Arctic Monkeys dominated the NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas picking up five awards including three of the biggest awards of the night: Best British Band, Best Live Band and Best Album.
Other big winners at the ceremony, which took place at the O2 Academy Brixton in London yesterday evening (February 26), included Paul McCartney, Damon Albarn, Belle & Sebastian, Lily Allen and Haim. Performances came from The Horrors and Drenge plus Metronomy, who opened the show by performing ‘Love Letters’, from their forthcoming new album of the same name, with MKS.
Arctic Monkeys picked up the first award of the night, collecting Best Live Band supported by Gig Buddy, from presenter Jarvis Cocker. Stepping on to the stage, frontman Alex Turner said: “As the sun sets on awards season for another year there’s just the big two left. I’m talking about the Oscars and the NME Awards. That said I’d like to thank The Academy.” Referencing his Brit Awards speech, Turner added: “I used all my best shit last week.”
Last year’s Godlike Genius Johnny Marr then presented the Sheffield group with the Best British Band supported by Windows Phone award, beating Foals, Palma Violets, Biffy Clyro, Disclosure and Two Door Cinema Club to the title.
Punk poet John Cooper Clarke, whose lyrics feature on Arctic Monkeys’ album ‘AM’, awarded them with the prestigious Best Album supported by PS4 InFAMOUS Second Son award. Noting the fact they beat Kanye West to the award, Matt Helders thanked the audience and said: “Bigger than ‘Yeezus’.” The band also picked up Best Fan Community, while Alex Turner won Hero Of The Year, in a category that also included David Bowie, Lou Reed and Pussy Riot.
The Best Solo Artist award went to Lily Allen, who said she was proud to win in such a strong category. “This is kind of dumb because David Bowie was in the same category and Jake Bugg so this goes to you guys, not me,” she joked. Elsewhere, the award for Best Track supported by Blackstar Amps went to Disclosure for ‘White Noise’.
Jerry Hall presented the Best International Band supported by Austin, Texas award to Haim, in a category that also included Arcade Fire and Queens of The Stone Age, while Drenge picked up the award for Best New Band supported by Mossimo.
The Horrors also performed, treating the room to the debut performance of brand new track ‘I See You’, taken from their forthcoming new album ‘Luminous’.
There were also some very special awards on the night – Damon Albarn was in attendance to receive the NME Award For Innovation whilst Paul McCartney was on hand to pick up the Songwriters’ Songwriter Award. The Teenage Cancer Trust Outstanding Contribution To Music was awarded to Belle & Sebastian, who also performed, playing ‘I Want The World To Stop’ and ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’.
Accepting his award, Albarn said: “NME terrified me when I was younger. They were the second people, after Sounds, to write about Blur. It meant so much to me when that happened. Most of you in this room don’t know that there was a world before the internet. But there was NME and there was Top Of The Pops. That was it. If I’m honest, I still really care what NME thinks of me.”
Paul McCartney also mentioned the role of NME in the career of The Beatles, stating: “The NME brings up so many memories. It’s been going longer than me. I saw my first ever picture of Elvis in NME.” Talking about his own songwriting talent, McCartney added: “The great thing about songwriting is we don’t know how you do it so you can’t talk about it. Thank you.”
The evening concluded with Lily Allen presenting Blondie with the prestigious Godlike Genius Award. Blondie closed the night with a career-spanning eight-song set, playing ‘One Way Or Another‘, ‘A Rose By Any Name’, ‘Atomic’, ‘Mile High’, ‘Rapture’/‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)!’, ‘Sugar On The Side’, ‘Call Me’ and ‘Heart Of Glass’.
Other winners on the night were Eagulls, who won Best Music Video supported by Domino’s for ‘Nerve Endings’; Shane Meadows attended to pick up Best Music Film for Made of Stone; Best TV Show went to Breaking Bad; Glastonbury won Best Festival, and the Philip Hall Radar Award supported by Monster Headphones went to Fat White Family.
One Direction’s Harry Styles was named Villain Of The Year for the second year running, beating Miley Cyrus, David Cameron and Vladimir Putin, while the Worst Band award went to The 1975, who surpassed the likes of One Direction and The Wanted.
Music Moment Of The Year was awarded to Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn coming together for Teenage Cancer Trust. Best Reissue went to The Clash for ‘Sound System’. Best Band Blog Or Twitter went to Alana Haim for her Twitter account, Best Book to Morrissey, and Best Small Festival went to Sŵn.
The full list of winners at the NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas is as follows:
Award For Innovation
Teenage Cancer Trust Outstanding Contribution to Music Award
Belle & Sebastian
Best British Band supported by Windows Phone
Best International Band supported by Austin, Texas
Best Solo Artist
Best New Band supported by Mossimo
Best Live Band supported by Gig Buddy
Best Album supported by PS4 InFAMOUS Second Son
Arctic Monkeys, ‘AM’
Best Track supported by Blackstar Amps
Disclosure, ‘White Noise’
Best Music Video supported by Domino’s
Eagulls, ‘Nerve Endings’
Best TV Show
Best Music Film
Made Of Stone
Philip Hall Radar Award supported by Monster Headphones
Fat White Family
The Clash, ‘Sound System’
Best Band Blog Or Twitter
Alana Haim, Haim
Best Small Festival