NME Awards – 2015-2017

Finally, by the current decade, NME seemed to have regained their taste. Several decades after being obsessed with guitars and the lower reaches of the charts, they finally even decided to associate themselves with acts such as Pet Shop Boys. Let’s complete our journey through the history of their awards, with the last few years.

NME Awards 2015

  • Godlike Genius Award: Suede
  • Best British Band: Kasabian. Also nominated: Alt-J, Arctic Monkeys, Chvrches, Royal Blood, The Libertines
  • Best Album: Kasabian, for 48:13
  • Also nominated: Jamie T, for Carry On The Grudge, La Roux, for Trouble In Paradise, Royal Blood, for Royal Blood, Run The Jewels, for Run The Jewels 2, St Vincent, for St Vincent
  • Best International Band: Foo Fighters. Also nominated: Arcade Fire, Haim, Interpol, Queens Of The Stone Age, Tame Impala
  • Best Live Band: Royal Blood. Also nominated: Arctic Monkeys, Fat White Family, Foo Fighters, Kasabian, The Libertines
  • Best New Band: Royal Blood. Also nominated: Circa Waves, FKA Twigs, Jungle, Slaves, Superfood
  • Best Solo Artist: Jake Bugg. Also nominated: Jack White, Jamie T, La Roux, Lana Del Rey, St Vincent
  • Best Festival: Glastonbury. Also nominated: Bestival, Isle Of Wight Festival, Latitude, Reading & Leeds, T In The Park
  • Best Track: Jamie T, for Zombie. Also nominated: Future Islands, for Seasons (Waiting On You), Jungle, for Busy Earnin, Kasabian, for Eez-Eh, Noel Gallagher, for In The Heat Of The Moment, Royal Blood, for Little Monster
  • Best Video: Jamie T, for Zombie. Also nominated: Fat White Family, for Touch The Leather, FKA Twigs, for Two Weeks, Jungle, for Busy Earnin’, Peace, for Lost On Me, Royal Blood, for Figure It Out
  • Best Music Film: Pulp, for A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets. Also nominated: 20,000 Days On Earth, Finding Fela, Kasabian, for Summer Solstice, Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon, The Possibilities Are Endless
  • Best Film: Northern Soul. Also nominated: Boyhood, Frank, Get On Up, God Help The Girl, The Inbetweeners 2
  • Best TV Show: Game of Thrones. Also nominated: Girls, Foo Fighters, for Sonic Highways, Peaky Blinders, Sherlock, True Detective
  • Best Dancefloor Filler: Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, for Fancy. Also nominated: Jamie T, for Zombie, Kasabian, for Eez-Eh, Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars, for Uptown Funk, Metronomy, for Love Letters, SBTRKT feat. Ezra Koenig, for New Dorp. New York
  • Worst Band: 5 Seconds of Summer. Also nominated: , Bastille, Blink 182, One Direction, The 1975, U2
  • Villain of the Year: Nigel Farage. Also nominated: Bono, David Cameron, Harry Styles, Russell Brand, Taylor Swift
  • Hero of the Year: Alex Turner. Also nominated: Dave Grohl, Kate Bush, Noel Gallagher, Russell Brand, Taylor Swift
  • Music Moment of the Year: Jamie T‘s comeback. Also nominated: Alex Turner’s Brit Awards speech, Kasabian headline Glastonbury, Kate Bush returns, The Libertines reunite, Nirvana reunite at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
  • Best Fan Community: Muse. Also nominated: Jamie T, Kasabian, La Roux, Peace, Royal Blood
  • Small Festival of the Year: Liverpool Psych Fest. Also nominated: End Of The Road, Festival No. 6, Field Day, The Great Escape, Tramlines
  • Book of the Year: Viv Albertine, for Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys
  • Also nominated: Bernard Sumner, for Chapter And Verse, Ian Curtis, Deborah Curtis and Jon Savage, for So This Is Permanence, Jesse Frohman, for Kurt Cobain: The Last Session, John Lydon, for Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored, Steve Hanley, for The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall
  • Reissue of the Year: Manic Street Preachers, for The Holy Bible. Also nominated: Led Zeppelin, for Led Zeppelin II, Oasis, for Definitely Maybe, Pixies, for Doolittle, Public Enemy, for It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, Smashing Pumpkins, for Adore
  • Best Band Social Media: Liam Gallagher‘s Twitter. Also nominated: Questlove’s Twitter, Alana Haim’s Twitter, Albert Hammond Jr’s Twitter, Fat White Family’s Facebook, Slaves’ Facebook

