Elbow win Outstanding Contribution award at Shockwaves NME Awards

Guy Garvey and co honoured at London ceremony

Elbow have won the Outstanding Contribution To British Music prize at the Shockwaves NME Awards in London tonight (February 25).

The band – who opened the ceremony with a performance of their 2008 single ‘Grounds For Divorce’ – made it an awards hat-trick having previously won The Nationwide Mercury Prize and Best British Group at the BRITs in the last 12 months.

Elbow were selected for their honour this evening by NME‘s editors.

Explaining the choice, NME Editor Conor McNicholas told the room: “Tonight the NME is giving out a special Outstanding Contribution To British Music award to a special band. Formed in Bury in 1990 as Mr Soft, they changed their name in 1997 but have kept the same line-up since day one. They have weathered their fair share of hardship on the way to success – dropped by one label before their debut album was even released, and seeing another label disappear from underneath them. It was the death of a close friend that inspired their current album – one that was self-produced and done without a label but has now gone on to be their most successful.

“Through all these tribulations the band have never compromised their vision or their music, continuing to make their epic, touching, heart-rending and empowering tunes for those who believed. Their success now is a success for every independently-minded musician and music fan. NME believed from day one. In fact they the only band in NME‘s history to have gained 9/10 for every album they have released – all four of them.

“After nearly 20 years this band have really found a place in the heart of the whole nation. One of the best kept secrets in British music is a secret no more.”

“Even though we’ve payed this venue over the years it’s still a crazy circus,” frontman Guy Garvey said as he picked up the award from DJ Steve Lamacq.

He added: “Music more and more is being made in people’s bedrooms. People like Dizzee (Rascal) show us that. People like that can make it but only with the support of people like the NME.”

Watch an exclusive video interview with the winners now:

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For complete coverage from this year’s Shockwaves NME Awards, including news, photo galleries, video interviews and live blogs straight from the ceremony at the O2 Academy Brixton, head to our awards index at NME.COM/awards now.

Plus NME Radio is broadcasting live straight from the awards – tune in via Sky Channel 0184, Virgin Media 975, Freesat 727 or NME.COM/radio. NME TV will also have highlights and interviews from the awards, head to NME.COM/nmetv for the full schedule.

There will also be a highlights show on Channel 4 on Friday (February 27) at 7.30pm (GMT) and on Saturday (28) at 10.55am.

Meanwhile, get this week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands now – for an exclusive covers CD featuring this year’s Godlike Geniuses, The Cure. The awards review issue itself will be on the shelves from next Wednesday (March 4), boasting exclusive interviews, photos and more.

The Cure will headline the Shockwaves NME Awards Big Gig at the O2 Arena in London on February 26, with NME.COM again bringing you full coverage.