I wrote a bit about my expectations for the Brit Awards earlier. I didn’t expect Iron Maiden or Elbow to win, I must admit – but they were pleasant surprises.
The Brits is such a safe event now. Ever since the car crash which was Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood, I think the organisers have taken the point of view that any controversy is bad controversy and so avoid putting anything into the show which may appear slightly unscripted.
The performances were also rather lack-lustre this evening, when it could’ve promised so much. U2 looked like they didn’t want to be there (and from something The Edge said on the pre-show interview, I think they were leaving straight after their performance) and Take That were miming, for some reason. Well at least I think they were – the first part of the song sounded live, but suddenly the vocals sounded all “studio-y” and they were obviously miming along to a backing track. It’s a shame that groups find a need to mime at all – but to do it at an awards ceremony is frankly ridiculous.
Talking of frankly ridiculous – who decided that Girls Aloud deserve the award for best single. Even if “The Promise” was a good song (which I would argue it’s not) then surely the writers and producers should get the credit as the five rather-mediocre vocals over the top are not why the song is considered good.
There’s always been a history of vocalists singing songs they don’t write themselves, but those people who’ve become superstars singing songs they didn’t write (Cher, Tom Jones, Celine Dion, etc.) generally are musicians with their voice - not mere mouthpieces for factory-style songwriters.
Katy Perry was also an undeserving winner, I have to say. She has only released one good song – and it only went to number one because she flirted with pretending to be a bit of a lesbian in it. I’ve no problem with people playing parts in a song, and I’ve no problem with lesbianism. But I do have a problem with Katy Perry. Tonight, she said on the red carpet that she was going to present an award later in the evening. Cut to an hour or so later and suddenly she’s so ill that she complains about it during her speech and then slinks off home before presenting the award she was due to present. Shocking behaviour. Of course, she also admitted whilst on-stage that she’d been told that she had to turn up because she was going to win. I told you, didn’t I?
On a positive note – at least Pet Shop Boys put in a suitably ridiculous performance – but what’s why we love them. And a rather nice touch having Lady GaGa and Brandon Flowers on stage with them.
So all in all, nothing went wrong with the evening – but then again it never does anymore. The Brits used to be considered the exciting awards show to contrast against the safety and over-rehearsed script of the Oscars and the Grammies, but in a drive to make sure the thing doesn’t over-run and to fit it into its two hour slot on the TV it’s been scripted to dire effect with terrible jokes and no ability for anyone to ad lib other than the recipients of the awards – and musicians do not generally make the best comedians.
So, the Brits are over for another year. This time next year we’ll be promised an outrageous show again. And once it’s all over, I’ll probably write another entry like this :-)