NME Awards 2016

  • Godlike Genius Award: Coldplay
  • Best British Band: The Maccabees. Also nominated: The Libertines, Foals, Wolf Alice, The 1975, Catfish and the Bottlemen
  • Best International Band: Run the Jewels. Also nominated: Tame Impala, Foo Fighters, The Strokes, The Killers, Alabama Shakes
  • Best New Artist: Rat Boy. Also nominated: Hinds, Halsey, Yak, Låpsley, Formation
  • Best British Solo Artist: Charli XCX. Also nominated: Adele, Noel Gallagher, Ed Sheeran, Florence Welch, Skepta
  • Best International Solo Artist: Taylor Swift. Also nominated: Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, Courtney Barnett, Kanye West, Grimes
  • Best Live Band: Wolf Alice. Also nominated: The Maccabees, The Libertines, Foals, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Royal Blood
  • Best Album: Foals, for What Went Down. Also nominated: Wolf Alice, for My Love Is Cool, The Maccabees, for Marks to Prove it, Kendrick Lamar, for To Pimp a Butterfly, Tame Impala, for Currents, Grimes, for Art Angels
  • Best Track: Wolf Alice, for Giant Peach. Also nominated: Coldplay, for Adventure of a Lifetime, The Libertines, for Gunga Din, The Weeknd, for I Can’t Feel My Face, Skepta, for Shut Down, Foals, for What Went Down
  • Best TV Show: This is England ’90. Also nominated: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, Peep Show, Gogglebox
  • Best Film: Beasts of No Nation. Also nominated: Ex Machina, Spectre, Mad Max: Fury Road, Whiplash, Kill Your Friends
  • Best Music Film: Blur, for New World Towers. Also nominated: Amy, Montage of Heck, Straight Outta Compton, What Happened, Miss Simone, The Reflektor Tapes
  • Best Music Video: Slaves, for Cheer Up London. Also nominated: Rihanna, for Bitch Better Have My Money, The Libertines, for Heart Of The Matter, Wolf Alice, for You’re a Germ, Blur, for Ong Ong, Tame Impala, for The Less I Know The Better
  • Best Actor: Idris Elba. Also nominated: Tom Hardy, Eddie Redmayne, Nicholas Hoult, Stephen Graham, Daniel Radcliffe
  • Best Actress: Vicky McClure. Also nominated: Jennifer Lawrence, Emilia Clarke, Gemma Chan, Amy Schumer, Saoirse Ronan
  • Best Reissue: David Bowie, for Five Years (1969–1973). Also nominated: A Tribe Called Quest, for People’s Instinctive Travels And the Paths Of Rhythm, The Velvet Underground, for Loaded, Rolling Stones, for Sticky Fingers, Tori Amos, for Under The Pink, Faith No More, for Angel Dust
  • Best Book: Patti Smith, for M Train. Also nominated: Grace Jones, for I’ll Never Write My MemoirsElvis Costello, for Unfaithful Music & Disappearing InkCarrie Brownstein, for Hunger Makes Me A Modern GirlProfessor Green, for LuckyTom Jones, for Over The Top And Back
  • Best Festival: Glastonbury. Also nominated: Reading & Leeds, V Festival, T in the Park, Bestival, Isle of Wight
  • Best Small Festival: End of the Road. Also nominated: Sŵn, Festival No. 6, Green Man, Liverpool Sound City, Kendall Calling
  • Music Moment of the Year: The Libertines‘ secret Glastonbury set. Also nominated: The return of AdeleDave Grohl breaks leg and carries on, Florence + The Machine headlines Glastonbury, Kanye at The Brits, One Direction ‘split’
  • Best Fan Community: The Libertines. Also nominated: Hurts, Muse, Catfish and the Bottleman, The 1975, Wolf Alice
  • Worst Band: 5 Seconds of Summer. Also nominated: One Direction, Little Mix, Sleaford Mods, U2, Nickelback
  • Villain of the Year: Donald Trump. Also nominated: David Cameron, Chris Moyles, Kanye West, George Osbourne, Simon Cowell
  • Hero of the Year: Dave Grohl. Also nominated: Adele, Jeremy Corbyn, Florence Welch, Kanye West, Taylor Swift
  • Vlogger of the Year: KSI. Also nominated: Vikkstar123, Charlie McDonnell, Joe Weller, Danisnotonfire, Savannah Brown

