NME announces the return of the iconic VO5 NME Awards, with the date and venue for the ceremony confirmed. The 2018 season will kick-off in style with a special launch party featuring Nothing But Thieves at Tape London on 16 November. The VO5 NME Awards 2018 – the most rock’n’roll night in the music calendar – will descend on London’s O2 Academy Brixton on 14 February.

Fresh from selling out UK venues including London’s Roundhouse and Manchester’s Albert Hall, the Southend-on-Sea five-piece will take to the stage at Tape London to perform an intimate set. The band will also cast the first ballot at the party to launch public voting for the infamous ceremony, which will see music heavyweights battle it out for hotly contested categories including ‘Best British Band’ ‘Best New Artist’, ‘Best Album’ and ‘Best Track’.

Nothing But Thieves say: “Cheers to NME for inviting us to play their awards party. It's amazing to be asked to play at such an institution for music. We promise to be at least half as good and twice as drunk as Biffy were last year."

Mike Williams, NME editor-in-chief, adds: “NME Awards season is upon us again, and we’re kicking it all off with one of the year’s big breakthrough successes, Nothing But Thieves. This year has been huge for the band, capped off with two shows at the Roundhouse in November, so we’re thrilled that they’re playing this intimate gig for us. Voting for the VO5 NME Awards 2018 opens that night, and we’ve got some very exciting announcements to come very soon, so stay tuned and make your voice heard.”

Fans can win tickets to the exclusive launch party via nme.com/win.

VO5, the UK’s leading styling brand*, is joining the legendary NME Awards for a second year as headline sponsor. The ultimate night in the music calendar, highlights from the VO5 NME Awards 2017 include Pet Shop Boys collecting the illustrious Godlike Genius Award, bringing the ceremony to a close with an electric career-spanning set; a blistering performance from Godfather of Grime Wiley, who took to the stage after picking up the Outstanding Contribution to Music prize; and a special performance from indie supergroup Bands 4 Refugees - formed of Charli XCX, Olly Alexander, Pixie Geldof, plus members of Peace, Black Honey, Circa Waves and Slaves - in support of Help Refugees.