Gearing up to watch The BRIT Awards 2013:
(It’s either that or The Best of You’ve Been Framed on ITV2…)
“Won’t somebody PLEASE pay attention to me for once??”
That special time of year has rolled around again, no, not the birthday of Yulia from t.A.T.u, it’s the BRIT Awards! Celebrating the music of our tiny little nation for the 33rd time, an opportunity to award the celestial genius of those, such as dear Olly Murs, who were so cruelly overlooked at the all-encompassing Grammy Awards.
Who needs a Grammy when you have a BRIT Award? Just ask Best British Male 2004 winner, Daniel Bedingfield, who has been nominated five times in total, including Best British Urban Act in 2003, before being upgraded to a Pop Act nominee in 2004. Bedingfield, who is still active in the industry and last year revealed the NSFW video for a new song to universal apathy (the name of which I cannot remember and will not search for) in which he appeared naked, which was just such a treat for everyone, has won the Best Male award as many times as Best British Male in Any Field of All Time, David Bowie. This is how much the BRIT Awards matter: very much indeed. Girls Aloud regularly refer to winning a BRIT Award when asked for their career highlight, despite meeting the Queen and putting their names to false eyelashes. It’s a big deal.
And this year is no exception! Merely looking at the list of nominees for the BRITS 2013 is enough to make your grandmother put down her knitting, mouth agape. Finally, some recognition for the oft-neglected Emeli Sandé, she cries!
In an effort to drum up more publicity, for the past three years the BRITs organisers have invited a British artist to redesign the statuette to be handed out to winners. 2011 saw Vivienne Westwood deliver a kind of Union Jack Dress-wearing statuette, perhaps inspired by Geri Halliwell’s iconic attire, or not, and 2012 saw Peter Blake design a primary-coloured abomination that a class of primary school students could have come up with. This year the task was handed to everyone’s favourite purveyor of fine art, Damien Hirst, which could have gone terribly wrong. I was half-expecting a statue based on a cross-section of Elton John frozen in formaldehyde, but instead his minimal effort design (probably actually designed by an assistant) looks like a Children in Need candlestick. Then again, it is the best of the three, in my eyes. Who can we expect for next year after this year’s choice? My money would be on thoroughly likeable character, Tracey Emin. Below is how I imagine her design to look. It’s not pretty but it’s a fitting choice and wouldn’t look out of place in Tulisa’s hand.
The evolution of the BRIT award…
For budgetary reasons, James Corden has been chosen to host the awards for the fourth time and will be sure to deliver laughs and joy throughout, with his cracking wit and charm. That was actually sarcasm and for that I apologise, but it seems that the organisers have got fed up with looking and are just keen to avoid controversy, as in previous years. But just imagine how good a gig it would be for Simon Amstell, delivering all his Popworld and Never Mind the Buzzcocks bitterness, perhaps paired up with British pop’s very own funny hat-wearer, Paloma Faith, who incidentally has publicly abandoned all hope of winning everything, since she she is pitted against the messianic Emile Sandé in both her nominated categories. Amstell and Faith for 2014! I’ll forward this to the organisers. It would be nice to inject the proceedings with some entertainment without having to rely on drunken brawls.
So what can we make of the nominations this year? They’re for the most part quite tiresome and obvious choices, with an evident winner in each category before the winners have even been announced. It’s almost as if they picked their winners and then padded out the list with some fellow nominees who don’t stand a chance and are just there for the ‘indie’ credentials (I’m looking at you, four-time nominee Bat For Lashes).
Before we get into the miserable looking lists, let’s just appreciate the nomination list for Best British Single of 2003:
Liberty X — “Just a Little”
Atomic Kitten — “The Tide Is High”
Gareth Gates — “Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)”
Gareth Gates — “Unchained Melody”
Will Young — “Anything Is Possible”
5 songs, 2 covers, 2 Gareth Gates (oddly absent from 2013’s list) singles, 4 reality TV acts, 1 song that still (or ever did) sounds decent after ten years. Well done everybody.
Let’s have a look then:
MALE SOLO ARTIST: Ben Howard, Calvin Harris, Olly Murs, Plan B, Richard Hawley.
