Shockwaves NME Awards 2009 – The Debauched Climax

Wow. Just nipped out front of house to see The Cure. When you’re back here, in the bowels of the building, writing frantically, you’re inclined to go a bit stir crazy.

But to escape the tech-cellar and fight through the crowd to see Robert Smith and co deliver a set that includes ‘Friday I’m In Love’, ‘Just Like Heaven’, ‘Killing An Arab’ and ‘Close To Me’, before a crowd of deliriously dancing ‘revellers’ (sorry, I wish there was a better word)… well, it brings the whole thing into focus.

A few strange sights to report: Charlie Brooker near the front of the stage locked in animated (and dare we say it, slightly flirtatious) conversation with Florence. Naboo and Bollo (not in costume) crowding into a toilet cubicle together. And Little Boots attempting to emerge from the backstage area to watch The Cure but being swamped by drunk well-wishers before she’d managed 10 yards.

People bang on about The Cure being standard-bearers for gloom and desolation, purveyors of dark-hued introspection, but to see them play live is an enormously euphoric experience. Has any other band ever managed to incite this much communal exultation while simultaneously being held up as dour miserablists? It’s a neat trick.