NME Awards 2017

  • Godlike Genius Award: Pet Shop Boys
  • Best British Band: Biffy Clyro. Also nominated: Wolf Alice, The 1975, Bastille, Years & Years, The Last Shadow Puppets
  • Best International Band: Metallica. Also nominated: Tame Impala, Kings Of Leon, Green Day, A Tribe Called Quest, Tegan and Sara
  • Best New Artist: Dua Lipa. Also nominated: Blossoms, Zara Larsson, Sunflower Bean, Christine and The Queens, Anderson .Paak
  • Best British Female Artist: M.I.A.. Also nominated: Dua Lipa, Adele, Charli XCX, Kate Tempest, PJ Harvey
  • Best British Male Artist: Skepta. Also nominated: Zayn Malik, Kano, Jamie T, Michael Kiwanuka, Richard Ashcroft
  • Best International Female Artist: Christine and the Queens. Also nominated: Sia, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Solange, Tove Lo
  • Best International Male Artist: Frank Ocean. Also nominated: Kanye West, Drake, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper
  • Best Festival Headliner: Adele. Also nominated: Coldplay, Radiohead, Biffy Clyro, Foals, The Stone Roses
  • Best Live Band: The 1975. Also nominated: Bastille, Slaves, Bring Me The Horizon, Christine And The Queens, Wolf Alice
  • Best Album: Bastille, for Wild World. Also nominated: Kanye West, for The Life Of Pablo, Skepta, for Konnichiwa, The 1975, for I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, Radiohead, for A Moon Shaped Pool, Beyoncé, for Lemonade
  • Best Track: Christine and the Queens, for Tilted. Also nominated: Tove Lo, for Cool Girl, Charli XCX, for After The Afterparty, Skepta, for Man, Bastille, for Good Grief, The 1975, for Somebody Else
  • Best TV Show: Fleabag. Also nominated: Stranger Things, Game Of Thrones, Black Mirror, Humans, People Just Do Nothing
  • Best Film: My Scientology Movie. Also nominated: DeadpoolCaptain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, Everybody Wants Some!!, Hunt For The Wilderpeople
  • Best Music Film: Oasis, for Supersonic, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, for One More Time With Feeling, Sing Street, Gimme Danger, The Rolling Stones, for Havana Moon, The Beatles, for Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years
  • Best Music Video: Slaves, for Consume or Be Consumed. Also nominated: Kanye West, for Famous, Beyoncé, for Formation, Radiohead, for Burn The Witch, Rat Boy, for Get Over It, Wolf Alice, for Lisbon
  • Best Reissue: Oasis, for Be Here Now. Also nominated: R.E.M., for Out Of Time, Pink Floyd, for Meddle, Michael Jackson, for Off The Wall, DJ Shadow, for Endtroducing, Blur, for Leisure
  • Best Book: Johnny Marr, for Set the Boy Free
  • Best Festival: Glastonbury. Also nominated: Reading & Leeds, Download, Isle Of Wight, Primavera, V Festival
  • Best Small Festival: End of the Road. Also nominated: Y Not, Green Man, Festival No. 6, Kendall Calling, Slam Dunk
  • Music Moment of the Year: Coldplay‘s Viola Beach tribute at Glastonbury. Also nominated: Bring Me The Horizon invade Coldplay’s table at NME Awards 2016, Beyoncé drops Lemonade, Skepta wins Mercury Prize, Pete Doherty plays The Bataclan, The Stone Roses’ first new music in 20 years
  • Worst Band: 5 Seconds of Summer. Also nominated: The Chainsmokers, Clean Bandit, Honey G, Nickelback, Twenty One Pilots
  • Villain of the Year: Nigel Farage. Also nominated: Donald Trump, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Martin Shkreli, Katie Hopkins
  • Hero of the Year: Beyoncé. Also nominated: David Bowie, Adele, Millie Bobby Brown, Gary Lineker, Liam Gallagher
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music: Wiley

