If you go back through the archives, each decade of NME has its own particular, often incredibly silly, set of language. The noughties especially gave birth to some absolute gems that, upon hearing now, can take you back to a precise time or location in a rush of nostalgia. Revisit some of those peculiar terms below, or learn them for the first time and pretend you were there.
If there’s one thing NME has been great at it in its long history, it’s making up scenes and Thamesbeat is a great example of that. Whether you were going to club night Way Out West all the way out in Brentford or listening to ‘Edwould’ on Myspace from your bedroom in Macclesfield, it grouped together a group of then emerging artists who didn’t share much in sound, but had a similar spirit as well as geographical location.
Klaxons-coined term used during the heady days of nu rave
Back in the day-glo splattered, MDMA-fuelled glory days of nu rave, a simple adjective like amazing just would not do when it came to expressing the sheer brilliance of everything while under the influence. Thus, MDMAzing became a oft-used way of describing that giddy euphoria, first invented by Klaxons (who else?) and then adopted by everyone else wearing neon geometric-print leggings and gurning on the night bus. If you used it now you’d probably cringe, but doesn’t it make you nostalgic for 2007?
A very angular fringe that covers half your face and was made popular by Bloc Party guitarist Russell Lissack
The Blochead was basically a variant on the emo fringe, sweeping across half of Lissack’s face and ultimately rendering him half-blind. Yet we all swooned at how it bobbed about when he executed his exquisite guitar lines, to the point where NME ran a full page dedicated to giving step-by-step instructions of how to get the look down.
A scene fuelled by magic mushrooms, which were legal to buy fresh due to a loophole
For a while, you could pick up fresh magic mushrooms completely legally and get well out of your tree without fear of the consequences (well, in terms of the law at least). Bands like The Zutons, The Bees, The Earlies and The Coral were all considered a part of the Shroomadelica scene.
The combination of grime and indie
Grindie is best known via Statik, an MC who released the compilation ‘Grindie Vol 1’, which featured him rapping over the likes of Babyshambles‘ ‘Killamangiro’, The Strokes‘ ‘Automatic Stop’ and The Rakes ’22 Grand Job’. The compilation also featured the likes of D Double E and Lethal Bizzle.
A name for bands like The Libertines, Selfish Cunt and Hull’s The Paddingtons
The early noughties East End scene was far from clean, in all senses of the word. Bands hung out and played places like Whitechapel’s Rhythm Factory (a dingy and grimy sweatbox), dressed like modern day urchins and made music that sounded like it had been made in complete squalor. What other term could accurately describe it all other than grot’n’roll?
A scene of bands exhibiting elements of the goth genre, but existing in the early-mid noughties
Back in the noughties, we were quite fond of just adding “nu” onto a genre and calling it a scene. While nu rave was the only one that really took off, there were others. Nu goth was inspired by the bleak and gloomy output of acts like Editors, who seemingly weren’t fans of colour, not being serious or writing songs that couldn’t soundtrack your lowest points.
A gig that takes place outside of traditional venues
No one could have imagined The Others would leave much in the way of a legacy, but guerrilla gigs are very much theirs. The Libertines may have dabbled in this activity, but Dominic Masters’ band were the ones who really owned it. They performed on tube trains and in Radio 1’s reception (uninvited, obvs), and spread word of the shows hours before on internet forums. Since, it’s been adopted by everyone and their nan, to the point where even Ed Sheeran has done them. Of course, you could argue guerrilla gigging began way before the noughties bands were even born, but it felt like it truly became a phenomenon in that time.