[i]Now the fuss has died down, our reviewer [url=?q=user/view/71] Tom Leins [/url] takes a look over this years Brit Awards on its 25th Anniversary. They stirred a bit of [url=?q=node/view/161]noise[/url] on the forum back in January when they occurred. Read on for his views:[/i]
It’s that time of year again: the British music industy’s annual self-congratulatory shindig of choice – The Brit Awards. A whole evening of major label mutual-masturbation. Lovely stuff. This year’s event was presided over by lovelorn ginger tycoon Chris Evans. To be honest, I actually felt a twinge of compassion for the wealthy ex-DJ when he was jilted by his child bride, recently, but I was truly mortified for him when I learnt that he had to read an entire year’s worth of Q magazines in preparation for hosting the Brits. Poor sod. Maybe that explains his oddly-stilted delivery throughout. Maybe it doesn’t.
Anyway, as the old saying goes, inside every British record buyer there’s a gay American performance artist trying to get out. Appropriately, Scissor Sisters opened the Brits with a high-octane, Jim Henson-assisted romp through contemporary bend-pop classic Take Your Mama Out. Phew. Before we had chance to regain our collective breaths, Robbie Williams had swaggered off with an inexplicable award for ‘The Best Song Of The Last 25 Years’. Astute Radio 2 listeners decided that Angels was better than both Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division and Leave Right Now by Will Young, and who are we to argue? Speaking of dead people and homosexuals: Queen.
“It’s great to see you’re still here” crowed Evans to Brian May later. In what way? So you can ponce around on the roof of Buckingham Palace wearing bad waistcoats, shit trainers and your wife’s hair!? If only he’d tripped over his leads and fallen off. Maybe he could’ve taken one of those other cunts out on impact… Anyway, Brian thinks that “rock music is totally and utterly alive in Britain today” (- which is more than you can say about Freddie Mercury…). As if to confirm this point, creepy religious pop siblings the Bedingfields (neither of whom is British; neither of whom would understand the concept of rock if you bludgeoned them to death with one) boshed out a creepy, religious version of Ain’t Nobody backed by a one-hundred piece orchestra. Why?
Mike Skinner raised the tone slightly with a flaky run through his chav-hop ballad par excellence Dry Your Eyes. Apparently, backstage, Skinner found a marker pen and scribbled ‘Gay Netball Team’ on his dressing room door. Sorry, Mike, but my money’s on Scissor Sisters in the gay netball stakes. Garbage singer, Shirley Manson (new album out soon) witheringly introduced Best Live Act Muse as “my label mates”, which captured the mood, perfectly. Before we had chance to get too bogged-down with record label politics, convicted drunk-driver Billie Joe Armstrong led his aging punk-rock cohorts through a cracking version of last year’s rabble-rousing pogo-anthem American Idiot. Possibly the catchiest indictment yet of everyone’s favourite American Idiot and his “redneck agenda”. With the bar raised sufficiently, Will Young ruined things by mincing out to collect the award for ‘Single Of The Year’ for Your Game, which left me a mite confused, because it wasn’t even the best Will Young single of last year!
Host Chris Evans hit a new low, when he stumbled into the audience and asked his ex-wife is she’d like to share a bag of chips with him later. She turned down the bespectacled ex-funnyman and gestured that she’d be spending the evening with pneumonia-stricken peroxide soccer-ace Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne. The semi-retired media mogul visibly crumbled. With friends like those, who needs enemies, eh, Chris? Later, sexy jailbait faux-soul crooner Joss Stone bored everyone shitless with her gospel choir. Wouldn’t kick her out of bed for farting, mind. Gwen Stefani’s bargain-basement Madonna routine wasn’t much better, and only the mildly-amusing nomination of Tom Waits as Best International Male cheered me up. Robbie Williams was wheeled out again for an obligatory trot through Angels. Unfortunately, Morrissey(!) refused Robbie’s offer of a duet of the nation’s favourite karaoke song, so Joss Stone accompanied him instead. I’d love to know how many people he asked until he got down to Miss Stone. Robbie added to the preposterousness of the evening by squeezing in a line from Love Will Tear Us Apart – a song he’d beaten to ‘the best song ever’ just hours earlier.
Mike Skinner had the right idea, and made a break for the bogs, leaving one of his mates to collect his award for Best British Male. Hopefully he stayed in the toilets whilst Keane came on and sang self-important MOR anthem Everybody’s Changing. Wherever he is, I hope Billy Joel’s pleased with himself. No single performer has done more to encourage musicians without a shred of rock credibility to think that pretending-to-rock-out is the same as actually-rocking-out. Twat. Pint-sized twat. Joss Stone scooped the Best British Female and Best Urban awards in quick succession, pausing only to watch Jamelia and Lemar borrow the Bedingfields’ massive orchestra for a toe-curling version of Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love. Joss must be the least-urban Urban winner ever. She hadn’t even seen a carpark until she was 17! I shudder to think how she’d get on on Dizzee Rascal’s estate… But, be careful Joss, for fame is a fickle beast. This time next year, you could be burnt-out and married to a washed-up broadcaster – ex-broadcaster like Chris Evans…
Evans was obviously flagging, but luckily the laughs came thick-and-fast elsewhere. Guest Presenter – a surly and uncooperative Peter Hook cracked me up when he warned an audience who didn’t even know who he was “it’s a good job I don’t drink anymore, otherwise I’d have killed half of you”; and then, Alex Kapranos, 37(!) year-old frontman of Tony Blair’s new favourite band Franz Ferdinand told the audience that he’d “walk 500 miles, walk 500 more to pick up a Brit Award”. He was probably in the same year at school as the Proclaimers, though, wasn’t he? Alleged-rapist Snoop Dogg strutted on for a mercifully brief singalong with Pharrell Williams, before self-important MOR cretins Keane came up trumps again – winning Best Album for a bunch of lifeless, inconsequential, devotional ballads called ‘Hopes And Fears’ – a truly hideous album that veers between insubstantiality and unctiousness. Apparently, 2 million people have bought that album. I never thought I had it in me to hate that many people.
The evening was rounded off in genuine style with a show-stopping performance from full-time humanitarian, part-time pop-star: Bob Geldof who won some kind of lifetime achievement award, and celebrated by dipping into his back-catalogue and bringing out new-wave classics I Don’t Like Mondays and Rat Trap. As the man himself said: “One’s a psychodrama, the other is a tenement opera”. True class, and a worthy winner. Still, I’d have preferred it if he’d played something off the resolutely miserable ‘Sex, Age and Death’ LP, but you can’t have everything, can you?
Until next year…