See also

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NME Awards 2018

Apparently it’s actually called the V05 NME Awards this year, although honestly I’ve no idea what a V05 is. Anyway, here are the winners, in all their corporate glory!

Best British Band supported by Zig-Zag

  • Alt-J
  • Kasabian
  • Wolf Alice
  • The 1975
  • The xx
  • Bastille

Winner: Alt-J

Best International Band supported by 19 Crimes Winery

  • Haim
  • The National
  • Foo Fighters
  • The Killers
  • Paramore
  • Migos

Winner: Haim

Best British Solo Artist supported by VO5

  • Dua Lipa
  • Liam Gallagher
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Stormzy
  • Loyle Carner
  • Charli XCX

Winner: Loyle Carner

Best International Solo Artist

  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Taylor Swift
  • Lorde
  • Lana Del Rey
  • St Vincent
  • Father John Misty

Winner: Lorde

Best Live Artist supported by Nikon

  • Kasabian
  • Lorde
  • Liam Gallagher
  • Stormzy
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • Royal Blood

Winner: Kasabian

Best Album supported by Orange Amplification

  • Lorde – Melodrama
  • J Hus – Common Sense
  • Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life
  • Gorillaz – Humanz’
  • Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
  • The National – Sleep Well Beast

Winner: J Hus

Best New Artist supported by Vans

  • Stefflon Don
  • Sigrid
  • SZA
  • Shame
  • J Hus
  • The Magic Gang

Winner: Stefflon Don

Best Track supported by Estrella Galicia

  • Kasabian – God Bless This Acid House
  • Kendrick Lamar – Humble
  • Lorde – Green Light
  • The Horrors – Something to Remember Me By
  • Dua Lipa – New Rules
  • Charli XCX – Boys

Winner: Charli XCX

Best Mixtape supported by Bulldog Gin

  • Charli XCX – Pop 2
  • Drake – More Life
  • Krept & Konan – 7 Nights / 7 Days
  • Rex Orange County – Apricot Princess
  • Dave – Game Over
  • Avelino – No Bullshit

Winner: Avelino

Best Music Video supported by Princess Yachts

  • The Big Moon – Sucker
  • Charli XCX – Boys
  • St Vincent – Los Ageless
  • Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do
  • Dua Lipa – New Rules
  • Pale Waves – Television Romance

Winner: The Big Moon

Under The Radar Award supported by HMV

Winner: Pale Waves

Best Collaboration supported by VO5

  • Craig David & Bastille – I Know You
  • Stefflon Don & Skepta – Ding-a-Ling
  • Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Lotta See Lice
  • Gorillaz & Jehnny Beth – We Got the Power
  • Lily Allen & Giggs – Trigger Bang
  • Yungen & Yxng Bane – Bestie

Winner: Craig David and Bastille

Best Festival supported by ID&C

  • Glastonbury
  • Reading & Leeds
  • Download
  • Parklife
  • TRNSMT
  • Bestival

Winner: Glastonbury

Best Small Festival

  • Festival Number 6
  • Boardmasters
  • Wilderness
  • Field Day
  • End of the Road
  • Kendal Calling

