‘Seventeen Going Under’ beat out nine other nominees for the global category, including records by Halsey, Little Simz and Tyler, the Creator. It also pipped albums by the likes of Ghetts and Self Esteem in the Best Album By A UK Artist category.
Presenter Asim Chaudhry was joined by TikTok sensation Francis Bourgeois to present the award, who began by asking the crowd about his beloved trains, and whether anyone in attendance had been affected by the tube strikes. He was, he said, getting around on his scooter instead.
“We didn’t even know we were nominated until two sentences ago,” Fender said upon accepting the honour.
“Loads of Geordie passion in the house tonight,” he added. “Scream if you wanna go faster!”
As a parting gift, Fender directed his attention to fellow winners on the night, Fontaines D.C., saying: “I’m gonna come and neck on with the fuckin’ lot of ya.”
Released October 2021, ‘Seventeen Going Under’ is the follow-up to Fender’s 2019 debut ‘Hypersonic Missiles’. NME awarded ‘Seventeen Going Under’ five stars upon its release, with reviewer Thomas Smith declaring it a “wiser, weightier record stuffed with sax-soaked rock epics that touch on life and death, love and heartbreak, rage and regret”. The record went on to top NME’s list of the best albums of 2021.
“I’m more proud of [‘Seventeen Going Under’] than anything I’ve ever done,” Fender previously told NME. “It’s probably the best thing I’ve done in my life. I just hope people love it as much as I do.”
Fender also performed at the BandLab NME Awards 2022 on March 2, kicking off the show at the O2 Academy Brixton with ‘Seventeen Going Under’. The Awards are ongoing, with a finale performance by Bring Me The Horizon still to come.