Things can get a little crazy on the most rock'n'roll night of the year
More than any other awards show, the VO5 NME Awards is known for getting messy. We dread to think what the organisers of the ceremony back in the ’50s and ’60s would make of some of the things that go on these days – crashing tables, turning up in fancy dress, and having to be taken to hospital twice in one night would never happen on their watch.
What will we be adding to this list after the 2018 ceremony? Who knows, but you can have a front row seat by purchasing your tickets for the Vo5 NME Awards 2018, which takes place at the O2 Academy Brixton on February 14, here.
Back in the day, the NME Awards was a lot more straight-laced than the carnage that goes on now, meaning for far less weird and wild occurrences. One pretty mad thing went down in 1966, though – The Beatles, biggest band in the world, did their last ever UK live performance at our bash. How nice of them.
In 2003, BRMC were awarded the gong for Best Video, and the band dutifully made their way to the stage to collect it as normal. When drummer Nick Jago got to the mic, though, things took a turn. Instead of reeling off thank yous to his label/parents/dog, he instead stood in silence, staring at the audience. For seven minutes. That’s one way to make people remember you.
In 2004, The Libertines collected their Best Band award in true Libertines style – with Pete Doherty and Carl Barat swapping lines from the poem ‘Suicide In The Trenches’. Never has Siegfried Sassoon seemed as edgy.
Russell Brand used his platform as 2006’s host to good-naturedly take the piss out of anyone he could, including Best Music DVD recipient Bob Geldof (collecting for Live 8), who he called “Sir Bobby Gandalf”. Geldof was not impressed, responding: “Russell Brand, what a c**t.” The beef didn’t stop there – when Brand returned to the stage, he quipped: “Really, it’s no surprise that he’s such an expert on famine. He has been dining out on ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ for 30 years.”
The Cribs frontman took things perhaps a little too far back in 2006 when he threw himself onto the Kaiser Chiefs’ table, and a ton of glasses and bottles in the process. Off he went to hospital to get himself stitched up, before reappearing at the after-party, ever a dedicated servant to the sesh. His enthusiasm turned out to be a little misguided as he was soon seen to be bleeding again and was carted off in another ambulance. Still, we salute his commitment to the night.
Usually, when a band can’t make it to the NME Awards to collect their winnings, they send a video message thanking their fans and apologising for their absence. The Killers, however, turned their VT into a bizarre sketch, featuring three quarters of the band in a barber’s shop with boxing legend Mike Tyson, who constantly interrupts Brandon Flowers’ heartfelt sentiments and gives him a black eye. Watch it here if you fancy a laugh.
Back in 2008, when Dev Hynes was still operating under his Lightspeed Champion moniker, he brought a touch of sci-fi to his awards performance. Not only did he dress up as Darth Vader, but his band also included a big, furry Chewbacca. Don’t believe us? You can watch the performance here.
The tradition of the Godlike Genius recipient performing live to close out the ceremony started with New Order in 2005. Normally, the victor will play a handful of songs to round things off, but trust Foo Fighters to take things further. In 2011, Dave Grohl picked up the ultimate award and then proceeded to play for two hours with his band. Who wouldn’t be delighted to see Foos do a proper, full-length concert somewhere as intimate as O2 Academy Brixton?
Well, their friend did, anyway. The south Londoners popped down the road from their homes to pick up the Philip Hall Radar Award in 2014, but frontman Lias Saoudi barely said a word when he made it on stage. Instead, he left it up to unofficial spokesman Patrick Lyons who told “it like it is” as the singer stood silently next to him. At one point he compared the band to “the wild American prairie” and said they might “just save America with their music”. Even Lias looked slightly bemused.
There’s crashing a table and then there’s crashing a table. During Bring Me The Horizon’s performance at the 2016 event, frontman Oli Sykes ventured off stage to roam amongst the tables. After prowling around for a minute, he eventually chose Coldplay’s table to clamber up on, much to the band’s amusement. Just look at Chris Martin’s face.