My first memory of the Brits being called crap came from a particularly enthusiastic episode of Newsround. Dido scrambled up to the platform to collect her ten thousandth trophy of the night while some cheeky presenter who was not quite in the realm of Lizo said that she had waved her white flag and would not be watching the Brits any more. A decade later, I think it’s time for me to air my own white cloth of despair.
For me, I don’t know when it all began to decay. I bought a guitar off the back of Franz Ferdinand’s performance of Take Me Out and I winced in awe when Robbie Williams got his muscles out (literally). For many of you, admitting to liking those artists alone is all part of the naivety of youth. But for me, watching the Brits was something that got me irrevocably excited, as I left my living room singing at the top of my voice, the power of a good tune completely taking over my whole body like a particularly threatening fit. To this day, I have premature wrinkles from trying to move my forehead in time to a riff. But it’s a price I’m willing to pay.
But this year? And last year? And the year before that? I might as well have had botox. Watching pretension taking over pride, comedy ceding to commercialisation and watching people WHO JUST CANNOT SING perform made me want to list a far more extensive list of alliterative angst than I have just done. Tacky, ill-composed dance songs that only sought fame in the dingiest of nightclubs were used as entrance themes, James Corden was too scared to tell a decent pun and the set spelt out vomitacious chaos. When the audience did find some relief in the appearance of a rock legend like Dave Grohl or the calming presence of Bryan Ferry, the looked ready to expire on the spot as they pondered whether the theme to the Macarena would be their exit cue. Oh, and what else? Robbie Williams I-am-old-enough-to-be-Taylor-Swift’s-father could only pass two syllables on the state of her performance. “She’s fit.” My dreams of a credible awards ceremony were shattered.
Call it music snobbery, call it naivety, but something about our coveted music ceremony has turned my nose up. Looking at alternatives in Britain there isn’t a lot on offer. Turning to NME, I sigh at the fact that they are still inventing awards to pay tribute to the Gallagher brothers whilst they hold onto their mullets and think of sex, drugs, and very little rock ‘n’ roll. Alt-J were nominated for the best band category this year. They were nominated for the worst band category this year. The concept of tongue in cheek is a very fine one, but more commonly accepted when there’s a decent alternative to aspire to.
Saying goodbye to my innocence and hello to the shortfalls of pop music, I turned a page in the magazine I work for. They had an exclusive interview with Dido.