Never mind the also-rans: Buzzcocks win at Mojos

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It is 30 years ago next month that the Buzzcocks made their debut, supporting the Sex Pistols at a gig in Manchester, and last night they were honoured at the Mojo awards for surviving, thriving, and influencing acts from Nirvana to Green Day and Ash.

The Manchester punk band, famed for songs such as "Ever Fallen in Love", topped a shortlist which included the late Johnny Cash, Paul Weller and the Fall, to take the Inspiration award in a ceremony at Shoreditch Town Hall, east London.

Pete Shelley, the band's lead singer, said he was shocked to receive the award, 30 years after creating the band.

"You always have to fight back the idea that 'it's about time' as being a response, because for the people that voted for us the time is right now. There was nothing false about what we were doing back then, what motivates us even now is still to keep it fresh and new.''Phil Alexander, Mojo's editor-in-chief, said: "They are one of those bands that over a period of time have been consistently overlooked.

"Thirty years after their first EP Spiral Scratch they are still doing what they do with gusto and enthusiasm. This is well-deserved."

Other winners at the Mojo awards included rock and pop grandeesSir Elton John, David Gilmour, Scott Walker and Chrissie Hynde.

Corinne Bailey Rae, the former choir girl from Leeds, fought off competition from Jack White's celebrity band the Raconteurs and world music veterans Amadou and Mariam to take the award for best new act.

Many of the winners have been profiled on BBC2's Later With Jools Holland, and Holland was honoured with the Mojo Medal for both his music and his importance as a broadcaster.

Singer Rosanne Cash collected the catalogue release of the year award on behalf of her late father, Johnny Cash, for his album Legend. David Gilmour took the lifetime achievement award for proving that "away from the confines of Pink Floyd, he can do stuff on his own terms".

And Sir Elton was inaugurated into the Mojo Hall of Fame, amid growing word-of-mouth approval for his new album, due out in September. Collecting his award, Sir Elton paid homage to the sound of the Buzzcocks: "I have done a version of the Buzzcock's 'Ever Fallen In Love' ­ you would not expect me to sing like the Buzzcocks ­I had a ball,'' he said.

A documentary about the Flaming Lips took the Vision award, while the Jesus and Mary Chain were honoured with the Mavericks award. Prince Buster, the Jamaican ska singer and producer, was named Mojo Hero, and Queen guitarist Brian May took the Les Paul award for guitarists. Other winners included Chrissie Hynde (songwriter) and Scott Walker, who was this year's Mojo Icon.

The winners

* Best New Act: Corinne Bailey Rae

* Classic Album: Tago Mago by Can

* Roots Award: Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham

Inspiration Award: Buzzcocks

Les Paul Award: Brian May

Catalogue Release of the Year: Johnny Cash - Legend

Vision Award: The Flaming Lips - The Fearless Freaks

Merit: Bert Jansch

Maverick: The Jesus And Mary Chain

Hero: Prince Buster

The Mojo Medal: Jools Holland

Songwriter Award: Chrissie Hynde

Icon: Scott Walker

The Mojo Hall of Fame: Elton John

Lifetime Achievement Award: David Gilmour