Blur, Oasis steal the show at NME Awards
The Cure given the 'godlike genius' prizeBlur, Oasis steal the show at NME Awards
LONDON -- Nearly 15 years after they first locked horns, British rock rivals Oasis and Blur once again stole the show at the 2009 Shockwaves NME Awards, held Wednesday at London's O2 Academy Brixton in the U.K.
Oasis was crowned best British band although the decision was met with loud jeering and booing from the ticket-holding section of the audience. The band did not attend the ceremony with Noel Gallagher accepting the award from British comedian Russell Brand in a pre-recorded video.
Earlier in the evening, Blur's Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon performed onstage together for the first time in nine years.
Watched on by band mates Alex James and Dave Rowntree, the duo played a stripped-down acoustic version of "This Is A Low" from their 1994 album "Parklife" to rapturous applause. The original Blur line-up has reformed for shows this summer.
Following on from their recent success at the BRIT Awards, where they won best British group, 2008 Mercury Music Prize winners Elbow further added to their bulging trophy shelf by scooping a surprise outstanding contribution to British music award.
Described by NME Editor Conor McNicholas as "a special award to a special band," the Manchester-based group -- who opened the ceremony with a performance of their 2008 single "Grounds for Divorce" (Fiction/Polydor) -- were characteristically gracious in accepting the prize with singer Guy Garvey proclaiming that "it's never been a better time for music."
U.S. winners included the Killers for best international band and Kings of Leon who took home the best album award for "Only by the Night" (Hand Me Down/RCA). Brooklyn duo MGMT scored a double with best track for "Time to Pretend" (Columbia) and best new band.
Taking place at London's O2 Academy Brixton for the first time in over a decade, the ceremony was notably short on scandal although a leather-clad Grace Jones did prove to be a typically entertaining guest host by twice announcing the nominees for best live band. Devon prog-rock act Muse took home the award with singer Matt Bellamy thanking the organizers for giving him "the chance to kiss Grace Jones."
Live performances throughout the evening included Franz Ferdinand, White Lies, Friendly Fires and Glasvegas who teamed up with BRIT Awards' Critics Choice winner Florence and the Machine to perform a rousing cover of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds."
The biggest cheer of the night was, however, was reserved for the Cure, recipients of the godlike genius award.
Film director Tim Burton made a special guest appearance to present Robert Smith with the award. Referring back to his famously unhappy time working as an animator for Disney, Burton described the Cure's music as "the only thing that saved me."
A humbled Smith described the award as "an honor" stating that he was "very flattered, very surprised and very pleased to get it."
The Cure closed the evening with an ecstatically received set containing past hits "Lullaby," "Friday I'm In Love," "In Between Days," "Boys Don't Cry" and "Killing An Arab."
The Shockwave NME Awards were all voted for by readers of NME and NME.com, with the exception of the Philip Hall Radar Award and Godlike Genius Award, which were announced prior to the event.
2009 Shockwaves NME Award winners:
Best British Band
Kings of Leon, "Only by the Night" (Hand Me Down/RCA)
Best International Band
Outstanding Contribution to British Music
Godlike Genius Award
Best New Band
Best Live Band
Best Solo Artist
Best Live Event
The Last Shadow Puppets, "My Mistakes Were Made for You" (Domino Records)
MGMT, "Time to Pretend" (Columbia)
Best Dancefloor Filler
Dizzee Rascal featuring Calvin Harris and Chrome, "Dance Wiv Me" (Dirtee Stank)
Arctic Monkeys,"At the Apollo" (Warp Films/Domino Records)
Best TV Show
The Mighty Boosh (BBC)
Philip Hall Radar Award
The Big Pink