NME Awards – 2004-2006

I’ve split the more recent years of the NME Awards out into multiple posts, as there’s a lot more to say about them. So here’s 2004-2006:

NME Awards 2004

Hosted on 12 Feb 2004, by Vernon Kay.

  • Best Video: Radiohead, for There There. Also nominated: Radiohead, for There ThereThe Darkness, for I Believe in a Thing Called LoveThe White Stripes, for The Hardest Button To ButtonMuse, for Time is Running Out
  • Best Album: Radiohead, for Hail to the Thief. Also nominated: The White Stripes, for ElephantMuse, for AbsolutionThe DarknessThe Strokes
  • Best New Band: Kings of Leon
  • Best International Band: Kings of Leon. Also nominated: The White Stripes
  • Living Legend: Arthur Lee
  • Best Live Band: Queens of the Stone Age. Nominated: RadioheadMuse
  • Best UK Band: The Libertines. Nominated: RadioheadQueens of the Stone AgeMuse
  • Best Single: The White Stripes, for Seven Nation Army. Also nominated: Radiohead, for There ThereThe Darkness, for I Believe in a Thing Called Love
  • Best Solo Artist: Ryan Adams
  • Worst Single: Fast Food Rockers, for Fast Food Song
  • Most Missed: Johnny Cash
  • Best Website: NME.com
  • Hero of the Year: Pete Doherty
  • Villainof the Year: George H. W. Bush
  • Fight of the Year : Jack White vs Jason von Bondie
  • Waster of the Year: Pete Doherty
  • Sexiest Man: Har Mar Superstar
  • Sexiest Woman: Brody Dalle
  • Best Haircut: Caleb Followill
  • Best Live Venue: Brixton Academy
  • Best Album Artwork: Radiohead, for Hail to the Thief
  • Best TV Show: The Office
  • Best Film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • The Fuck Me! Award For Innovation: Dizzee Rascal

Shockwaves NME Awards 2005

Host: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

  • Best Radio Show: Zane Lowe. Also nominated: Steve LamacqChris MoylesColin Murray and Edith BowmanChristian O’Connell
  • Best Solo Artist: Graham Coxon. Also nominated: Ian BrownEminemMorrisseyThe Streets
  • Best Live Band: Muse. Also nominated: BabyshamblesFranz FerdinandThe LibertinesRazorlight
  • Best Track: Franz Ferdinand, for Take Me Out. Also nominated: The Libertines, for Can’t Stand Me NowRazorlight, for Golden TouchThe Streets, for Dry Your EyesU2, for Vertigo
  • Best Music DVD: Oasis, for Definitely Maybe. Also nominated: Nirvana, for With the Lights OutPixies, for PixiesScissor Sisters, for We are Scissor Sisters and So Are YouThe White Stripes, for Live Under Blackpool Lights
  • Philip Hall Radar Award: Kaiser Chiefs
  • Best TV Show: Little Britain
  • Best International Band: The Killers. Also nominated: Kings of LeonScissor SistersThe StrokesU2
  • Best New Band: Razorlight. Also nominated: BabyshamblesBloc PartyKasabianThe Killers
  • Best Video: Green Day, for American Idiot. Also nominated: Beastie Boys, for Triple TroubleEminem, for MoshFranz Ferdinand, for Take Me OutThe Streets, for Fit But You Know It
  • Special Award for Lifelong Service to Music: John Peel
  • John Peel Award for Musical Innovation: The Others
  • Best Film: Shaun of the Dead
  • Best Album: Franz Ferdinand, for Franz Ferdinand. Also nominated: Green Day, for American IdiotThe Libertines, for The LibertinesScissor Sisters, for Scissor SistersThe Streets, for A Grand Don’t Come for Free
  • Best Live Event: Glastonbury
  • Best British Band: The Libertines. Also nominated: KasabianFranz FerdinandMuseSnow Patrol
  • Godlike Genius Award: New Order & Joy Division
  • Best Dressed: Brandon Flowers, of The Killers
  • Worst Dressed: Jonathan Ross
  • Best Live Venue: London Carling Brixton Academy
  • Best Website: NME.com
  • Hero of the Year: John Peel
  • Sexiest Man: Brandon Flowers
  • Sexiest Woman: Barbara Knox
  • Worst Album: Insane Clown Posse, for Carnival of Carnage
  • Worst Band: Insane Clown Posse

