Wednesday, February 14, 2007

the brits. live.

What's happening at The Brits, lame celebration of lame british music? Well, I'll tell you, cause I'm watching it.

8.05: the show opens with The Scissor Sisters, who are dressed like airstewards and doing some predictably kitsch dance routines; I'm reminded of the opening credits of the very underrated early 90s BBC2 comedy, The High Life. Except the Scissor Sisters song is not as memorable, just sounding like George Michael's (admittedly quite good) 'Freedom'.

8.08: Mr Brand, our host for the evening, arrives on stage to the strains of The Smiths. That'll be the best music we hear all night, then. He makes a few jokes about David Cameron ("he's got a face like a little painted egg") and the camera pans to a very pretty looking Lily Allen looking nonplussed. Then he introduces Keith Allen, who now mentions his daughter with every sentence, increasingly desperately.

8.13: Muse win best live act. Fair enough if you like that sort of thing. In their acceptance speech they make the first of doubtless many references to Valentines Day. Is it Valentines Day?

8.15: Oh, look, it's Snow Patrol. I begin to wonder what 'Dragons Den' is like over on BBC2. Would anyone mind if I switched over to that?

8.18: This year The Brits is going out live, so - as Mr Brand has already reminded us - anything could happen. Consequently, half way through Snow Patrol's 'Chasing Cars' it all fucking kicks off. Not really, most of the crowd are probably grabbing a quick nap.

8.20: They're doing a phone vote for single of the year now. I'll vote for any of them if it means that 'America' by Razorlight won't win. There aren't actually any good songs to choose between. Where's Lily Allen's 'LDN'? She's Keith Allen's daughter, you know.

8.26: After some enjoyably dirty jokes from Russell Brand (the next band, apparently, broke down the hymen and ejaculated "into the uterus of popular culture"), Jarvis Cocker, harking back to his Michael Jackson baiting days, introduces best british breakthrough act. Faced with the piss-weak likes of James Morrison and The Kooks, Lily Allen really should win it, but I bet she doesn't.

8.27. Nope, she doesn't, The Fratellis win. Hopeless.

8.30. They're going for danger in this show, as Russell keeps telling us. Anything could happen. Accordingly, when a clearly rat-arsed bunch of Fratellis make their thankyou speech the show lapses suddenly into silence. It appears the little tykes might be swearing. Rock and roll.

8.33: Orson win something. They're very American. I think Americans are fucking brilliant. Not this type of American, though. "I love you baby", they shout.

8.35: Brand introduces Amy Winehouse as having one of the best voices in the world. "When she's singing. When she's talking she sounds like a cab driver". She sings 'Rehab' and it's just so much better than everything else so far as to be almost embarrasing.

8.39: Joss Stone presents an award and struts around the stage talking in a strong American accent. Truly truly bewildering. I think she tried to tell a joke. Weirdest moment of the show so far.

8.41: James Morrison wins something. He says that he just can't believe that he's here. Guess what James, neither can we.

8.48: Lots of stuff in the news recently about size zero models. I know, think the Brits organisers, we'll get Erin O'Connor to present an award. She's like, tall and thin. Cool.

8.49. Best international male award. Dylan and Beck are up for this one. If it goes elsewhere I'll scream.

8.50. *screams*

8.51: Justin Timberlake won.

8.52. Not a bad performance from The Killers, who do a lively rendition of 'When You're Young', equal parts synth-pop and Bruce Springsteen. They're the first people to perform with anything approaching passion.

8.56: Another snub for Lily Allen, although Amy Winehouse is a deserving winner in the best british female artist category. Jo Whiley is the recipient of Russell Brand's first decent gag of the night, and she's the first decent presenter too. Meanwhile, Ms Winehouse fails to say anything controversial. "I'm just glad my mum and dad are here", she says. What!? We want controversy. Yeah, I know, fat chance.

8.58. Ricky Wilson is introduced by Brand as "the new Princess Diana", ha ha. He introduces best international female solo artists as 'best international girl'. Cat Power is one of the nominations! Yeah, Cat Power to win! C'mon.

8.59. It's Cat Power!!! No, it's Nelly Furtado - fair enough, she managed a pretty ace few singles last year. 'Maneater' was awesome.

9.03: Take That try my patience with their rubbish come-back single. Poor old Gary Barlow really is quite rotund. I guess he's accepted it now. Couldn't they have done 'Pray', just for old times' sake?

9.11: They're doing best british group now, which I suppose is the key award. Loads of rubbish like Kasabian up for this one, so it's a minor triumph that the Arctic Monkeys deservedly win. They're not there of course, cause they're too cool, but they have thoughtfully submitted a video of themselves dressed up as the characters from the Wizard Of Oz. A rare moment of class.

