David Bowie, Rolling Stones and Pussy Riot nominated for NME Awards

by Adam Sherwin / The Independent

21st January 2013

It’s nearly 50 years since the Rolling Stones first provoked hysteria at the NME Poll-Winners’ Concert. But the veteran rockers are back in favour with the “indie bible” after receiving four nominations for the magazine’s 2013 awards.

The Stones’ comeback shows at the O2 Arena impressed the NME’s target audience of musical trend-setters, who have shortlisted the group in four categories including Best Live Act and Music Moment of the Year.

The publication hopes the Stones might be persuaded to repeat their appearance at the 1964 NME Poll-Winners’ All-Star concert where they joined the “greatest array of pop talent in the world”, including The Beatles, at the event which was hosted by Jimmy Savile.

The Stones, who could “hardly be heard above the shouts” at the Empire Pool, Wembley, played three songs and took the award for Best Rhythm and Blues act. Mick Jagger was named Best New TV Singer.

Sir Mick Jagger said: “It’s very nice to be nominated. When I first heard it was four things, I thought, ‘Ooh, blimey! That’s very nice!’ And it’s not a journalists-only thing, it’s not a coterie of closely-knit people choosing.”

Sir Mick, 69, added: “It’s funny, because when we were rehearsing at Wembley arena last year, it was where we used to do the NME Poll-Winners. We remembered, it was the first time we ever played ‘Jumping Jack Flash’, at one of those Poll-Winners concerts.”

David Bowie, 66, is also back in favour after his surprise return with a new song after a decade of semi-retirement. Bowie, who won two NME awards in1974, is nominated for Music Moment, Best Video and Hero of the Year.

Pussy Riot, the Russian punk group whose members were imprisoned following their anti-Putin protest, are nominated for the “punk prayer” they performed at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour cathedral last year, which prompted their arrest.

One of the members jailed for “hooliganism”, Maria Alyokhina, was last week denied a request to postpone her prison term while she cares for her five-year-old son.

New artists do figure prominently with Australian psychedelic rockers Tame Impala and Haim, the group of US sisters named the BBC’s Sound of 2013, also receiving four nominations. M.I.A., the provocative rapper, is also recognised in four categories, despite receiving just one track last year.

Brighton “indie” band Maccabees and Arctic Monkeys are nominated for three awards each, and will battle it out for Best British Band.

This year’s hot NME tips, London band Palma Violets, compete against the Mercury Music Prize winners Alt-J in the new band category.

The Worst Band award is a death-battle between One Direction and Mumford & Sons. One Direction’s Harry Styles competes for Villain of the Year against past-winner David Cameron.

Mike Williams, NME editor, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to see such a wide range of artists nominated this time around. The early plaudits will go to Haim, Tame Impala, M.I.A. and the legendary Rolling Stones who lead the way with four nominations each, but it¹s testament to the exquisite taste of the NME audience that artists as wide ranged as Frank Ocean, Jake Bugg, Pussy Riot and David Bowie are recognised too.” The awards will be held at the Troxy in east London on February 27.

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