History of the NME Awards Tour


Interpol led 2014’s Awards Tour, bringing the catatonic, sharply-dressed gloom of their recent self-titled album to life on stages across the UK alongside Temples, Circa Waves and this year’s breakout rock destroyers, Royal Blood.


2011’s line-up was pretty rocking too. Crystal Castles and Magnetic Man headlined, supported by Everything Everything and then-hotly-tipped newcomers The Vaccines.


Here’s Florence Welch, of ‘and the Machine’ fame, opening proceedings on 2009’s Awards Tour jaunt. She was on before Friendly Fires, White Lies and headliners Glasvegas on that tour.



Pennie from The Automatic (now dearly departed), headliners of the 2007 Shockwaves NME Indie Rock Tour. They were backed by the likes of The View, The Horrors, and Mumm-Ra. The nights on this tour habitually ended up with The Automatic inviting all their support bands onstage for a mass singalong.


OK, so they weren’t the headliners, but really the 2006 tour belonged to Arctic Monkeys. Between us booking them and these dates actually happening, the Sheffield mob scored a UK Number One single with ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, and every date on this tour was a euphoric celebration of the band’s ramraiding of the mainstream on their own terms.


2004 openers Franz Ferdinand went on to massive success after sharing an Awards Tour bill with The Rapture, Funeral For A Friend and The Von Bondies, whose singer Jason Stollsteimer had recently been involved in an altercation with Jack White of The White Stripes and spent most of our tour covered in bruises.

interpol 04-

The 2003 Awards Tour saw a line-up that reached each extremity of the emotional spectrum. Opening with The Thrills, it went on to offer the epic gloom-mongery of Interpol (pictured), immediately followed by the joyous cacophony of The Polyphonic Spree, with the manic rawk energy of The Datsuns to finish things off.


starsailor jt

A bill presumably put together by mad psychopaths, visitors to the 2001 Awards Tour were in for a bit of a shock. Lulled into a false sense of dadrock by openers Starsailor and country-fried barn types Alfie, violent US punks Amen were on next, before JJ72’s glacial indie rock. Minds were blown from Galashiels to Gillingham.

Mercury Music Coldplay

Barely graduated from University, dressed by Marks And Spencers and obviously in awe of the other bands on the bill, Coldplay stole the show every night of the 2000 Awards Tour with a new song, called ‘Yellow’. From this year on, the opening band on our Awards Tour inherited the legendary ‘Coldplay Slot’ – mostly going on to massive success.


NME displayed our powers of clairvoyance once more in 1998: forget the fact that glam-facing North London indie types The Warm Jets have disbanded and focus instead on Theaudience, whose singer, Sophie Ellis-Bextor went on to unlikely chart success as an Ibiza diva with her track â