9.14: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (no, me neither) present best international album to the Killers. Shrug. They performed live so I guess you've gotta give 'em something.

9.18: Comedy Rock from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, groan. Lily Allen's still not won anything. No-one's mentioned Pete Doherty or Kate Moss, either. This won't last, surely.

9.25: Another award for The Killers as they win best international act. The award is presented, weirdly, by Steve Tyler from Aerosmith and an emaciated looking Sophie Ellis-Bextor. It's followed up by a performance by Corrine Bailly-Rae, who does that song with the 'go put your records on' refrain. It's a great song, but does she have any others? No. It's another nice performance but such a safe option, again. Couldn't they have got at least one unpredictable act on? God knows he's overrated, but couldn't they have got Mr. Doherty and his Babyshambles mates on to do a song, or The Long Blondes, or Jarvis Cocker, or Mika, or anyone?

9.34: Take That win best single. As I said, if it ain't Razorlight, I'm happy. They might have mentioned Robbie, mind, seeing as he's now a universally recognised drugs-loon.

9.37: Sean Bean makes a football joke. The best bits of the Brits are the music they play when the guest presenters come on stage. We just had a snippet of 'Over and Over' by Hot Chip. Oh for a song that good to be played in full!!

9.38: They're doing best british album now - it's the Arctic Monkeys. Quite right. This time they're dressed as the Village People. "Hope you're having a good time", Alex deadpans. "We are, as you can see. Just rehearsing. For the year ahead".

9.40: Oh blimey, that's it! That all went very quickly - the rest of the show will be taken up with a live performance from Oasis, as they've won the lifetime achievement for making one decent album twelve years ago award.

9.49: Russell introduces Oasis as 'glorious beautiful hooligans', and says he's "a bit worried about Joss Stone, poor cow", which made the whole night worthwhile. Her brief involvement was clearly the best moment. Amy Winehouse might well sound like a cab driver, but at least she doesn't sound like Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver.

9.50: An Oasis tribute band, meanwhile, are doing a passable rendition of 'Rock 'N Roll Star'; Liam seems to have adapted his live approach to anger and agression rather than insouciance. It doesn't work as well, and his voice is shot, sadly. Shades of Ian Brown at Reading. It's funny how Noel looks pretty good, despite being the older brother, where Liam looks, suddenly, old.

9.57: The sound keeps cutting, giving the impression that bits of the song are being played underwater. When they accepted their award a few minutes ago the nervous TV execs again cut the sound so we couldn't hear them swearing. What's the fucking point? Now the band have moved on to play some other stuff, something so bad it must be new, and a particularly grim churn through 'What's the Story, Morning Glory'. Noel's a better guitarist that I normally give him credit for, mind.

9.59: Well, that's it. Sad that in the end there was nothing for Lily Allen, although it's not surprising that there was nothing in the way of controversy, nothing of note. Russell Brand wasn't very funny, either, apart from the odd flash of wit. Ah well. See you next year, perhaps.


JamesM said...

Ms. Winehouse does indeed have a wonderful voice - shame about the wig tho. Ms. Stone is suddenly quite the American - not sure what she was talking about either.

Stephen Newton said...

Muse best live act? Here’s a memory from 2004 when they headlined at V: ‘Eventually we gave up [on getting into Basement Jaxx] and joined Muse on the main stage. They were truly dreadful, rightly commanding a far smaller audience than Pink had early afternoon. Failing to make the slightest effort to engage with the audience they went from near identical song to near identical song barely missing a beat. It was like watching a bunch of teenagers messing around with keyboards in a mate’s bedroom. So on to Kings of Leon, who had a reasonable crowd and were obviously more lively than Muse. Yet sadly with half-an-hour to go, the biggest crowd was in the car park.

Ali P said...

was the hitherto 'untouched by celebrity' Ms Stone off her t*ts on coke? surely not tsk tsk.

Jonathan, may I congratulate you on an awesome blog. I feel like I watched the brits although I didn't waste 3 hours of my life actually doing so. Awesome!


victoria said...

great rundown of the brits..i missed it but have been able to live the experience through you...thanks...

just found your blog and like it..

i'm working for a new company building approximately 60 websites (as part of a community building exercise) and launching two sites.

we are looking to add Banners and/or reciprocal links to Blogs that we believe would be of interest to our members.
please let me know what you think and if this is of interest.

many thanks


Anonymous said...

I like the way that afterwards her management said that her behaviour was 'down to nerves' - rather than down to being coked off her head...

Anonymous said...

This is linked to from the Joss Stone wikipedia page. Respect. Plus I think you're pretty hot. "Wont a willy rub I do :p lol 1111!!!"