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Adam: My Day at the Q Awards

The award

After a week of rain and wind, the morning was bright and fresh. As the car pulled up to the red carpet outside the Grosvenor House Hotel I knew it was going to be an eventful day. Suited, booted and styled by Clare I felt delighted to have been invited by Q Magazine to this famous (and sometimes infamous) award ceremony.
Walking up the red carpet I was greeted by a wall of cameras.

“Over here, Adam”
“Just one straight to us”.

Adam and award

I hadn’t done this since the book signings at Waterstones’ Piccadilly in 2006, but felt happy to oblige. There followed a row of filmed interviews en route to the entrance, all asking how I felt about being there, did I have any plans for the future etc. By the time I got inside the Hotel itself, it was a relief to meet up with Boz, one of my guests for the day. The cameras clicked away, glasses of various vodka-based concoctions were passed around by girls in fur Cossack hats and I finally managed to get an orange juice.
I was asked to sign a nice Gibson Les Paul guitar in aid of Roger Daltrey’s teenage cancer charity, along with nine special christmas cards, which I was honoured to do.

After a while, the 450 people squashed into the seething foyer were shown to the ballroom and our tables. The lights went down and funnyman Alan Carr took to the stage with a barrage of expletives, which I suspect he thought would be the best way to face such a potentially volatile and inebriated audience. Boy, did they give him a hard time, although his razor-sharp, speedy deliveries, brilliant improvisations and over-the-top jokes did save his bacon. It was not an easy audience and they’d give no quarter, that was for sure.

Being interviewed backstage

Awards went to Last Shadow Puppets for best new act, Keane’s Spiralling for best track, Vampire Weekend’s A Punk for best video and then the ‘signature awards’ began. John Mellencamp, a clearly unwell Meatloaf and incredible Glen Campbell all accepted their awards.
And then it happened.
The glamorous Sugababes were introduced and started to talk about the Icon Award and how ‘this person’ had them all learning his dance moves when they were young. Clips from Ant Music, Stand & Deliver, Room At The Top, Goody Two Shoes and Prince Charming videos were played on the enormous screens either side of the stage before the ‘babes announced, “And the Icon Award goes to Adam Ant!”

The reaction was amazing, the applause lifting me out of my chair, and, feeling very emotional, I snaked my way through the tables to the stage.
Once there I took the award from the beaming Sugababes, shook hands with Alan Carr, then turned to the microphone. . . and my mind went blank.
All my rehearsed speeches went out the window as the audience continued to let me know how happy they were for me.
But as they went quiet, I began.
On stage

“It’s nice to be standing here. . .it’s nice to be standing, actually. . .” and the audience laughed with me. I explained that I liked my music to look as good as it sounded, and made a quick joke about collecting wardrobe royalties from Coldplay (as their outfits did somewhat resemble my Kings ensemble, and I later explained to the band it was a friendly JOKE, so don’t believe everything you read in the papers, ha!) I have to admit that I was welling up a bit by this point, so cut short my speech, said thank you and exited, stage right.

Backstage interviews

Backstage I met up with the Sugababes to have a photo taken and I must say that they are very sweet and down-to-earth girls.
Next I had a huge hug from my old friend, the fabulous Grace Jones and we reminisced about our Honda commercial and movie experiences in the 1980s.

Grace Jones, Adam and Tom Jones

I had a quick chat with the Great Voice himself, Tom Jones, said hello to Dave Gilmour and had a very enjoyable meeting with one of my favourite bands, the Kaiser Chiefs, who’re a sweet bunch of guys.

Kaiser Chiefs pose with Adam

After another round of interviews with the media I returned to the table and had a chat with the Ting Tings, whose work I also admire.
Then over came Fran Healey of Travis who told me he’d always enjoyed my stuff when he was a kid, before the legendary Roger Daltrey came to the table, gave me a big hug and told me he was thrilled for me.

Boz and Adam

After a quick lunch, I headed out into the cool afternoon air and home, feeling happy, honoured and honestly enthused.

Adam 7/10/08

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