Razorlight's frontman gets no love from the U.K. music mag's new-bands editor, but he's digging stateside exports Arcade Fire, Annuals, and the Little Ones

By James Jam
Updated February 07, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
The Clash
Credit: Virginia Turbett / Redferns / Retna

This missive limps in to you at a rate of around four words a minute. Why? Because I’ve been block-voting for Razorlight‘s Johnny Borrell to be awarded Villain Of The Year at the 2007 NME Awards. Frankly, there’s now more blood, pus, and bone exposed on my finger tips than skin; yet with every ounce of plasma shed, I’m one step closer to making the megalomaniac indie dullard understand the severity of his crimes. Which are? Wanting to be tomorrow’s Bono, basically. Head to NME.com, click to vote, and join my crusade!

Dispensing with my obsession for one moment, this week the shortlist for the 2007 NME Awards was announced. We celebrated with a music-pub quiz, some punk-rock karaoke and some general bad behaviour. It’s good to see so many things that I love — Borrell aside — making an impact. In particular, it’s great to see both Lily Allen on the shortlist for Best Solo Artist — taking a place alongside more established artists like Thom Yorke — and The View nominated for Best New Band. That’s quite a week for the Scottish lads what with getting to the top of the U.K. album charts as well. Meanwhile the downright brilliant Brazilians CSS — who played NME.com’s 10th birthday — are up for ‘Best International Band,’ scrapping it out with more famous names The Killers, My Chemical Romance and The Strokes. In short — and obviously I have some bias here — there’s a whole host of exciting new music catching readers’ ears. That’s enough to make a grown man grin. Then there’s the news that our Godlike Genius award (previous winners — New Order, Ian Brown, The Clash) is being awarded to one of my favourite bands; Primal Scream. Can you even imagine how messy the aftershow is going to be?

As with the last four years, the whole shebang takes place on March 1 at London’s Hammersmith Palais (immortalised in song by The Clash’s ”(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais”), yet sadly, it’s likely this will be the last time many of us will set foot in the historic venue. On April 1 a Fulham Council decreed operative comes into place to knock it down and build an office block. So yeah… cheers for that. Like London needs another office block…

Aside from the awards, this week has been dominated by the return of Arcade Fire, who have played five nights and two churches in London. Not only did they put on fantastic shows, but they also busked outside a venue, in the foyer, and generally went about upsetting the clichés of live performance (not to mention a few glum security guards). It was nice of them to go out of their way to join in with this week’s general theme by covering The Clash’s ”Guns Of Brixton.”

Elsewhere at the mag, we’ve been getting excited about the emergence of new North Carolina oddballs Annuals, whose aceness we rewarded with a two-page spread in the Radar section. And, with the double-pronged NME tour kicking off (one is indie rock, one is indie rave), we spent some time with the aforementioned CSS in Japan, as well as Klaxons (whose debut album Myths Of The Near Future is rapidly becoming one of my favourite albums of the year).

I spent Tuesday evening in the company of L.A.’s The Little Ones, a band so charming and effervescent that they may well reduce Prozac prescriptions everywhere they play. Otherwise, I’ve just been drawing pictures of Johnny Borrell on the toilet paper in the NME toilets, sniggering at the futility of it all. What would The Clash have done? Probably not that, to be fair.

Ugh… just… one… more… vote…

For more on the latest from the U.K. music beat, see www.nme.com and www.nme.com/news.