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Manics Step Up For The Music Award Of A Lifetime - Exeter Express and Echo, 29th February 2008

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Title: Manics Step Up For The Music Award Of A Lifetime
Publication: Exeter Express and Echo
Date: Friday 29th February 2008

If the Brits haven't sated your appetite for music awards shows, then try this one for size.

The NME 2008 bash is presented by Gavin and Stacey's Mat Horne and James Corden, and features Klaxons, Lightspeed Champion and Kate Nash, among others.

To the uninitiated, the NMEs may sound like a relatively new do, but the first awards were given out in 1953, shortly after the magazine was founded.

There's been plenty of water under the bridge since then, but while fashions may change, the NME ethos hasn't, and this ceremony still celebrates the cream of indie music talent.

Last year's event proved to be a memorable affair with Muse, My Chemical Romance and Kasabian among the winners, while Robbie Williams was left licking his wounds after picking up Worst Album for Rudebox.

Who will be victorious and who will be relegated to the metaphorical bargain bin this year?

Well, Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys and Muse (yes, them again) are among those hoping to pick up a plaudit.

Whether that lot manage it or not remains to be seen, but one band knows it won't be going home empty handed: the Manic Street Preachers will be accepting the Godlike Geniuses award.

The Welsh rockers have been in the public eye for so long it's hard to remember a time when they weren't sharing their engaging combination of thought-provoking lyrics and catchy tunes with us.

When they burst onto the music scene in the early 1990s, they polarised the critics with their foppish attire, eyeliner and outrageous attitude.

Nicky Wire, Sean Moore, James Dean Bradfield and Richey Edwards proved a little too clever for some music fans. However, by the time they scored their first hit with a cover of the MASH theme, Suicide is Painless in 1992, the tide was turning.

Alas, by the time Gold Against the Soul was released in 1993, the price of fame had started to take its toll on guitarist Richey Edwards.

In July 1994, he was admitted to hospital suffering from nervous exhaustion, and in February 1995, left his car at a notorious suicide spot. He hasn't been seen since.

Losing Richey could have destroyed the band but in some ways it made them stronger.

When Everything Must Go - partly written by Edwards - was released in 1996, it seemed like the group had finally arrived, with tracks such as Australia, Kevin Carter, Design for Life and the title song scoring massive chart success.

In 1997, they picked up Best Album (Everything Must Go) and Best Group at the Brit Awards, and a year later they scored their first number one, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next; a standout track from the album This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours.

Follow-up projects Know Your Enemy, Lifeblood and Send Away the Tigers have cemented their reputation as one of the most formidable bands of their generation, so for many, this Godlike Geniuses award is long overdue.

If your invitation to the ceremony got lost in the post, settle back and raise a glass to the Manics and the other winners as they bask in the spotlight at the O2 Arena.