Winner: Festival Number 6

Best Festival Headliner supported by Anna Valley

  • Muse
  • Boy Better Know
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Foo Fighters
  • The 1975
  • Noel Gallagher

Winner: Muse

Music Moment of the Year

  • Grime4Corbyn
  • Lady Gaga at the Superbowl
  • One Love Manchester
  • The Killers‘ surprise set at Glastonbury
  • Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington tribute concert
  • Noel Gallagher plays Don’t Look Back in Anger at Manchester Arena

Winner: One Love Manchester

Best Film supported by Zig-Zag

  • T2
  • Bladerunner 2049
  • Baby Driver
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • It

Winner: Baby Driver

Best TV Series

  • Stranger Things 2
  • Game of Thrones
  • Westworld
  • Rick & Morty
  • Glow
  • Peaky Blinders

Winner: Stranger Things

Best Music Film

  • Lady Gaga – Five Foot Two
  • L7 – Pretend We’re Dead
  • Sleaford Mods – Bunch of Kunst
  • George Michael – Freedom
  • England is Mine
  • Whitney Houston – Can I Be Me

Winner: Lady Gaga

Best Re-Issue

  • Radiohead – OK NOT OK
  • Prince – Purple Rain
  • The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • R.E.M. – Automatic for the People
  • The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
  • Super Furry Animals – Radiator

Winner: Radiohead

Best Book

  • Wiley – Eskiboy
  • Action Bronson – Fuck, That’s Delicious
  • Dylan Jones – David Bowie: A Life
  • Allan Jones – Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down
  • Lizzy Goodman – Meet Me In The Bathroom
  • The KLF – 2023: A Trilogy

Winner: Wiley

NME Icon

Winner: Shirley Manson

NME Innovation Award

Winner: Boy Better Know

Godlike Genius

Winner: Liam Gallagher

Hero of the Year

  • Ariana Grande
  • Rose McGowan
  • Jeremy Corbyn
  • Ellie Rowsell
  • Big Shaq
  • David Attenborough

Winner: Ariana Grande

Villain of the Year

  • Donald Trump
  • Theresa May
  • Katie Hopkins
  • Piers Morgan
  • Kim Jong-Un
  • Jeremy Hunt

Winner: Piers Morgan

All worthy villains. The ceremony was on February 13th this year.

Edited 12 June 2018 – fix to tense in final sentence.

NME Awards 2018 – Nominations

You may remember the explorations we did late last year into the winners of the NME Poll, variably an awards ceremony and a list of winners, which ran from the 1950s until the 1990s. We’ll pick that up again later this year with a similar investigation into the BRAT Awards in 1994 and the various NME Awards ceremonies that have followed.

For the meantime, though, here are the nominees for the 2018 awards!

Best International Band

  • Haim
  • The National
  • Foo Fighters
  • The Killers
  • Paramore
  • Migos

Best British Solo Artist

  • Dua Lipa
  • Liam Gallagher
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Stormzy
  • Loyle Carner
  • Charli XCX

Best International Solo Artist

  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Taylor Swift
  • Lorde
  • Lana Del Rey
  • St Vincent
  • Father John Misty

Best Live Artist

  • Kasabian
  • Lorde
  • Liam Gallagher
  • Stormzy
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • Royal Blood

Best Album

  • Lorde – Melodrama
  • J Hus – Common Sense
  • Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life
  • Gorillaz – Humanz’
  • Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
  • The National – Sleep Well Beast

Best New Artist

  • Stefflon Don
  • Sigrid
  • SZA
  • Shame
  • J Hus
  • The Magic Gang

Best Track

  • Kasabian – God Bless This Acid House
  • Kendrick Lamar – Humble
  • Lorde – Green Light
  • The Horrors – Something to Remember Me By
  • Dua Lipa – New Rules
  • Charli XCX – Boys