Obvious winner: Calvin Harris. He’s released about 40 singles this year, with most of them charting in the upper echelons of the chart.
Deserved winner: I’m not really a fan of the repetitive nature of Harris’ keyboard hooks, or his trademark crescendo-pop-thunderclap, but I can’t help singing along to gurning fool, Olly Murs’, ‘Troublemaker’, so I’d give it to him and help us all avoid a 2-second long Calvin Harris speech.
Sympathy nominations?: Ben Howard: Ed Sheeran without the success; Richard Hawley: The ‘cool’ nomination.
FEMALE SOLO ARTIST: Amy Winehouse, Bat For Lashes, Emeli Sandé, Jessie Ware, Paloma Faith.
Obvious winner: If national treasure and ‘Critics’ Choice’ Sandé doesn’t win this, I will not only eat my hat, but every piece of knitwear in the vicinity. Even if you’re not into Sandé’s schtick, the BBC and ITV will have you believe you are, and she’ll just keep singing until you give in and buy her bloody album.
Deserved winner: Marina and the Diamonds. Maybe she didn’t have enough success with Electra Heart, but the album charted at #1 and lead single ‘Primadonna’ at #11, while Bat For Lashes album charted at #6, and the lead single at #144, so Marina’s omission is absolute bollocks, really. Out of the nominations I would give it to Paloma for ‘Picking Up The Pieces’, alone.
Sympathy nominations?: Amy Winehouse: Look here, I adored Amy, she was excellent and stunning when at her best, but a posthumous nomination for an underwhelming, swiftly cobbled together rarities album just reeks of publicity more than anything. Bat for Lashes, Jessie Ware, ‘cool’ nominations.
“Shall I just stay at bloody home then?”
BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT: Alt-J, Ben Howard, Jake Bugg, Jessie Ware, Rita Ora.
Obvious winner: I wouldn’t bet on this one, as I wouldn’t say any were especially deserving, but poor man’s Rihanna, Rita Ora, has definitely broken through more than the rest, and that’s what we’re awarding here (I think so anyway, I’m not sure if that’s the case).
Sympathy nominations: Alt-J would not have been nominated were it not for winning the Mercury Prize, that’s glaringly obvious. If Jake Bugg, current holder of worst name in music, wins, it will be a waste of time and money for everyone, since, being the ROCK STAR he is, he has announced he will decide whether to turn up or not depending on how he feels at the time. He has the evening off, but he might just skip it, because he’s that laid back. What an idiot.
BRITISH GROUP: Alt-J, Mumford & Sons, Muse, One Direction, The xx.
Obvious winner: Mumford & Sons: The banjo botherers won the Grammy for album of the year, so this is a given. That is assuming the ‘committee’ chooses the winner, of course. If any kind of public vote is involved you can assure One Direction will win by a landslide, thanks to their millions of terrorising, spamming, obsessive fangirls.
Sympathy nominations: Muse are a ‘cool’ nomination again, despite everyone (INCLUDING THEIR FANS) knowing that the quality of music has reached an all time low and Matt Bellamy has descended so far into his conspiratorial state of m-m-m-m-madness that his mental health is now a serious concern, but not as much so as the fact he is bringing up a child.
BRITISH SINGLE OF THE YEAR:
Adele – “Skyfall”
Alex Clare – “Too Close”
Coldplay & Rihanna – “Princess of China”
DJ Fresh featuring Rita Ora – “Hot Right Now”
Emeli Sandé – “Next to Me”
Florence and the Machine – “Spectrum (Say My Name)”
James Arthur – “Impossible”
Jessie J – “Domino”
Labrinth featuring Emeli Sandé – “Beneath Your Beautiful”
Olly Murs featuring Flo Rida – “Troublemaker”
Rita Ora featuring Tinie Tempah – “R.I.P.”
Rizzle Kicks – “Mama Do the Hump”
Robbie Williams – “Candy”
Rudimental featuring John Newman – “Feel the Love”
Stooshe – “Black Heart”
Obvious winner: This one is voted for by the public, so anything is possible really. However it is nice to see underexposed Emeli Sandé making the list twice. People voted for James Arthur on X Factor, so I expect they will vote again in this instance, so he might win, but then again, TV personality Jessie J has an obsessive fan base, so her ear-piercing single might take it. Oh yes, Adele is in it. It’s been weeks since she won something, and a speech from her will get more follow-up press attention than most of the awards, so she’ll get it, won’t she?
