Well, the (cool) cat’s out of the bag. Palma Violets are to headline the 2015 NME Awards tour, topping a lineup more thrillingly raucous and destructive than an atom bomb-charged demolition derby. Fat White Family, Slaves and the Amazing Snakeheads will be out in force alongside the returning ‘180’ janglers. Here’s the chaos that’s gone before them on the NME Awards Tour…
Credit: Jen Five/NME
Two Door Cinema Club led the 2012 NME Awards Tour, joined on the road by Metronomy, Tribes and Azealia Banks. Not a bad lineup, hey? Two Door and Metronomy went on to reach festival headliner status, Tribes blazed an impressive trail before later splitting while Banks, you might have heard, just released a somewhat overdue debut album.
Credit: Richard Johnson/NME
Here’s CSS on 2007’s Shockwaves NME Indie Rave Tour, the one and only time since 1995 that the NME Awards Tour split into two, to allow double the amount of bands to hit the road. Despite bouncers at some venues confiscating glowsticks, CSS brought the party, as did tour mates Klaxons, The Sunshine Underground and New Young Pony Club.
OK, so they weren’t the headliners, but really the 2006 tour belonged to Arctic Monkeys. Between us booking them and these dates actually happening, the Sheffield mob scored a UK Number One single with ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, and every date on this tour was a euphoric celebration of the band’s ramraiding of the mainstream on their own terms.
2004 openers Franz Ferdinand went on to massive success after sharing an Awards Tour bill with The Rapture, Funeral For A Friend and The Von Bondies, whose singer Jason Stollsteimer had recently been involved in an altercation with Jack White of The White Stripes and spent most of our tour covered in bruises.
The 2003 Awards Tour saw a line-up that reached each extremity of the emotional spectrum. Opening with The Thrills, it went on to offer the epic gloom-mongery of Interpol (pictured), immediately followed by the joyous cacophony of The Polyphonic Spree, with the manic rawk energy of The Datsuns to finish things off.
2002 was the year the Awards Tour nearly came clean off the rails. The Coral, see, were fresh-faced shroomadelic scouse janglers not particularly enamoured with the sounds of party-loving maniac Andrew WK, whom they described in the accompanying NME on-the-road piece as a “screaming hairy twat”. But doh! The piece was printed before the end of the tour, leading to all sorts of on-tour kerfuffle.
A bill presumably put together by mad psychopaths, visitors to the 2001 Awards Tour were in for a bit of a shock. Lulled into a false sense of dadrock by openers Starsailor and country-fried barn types Alfie, violent US punks Amen were on next, before JJ72’s glacial indie rock. Minds were blown from Galashiels to Gillingham.
Mercury Music Coldplay
Barely graduated from University, dressed by Marks And Spencers and obviously in awe of the other bands on the bill, Coldplay stole the show every night of the 2000 Awards Tour with a new song, called ‘Yellow’. From this year on, the opening band on our Awards Tour inherited the legendary ‘Coldplay Slot’ – mostly going on to massive success.