Wasted celebrities doing the running man on tables whilst Foo Fighter play their whole new album for the first time… not your standard awards ceromony, but this is the NME awards 2011, and anything goes.

Brixton Academy

So on Wednesday I popped down to the O2 Academy in Brixton (London) for the ceremony, which is affectionately known as the “Brat Awards”, to find every indie rock and roller from around the world gathered under one roof in the name of music and, of course, free booze.

The NME Awards feels like a yearly rock and roll family reunion and over the years we’ve seen Jarvis Cocker become the head of the family, or the “NME Godfather” if you like. Before handing over the John Peel award for Innovation to the mighty duo Crystal Castles, he disciplined the raucous crowd using his Godfather status, pointing his cane and saying “Now listen up you lot, it’s always the same old faces, the same people every year causing trouble’ – genius.

Angelos... dressed to impress!

The host for the evening was the ever so funny Angelos Epithemiou from the British TV show – Shooting Stars and the night’s live performances came from NME Best New Band Hurts, PJ Harvey, Crystal Castles and Foo Fighters.

After picking up the NME Godlike award, Dave Grohl announced that “we were asked to play you 4 or 5 songs… but we thought nah, we’re gonna play for 2 fucking hours instead!”. NME magazine editor Krissi Murison called Grohl “one of the most important rock stars alive today” and Foo Fighters went on to play every track from their new album Wasting Light, followed by the classics of Everlong, Hero, extended version of Stacked Actors etc.

Foo Fighters, “Rope”
Rope by Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl rocking out on the tables

Foo Fighters played their whole new album

So how does the new Foo Fighters album sound? Heavy, grunge-tastic and everything I wanted to hear as a big Foo’s fan – my neck still hurts today from rocking out to it. With a release date of April 11th, the album didn’t contain any slow ballads, but each acoustic start was soon trumped by the enourmous sound of Chris Shiflett’s raging guitar.. that thing needs a leash!

Grohl commanded the stage and got almost every high profile rocker standing on their chairs for an extra 2 hours – a mean feat which I don’t think many bands around right now can do.  The Who‘s front man Roger Daltry sang along side the band after presenting the award with an improvised version of Young Man Blues… felt like a moment in rock and roll history. Later in the set Grohl started rocking out on top of an unsuspecting table (video) and the usual crowd banter was present throughout – a 10/10 performance if ever I saw one.

The highlights of the Awards for me: Crystal Castles’ amazing performance ,which saw Alice scream out “Baptism of Fire” then collapse to the floor , Foo Fighters sheer presence and NME Best British Band Muse doing a very drunk interview (video) for NME.


Each table full of free booze to ensure an eventful night!

Ultimately, the running man moved failed spectacularly, with a defining face plant bringing the timeless dance to an abrupt end, but the night lived on with a great atmosphere and worthy winners. A big thank you to all the NME staff who were incredibly friendly on the night and also to Ricki & Harry for being general legends.

Click More for the Full NME Award 2011 winners:

All pictures courtsesy of NME.com

The NME Awards 2011 In Full:

Best British Band (supported by Shockwaves)

Best International Band (supported by T4)
My Chemical Romance

Best Solo Artist
Laura Marling

Best Live Band (supported by Carling)
Biffy Clyro

Best New Band (supported by Boxfresh)

Best Album
Arcade Fire ‘The Suburbs’

Best Track (supported by NME Radio)
Foals ‘Spanish Sahara’

Best Video (supported by NME TV)
My Chemical Romance ‘Na Na Na’ (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

Best Festival

Best Dancefloor Filler
Professor Green ‘Jungle’

Best TV Show

Categories awarded by NME
Philip Hall Radar Award – The Naked & Famous
Teenage Cancer Trust Outstanding Contribution To Music – PJ Harvey
John Peel Award For Innovation – Crystal Castles
Godlike Genius – Dave Grohl

Other Categories

Best Film – Inception
Hero – Lady Gaga
Villain – David Cameron
Most Stylish – Brandon Flowers (supported by Shockwaves)
Least Stylish – Justin Bieber
Worst Album – Justin Bieber ‘My World 2.0’
Worst Band – Jonas Brothers
Hottest Man – Matt Bellamy
Hottest Woman – Alison Mosshart (The Kills)
Best Album Artwork – Klaxons ‘Surfing The Void’
Best Blog – Hayley Williams (Paramore)
Best Book – John Lydon Mr Rotten’s Scrapbook
Best Small Festival – RockNess

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