Manic Street Preachers made an emotional appearance at last week's Brits, dedicating their awards for Best Band and Best Album to their former manager, Philip Hall, who died in December 1993, and their former guitarist Richey Edwards, who disappeared in February 1995.
James Dean Bradfield informed a packed Earl's Court that, "We've got to dedicate this to the wisdom of Mr Philip Hall and the coolness and intelligence of Mr Richey Edwards and for once in our
lives we have got to say thank you to our fans and our mums and dads."
Nicky Wire, draped in the Welsh flag, said: "I'd like to dedicate this award to every comprehensive school in Britain, which the Government is trying to eradicate. They've produced everything -
the best bands, the best art, the best everything and the best boxers too!"
Richey Edwards father, Graham, told NME: "I'm pleased, delighted and thrilled for the band. It's just a great shame that Richard is not here to enjoy it."
Terri Hall, spokeswoman for the band and Philip Hall's widow, said: "I cried when they won. It's unbelievable. We're all chuffed. I know it sounds naff, but we're all too hungover to think of anything else to say."
After the event, Nicky Wire said: "It was nearly as exciting as the Cardiff Devils winning the Ice Hockey Superleague and my new Dyson upright 'hoover'."
Also at the ceremony, hosted by Ben Elton, double-winner Mel C of the Spice Girls (Best Video and Best Single) taunted the absent Liam Gallagher from the stage while collecting an award. Earlier in the week he had said he was not going to attend the awards because he might "chin the Spice Girls". She retorted by saying: "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough."
Other winners included The Prodigy (Best Dance Act), Kula Shaker (Best Newcomer), Beck (Best International Male Artist), George Michael (Best British Male Solo Artist), Gabrielle (Best British Female Solo Artist), John Leckie (Best Producer, for his work with Kula Shaker), Sheryl Crow (Best International Female Solo Artist), Robert Miles (Best International Newcomer), The Bee Gees (Outstanding Contribution To Music) and the Fugees (Best International Group)
Best Soundtrack was awarded to Trainspotting and collected by Irvine Welsh and Damon Albarn. Welsh dedicated the award to all the Liverpool dockers who have been striking for the past 18 months. They are calling for the reinstatement of 500 other dockers sacked for refusing to cross a picket line during a dispute over working conditions.