The Brit Awards is a confusing institution. Very few other celebrations of contemporary music can be said to be so inexplicable. Where else would collaboration between the monumentally bland Bastille and the equally generic Rudimental be seen as even remotely exciting? Or indeed, where else would Bruno Mars be deemed as ‘Best International Male Artist’? I could go on, yet a wry-eyed, systematic deconstruction of all the ‘Brits’ Wrongdoings 2014’ would be about as long and about as interesting as my potential third year dissertation on ‘Estates in 19th Century Russian Literature’. I’ll keep it short, and I’ll keep it blunt. Nevertheless I remind you that, as always, the following text is my opinion and not necessarily that of PearShaped as a whole.
Arctic Monkeys For a band like the Arctic Monkeys, winning at the Brits must prove to be something of a quandary. Winning a Brit is prestigious, yet it doesn’t do much for an acts popularity with the partisan indie-press, for example NME. As an Alex Turner apologist therefore, this is the best excuse I can offer for two awards acceptances that seemed frankly, intentionally dismissive. The rest of the band looked confused throughout, with Nick O’Malley perpetually clutching a can of Boddingtons, and Turner’s conscious neglect to thank anyone in particular for ‘Best British Band’ was by no means a smart move. Having said that, his rambling acceptance of ‘Best Album’ was an eloquent one, that I recommend rooting out on YouTube if you didn’t have the privilege of catching it live. Worthy winners, but I can’t help think Turner is becoming a pale pastiche of the subversive front men that came before him.
Cesc Fabregas In an unprecedentedly emphatic victory, Spanish international footballer, Cesc Fabregas scooped ‘Surprise Appearance of the Decade’, as bizarrely he awarded ‘Best International Group’ to Nile Rodgers, representing Daft Punk. One can speculate why Cesc was chosen to be involved in the awards this year – however I like to imagine the original presenter cancelled and some poor Brits employee scuttled up to Manchester on Tuesday night to ask the visiting Barcelona team if one of them would do them a favour. Situated next to the offensively loud Nicole Scherzinger, poor Cesc looked out of his comfort zone, even more so when it was his time to speak. Unsurprisingly, his subsequent football-related quip fell rather flat. Better luck next time mate.
John Newman Spare a thought for John Newman. 2013’s perennial chart botherer - best known for his floor-filling collaboration with Rudimental (Feel The Love) and gratuitous use of brass in his solo work - walked away empty handed despite being nominated for a plethora of awards. Admittedly, David Bowie was a deserving winner of ‘Best British Male’ after his sublime album, The Next Day, whilst no one could ever hope to overcome the One Direction Twitter juggernaut on the ‘hash-tag’ vote for ‘Best Video’, yet Newman could think himself unlucky for losing ‘Best British Single’. Instead it would be Rudimental and Ella Eyre scooping the gong thanks to Waiting All Night, a track best known to most of us as ubiquitous on Arena Thursdays around 1.30am. A hotly contested heat that Newman may well feel aggrieved at not winning. Still, at least it wasn’t Ellie Goulding.