Shockwaves NME Awards 2006

Host: Russell Brand

  • Best New Band: Arctic Monkeys. Also nominated: Editors, Magic NumbersMaximo ParkWe Are Scientists
  • Best Video: Oasis, for The Importance of Being Idle. Also nominated: Franz Ferdinand, for Do You Want ToGorillaz, for DareKaiser Chiefs, for I Predict a RiotThe Strokes, for Juicebox
  • Best International Band: The Strokes. Also nominated: Arcade FireGreen DayThe KillersFoo Fighters
  • Best TV Show: Gonzo. Also nominated: Little BritainLostThe Mighty BooshPeep Show
  • Best Solo Artist: Kanye West. Also nominated: Antony and the JohnsonsRichard AshcroftIan BrownGraham Coxon
  • Philip Hall Radar Award: The Long Blondes
  • Best Radio Show: Zane Lowe. Also nominated:, Steve LamacqChris MoylesLauren LaverneColin Murray and Edith Bowman
  • Best Event: Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds Festivals. Also nominated: Glastonbury, Live8, T in the Park, V Festival
  • Best Live Band: Franz Ferdinand. Also nominated: Arctic MonkeysGreen DayKaiser ChiefsOasis
  • Best Music DVD: Live 8. Also nominated: Dig!Green Day, for Bullet in a BibleKaiser Chiefs, for EnjoymentMorrissey, for Who Put the M in Manchester
  • Best Film: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Also nominated: Batman BeginsCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryKing KongSin City
  • John Peel Music Innovation Award: Gorillaz
  • Best Track: Arctic Monkeys, for I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. Also nominated: Babyshambles, for Fuck ForeverFranz Ferdinand, for Do You Want ToKaiser Chiefs, for I Predict a RiotOasis, for The Importance of Being Idle
  • Best Album: Kaiser Chiefs, for Employment. Also nominated: Babyshambles, for Down in AlbionBloc Party, for Silent AlarmFranz Ferdinand, for You Could Have it So Much BetterOasis, for Don’t Believe the Truth
  • Best British Band: Arctic Monkeys. Also nominated: Bloc PartyKaiser ChiefsFranz FerdinandOasis
  • Godlike Genius Award: Ian Brown
  • Best Website: NME.com. Also nominated: Kaiser Chiefs, MySpace.com, OasisWe Are Scientists
  • Best Venue: London Brixton Carling Academy. Also nominated: Glasgow Barrowlands, London Astoria, London KOKO, Manchester Apollo
  • Hero of the Year: Bob Geldof. Also nominated: Carl BarâtPete DohertyLiam GallagherAlex Turner
  • Villain of the Year: George W. Bush. Also nominated: Tony BlairJames BluntPete DohertyJustin Hawkins
  • Best Dressed: Ricky Wilson. Also nominated: Pete DohertyBrandon FlowersLiam GallagherAlex Kapranos
  • Worst Dressed: Justin Hawkins. Also nominated: Pete DohertyChris MartinJack WhiteRobbie Williams
  • Worst Album: James Blunt, for Back to Bedlam. Also nominated: Babyshambles, for Down in AlbionThe Bravery, for The BraveryThe Darkness, for One Way Ticket to Hell… And BackMcFly, for Wonderland
  • Worst Band: Son of Dork. Also nominated: BabyshamblesColdplayThe DarknessMcFly
  • Sexiest Man: Pete Doherty
  • Sexiest Woman: Madonna

See also

Edited 12 June 2018 – added some winners

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Stowaway Heroes – John Peel

This week’s stowaway hero really is somebody who needs no introduction. John Peel remains a household name, not just in the UK, although people further afield may not quite be sure why he’s so special. A highly influential BBC Radio 1 DJ for five decades, I’ve always thought it was fair to say that he was single-handedly the inspiration for the radio station BBC 6 Music as well.

His blissful semi-professionalism was a wonderful part of his show, as he regularly played records at the wrong speed, and often made them sound much better in the process. It’s tempting to wonder if that might be why he championed the Cuban Boys (see here if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

An early champion of Joy Division, they appeared twice on his show and were played many more times. Here he is with the sad announcement of Ian Curtis‘s death in May 1980:

Pretty much any act worth their salt appeared on his show at some point, and you could pick any of them to showcase just how good the show was. Here’s my choice, The Human League, performing Being Boiled in 1978:

Sadly, Peel left us much too soon, dying in 2004, aged 65 – and while that would have made him nearly 80 at the time of writing, the world was a much richer place with his show in it. We all have different reasons to like Peel, but there’s really no way that he can’t be one of our stowaway heroes.

New Order – Substance

Released thirty years ago this week, New Order‘s first compilation, the companion album for Joy Division‘s slightly later album of the same name, is widely celebrated as one of the best compilations of its era. Uniquely, thanks to their habit of releasing non-album singles, more than half of the tracks had never appeared on another New Order album.

