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…
Interpol led 2014’s Awards Tour, bringing the catatonic, sharply-dressed gloom of their recent self-titled album to life on stages across the UK alongside Temples, Circa Waves and this year’s breakout rock destroyers, Royal Blood.
2013’s tour also featured a blockbuster lineup: sci-fi post-punk Scots Django Django, Brummie scrappers Peace, and Palma Violets.
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.
2011’s line-up was pretty rocking too. Crystal Castles and Magnetic Man headlined, supported by Everything Everything and then-hotly-tipped newcomers The Vaccines.
The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Big Pink and The Drums stormed UK venues as part of the 2010 NME Awards Tour – another knockout bill, if we do say so ourselves.
Here’s Florence Welch, of ‘and the Machine’ fame, opening proceedings on 2009’s Awards Tour jaunt. She was on before Friendly Fires, White Lies and headliners Glasvegas on that tour.
The Cribs joined the party for 2008’s NME Awards Tour, taking with them the predictably disparate and fine quality likes of Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong, Does It Offend You, Yeah? and The Ting Tings. How we got all the words on the ticket we do not know.
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.
Pennie from The Automatic (now dearly departed), headliners of the 2007 Shockwaves NME Indie Rock Tour. They were backed by the likes of The View, The Horrors, and Mumm-Ra. The nights on this tour habitually ended up with The Automatic inviting all their support bands onstage for a mass singalong.
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.
The year 2005 saw another classic line-up rip round the country, as Bloc Party were joined by (openers) Kaiser Chiefs, The Futureheads and headliners The Killers. Bloc Party owe part of their existence to NME, as bassist Gordon Moakes joined after reading an ad in the magazine.
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.
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.
NME displayed our powers of clairvoyance once more in 1998: forget the fact that glam-facing North London indie types The Warm Jets have disbanded and focus instead on Theaudience, whose singer, Sophie Ellis-Bextor went on to unlikely chart success as an Ibiza diva with her track â
Here’s Skunk Anansie’s singer Skin and guitarist Ace on the first ever NME Awards Tour, booked on the back of just a handful of singles in 1995.