Shockaves NME Awards 2009 – A Few Things We’ve Learnt Tonight

It’s midnight and the O2 Brixton Academy security are hounding us to vacate the building – we’re moving on to the aftershow down the road at Bex, but keep checking and the global NME Awards Twitter conversation for (increasingly incoherent and poorly spelt) updates and celeb spots into the early hours – so I’ll be brief.

A few lessons:

1. Charlie Brooker is surprisingly cheerful
That hangdog misanthrope act? Pah. Two Bacardi Breezers and he’s hobnobbing with Klaxons, benevolent grin plastered across his face, same as the rest of the us.

2. A Cure greatest hits set is the best way to close a party imaginable
I’ve been to a lot of awards ceremonies, but I’ve never seen a room explode into communal, beer-flinging dancing the way tonight’s crowd did when The Cure played ‘Close To Me’.

3. A well-chosen cover can make all the difference
Franz and La Roux doing ‘Call Me’ was pretty inspired – but Glasvegas and Florence transforming ‘Suspicious Minds’ into a hammering, feedback-drenched, nu-gaze dreampop anthem… wow. Truly, genuinely epic.

4. The O2 Brixton Academy is a better party venue than Indigo
People feel at home here. It feels welcoming and intimate, not box-fresh and sterile.

5. Alex Kapranos is a generous fella
He bumped into sub-editor Alan Woodhouse in town earlier and promptly bought him dinner (scampi and chips, if you were wondering). You don’t get that with Alice Glass.