The consensus seems to be that it was Florence And The Machine's night at the NME awards last night. She only won two prizes, but if you stare very hard at those, you can try and pretend that this never happened:
Best British Band: KasabianYes. Really.
There are some signs that this year, although it might not be exactly alternative, the NME awards haven't just gone to winners who would have been in with a chance of getting the same prize at The Brits. Florence's best track and best solo is still quite a timid choice, but The Horrors best album would never have been echoed at the O2. And whle The Vaccines were shortlisted for equivalent of best new band on both lists, at the Brits they were clearly making up the numbers while at the NME they took home the prize.
If Muse won the Most Dedicated Fans category, how come they lost their traditional Best Live Act to the Arctic Monkeys, eh?
It's not a list that suggests rude health for either the music world or the magazine, but it's probably the least worst winners in full for a while:
Best British Band: KasabianStill, it appears the people who still buy the NME believe Kasabian to be the best band in the world.
Best International Band: Foo Fighters
Best Solo Artist: Florence + The Machine
Best New Band: The Vaccines
Best Live Band (supported by Carling)
Winner: Arctic Monkeys
Best Album (supported by HMV)
Winner: The Horrors - 'Skying'
Best Track (supported by Fender)
Winner: Florence + The Machine - 'Shake It Out'
Dancefloor Anthem (supported by NME Radio)
Winner: Katy B - 'Broken Record'
Best Video (supported by NMEVideo.com)
Winner: Hurts - 'Sunday'
Best TV Show
Winner: 'Fresh Meat'
Best Music Film
Winner: 'Back And Forth' - Foo Fighters
Greatest Music Moment Of The Year
Winner: The Stone Roses reunite
Winner: The Smiths - 'Complete Reissues'
Winner: Noel Fielding - 'The Scribblings Of A Madcap Shambleton'
Hero Of The Year
Winner: Matt Bellamy
Villain Of The Year
Winner: Justin Bieber
Winner: Justin Bieber - 'Under The Mistletoe'
Winner: One Direction
Best Album Artwork
Winner: Friendly Fires - 'Pala'
Best Band Blog Or Twitter
Best Small Festival
Most Dedicated Fans
Winner: Jared Leto, 30 Seconds To Mars
Winner: Hayley Williams, Paramore
There's also an example of the structural problems the brand is facing. At the foot of the winner page is this:
To read all about the awards and all the shenanigans from the night, pick up next week's issue of NME, which is on UK newsstands next Wednesday (March 7) or available digitally.How does that help anyone, never mind the NME? It means that the day this week's issue came out, effectively it became outdated (it's a Sex Pistols front cover, so it's decades out of date, but you get my point.) Online visitors don't get any coverage, save for a slight blog, when they'd expect it, and instead are told to wait an entire week, then switch off their computer and go to the shops. And meanwhile, anyone interested in the "shenanigans" will find other newspapers and websites more than happy to fill them in. (Gordon Smart has done a page, for example.)
So, in effect, the NME has spent a fortune filling up other people's gossip pages, rendered this week's issue redundant and next week's dedicated to an event which will have been so far in the past it might just as well be an interview with John Lydon. Even if you're not going to embrace digital first, shouldn't you at least hold the prizes the day before you go to press to close the gap a little?
On the other hand, if Kasabian win best band, why would you be in any rush to tell people?