With both bands playing the Portsmouth Guildhall as part of the ShockWaves NME Awards Tour 2006 on February 15, the Arctic Monkeys were unable to attend the BRITS ceremony to pick up their British Breakthrough Act award.
However when the band were asked to send a video in their place, the Sheffield group turned to We Are Scientists frontman Keith Murray to deliver their speech.
“When the Monkeys learned of their taking of the prize they concerned they wanted their speech to be delivered with a certain amount of panache and obviously the go-to guys for that are We Are Scientists,” Murray told NME.COM.
“They’re under-selling themselves, they’re certainly capable of a regal manner but they just wanted a compere to come on and do it for them. I can’t remember what I said but I’m fairly sure I handled it brilliantly!”
Despite Murray clearly being American, the crew filming the Arctic Monkeys video didn’t spot the imposter and the speech aired at the ceremony.
“Did I present myself as a member of the Arctic Monkeys? I kinda hedged that issue,” admitted Murray. “I was delivering it was ‘We are accepting this award’ so I did give some sort of indication that I am now in, and possibly leading, the Arctic Monkeys, but obviously I wouldn’t want to lead anyone to that conclusion, they’ll have to come to it on there own.”
Murray added that as an American the BRITS had not made a big impact on him, but We Are Scientists were ready to step in if the other British bands on the tour – Mystery Jets and Maximo Park – got jealous of the Arctic Monkeys’ win.
“I don’t think the other British bands know yet that the Monkeys have won a BRIT,” he joked. “If you can do me a favour and never mention in the NME ever that the Monkeys won it that would be a comfort to the other bands, otherwise as neutral Americans we might have to step in as peacemakers.”
The ShockWaves NME Awards Tour 2006 wraps up in London tonight (February 17) ahead of the awards themselves, which take place on February 23.