NME Awards 2004

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It's Thursday February 12th 2004 and In five days time some of the biggest musicians will gather at Earls Court for the annual BRIT Awards. Although the 'cool' bands will quite happily bypass the event, they may even attend the private anti-Brits ceremony held elsewhere in town, because they don't stand a chance. Where the Brits may be the most prestigious music awards in the UK the real Rock 'N' Roll awards is happening tonight at Hammersmith Po Na Na. Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the NME Awards 2004 and start behaving badly...

That was the request made by host Vernon Kaye at the start of the evening. Just minutes earlier we caught up with Verne at the VIP Bar, the balcony overlooking the venue's floor packed with celebs stuffing their faces with a three course meal which included a fairly appetizing roast beef main course. The press were kept in the room upstairs where award presenters and winners were whisked through after each atrophy was given out. Of course ABLE2UK managed to gain Access All Areas and sniveled downstairs to meet the guests.

First up was Carl and Pete from the Libertines, who were the first band to perform that evening. Pete has had a notorious past year when he ended up in the slammer from breaking and entering Carl's house. Avid NME readers will be fully aware of the esplanades as they were well documented in the paper week by week. Carl is your average kind of guy, but Pete looked like he had shoved a least of few grams of coke down his throat even before his arrival - well at least he wouldn't have to share it with anyone in the Po Na Na's toilets during the night!

Next we caught up with Radiohead's Thom York who quite clearly told us that he wouldn't be attending the BRITS. Glastonbury organizers, Micheal and Emily Eavis were sitting at the next tale, conveniently positioned near the stage,quite a few rows back was Reading Festival organizer Vince Power. It was quite clear to see who was going to pick up the Best Live Event Award! After the last crumb of dessert was wolfed down the lights dimmed and Vernon Kaye took to the stage. Although the T4 presenter had a ropey start, and when told to 'fill' looked like gormless prat he managed to host the whole ceremony exceptionably well after his nerves faded away.

The awards were broken by various NME favorites performing live on stage, as well as The Libertines other acts were Josh Homme, Franz Ferdinand and Australian band, Jet. Unlike last year when Didz from The Cooler Temple Clause refused to leave the stage, all the award winners were dispassionately quite well behaved.

The Godlike Genius award was presented by NME Editor, Conor McNicholas, in the past giants such as U2 and The Clash have been crowned with this title. Joining the Hall Of Fame this year was Ozzy Osbourne, unfortunaly because of his Pre-Christmas Quad Bike injury Ozzy appeared on film wearing a neckbrace and his award was accepted from his daughter, Kelly.

From one neckbace wearer to another after the awards we were luckily enough to chat to Avid Merrion. The Bo Selecta star was on top form wearing a white frilly Justin Hawkins outfit which he was eager to tell anyone who listened made going to the toilet very difficult. He also revealed that unlike most of the NME guests he is attending the Brits and presenting an award. We tried to squeeze a 'Craaaigggg Daaavviiid' out of him but was told it was impossible because he wasn't wearing the correct mask!

The party started at 8pm and when all the tables were cleared away Junior Senior, Queen Of Noize and Kelly Osbourne took it turns to spin some vinyl from the stage. The party continued into the evening at Rouge.

Yet again the NME Awards was a complete success and we can't wait 'til 2005, until then we are washing our Rock 'N' Roll outfits and trying to find our smarter wear for The Brits.