NME Awards 2016, With Austin Texas: The Small Talk

The best part of any NME Awards, for the casual ligger such as myself, is the pre-show table chat. Here the jet-lagged, the hopeful, the nervous and the awestruck-by-Yoko gather into a jabbering gaggle, mingling with peers and heroes and eyeing up the tables with the largest stack of booze, all the better to to pilfer from once their own stash is diminished.

My Brixton wanderings have thus far uncovered the followings. Yannis Foals, gathering with his bandmates for pre-Awards lagers in the Duke Of Edinburgh pub, is “knackered” from celebrating their Wembley Arena triumph last night. Ellie from Wolf Alice, sporting a nifty wet-look, is likewise exhausted, having flown in from the US West Coast on “two hours’ sleep”.

“It’s so good,” enthuses Sunflower Bean singer Julia Cumming, “I ate two sandwiches and caught up with some good friends, we’re good friends with Wolf Alice. We went to one award ceremony in New York but this is the coolest by far. It’s a really nice ceremony because it’s laid back, it’s not pretentious, I think it’s gonna be a really good show.”


Will you be hassling Yoko later?

“I don’t wanna bother her, she’s got stuff to do.”

Are you looking forward to winning everything next year?

“I hope so!”

If this is the NME Awards, that must be Felix from The Maccabees. How did you manage to get a table so close to the front?

Felix laughs. “We’ve been coming for so long, we started right at the back of the balcony, then we were at the back of the seats and now we’re in the middle of the room. It’s symbolic of something I guess.”


Are you looking forward to performing?

“Yeah, it’s only one song, isn’t it. We’re happy to do it but it’s almost the worst situation to play in, in front of peers staring at you pretending to be less interested. I remember watching Hole do this and feeling a bit intimidated because it’s an odd situation to be eye-to-eye with somebody.”

Will you be hassling Yoko?

“I haven’t got grand designs on meeting Yoko, What would you say to her? I met Sean [Lennon] a few months ago in America and he was a really charismatic, wonderful person and I liked his band a lot. If anything I’d tell her that but she’ll probably have too many people stopping people hassling her.”