If you genuinely like music, chances are you probably hate the Brits. Despite occasional moments of brilliance (KLF in 1992, Suede in 1993, Jarvis Cocker invading Michael Jackson’s set in 1996), minor altercations (any time Liam Gallagher has been there) and deserved awards (Blur’s unsurpassed four gongs in 1995), it’s usually a lacklustre affair that prompts as much joy from the non-deaf as castration without an anaesthetic. Last year’s ceremony saw an upset as Laura Marling beat walking wardrobe Cheryl Cole to Best British Female, which in itself was enough to save it from disgrace, but could this year better it? With Blur winning the Outstanding Contribution to Music award and warranting a 3-song set at the end, things were looking promising… that is, until the show started.
A lot of hype from alternative music sectors had surrounded this year’s competition, with the likes of Bon Iver, PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi, Laura Marling (again) and Florence + The Machine up for prizes, but needless to say, the sea of Heart FM-playlist-filling dirge washed them away awardless. Adele and Ed Sheeran dominated proceedings, winning two each (Best British Female and Album of the Year/Best British Male and British Breakthrough Act respectively), while those old favourites of mine* Bruno Mars and Coldplay also had a delightfully* tacky statuette to take home (*sarcasm). It’s difficult to argue with these on a sales volume level, if not an originality or musical quality level – although, having said that, Adele’s performance of ‘Rolling In The Deep’ was musically spot on and arguably better than her critically-fapped-over Grammys set – but the lack of surprises meant that even the meatball korma meal that accompanied my Brits viewing had more flavour than the show did. The closest there was to a shock victory was for One Direction’s ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ winning Song of the Year over Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ – that I think the right song won this category gives you an indication of quite how appalling its contenders were**. The only other shocks were the fact that someone didn’t tell Jessie J her dress was disgusting before she went out in it and that the event organisers managed to resist the temptation to turn Rihanna’s microphone off mid-performance. Her vocals were the sort that make you long for miming. (**…This song definitely isn’t a guilty pleasure for me. Definitely.)
Naturally the Righteously Indignant Police, otherwise known as the bulk of social networking sites’ users, found cause for scandal when Adele’s Best Album acceptance speech was cut short in favour of Blur’s Outstanding Contribution set. Quelle dommage! It’s not like she’d already thanked half the universe in her first acceptance speech. It’s also not like she’s been overexposed in the last year to the point where her screechy Cockney accent doesn’t induce homicide in anyone with a pair of ears. Who the hell are Blur, screeched the Righteously Indignant Police, (average age 13, average IQ negligible). Why are we letting a bunch of granddads run around shouting when we could have Adele squawking like the lovechild of Phil Daniels and a female parrot? Having said that, Blur weren’t exactly brilliant; Damon sounded incredibly hoarse and I’d have liked their performance of ‘This Is A Low’ to have made the ITV1 show instead of being relegated to ITV2. But their energy and enthusiasm defibrillated the show, even if it was too little, too late. Ah well lads, there’s always the Olympics Closing Ceremony.
So there we are. 1992’s Brits was notable for machine gun blanks being fired into the crowd and a dead sheep being left at the aftershow party, 1993’s was memorable for Brett Anderson misappropriating the microphone as a spanking device, 2000’s for an impending fracas between Liam Gallagher and Robbie Williams. 2012’s Brits will be remembered for very little, except Adele’s-Winning-Speech-Being-Cut-Shortgate™, Jessie J’s quite hideous bloodstained lace tablecloth dress and Blur having a fluorescent kebab spit in their set design. But I’m sure I’ll be back in front of this insipid snoozefest again in a year’s time, moaning to my heart’s content and wondering why I wasn’t born 20 years earlier.