Ah The Brits…
Home to so many memories, classic performances, feuds and debauchery. The great and the good (and the shit) have trod the hallowed halls of The Brits venues over the years. Jacko making a twat of himself, Jarvis-o taking the piss out of Jacko for making a twat of himself. Kylie-o getting touched up by Timberlake-o and any other number of performances with people whose nicknames we can shoehorn the letter ‘o’ onto the end of.
We’ve seen the KLF & Extreme Noise Terror machine gun the audience and bring a dead sheep on to the premises. Robbie Williams offer to fight Liam Gallagher after the latter called him a ‘fat dancer’. We’ve seen John Prescott get a bucket of water chucked over him by a pissed up member of Chumbwamba. And I’ve not even mentioned Sam Fox & Mick Fleetwood’s Cuprinol coated performance which made death seem like a welcoming option…
Which brings us to 2011 which brought us a Brits show about as dangerous as a cup of lukewarm milk and about as edgy as bubbles. James Corden was the night’s host clearly wishing he could travel back in time and present the show when it was good (or at least relevant). He was clearly a man with a gag in place as well because he fawned his way through the night in a manner you would expect from the likes of showbiz sycophants like Dermot O’ Leary who are equipped with a permanent celebrity butt plug.
Opening with a performance from Take That, they stomped back and forth on the stage in a manner not befitting of men in their 40’s surrounded by fake police with Take That emblazoned riot shields and a series of rudimentary dance routines. Imagine if we saw that at the next protest marches in London. Ah, the two sides of the law brought together in unison at the prospect of musical deliverance from four slightly haggard looking men and one starey eyed headcase who is probably due for another pill popping breakdown at any given moment (the plane is on the runway, Robbie…ta ta.). Still they won Best Group possibly because this year there was pretty much an absence of other contenders and we all know how these things work. They’re old, they might possibly not get another crack of the whip etc etc.
Adele took to the stage for what would unquestionably be the classiest vocal performance of the night. Of course there is little question Adele can sing, she delivered without the need to showboat or dive into some inappropriate megamix as is usually the case and instead left the audience with a pin drop performance of ‘Someone Like You’. It has to be said though when you see Adele perform she always looks a bit unhappy, she glowers out into the middle distance like a doorman who is about twenty five seconds from bouncing your face off the pavement. She’s a sure fire candidate for ‘Outstanding contribution to menace…” if nothing else.
Tinie Tempah cleaned up as predicted (Best British Male and Breakthrough Artist and Best Single) and while I don’t trust anybody who wears ‘nob head student’ glasses at the moment he does seem to be the lesser of evils in music’s current crop. Add to that he came equipped with enough lasers in his stage show to burn out the retinas of a small country and its not hard to see why he’s come so far so fast. The glasses though…mate, the black nerd look is nowhere near as ironic as you think it is.
Rhianna was very much the centre piece for the night. Equipped with colosseum/giraffe legs she tottered about on stage with her now trademark pillar box red hair banging out the ravey shouty big tune she does at the moment which everyone secretly likes. She does have a habit of breaking into some pretty suspect dancing though when she starts winding her arse it makes her look a bit like a baby foal staggering to its feet following the trauma of birth while crossed with an Ian Curtis seizure. Its not necessarily a strong look. Still it got her the best International Female award so it proved useful for something.
Arcade Fire managed to nail the International Group award and the International album despite the lead singer looking like Rik Mayall and the band having that uncomfortable fidgety nervous energy you associate with bedwetters. Their acceptance speech showed all the attractive personality traits of a dork rejected by the woman of his dreams only to return years later with a yen for killing pets. They sounded alright when they played though.
Laura Marling appeared looking like a confused ghost for her acceptance of the best British Female solo artist. It kind of smacked of the ‘lets give the credible artist something’ and make the whole awards ceremony that bit cooler. Which is a bit sad really because it doesn’t necessarily reflect on her ability or talent. It just looks a bit, well y’know…
I felt the same about the Critics Choice, Jessie J might be good at looking kooky in videos and her hair might have looked mighty impressive (was it real? if so amazing cut daaahling) but I cant see her having any longevity when people have realised she’s actually ten a penny and lots of people are capable of viciously grabbing their own crotch in videos (catchy singles though).
Mumford & Sons took the album of the year at which point I think my eyes had started to bleed. I mean for fucks sake don’t you get it?
Mumford & Sons are as contrived an act as anything you will get in the “traditional pop market”. Its just done with a little more covert nouse, rather than dress some bloke in a tight tee shirt and make him dance suggestively or find some sugar coated lass with a big rack and an propensity for auto tuning they take a bunch of lads clad them in crumpled jumble sale shirts and waistcoats and market them as ‘the credible acoustic alternative’.
Your Tarquins & Jocastas who cant be arsed to look further than the Daily Mirror for their musical knowledge then devour this button pushing ‘folk by numbers’ (notice their opening single had a swear word in it to make them edgy) until people actually believe its the real deal (meanwhile really good bands who peddle their wares in a less contrived manner get woefully ignored…how sad).
For fucks sake, at least Simon Cowell is a bit more honest about the shit he peddles.
In other news that little shit Justin Bieber took the International Breakthrough Act. He was also subject to a rather uncomfortable link/interview with James Cordon which painted him as a somewhat pervy uncle who was about to give his little nephew a talk about ‘wrestling’. Bieber quickly became annoying though, someone had obviously given him a glass of full sugar coke and a good hard righteous slap around the face to shut him up at that point would have basically made me cry tears of unbridled joy. Mark Ronson was also on hand to be as predictable as ever, he looked a twat and he sounded a twat, only this year he looked like a badger twat as he grows out possibly the most embarrassing dye job in pop history. Nob!
Plan B attempted to recreate the videos from his Strickland Banks album with limited success. His falsetto wobbled on more than one occasion which probably means the ice cubes he lines his underpants with were starting to thaw. Either that or his penchant for wearing suits a bit too tight for him was finally cutting off the oxygen to his brain a little (he looks likes Alexi Sayle but younger with a bit more hair).
There was lots of staged recreation with people jumping about in police uniforms and the like and even a man catching fire at the end. It was a bit like The Kids From Fame but for chavs…but hey, Best British Male Solo award. In the bag guv’nor.
Cee Lo Green’s head might have looked like a heavily powdered Ferrero Rocher chocolate but it didn’t stop him winning the best International Solo Male Artist. I have no real problem with Green although his teeth look like giant ivory doors into his strange ‘carnival sculpture’ smiley face. He was teamed up with Paloma Faith for the final performance of the evening. She was brought on stage looking like The Scarlet Witch but only if the costume had been made by a blind eight year old. Seriously love, you’re second division…you’ll never be first. You’ve dined out on the whole kookiness thing for too long and for God’s sake next time you show up at least try and look like you’ve had a wash.
So that was it. Doubtless the “industry staff” and their hangers on all felt jolly important. Drank till they were sick and hoovered up chalk in the bogs but for the home viewer this was frankly about as exciting as playing with string. Contrived back slapping of the first order, there wasn’t even a hint of a fight or any of the genuine energy that this kind of affair should generate. A mere shrug of a ceremony.
P.S …Simon Le Bon did look like a caveman in a suit with piles when we saw him lumber on stage.
P.P.S Why were The Ting Tings in the fucking adverts, aren’t they dead?