The NME Awards is one of the most rock and roll nights of the showbiz calendar and I’m privileged to say I was there to report on the action for Very. One of the best things about the evening was I got to have a chat with the big winner, Florence Welch, who won two awards – best single and best UK solo act. I also took lots of photos of things that went on throughout the night so you can all see parts of what went on inside the party rather than the standard shots of celebs arriving.
The photos above shows that the party was packed full of media, all trying to get interviews with stars like Katy B and Alexa Chung on the red carpet. I stepped back from the action to take the photo of the chaos! The awards were held at the Brixton Academy, which is a tenth the size of the O2 arena, but it seems like they tried to cram in all the same reporters into a far smaller space. If I was a celeb I’d be scared to walk this!
Thankfully, everyone was rewarded with tables packed full of booze for the actual ceremony. You may be able to see from a photo that instead of red and white wine, each table also had several bottles of spirits – very rock and roll! Awards were combined with performances and I was very impressed by Pulp, who were more charismatic (and shorter) than their contemporaries Blur at the Brit awards. The host was Jack Whitehall, who cheekily made a joke about the Brit awards from thestart as he came on stage saying: “House rules: no long speeches, I’m not afraid of doing a Corden.” And then it was time for a performance from the lady of the night, Florence, who changed out of her printed trouser suit into a stunning black lace dress. As she picked up her award, you can see it’s not a traditional shape, as it’s a hand with the middle finger stuck up in a swear like gesture. Not one to show your grandparents…
As the night was about rock and roll, I asked super successful Florence questions designed to see how hard she was. Read the exclusive interview below:
ME: We hear you’ve partied with Beyonce before. Who’s better at holding their drink – you or Beyoncé?
FLORENCE: I think Beyoncé might be. I was so drunk! We did tequila shots at a sports game in the States. Apparently we had a really long conversation, but I can’t remember any of it. We met again at an event just before the VMAs, my sister was with me and Beyoncé said “Hi Grace! I’ve heard so much about you!” So I must have been talking about my sister, but God knows what I said.
ME : What’s your hangover cure?
FLORENCE: “A pyjama day is a good hangover cure – conduct all your meetings in your pyjamas. Then just start again the next day.”
ME: Do you have any tattoos?
FLORENCE: “I have a few. I’ve just got a birdcage tattoo on my finger. I got it done in Austin, Texas, at the Black Cat Tattoo parlour, where I got my first tattoo of a heart and a bird. I got it done at 2am by some massive guy with flame tattoos on his skull called Animal. It was a proper tattoo experience but it hurt so much.”
ME : Your songs are pretty wild – what lyrics are you most proud of writing?
FLORENCE: Probably the lyrics to “Shake It Out”. They’re cathartic for me to sing. Some songs just appear and you’re not sure where they’ve come from. I’ve always been able to just concoct a melody quite easily – it’s just kind of instinct really. You’ve got to channel your subconscious.”
ME: And now onto fashion, what is the most treasured item in your wardrobe?
FLORENCE: “If I had to save one item in a fire, it would probably be my mother and grandmother’s wedding dress (they wore the same one). It’s really beautiful and old, made from cream lace with tight sleeves.”
ME: Finally, where do you get your inspiration from?
FLORENCE: “Living in London, I also get a lot of inspiration from girls on the street and friends. Generally, the people around me inspire me the most. You just have to open your eyes more!”