Best Mixtape

  • Charli XCX – Pop 2
  • Drake – More Life
  • Krept & Konan – 7 Nights / 7 Days
  • Rex Orange County – Apricot Princess
  • Dave – Game Over
  • Avelino – No Bullshit

Best Video

  • The Big Moon – Sucker
  • Charli XCX – Boys
  • St Vincent – Los Ageless
  • Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do
  • Dua Lipa – New Rules
  • Pale Waves – Television Romance

Best Collaboration

  • Craig David & Bastille – I Know You
  • Stefflon Don & Skepta – Ding-a-Ling
  • Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Lotta See Lice
  • Gorillaz & Jehnny Beth – We Got the Power
  • Lily Allen & Giggs – Trigger Bang
  • Yungen & Yxng Bane – Bestie

Best Festival

  • Glastonbury
  • Reading & Leeds
  • Download
  • Parklife
  • TRNSMT
  • Bestival

Best Small Festival

  • Festival Number 6
  • Boardmasters
  • Wilderness
  • Field Day
  • End of the Road
  • Kendal Calling

Best Festival Headliner

  • Muse
  • Boy Better Know
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Foo Fighters
  • The 1975
  • Noel Gallagher

Music Moment of the Year

  • Grime4Corbyn
  • Lady Gaga at the Superbowl
  • One Love Manchester
  • The Killers‘ surprise set at Glastonbury
  • Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington tribute concert
  • Noel Gallagher plays Don’t Look Back in Anger at Manchester Arena

Best Film

  • T2
  • Bladerunner 2049
  • Baby Driver
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • It

Best TV Series

  • Stranger Things 2
  • Game of Thrones
  • Westworld
  • Rick & Morty
  • Glow
  • Peaky Blinders

Best Music Film

  • Lady Gaga – Five Foot Two
  • L7 – Pretend We’re Dead
  • Sleaford Mods – Bunch of Kunst
  • George Michael – Freedom
  • England is Mine
  • Whitney Houston – Can I Be Me

Best Re-Issue

  • Radiohead – OK NOT OK
  • Prince – Purple Rain
  • The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • R.E.M. – Automatic for the People
  • The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
  • Super Furry Animals – Radiator

Best Book

  • Wiley – Eskiboy
  • Action Bronson – Fuck, That’s Delicious
  • Dylan Jones – David Bowie: A Life
  • Allan Jones – Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down
  • Lizzy Goodman – Meet Me In The Bathroom
  • The KLF – 2023: A Trilogy

Hero of the Year

  • Ariana Grande
  • Rose McGowan
  • Jeremy Corbyn
  • Ellie Rowsell
  • Big Shaq
  • David Attenborough

Villain of the Year

  • Donald Trump
  • Theresa May
  • Katie Hopkins
  • Piers Morgan
  • Kim Jong-Un
  • Jeremy Hunt

All worthy villains. The ceremony is on February 13th this year.

Q Awards 2017

The 2017 Q Awards in association with Absolute Radio (for that was the ceremony’s now drearily over-commercial name) took place at the Roundhouse in London on 18th October, hosted by Christian O’Connell. Let’s take a quick look at who won, and probably also a quick chuckle at the ridiculously long commercialised award names while we’re at it.

Of course, on the plus side, the sponsorship of individual awards does help you tell all the almost-identically-named ones apart…

Q Best Breakthrough Act, presented by Red Stripe

Nominees:

  • The Big Moon
  • Formation
  • Girl Ray
  • HMLTD
  • The Moonlandingz
  • Pumarosa
  • Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
  • Sampha
  • Shame
  • Stefflon Don

Winner: Rag ‘n’ Bone Man

Q Best Live Act, presented by Cavern Club

Nominees:

  • Liam Gallagher
  • The Killers
  • Lorde
  • Radiohead
  • Stormzy

Winner: Liam Gallagher

Q Maverick, presented by Roundhouse

Winner: Viv Albertine

Q Innovation In Sound

Winner: Wiley

Q Best Video, presented by Pretty Green

Nominees:

