the ivor novello awards

Graham Coxon's speech at the Ivor Novello Awards :

“This award is a bit premature for him, but he’s written about two lifetimes of work so far. The first time I saw him, he was shouting ‘I’ve got a social disease’ in a school as he gave a very energetic performance in a school assembly. I thought ‘this boy’s got some nerve’. He told me that I had crap shoes, but as you can see I got my own back today.

The second time he met me, he told me as the only sax player in school to play a sax solo. So I did, it was a good little song called ‘when you meet a beautiful alien’. At this point, I’d never met anybody at the age of 13 to even attempt to write a song - but writing songs always seemed to come naturally to him. But that’s not to say that he doesn’t have a good work ethic. He’s very disciplined, and he doesn’t take it all for granted.

Our friendship and working relationship has been a bit like a pot plant - well, y'know a house plant. They need to be re-potted from time to time, and there’s always a certain amount of anxiety concerning whether it will wither and die, but it never has and I think that house plant is doing pretty well right now.

He has written some of my favourite songs, and what’s great about that is that I got to play on a lot of them. They always display the mischief of a mind that isn’t interested in what’s expected, but sees music and the world in general as something to process and use, and nothing is wasted. There you go, that’s one of yours isn’t it?

He is my really talented, horrifyingly honest, embarrassingly honest and ridiculously funny (although he doesn’t always mean to be) best mate - Damon Albarn.”