A week after the Brit Awards confirmed Lady Gaga as the best new pop star of the year, Wednesday night’s NME Awards bestowed her merely with Best Dressed and, presumably for the sake of sheer willfulness, Worst Dressed as well.
But then the NME Awards, voted by its readers, have always been about rock’n’roll, and 2010 was no different.
On a soaking wet London evening at the Brixton Acadamy, Jarvis Cocker, the former Pulp frontman — who, at 46, is old enough to have fathered many of the winners — made for a wonderfully deadpan host, leading the crowd into a version of the U.K. TV gameshow Catchphrase before Lily Allen and Slash came on to bestow Muse with the first award of the night, Best British Band.
It was, predictably, a determinedly anglophile evening.
Londoner Jamie T, a kind of male Lily Allen, triumphed over Julian Casablancas for Best Solo Artist. And Best Live Band went not to Them Crooked Vultures but to Arctic Monkeys.
Biggest surprise of the night? Best International Band went not to U.K. favorites Kings Of Leon, or arguably rightful victors Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but to Paramore, whose precocious youth clearly mirrors the magazine’s largely teenage readership. When their name was read, the sound of 4000 boos hit the rafters.
And that was perhaps the only thing that passed for controversy. Kasabian, thenormally louche new Oasis, were politeness incarnate when collecting their Best Album award for West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. Even the reliably politicized Specials, here to accept Outstanding Contribution to Music, managed only a humdrum “cheers” and a “thank you.” To make up for it, though, they then performed a medley of greatest hits, a clear highlight of the night.
Any behavior that could be deemed rock’n’roll came from the older generation. The Clash’s Mick Jones seemed a little unwound when presenting Paul Weller with his Godlike Genius award, riffing on his lost youth to a bemused crowd, while the Pogues’ Shane MacGowan, who popped up to announce details of his imminent charity single for Haiti, “I Put a Spell On You” (also featuring Nick Cave, Chrissie Hynde, Johnny Depp), was comprehensively three sheets to the wind, as always.
And then there was Courtney Love. While co-presenting Kasabian with their prize alongside Brit comic Noel Fielding, she took the opportunity to recommend her accountant to Fielding, then during singer Tom Meighan’s thank you speech, produced a sausage from somewhere, and held it aloft.
“That’s a big sausage,” she said.
She’s right. It was.
Best British band: Muse
Best festival: Glastonbury
Best new band: Bombay Bicycle Club
Outstanding contribution to music: The Specials
Best dancefloor filler: La Roux – In For The Kill (Skream remix)
Giving it back award: Lily Allen for her Twitter ticket treasure hunt
Best live band: Arctic Monkeys
Philip Hall radar award: The Drums
Best live event: Blur at Hyde Park
Best TV show: The Inbetweeners
Best international band: Paramore
Best track: The Big Pink – Dominos
Best solo artist: Jamie T
Best DVD: The Mighty Boosh Live – Future Sailors Tour
Best video: Biffy Clyro – The Captain
Best album: Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Godlike genius: Paul Weller
Best film: Inglourious Basterds
Heroes of the year: Rage Against The Machine
Villain of the year: Kanye West
Best dressed: Lady Gaga
Worst dressed: Lady Gaga
Worst album: The Jonas Brothers
Worst band: Jonas Brothers
Best website: Muse.mu
Best album artwork: Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Best band blog: Radiohead (radiohead.com/deadairspace)