Arctic Monkeys shrug off record-breaking NME triumph: 'Who else was going to win?'

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The Independent Culture

Only a few months ago, they were complete unknowns. Then they topped the charts, released the fastest-selling album of all time and have now triumphed at the Shockwaves NME Awards.

The phenomenon that is the Arctic Monkeys made NME history last night by being the first band in the 15 years of the magazine's awards to be named both Best New Band and Best British Band in the same year.

And the youngsters from Sheffield - some of whom are still in their teens - beat Franz Ferdinand, the Kaiser Chiefs, Babyshambles and Oasis to take the Best Track honour with their barnstorming number "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor".

When the band took the podium to accept their final award of the night, their frontman, Alex Turner, said: "We did the triple. In all honesty we're expected to display some gratitude and we are grateful because it is voted for by the people. We're very happy about that.

"But who else was going to be Best British Band? You can't write about something that much and not be Best British Band. We won't win any more, honest.''

Conor McNicholas, NME editor, said: "British music is healthier now than it has been for very many years. Kaiser Chiefs came from nothing to huge success in the space of less than 12 months, but the Arctic Monkeys have done it in six. Things are getting faster and faster.

''For a band with two singles and an album to walk away with Best British Band is a testament to just what an amazing impact they have made and how much the fans love them.''

The Monkeys' success was at the expense of the Kaiser Chiefs, who secured only the Best Album prize for Employment, despite six nominations. They won three prizes at the recent Brits, but looked glum last night.

Other victors at last night's ceremony at the Hammersmith Palais, London, were Oasis, who won Best Video for "The Importance of Being Idle", and Franz Ferdinand, named Best Live Band.

In a maverick moment, the presenter, Peter Hook of New Order, decided that Best Live Band should go to Kaiser Chiefs because Franz Ferdinand were absent in Australia. They in turn passed it to Ryan Jarman of The Cribs, who threw himself across the table to receive it in one of the rare rock'n'roll moments of the night.

The Godlike Genius award was presented to the former Stone Roses frontman, Ian Brown, who was one of the live performers at last night's ceremony. "As a driving force behind the original Manchester Movement, it is a deserving choice for a true British hero,'' Mr McNicholas said. Brown told the audience it was an honour. "I'd like to thank anyone who has ever supported me. It's you who's kept me in it.''

However, the Arctic Monkeys, who play in Paris today on their European tour, left it to the Sugababes, who performed a cover version of their hit, " I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor", because their equipment was not available.

Other bands who did perform last night included Dirty Pretty Things, the new band of the ex-Libertine Carl Barat, former bandmate Pete Doherty, Plan B and Razorlight.

Long Blondes were tipped for success with the Philip Hall Radar award, presented by last year's winners the Kaiser Chiefs. Gorillaz secured the Award for Innovation named after the late John Peel, which was accepted for them by Shaun Ryder.

Bob Geldof, named Hero of the Year, used the occasion to highlight the achievements of Live 8, and expressed surprise that his event had not been named Best Live Event.

Kanye West was named Best Solo Artist, The Strokes were Best International Band and Live8 won Best Music DVD.

The winners

BEST NEW BAND

Arctic Monkeys

BEST BRITISH BAND

Arctic Monkeys

BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND

The Strokes

BEST LIVE BAND

Franz Ferdinand

PEEL INNOVATION AWARD

Gorillaz

BEST SOLO ARTIST

Kanye West

GODLIKE GENIUS AWARD

Ian Brown

PHILIP HALL RADAR AWARD

Long Blondes

BEST ALBUM

Kaiser Chiefs

BEST MUSIC DVD

Live8

BEST TRACK

'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor' Arctic Monkeys

BEST VIDEO

'Importance of Being Idle' Oasis

BEST VENUE

Brixton Academy, London

BEST-DRESSED PERFORMER

Ricky Wilson

WORST-DRESSED PERFORMER

Justin Hawkins

WORST ALBUM

Back to Bedlam James Blunt

WORST BAND

Son of Dork

SEXIEST MAN

Pete Doherty

SEXIEST WOMAN

Madonna

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