The singles are presented here in relatively simple, chronological form, and so it opens with one of two versions of Ceremony, the Joy Division track that New Order recorded after Ian Curtis‘s suicide. It’s a great track, if somewhat poignant.

Continuing with their early works with producer Martin Hannett, we then get Everything’s Gone Green, representing their second single from late 1981. I’ve never been hugely fond of either this or Procession, which makes up the other half of the single. As a minimum it’s an interesting period piece, but it’s noticeably lower quality than Ceremony, and to me seems to show a group struggling to find its way after the death of its guiding light.

By Temptation (1982), they seemed to be starting to find their way. It could have been a lot more polished, but you could definitely see what their sound was starting to become. This version was slightly re-edited for Substance.

What can you say about Blue Monday that hasn’t been said before? Not much. Let’s just say it’s fantastic, groundbreaking, and unforgettable, and leave it at that. However good anything else on here might be, it’s never going to be as good as this.

A tweaked version of Confusion is next, unsurprisingly a sizeable hit after Blue Monday, just missing out on a top ten placing. Written with Arthur Baker, it’s an oddly experimental track, full of huge eighties snares and orchestral hits, but somehow it also displays a certain brilliance. Five tracks in, and New Order are firmly and consistently producing great music.

Thieves Like Us is probably the most “pop” of the earlier tracks. From the traditional New Order instrumental introduction that lasts over two minutes – more than a third of the song – despite being challenging and unusual, is already accessible, and Bernard Sumner‘s vocal, when it finally arrives, is unusually well delivered.

The eight-minute 12″ version of The Perfect Kiss is an odd inclusion in a way – it just seems a bit too long among the other singles. Which is only ironic because due to limited playing time on the CD, this is actually slightly edited from the original release. Still, it’s a great piece of music, and speaking personally, I’m all for frog and sheep samples in my music.

Also from Low-Life is Sub-culture, which follows, also in the form of a slightly obscure edited remix, which apparently led to sleeve designer Peter Saville refusing to design a sleeve for the single. Then comes the brilliant Shellshock, again an edited 12″ version, but sounding every bit as resonant as any of the single versions on here.

There are then two tracks from 1986’s Brotherhood – firstly, State of the Nation, a number 30 hit in September of that year. Honestly, by this stage it would be hard for New Order to do anything wrong – particularly not with their singles. Truly brilliant. But not, honestly, quite as good as Bizarre Love Triangle, which appears here remixed by Shep Pettibone in typically extravagant form. It’s perplexing and confusing that this only reached number 56 on its original release.

Finally, promoting the album was the fantastic one-off single True Faith. If you were forced to name a New Order track, the chances are good that you would pick either this or Blue Monday – it’s utterly fantastic, and unusually (at least as far as I’m concerned) the title actually seems to fit the song. Everything just seems to come together perfectly.

So Substance is an unusual compilation, focusing generally on the 12″ versions rather than the ones you might have heard on the radio, but as a companion to New Order‘s first four albums, it’s rather fantastic. The second disc gets you a whole load of b-sides and alternative mixes. You would probably have to be an established fan these days to buy this instead of the more recent Singles, but it’s definitely an essential purchase for completists.

You can still find Substance at all major retailers.

Artist of the Week – New Order

My radio show Music for the Masses ran for a couple of years in total around fifteen years ago, and in its second incarnation I ran an Artist of the week section, which I’ve been trying to digitise recently just so we’ve got it as a vaguely interesting archive of where our favourite artists were back then. It’s full of errors and hyperbole, so once again, please accept my apologies for that.

This week’s artist of the week doesn’t need any introduction – in fact, I hardly need to say anything about them at all, as the story is already very widely known. They are New Order.

They formed in 1980 out of the remains of Joy Division, and initially continued in much the same vein. The debut album Movement was in many ways overshadowed by Ian Curtis‘s death, and was not especially successful.

The second album Power, Corruption and Lies followed in 1983, and was the first to see them experimenting with industrial electronic sounds, it was the first of many classic albums, and followed hot on the heels of the best selling 12″ single ever, Blue Monday, which sold well over a million copies.

They were always best known for their refusal to accept standard music industry practices, such as playing Top of the Pops and releasing singles that appeared on albums. The following albums Low-Life and Brotherhood are still some of their best, containing many groundbreaking tracks, and their almost universal compilation Substance added True Faith to their astonishing list of hit singles.

At the end of the 1980s they released Technique; which is arguably their finest album to date, which was followed by their first and only number one with the football hit World in Motion.

In 1993 they made their return with Republic. These days most fans regard it as a mistake, and it’s true that the album tracks have lost the exploratory feel of earlier albums – however, the hits Regret and World in Motion [sic.] are more of New Order‘s best tracks to date, so it should not be forgotten.

