Bearing in-mind this pomp and ceremony is for our entertainment – the awards realistically being next-to meaningless – it would have been great if they could have at least been entertaining. The closest we got to drama was the prospect of Taylor Swift bumping into ex Harry Styles, which didn’t even happen. Where was the controversy? What happened to the days of Jarvis Cocker invading the stage and flashing his bum as Michael Jackson was performing ‘Earth Song’? For one thing, Jackson is dead, so that does present a few difficulties in a recreation of that particular scenario, but still the Brits this year would have been more interesting if Styles had nipped on stage during Swift’s performance to moon the crowd.
Enough of fouling the ceremony, let’s move onto the winners themselves. Jake Bugg should have got British Breakthrough Act; Ben Howard getting both British Male Solo Artist and Breakthrough was a touch excessive. I’d also argue that Best Live Act should have gone to The Rolling Stones on the basis that Keith Richards should probably be dead (although I should note that I’m glad he’s not) and it’s a miracle that the band can still perform (perhaps Keith snorted the Philosopher’s Stone, who knows?). A few years ago it was Amy Winehouse winning Brit Awards, now we see Emeli Sandé winning British Female Artist and Best Album which just shows that the music scene is blatantly bland. And if One Direction is one of the best groups that Britain has to offer, then music needs resuscitating.
I read one article entitled “Brit Awards 2013: the shock winners”. The ‘shock winners’? I certainly don’t recall thinking “wow, Adele winning Best Single – that came way out of left-field!”, because, you know what, I read the nominations and I couldn’t see DJ Fresh or Stooshe going home with it when Adele was in the running!
To be fair the Brits never promised to be anything but predictable and they are truly representative of what people buy. However, when the awards overlap so much with the Mercury Prize (which was set-up in opposition to the Brits in the early nineties) with Alt-J, Ben Howard, Richard Hawley, Plan B, Jessie Ware from the Mercury Prize 2012 nominations alone appearing in the Brits’ listings, it goes to show how limited the mainstream is. The album charts are filled with unimaginative and lacklustre entries because they’re safe and they guarantee the record companies lots of money. The X Factor can do one; music needs some risk factor.
Brit Awards 2013 Winners:
British Male Solo Artist: Ben Howard
British Breakthrough Act: Ben Howard
British Female Solo Artist: Emeli Sandé
British Group: Mumford & Sons
British Live Act: Coldplay
Critics’ Choice Award: Tom Odell
International Female Solo Artist: Lana Del Rey
International Group: The Black Keys
British Producer of the Year: Paul Epworth
Mastercard British Album of the Yeah: Emeli Sandé
International Male Solo Artist: Frank Ocean
British Single: Adele – ‘Skyfall’
Global Success Award: One Direction (a brand new award created just for them)