What we learned from schmoozing at the VO5 NME Awards 2017

All the gossip, trivia and booze talk we picked up on the floor

As the liggers chugged Lynchberg Lemonades at the door and starving indie rock bands hungrily devoured the stacks of Dominos on the tables knowing they may not eat until the single baked bean they can afford with their next Spotify cheque, NME took to the top tables to mingle, schmooze, cavort with and generally steal wine from the stars. Here’s what we learned:

Everyone’s secretly in awe of Louis Theroux

“I took a selfie of Louis Theroux, I didn’t ask him if I could do it,” Laurie Slaves says, promising himself he won’t have a repeat of last year’s drunken antics. “Staying out too late and embarrassing yourself in front of The Cribs by chatting shit, telling them they’re my heroes.” He’s into more refined pursuits these days. “I’ve been painting a lot. I’m gonna do an art exhibition, inspired by Paul Simon. I thought if he could do it I could do it too. It’s inspired by pop art and Basquiat and Keith Haring, so there’s a tattoo influence. They’re big canvases of really bright colourful paintings.”

@_louistheroux_ @trumanblack @nmemagazine ❤

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Cornering Busted later, it seems there’s a bit of a love triangle developing. “I’m a big Slaves fan,” says Matt Willis, “I just met them as I came in, they were really cool.” “I wanna say hello to Louis Theroux!” roars Charlie Simpson, “I actually think he’s the coolest fucking guy in the room. He’s an awesome dude.” “When you watch his interviews, it’s as genuine as it can be,” adds James Bourne, “he was always the person that should have done the Michael Jackson interview instead of Martin Bashir.” “He would’ve gone up the treehouse!” Charlie yells.

Cheeky day off tour at the NME awards 🎉 #VO5NMEAWARDS

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Louis Theroux is publicly in awe of Alex Turner

“I’ll hang out with anyone,” says the world’s cuddliest documentary maker, glancing around a room full of famous people he admits to recognising barely any of, “Pet Shop Boys, I’d get a kick out of that, they’re my sort of generation. As far as the younger scene, I don’t often ask for selfies with other people, the only time I’ve ever got a selfie with someone was when I bumped into Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys. I’m a huge fan of theirs, I saw them in LA and I just had to do it. He looked somewhat bemused to be honest.”

Louis is here having picked up a nomination for his film My Scientology Movie – has he had any comeback from the organisation since? “It’s been a little quiet. Scientology has got so many people that it worries about as perceived enemies, and it focuses on one perceived enemy at a time. I’m not that keen to be on their radar – they said they were making a film about me but I’ve seen no evidence of that, and that was about a year ago.”

Harry from Peace has taken up fostering dogs

“She’s a beautiful thirteen-year-old short-haired German pointer with a very kind heart, who loves to be fussed all the time,” Harry Koisser tells us about the dog he’s taken custody of, with almost as much enthusiasm as he speaks about the indie supergroup Bands4refugees that he’s playing with tonight. “I would actually call it a supergroup, there’s about ten or eleven people doing it and it feels quite super. It definitely needs to lead on to something. I want more important people to get involved because my voice isn’t as loud as a lot of other people in the music industry. It’ll snowball.” He’s also not planning to get Libs-molesting drunk again. “I usually have quite a wild time at the NME Awards but this time I’m not drinking because I’ve got to play guitar and I’ve got to be responsible. It doesn’t feel right to get totally tanked and be sick on the floor and get Carl Barat in a headlock. That would’ve already happened by now.”

CHOOSE LOVE

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MIA is terrified of the year of the cock

“Am I gonna get shitfaced?” says MIA. “I don’t know. I’m always the one that’s talking about serious issues so I always have to not get shitfaced because I don’t wanna be drunk saying crazy shit about refugees. It’s not fair! I’m trying to hand the baton over. Let’s get more refugees on the scene doing shit and then I can actually have some fun. I’m scared to get too drunk! It’s the year of the cock, isn’t it. The year of the rooster, the Chinese rooster, it’s terrible for rabbits apparently, they said ‘don’t get into battles’ for people like me, who’s a rabbit.”

Besides introducing the refugee supergroup performance, MIA is here scouting for talent. “I’m doing the Meltdown festival so this is my chance to meet people and ask them in person to come and perform there. So Skepta, Wiley, apparently Kano is sat at this table.”

🖕🏽 #nmeawards

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Joe Mount once almost ‘crossed the beams’ with Brandon Flowers

“The first time I came to the NME Awards was in like 2007 or 2008,” says Metronomy’s frontman, reminiscing about his favourite lavatorial encounter at the awards, “and I was ridiculously excited, it was the first time I’d seen lots of people I recognised. I went to the toilet and was relieving myself of a wee and I realised that Brandon Flowers was next to me, so I said ‘I love your music’. Later on that night the guitarist from The Killers said I was too drunk.”

Sadiq Khan is all about the grime

“My daughters are seventeen and fifteen,” says the London mayor, a little misty eyed to be back at the Academy twenty-five years after he saw Fun Lovin’ Criminals here. “They’re really into grime, Stormzy, Skepta, Wiley – we went to Drake last week and he brought The Section Boys onstage and 20,000 youngsters, me excluded, screaming and singing along. People like Drake and Kanye West are supporting London’s grime scene and it’s great.” What are you expecting from the Awards? “I’m hoping everyone behaves themselves, but I’m looking forward to seeing how soon people drink too much.”

Hats off to #sadiqkhan for presenting an award @nmemagazine #awards #skepta

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Michael Kiwanuka feels like the new kid at school

“Stuff like this always reminds me of school,” says the Mercury Prize nominee, “where I don’t know anyone. So I’m just sat in the corner. I’m looking forward to seeing Wiley. I’m definitely gonna get merry, I might not jump on the tables but I’m gonna have a good time.”

Johnny Marr warmed up for the awards by running 18 miles before breakfast

“I ran eighteen miles this morning before ten o’clock,” says the guitar legend and Godlike Genius 2013, running us through his pre-awards ritual, “then I had a meeting with Hans Zimmer, bought some old William Burroughs books and now I’m here. When I played here about four years ago when I got my Godlike Genius award, it was a fab night, Ronnie Wood got up and played with us, and watching Russell Kane try to handle the insanity that is the NME Awards, and doing it with great aplomb, it was carnage, pure carnage. I always have a good time here.”

Biffy Clyro are telling You Me At Six NME Awards horror stories

“I don’t remember any of them,” says James Biffy when asked for his Award show memories, “I feel like I was there when Ryan Jarman ended up in hospital [Ryan landed on glass while throwing himself onto Kaiser Chiefs table in 2006], I feel like I was sat beside him but I’ve only ever watched it on TV.”

“I remember being in Nashville last year when this happened, we were making our record,” says You Me At Six’s Josh Francheschi, “and my phone blowing up because some of my friends were watching it online and going ‘your mate Oli Bring Me just trashed Coldplay’s table’. I watched the footage and thought ‘what are you up to, you fucking joker!’ I’ve got none of my boys with me so I’m going to try to inhabit the Biffy Clyro world for the evening.”

“It’s always a great place to make new friends with the most unlikely people. You always end up in the toilet chatting away to Tinie Tempah or something like that.”