Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The NME Awards Ceremony

Funny how time flies. Nearly twenty years ago, the NME awards were seen as an antidote to the corporate schmoozathon that was the Brits. A chance for those languishing in the leagues of indie to be recognised for their endeavours, quaff a few light ales and let their hair down without fear of being featured wide-eyed and legless on the front of the Daily Mail the following morning. Petulantly named The Brats, this was a chance for the NME and their readership to give the middle finger (hence the statuette) to the Man and his roster of bland and uninspiring unit shifters. Fast forward to 2012, and the nominees for this year’s Brit and NME awards are more or less interchangeable. Florence and the Machine, Adele, Foo Fighters, Noel Gallagher, PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines, Lana Del Ray, Laura Marling and Kasabian all received nominations at the two award ceremonies this year. And while it’s reassuring that One Direction, Olly Murs, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars were ‘overlooked’ by the NME, it is a little disappointing that the petulant child of the annual award ceremony season is seemingly growing up and taking responsibility for its actions.

However, this is not to say that this year’s ceremony did not have its highlights (and occasional fist in the mouth moments). Presented by Jack Whitehall (who we have warmed to since his star turn in last year’s Fresh Meat), the ceremony got off to a shaky start as Kasabian - channelling the spirit of nineties rock/rap outfit, Senser – opened the show with a bit of workaday lad rock.  This, and the band’s ostentatious reaction to winning the Best British Group award and subsequent karaoke tribute to the late Davy Jones left us wondering if we are actually all being taken in as part of an elaborate Spinal Tap style wind-up that will reveal Kasabian to be a social experiment designed to measure how gullible the British public actually are. On the plus side, live performances by The Horrors - with Florence Welch (The Florrors?) -  and Pulp stole the show, with Jarvis still looking as sprightly as he did during his Brit-pop heyday. 

The ceremony closed by awarding the God-Like Genius award to this year’s recipient, Noel Gallagher. The very mention of Noel (and Jarvis) - two behemoths of the Britpop age - also served to remind us, that despite the mid-90s period in British music ultimately turning out to be merely a few great records, it did churn out a number of pop stars who all had plenty to say, and were not afraid to say it.  Let’s be honest, as great as recent records by The Horrors and The Maccabees are, you’re not gonna set the video any time soon to see them being 'grilled' by Jonathan Ross are you?  You may argue it’s all about the music, but Christ on a bike, pop stars are fucking dull these days aren’t they?  Not an interesting, opinionated, controversial statement between them.  You can say what you like about Liam n Noel’s musical output in recent years, but when either of them open their mouths to speak, you just know that what comes out is still gonna make for good copy.  There’s no wonder the Chief’s been on the front cover of NME more than any other musician in the history of the world ever.  He certainly belongs there more than Tom “there’s always been a strong Monkees element to our sound” Meighan and his dreary ilk.

Unlike Blur’s faintly embarrassing turn at the Brits, Gallagher marked his arrival as a Godlike Genius by giving the crowd exactly what they came for: a few choice thank yous to those that matter, and a wonderful, uplifting version of one of the reasons we all fell in love in the first place. As “Don’t Look Back In Anger” brought proceedings to a euphoric close, and indie royalty from Joe Mount to Jarvis linked arms and belted the words upwards as one, the thought occurred that, for once, the term Godlike Genius may not have been too far wide of the mark.  Just thank God he didn’t play “Magic Pie”.

The Gallones Brothers

1 comment:

  1. My girlfriend is from Leicester. She said she once saw Tom Meighan singing Kasabian songs whilst walking around the supermarket. Not sure if he was wearing a cravat or not mind...