Sam Fender and his band toast to NME, talk new music and guess star signs at the BandLab NME Awards 2022

There's also praise for Little Simz and a host of Limmy impressions - here's a strong contender for the best interview of the BandLab NME Awards 2022

Sam Fender and his live band provided one of the highlights of the BandLab NME Awards 2022 with their wide-ranging and joyful interview in the winners’ room – check it out above.

Fender and his bandmates were speaking after he won Best Album In The World and Best Album By A UK Artist at last night’s ceremony at the O2 Academy Brixton in London (March 2). He also performed ‘Seventeen Going Under’ live to kick off the event.

Joined by his bandmates Dean Thompson, Tom Ungerer, Joe Atkinson, Drew Michael and Johnny Davis, Fender – who started the interview by exchanging Limmy impressions with his band – was asked for his thoughts on winning Best Album In The World.


“I mean it’s a bit too far, that, really. It’s not the best album in the world: it was a good ‘un!” he replied. “Preferably, I thought Little Simz was a little bit better, to be honest, quite frankly so. She should have had the award. But! We’re here anyway, and we’ll take it. Thank you very much!”

Fender also shared his gratitude to NME for the support he’s received during his career: “When we didn’t have a record label and were coming through the grassroots, you actually were proper behind us – so thank you very much!”

Fender was presented with his awards by People Just Do Nothing star Asim Chaudhry and TikTok sensation Francis Bourgeois – and Fender and his band clearly got on well with the latter, judging by the below picture.

Sam Fender, his band and TikTok star Francis Bourgeois pose at the BandLab NME Awards
Sam Fender, his band and TikTok star Francis Bourgeois pose at the BandLab NME Awards (Picture: Zoe McConnell for NME)

Asked for his take on the continued success of ‘Seventeen Going Under’, Fender spoke about its far-reaching impact.

“I think mainly it’s a coming-of-age record,” he said. “We’re from the north-east of England; we’re all from a working-class area. I think the songs are about that time, and I think it’s a pretty unanimous thing for a lot of people.


“A lot of the subjects on [‘Seventeen Going Under’] are about growing up in a normal fucking part [of England]. The town that we come from is the same town that’s 400 fucking miles down the road, do you know what I mean? They’re all over this country, the UK and Ireland, if not all over the fucking world.”

Fender then joked that his next record would explore his time as an 18-year-old – “The last album was about being 17, so I’ve got to move on to 18 and just keep going: 19, 20, 21 by the time I’m fucking God knows how old. I might get to 32 or something, you know?” – but added that the follow-up album “is going to be in a while”.

To close the interview, Fender’s drummer Drew then successfully guessed the star sign of NME‘s cameraman, much to everyone’s amazement.

Watch the full interview with Fender and his bandmates above.

Check back on for the latest news, interviews, winners and more from the BandLab NME Awards 2022.