Rolling Stones return to win NME awards after nearly 50 years

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Almost 50 years after the Rolling Stones first provoked hysteria at the NME awards, the rock veterans have been embraced by a new generation after winning two prizes at this year’s ceremony.

The Stones repeated their success of 1964, when their performance could “hardly be heard above the shouts” at the Empire Pool, Wembley and they left the NME Poll-Winners’ All-Star concert with a pair of prizes.

This time readers of the trend-setting music magazine voted the Stones Best Live Band for their two 50th anniversary shows at the O2 Arena last year. It’s unclear how many NME readers paid £400 for tickets to attend the sold-out concerts.

Sir Mick Jagger’s group also won Best Music Film for Crossfire Hurricane, the feature-length documentary about the group’s exploits.

Ronnie Wood, 65, the Stones’ guitarist, picked up the awards at the ceremony held at the Troxy in East London, saying, "Mick, Keith and Charlie are backstage, but they're a bit scared to come out."

Wood delighted the audience by joining Johnny Marr, the former Smiths guitarist who was given the Godlike Genius award, for an impromptu performance to close the show. Justin Young of The Vaccines also joined the pan-generational “supergroup”.

The NME, whose print circulation has slumped during a dearth period for popular “indie” guitar bands, this week put David Bowie, 66, on its cover.

The magazine, which claims an online readership of more than one million, is pinning its hopes on London quartet Palma Violets, who won Best New Band, sparking a rock revival.

Florence Welch retained her Best Solo Artist title and took the Dancefloor Anthem award for her pop chart-topping single with Calvin Harris, "Sweet Nothing".       

Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro, now elevated to festival headline status, were voted Best British Band. Brighton band The Maccabees beat Jake Bugg and Alt-J to take the Best Album award for their third collection, Given To The Wild.

NME readers thumbed their noses at the latest pop sensations by voting One Direction Worst Band and their frontman Harry Styles Villain of the Year, edging out David Cameron for the “honour”.

The Cribs, the Wakefield trio of siblings regarded as guardians of the “independent” music ethos, received an Outstanding Contribution award. Oxford band Foals won Best Track for their single, "Inhaler". Bass player and singer Gary Jarman said, "the NMEs are not the Brits, the NMEs like to celebrate the outsiders and the weirdos."

The awards, presented by comedian Russell Kane, have traditionally been relied upon to provide the rock'n'roll antics lacking at an increasingly conservative Brit Awards.

But with one of the highlights provided by a duet between Paul Weller, 54, and Miles Kane, the magazine is finding that veteran names are a more reliable source of entertainment and sales.

Marr, 49, given the Godlike Genius prize, previously awarded to The Clash and Dave Grohl, won three NME awards, including Best Instrumentalist, in 1984.

The guitarist, who has just released his first solo album, was honoured for his collaborations with artists including Talking Heads and Modest Mouse, as well as his song-writing partnership with Morrissey in The Smiths.

The Philip Hall Radar award, given to a hotly-tipped new artist, went to Child of Lov, a 25 year-old soul revivalist from the Netherlands who has sought to keep his identity secret but has attracted Damon Albarn to appear on his forthcoming debut album.

Click here for the winners list in full

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