  • Eagles of Death Metal – Nos Amis (Our Friends)
  • Iggy Pop & Josh Homme – American Valhalla
  • The Rolling Stones – Havana Moon
  • Sleaford Mods – Bunch of Kunst
  • The The – The Inertia Variations

Winner: Sleaford Mods

Q Best Track, presented by Flare Audio

Nominees:

  • Liam Gallagher – Wall of Glass
  • Kasabian – You’re in Love with a Psycho
  • Kendrick Lamar – Humble
  • Lorde – Green Light
  • Ed Sheeran – Shape of You

Winner: Kasabian

Q Best Album, presented by The Box Plus Network

Nominees:

  • Gorillaz – Humanz
  • Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
  • Sleaford Mods – English Tapes
  • Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
  • The xx – I See You

Winner: Gorillaz

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Help Musicians UK

Nominees:

  • Liam Gallagher
  • Lana del Rey
  • Ed Sheeran
  • St. Vincent
  • Stormzy

Winner: Stormzy

Q Best Act In The World Today, presented Buster & Punch

Nominees:

  • The 1975
  • Adele
  • Depeche Mode
  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Ed Sheeran

Winner: Ed Sheeran

Q Icon, presented by BMW

Winner: Liam Gallagher

Q Gibson Les Paul Award

Winner: Kelley Deal

Q Inspiration, presented by Three

Winner: Manic Street Preachers

You can read our coverage of previous years, starting with the 2016 awards here.

Leftfield – Alternative Light Source

It took Leftfield sixteen years to return with Alternative Light Source. In the 1990s, the duo of Neil Barnes and Paul Daley released just two albums, but their dark and exotic electronic dance music was both unique and enormously influential. They skipped an entire decade, before returning in 2010, now without Daley but with a score of guest vocalists instead, and toured for a couple of years before eventually returning with new material in 2015.

The third album opens with a brilliant robotic vocal from Tunde Adebimpe, on the track Bad Radio. It’s fantastic. The huge warping bass and eccentric synth sounds have echoes of Leftism (1995) and Rhythm and Stealth (1999), while at the same time sounding new and contemporary – and also very catchy.

Second track Universal Everything, with Georgia Barnes providing some other-worldly vocals, is simply banging. It’s a huge club piece, deeper and darker than anything on the first two albums, but still with a bit of an unusual twist.

Channy Leaneagh from Poliça turns up to deliver the vocal on Bilocation. It’s rhythmic and hypnotic, not unlike the last single from the second album, Swords. Then for perhaps one of the oddest tracks on here, Sleaford Mods turn up to deliver the exceptional Head and Shoulders, a bizarre poetic piece full of obscure words and even odder concepts, but one which comes together brilliantly.

Nearing the halfway point of the album, most of the collaborations are complete. A simple arpeggiator melody drives Dark Matters, referencing some of Leftfield‘s pre-Leftism material, and before Channy Leaneagh turns up again for another oddity, Little Fish, which bounces along with an almost contemporary rave feel for six minutes, and that theme continues with Storms End, the instrumental track which follows.

Leftfield always have something unexpected up their sleeves, and so the title track Alternative Light Source opens with a gentle strummed acoustic guitar riff, and although it gets big, it never really builds into anything too enormous. Honestly it’s a welcome break from the banging beats which have characterised the album up to now.

If you approach this album expecting to be rocked in the way the previous two albums changed your world, you might be disappointed – this might even be a better album for people who have never heard any Leftfield before – but it does have a sound of its own, and it’s unique in the way that Leftfield always were. It does have its low points though – Shaker Obsession is fine, but far from special, but prudently this album only has ten tracks, so you never really get bored, and this is the penultimate one anyway, so you should really know what this album is all about by now.

Alternative Light Source closes with the adorable Levitate for You, with Ofei. It’s deep and downtempo, and honestly I’d have loved a few more tracks like this. But what do I know? This is a great way to close the album, even if it comes on its own.

