancefloor Filler for ‘Bonkers’. You can get voting here. Pic: Jacob Perlmutter
Glasvegas didn’t win anything at the 2009 event, but frontman James Allan (pictured, far right) performed on the night, duetting with Florence Welch on a cover of Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’. Pic: PA Photos
The Cure with film director Tim Burton in 2009. The gothic movie legend, who lives in north London and is a big Cure fan, was on hand to present Robert Smith and co with their Godlike Genius award. Pic: Dean Chalkley
Kasabian celebrate with Courtney Love backstage at the 2010 ceremony. Kasabian won two awards – for Best Album (‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’) and Best Album Artwork.
Also in 2010 – Muse won the coveted Best British Band award. It’s the second time they walked away with that honour, the first time being in 2007.
Paul Weller backstage in 2010. The Modfather was our Godlike Genius that year.
Lily Allen and La Roux in 2010. La Roux won Best Dancefloor Filler for ‘In For The Kill’ (Skream Remix), and Lily won a special Giving It Back fan award.