Against all odds, after spending most of the 1990s concentrating on other projects, they returned once more with 2001 ‘s Get Ready album, a much harder and darker offering which is still entirely listenable, and now, four years on, they are back again with a new album Waiting for the Sirens’ Call, due next week. Judging by the first single Krafty, it sees them return to their electronic roots, and looks extremely promising.

Well, of course as I mentioned at the beginning, their roots weren’t really electronic, but hey, I’ve already apologised for the errors in here – of which there are definitely many – so I won’t repeat myself again.

Artist of the Week – The Beloved

Many moons ago, there was a radio show called Music for the Masses, which I presented on and off between 1999 and 2005. I’ve talked about it here plenty of times. One of the features was the Artist of the Week, and contained various errors, incorrect opinions, and the following information:

Jon Marsh originally formed a band called The Journey Through in 1984 with fellow Cambridge students Guy Gausden, Tim Havard, and Steve Waddington. After some demos, they evolved into The Beloved, and started making music not a million miles away from the style of Joy Division, early New Order, or even, occasionally, The Smiths.

After a number of minor singles, they released their debut album Where it Is, but following little success and disagreements with the record company, they left, dropped two members, and reappeared in 1988 with their first commercial release Loving Feeling.

It was at the end of 1989 that they saw their first major hit, with the release of The Sun Rising. Further singles from the first successful album Happiness were also hits, including Hello and Your Love Takes Me Higher. A remixed album Blissed Out also saw some success.

The third album Conscience followed in 1993, including the smash hit Sweet Harmony, and saw them starting to explore deeper dance territory with more house-based tracks and remixes. The fourth album in 1996 was in many ways a transitional piece, with the tracks starting to show great signs of depth.

Since then, they’ve done naff all… (that is genuinely what it says here!)

Peel Sessions – Joy Division, 26 November 1979

Joy Division had recorded the first of two John Peel sessions at the start of 1979, and the second followed ten months later, towards the end of the year.

It opens with a fantastically raw version of Love Will Tear Us Apart, the non-album single which would see release seven months later, just after Ian Curtis‘s untimely death. It’s definitely an early version of the song, but it’s not hard to hear just how good it is.

Twenty Four Hours comes next, also half a year from its full release on Closer (1980). This is more similar to its final album version, but Colony, also to be seen on the next album, is noticeably more raw and less polished.

Honestly the charm that Joy Division had when they were at their best is somewhat lacking from this second half of the session – this is the darker, more tortured and less accessible sound that they drifted into at times. Finally, The Sound of Music, which was never fully released until the Still compilation two years later, which sees Curtis in more poetic form, and has a glorious rhythm but does seem to be lacking the melody which is necessary to make a strong song.

Unlike the first one, this session finds Joy Division in darker and more introspective territory. It’s still fascinating and entirely listenable, but perhaps not quite as remarkable as its predecessor.

We covered the first session previously. You can read more about Joy Division‘s relationship with John Peel‘s radio show here. This session is available on the CD The Complete BBC Recordings or as the second disc of The Best Of, which you can find here.

Peel Sessions – New Order, 1 June 1982

New Order recorded four John Peel sessions, but the most famous are the two from the very early days, recorded in 1981 and 1982 respectively. By this time they just had one album and a handful of singles under their belts, and were still spending a lot of time sounding a bit like Joy Division, as you might expect.

The session opens with the never-released Turn the Heater On, which you might justifiably expect to be dreadful, but surprisingly it turns out to be a pleasant dub reggae-inspired piece, with the huge amounts of reverb and sound effects that it deserves. The lyrics are a bit wet, but it’s actually pretty good otherwise – and it’s definitely a shame that it never saw a proper release.

In fact, at the time of the session, nothing on here had seen a release, which is definitely admirable. We All Stand would later turn up on the next album Power, Corruption and Lies, but with a lot more production. I think I actually prefer the Peel Session version – it’s a lot more chilled out, and seems somehow to have the atmosphere that the song deserves.

Too Late was never released at all, and this one is probably a little more justified, as it does seem to be the weakest track on here. It bobs along nicely, but it’s pretty bland.

As is 5 8 6, actually – one of the better tracks from Power, Corruption and Lies, they clearly hadn’t quite figured out what it was going to be yet when they recorded this session. It’s nice to hear a bit of experimentation in the recording, but it does sound as though it needs quite a lot of work still. But that’s alright – nobody said the Peel Sessions had to be particularly polished.

We previously covered the first session here, and you can read more about New Order‘s relationship with John Peel‘s radio show here. This session is available on the CD The Peel Sessions, which is no longer widely available.