With a reputation as solid as Leftfield‘s, a lot of people were inevitably going to be disappointed by this album, but honestly it’s a strong comeback, and it does leave you hoping for more. If you want to stick with the two era-defining albums from the 1990s, that’s your choice too, but I’d definitely recommend the third one too.

You can find Alternative Light Source at all major retailers.

The Stowaway Awards 2016

Here are the winners of this year’s Stowaways:

Best Track

As announced over the New Year, the winner of this year’s Best Track award was New Order feat. Elly Jackson, with Tutti Frutti.

Best Album

These were the nominees:

  • Camouflage – Greyscale
  • Dave Gahan & Soulsavers – Angels & Ghosts
  • Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?
  • Jean-Michel Jarre – Electronica 1: The Time Machine
  • Leftfield – Alternative Light Source
  • Little Boots – Working Girl
  • Marsheaux – A Broken Frame
  • MG – MG
  • Roísín Murphy – Hairless Toys
  • New Order – Music Complete

The winner is New Order!

Best Reissue / Compilation

  • Air – The Virgin Suicides
  • Delerium – Rarities & B-Sides
  • Erasure – Always – The Very Best Of
  • Everything But The Girl – Walking Wounded
  • Faithless – Faithless 2.0

With an exceptional selection of b-sides, mixes, and rarities, the winner is Everything But The Girl, for the special edition of Walking Wounded.

Best Video

  • Étienne de Crécy – Hashtag My Ass
  • Dave Gahan & Soulsavers – All of This and Nothing
  • Hot Chip – Huarache Lights
  • Leftfield & Sleaford Mods – Head and Shoulders
  • Little Boots – Better in the Morning

The winner is Leftfield.

Best Artist

  • Camouflage
  • Sarah Cracknell
  • Hot Chip
  • Jean-Michel Jarre
  • Leftfield
  • Little Boots
  • Marsheaux
  • Roísín Murphy
  • New Order
  • Soulsavers

Winner: Hot Chip.

Best Live Act

Winner: Little Boots.

Best Ambient Track

Winner: Jean-Michel Jarre and Lang Lang, for The Train and the River.

Best Remix

Winner: Röyksopp, for The Presets‘ remix of I Had This Thing.

Best Dance Act / Remixer

Winner: Étienne de Crécy.

Outstanding Contribution

  • Erasure
  • Everything But The Girl
  • Hot Chip
  • Leftfield
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Winner: Erasure.

 

The Stowaway Awards 2016 – Nominations

At the beginning of the year, it’s always time to celebrate the best of the previous one, and so we enter the latest season of awards. We’ll look at the nominations for this year’s BRIT Awards next week, but first, more importantly, here’s a selection of the nominees for the 2016 Stowaway Awards.

Best Album

  • Camouflage – Greyscale
  • Dave Gahan & Soulsavers – Angels & Ghosts
  • Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?
  • Jean-Michel Jarre – Electronica 1: The Time Machine
  • Leftfield – Alternative Light Source
  • Little Boots – Working Girl
  • Marsheaux – A Broken Frame
  • MG – MG
  • Roísín Murphy – Hairless Toys
  • New Order – Music Complete

Best Reissue / Compilation

  • Air – The Virgin Suicides
  • Delerium – Rarities & B-Sides
  • Erasure – Always – The Very Best Of
  • Everything But The Girl – Walking Wounded
  • Faithless – Faithless 2.0

Best Video

  • Étienne de Crécy – Hashtag My Ass
  • Dave Gahan & Soulsavers – All of This and Nothing
  • Hot Chip – Huarache Lights
  • Leftfield & Sleaford Mods – Head and Shoulders
  • Little Boots – Better in the Morning

Best Artist

  • Camouflage
  • Sarah Cracknell
  • Hot Chip
  • Jean-Michel Jarre
  • Leftfield
  • Little Boots
  • Marsheaux
  • Roísín Murphy
  • New Order
  • Soulsavers

Outstanding Contribution

  • Erasure
  • Everything But The Girl
  • Hot Chip
  • Leftfield
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

We’ll find out the winners in a few weeks’ time!