by / February 17th, 2010 /

The Brits 2010 – Business as usual

Another year, another day of post-Brits nashing of teeth and desperate wailing. The worst one ever seems to be the initial reaction of many, downgraded after a night’s sleep and a quick peek at the Sam Fox / Mick Fleetwood fiasco on YouTube to -one of the worst ones ever’. But is that fair? Much of the flack seems to be directed at host Peter Kay, a role which must now surely rate as one of TV’s most poisoned chalices. As the past few years have shown us, rolling out any old celebrity in front of both a fairly hostile / disinterested live crowd AND a fairly significant TV audience is by no means a recipe for success – queue year after year of people staring at the autocue, frozen with fear. (Quick pop quiz, who did it last year? No? See what I mean?)

At least Kay seemed at ease with the role, if not overjoyed by it. So yes, he basically did his normal act and yes, what the screaming JLS fans made of his references to Aswad, Glen Meidiros and Su Pollard is not particularly hard to figure out but, from where we were sitting (ie our couch) it made us laugh. Plus here was a man who can actually ad lib when things go a bit arye, as they frequently did. You could argue that he was the right person in the wrong place but he undoubtedly kept it together.

Awards wise, it was pretty much what we’ve come to expect. Despite rumours of a fall out with the organisers over her planned and then scrapped stage show, Lady Gaga picked up all three categories that she was nominated in, accepting each one with gushing tears and celebrating with a genuinely bizarre performance. The mark of a true artist or just someone who, when you take away the catchy pop tunes, is just not very good? We’re still coming down on the side of the latter.

Elsewhere, there weren’t really any surprises. Both Dizzee Rascal and Lily Allen must have felt their time had come on the back of their best work to date, the international awards seemed based on who had turned up, Ellie Goulding will have to convince us that her Critic’s Choice Award will lead to anything major (have these people forgotten that there are bands out there) and the only real eyebrow raiser was the dominance of JLS in the pop field – proof that the spectre of X-Factor never goes away. It being the 30th anniversary, there were a few awkward nostalgia categories on hand, not least the best Brits Album of the era prize that went to Oasis for (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, which gave Liam Gallagher the excuse to do this…

In the words of Peter Kay, -what a knobhead’. It was a performance made all the sadder by the fact it was followed by Kasabian who, love them or hate them, chose this very moment to pick up where Oasis left off.

All of which left – as ever – the show to stand or fall by its performances. It ultimately did neither, instead lurching from the great to the good to the merely OK. Lily Allen seemed fazed by the prospect of a big staircase on the opening number, although -The Fear’ itself emerged unscathed. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys were stunning but we’ve heard it quite a few times now, enough already.

If all had gone to script, the night would have belonged to Cheryl Cole. Arriving on the back of yet more lurid tabloid headlines about her private life, she had three minutes to emerge triumphant. A key slot, big production, the world on her side and a genuine killer track – this was her’s for the taking. It could be argued that something as simple as lip-syncing out of time shouldn’t be enough to pull the rug out from under the feet of a modern day pop performance but it was very shoddy. Not only that but, surrounded by reams of dancers, Cole became a strangely anonymous figure. Stick her out front with just a piano or guitar and this would have been legendary, as it is her redemption song is still to come.

The night’s pinnacle, then, came in the form of the zeitgeist pairing of Florence Welch and Dizzee Rascal. It threatened perfection and you know what, it came pretty damn close…

So that was pretty much it, leaving Robbie Williams to round things off with the Lifetime Achievement (ie his new album is not good enough to get a real nomination) Award with a medley that could have been a car crash but was actually pretty good fun. He should bring the curtain down on his solo career now and do the sensible thing. The curtain is unlikely to fall on the Brits however, as it limps onto another year. Yet, as the MTV Europe Awards proved last year, it is possible to do this thing right and that’s what keeps us coming back. Will it happen at this week’s Meteors? Stay tuned to find out…

  • Simon Roche

    Jesus, I nearly burst watchin Florence & Dizzee such was the spectacle. I think I’ve even got bits of tinsel in me hair.