The Independent London Newspaper


GROOVES: Time for awards shows – it’s public NME!

The Vryll Society

The Vryll Society will play at Scala, as part of the NME Awards shows

Published: 29 January, 2016

OVER the years the NME Awards have generated enough headlines to keep the music magazine in print for months to come. This year, the self-perpetuating rock ’n’ roll frenzy is not short of material.

From Coldplay being anointed this year’s Godlike Geniuses to the mere presence of The Libertines, the potential for fireworks when that number of egos, alcohol and whatever other trimmings are smuggled into the mix, is inevitable – plenty of material to rage about on Facebook the next day. 

As ever, Camden and Islington have had a significant part to play – The Libertines, nominated for six awards, and Suede, who play The Forum for the awards shows, have a history and formation inextricably linked to Camden, while Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin has been a resident for some time. The bands found their footing in the small venues in both boroughs, which will house many of the forthcoming Awards shows (The Forum, The Black Heart, The Lexington, The Garage and more), all of which play an important role in giving up-and-coming musicians a platform from which to be heard.

Amy, the Amy Winehouse documentary, is nominated for Best Music Film while Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is pitted against Kanye West in an unlikely contest for Hero of the Year. Incidentally, Kanye also appears in the Villain of the Year category against David Cameron and Donald Trump, obvs.

Oh how the tide has turned in this fickle world where anti-heroes Sleaford Mods, who have previously been touted as the most relevant band of this generation will battle Little Mix and Nickelback for Worst Band.

For those who can’t make the awards ceremony at Brixton Academy on February 16, there are a string of worthwhile gigs featuring established artists and rising stars including Suede, Blossoms, Spring King, Public Access TV and The Strypes throughout February. As well as this, and marking the 21st anniversary of the NME Awards Tour, Bloc Party, Drenge, Rat Boy and Bugzy Malone play at various venues around the country, stopping off at Brixton Academy on February 11. The varied line-up is worth venturing south to see. 

We haven’t seen Bloc Party in some time – they first featured in the tour 16 years ago – and their headline return brings a new line-up as they showcase songs from forthcoming album Hymns. Drenge, who have appeared on these pages previously as Record of the Week, Rat Boy, often compared to Jamie T, and Bugzy Malone, who has been selling out shows all over the place, complete the line-up. 

Coldplay’s Godlike Genius nomination will add them to the ranks of previous winners Suede (last year), The Clash, Paul Weller, The Cure, Noel Gallagher, Manic Street Preachers, New Order & Joy Division, Dave Grohl, Johnny Marr, U2, Ian Brown and Blondie. They will close the awards with a set of career-spanning hits.  

Line-up of events 

February 1: The Strypes, The Amazons, Otherkind at The Garage; Alex G, Stevie Parker at The Lexington. February 2: VANT, Yonaka at The Lexington. February 4: BOOTS at XOYO. February 5: together PANGEA, Flesh, Mozes and the Firstborn at Moth Club. February 7: Kid Wave at Oslo. February 10: CROWS at The Black Heart. February 11: Pretty Vicious at Dingwalls; Bloc Party, Drenge, Rat Boy and Bugzy Malone at Brixton Academy (NME Awards Tour). February 12: Suede at The Forum. February 15: The Magic Gang at 100 Club; Declan McKenna at Barfly. February 16: Spring King at 100 Club; Mystery Jets, EKKAH at Electric Brixton. February 17: NME Awards 2016 with Austin, Texas at Brixton Academy. February 18: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard at Electric Ballroom. February 23: Crystal Castles at Electrowerkz. February 24: Crystal Castles at Electrowerkz; Swim Deep at The Dome. February 25: Public Access T.V. at Birthdays; Blossoms, inHeaven, The Vryll Society February at Scala.


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