Deserved winner: Primadonna not nominated… Olly’s single was good, Stooshe’s single was good and Florence’s single was good, so I’d happily take any of those.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Alt-J, Emeli Sandé (who?), Mumford & Songs, Paloma Faith, Plan B.
Obvious winner: Read all about it! Read all about it! Emeli Sandé in award win shocker! (Though it could be Mumford again. I once handed my sister a copy of ‘Babel’ and asked her to guess which one was the dad. It took her ages.) None of these are deserving winners.
“Oh go on then, just the once, mind”
INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST: Bruce Springsteen, Frank Ocean, Gotye, Jack White, Michael Buble.
Winner: Nobody’s here for the international awards! They’re the BRIT awards! This may seem a narrow-minded view, but the Best International Album award hasn’t been handed out for a couple of years now, seemingly to cut down on awards for non-British artists. Frank Ocean had a lot of hype about him so I’d go for him.
INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST: Alicia Keys, Cat Power, Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, Taylor Swift.
Winner: Proving year after year that women are dominating the pop music scene, this list is about 50x more interesting than the male list and it could go either way between the posable and fully lifelike, Lana Del Rey, Best International Role Model, Rihanna and Most Effective Succubus, Taylor Swift.
Deserved winner: Taylor. ‘We Are Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Getting Back Together’ and ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ were both excellent singles. Lana would get the award for worst singing on potentially good songs, and ‘Ri-Ri’ would surely get an award for quickest churning out of an album, for the seventh year in a row.
INTERNATIONAL GROUP: Alabama Shakes, The Black Keys, Fun., The Killers, The Script.
Winner: The Black Keys cleaned up at the Grammys and are on every advert going, but then The Script (featuring Danny from The Script) features TV personality Danny From The Script, so he could get a sympathy award as a collective ‘Sorry The Voice didn’t turn out to be a game changer’.
Critics’ Choice Winner: Tom Odell. There is no need announcing other nominees at the same time you announce the winner, is there? I would’ve given it to Arlissa, personally. I can’t help feeling that we are in March now and Tom Odell hasn’t been shoved down our ears and throats as much as previous winners of this award, so maybe he will break the curse of Over-Exposed Artist of the year. Maybe it’s because he’s the first male winner of this award. END SEXISM IN POP.
BEST LIVE ACT: Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Muse, The Rolling Stones, The Vaccines.
Obvious winner: Coldplay. They are so good live that they cured all disability or something when the Paralympics closing ceremony was chosen to support them at one gig/publicity stunt this year.
“You are now all healed! All thanks to the power of music!”
THERE WE HAVE IT. Those are the main awards. The Outstanding Contribution to British Music award has been left out this year, since there is nobody left to award it to, which is a shame for the female boss, Tulisa, who not only literally released an album and singles this year, but also claims she wrote two lines on Will.I.Am and Britney’s work of art, Scream and Shout, so Tulisa surely would have got it.
Finally, you can look forward to performances from Muse (tea break), Ben Howard, (tea break), shy, retiring wallflower Emeli Sandé (FOR THE LOVE OF JESUS AND MARY CHRIST) singing her dreary ‘Clown’, Mumford & Sons (tea break), One Direction covering Blondie (tea break), Robbie Williams, he might be worth staying for, unless he is singing Nursery Rhyme of the Year, Candy, Best International Male turned Actor turned Myspace Creative Director turned Actor turned Underwhelming Pop Star, Justin Timberlake, and finally most Effective Succubus, Taylor Swift, who will be scanning the audience for a piece of meat to take back to her hotel room and devour, before devoting a single to how he turned out to be a scumbag and not actually ‘the one’.
That all sounds jolly interesting doesn’t it! With all those tea breaks, I’m going to be in the bathroom all night, by the sounds of it. I might even miss the James Corden segments if I’m lucky.
Let’s at least hope there’s a good duet to open the show, maybe Beyoncé will turn up and do that Hulk pose to lighten the mood…