They were snubbed by the Brits, but Kasabian remain the biggest beast in the rock jungle after sweeping the top prizes at the NME Awards.
The Leicester group won Best British Band and Best Album at the music magazine’s ceremony, categories from which they were pointedly excluded at the rival Brit awards, held next week.
Kasabian, who claimed there was a “conspiracy” against rock bands at the industry’s official awards, remain the favourites with readers of the indie rock bible after a year in which they headlined Glastonbury and topped the albums chart.
The NME awards, voted for by the struggling print magazine’s wider online readership, an estimated audience of nearly four million, showcased a divide between the clean-cut stars expected to win big at the Brits, like Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith and noisier, guitar-toting bands, which are often pushed to the margins. Kasabian took three NME prizes, including best quote, an accolade Sheeran has yet to win.
Jamie T, the conversational Wimbledon singer-songwriter, inspired by The Clash, also won three prizes after returning from a five-year absence with his album Carry On The Grudge.
Royal Blood, the Brighton bass-and-drums duo, who performed at the ceremony, held at the O2 Brixton, were voted Best New Band and Best Live Band.
The garage rock band were said to have heralded a return to guitar-based music on Radio 1 after their album became the fastest-selling rock debut for three years. Royal Blood presented Jimmy Page, the Led Zeppelin guitarist and a fan of the duo, with a special Rock‘n’Roll Soul Award.
The rockers joined another unlikely winner, Nigel Farage, who appears to have lost the hipster vote. The Ukip leader was voted Villain of the Year by NME readers.
The annual litmus test of which public figure has most irritated the music magazine’s “cool” readership has found a new hate figure. Farage seized the crown from Harry Styles, the One Direction star, who took the “honour” for the past two years.
Uniquely, Farage is now more unpopular than David Cameron, Russell Brand and Bono, who also trailed the Ukip leader in the vote. David Cameron won the Villain of the Year award in 2011.
The NME reader’s Hero of the Year for 2015 was Alex Turner, the Arctic Monkeys frontman.
Jake Bugg fought off tough competition from Jack White, Jamie T and St Vincent to be crowned Best Solo Artist whilst Foo Fighters were named Best International Band.
The awards climaxed with the Goldlike Genius award, presented to 90s survivors Suede. Fans hoping original guitarist Bernard Butler would join his former colleagues were disappointed when Bernard Sumner, the New Order frontman, presented the award. Ricky Gervais, who briefly managed Suede before launching a comedy career, delivered a video tribute to the band. Brett Anderson then led the band through a greatest hits set.
Mike Williams, editor of NME, said: “It’s been an astounding year of comebacks and triumphs for Kasabian and Jamie T and their awards tonight prove it. The fans have spoken and along with newcomers Royal Blood they have been undoubtedly anointed as the biggest acts in the country right now. Most excitingly, none of the trio look set on slowing down any time soon.”
The NME this week dismissed as “speculation” reports that the publication will shortly drop its cover price and go free. Circulation has fallen to a record low of fewer than 14,000 readers although the magazine boasts a healthy online audience.
NME Awards 2015: The winners
Godlike Genius Award
Rock‘n’Roll Soul Award
Best British Band
Best International Band
Outstanding Contribution to Music
Teenage Cancer Trust
Best Solo Artist
Best New Band
Best Live Band
Jamie T – ‘Zombie’
Jamie T – ‘Zombie’
Philip Hall Radar Award
Best TV Show
Game Of Thrones
Best Music Film
Pulp: A Film About Life, Death And Supermarkets
Reissue Of The Year
Manic Street Preachers – ‘The Holy Bible’
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – ‘Fancy’
5 Seconds Of Summer
Villain Of The Year
Hero Of The Year
Music Moment Of The Year
Jamie T’s comeback
Best Fan Community
Small Festival Of The Year
Liverpool Psych Fest
Book Of The Year
Viv Albertine – Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.
Best Band Social Media
Liam Gallagher’s Twitter
Happyness - "I'm wearing Win Butler's hair/There's a scalpless singer in a Montreal rock band somewhere."
Kasabian - "Five records, ten years. We've earned our shot." - Serge Pizzorno, (talking about Glasto headline slot)Reuse content