TV View – The BritsFebruary 17, 2010
The papers are all over it today and I’m jumping on this bandwagon, but only because I watched (some of) The Brits last night after several years of indifference to this very British music award show. With that disclaimer out of the way, I’ll now give my opinion on what I did see.
Peter Kay as presenter for this year’s 30th anniversary Brits sounded like a brilliant choice. He’s a popular comedian, who uses old school British culture as reference points in his act. He’s had TV success with his show Phoenix Nights and created a brilliant video for comic relief a few years ago to go with the song Is This The Way To Amarillo?, reviving the fortunes of the original artist, Tony Christie. It therefore filled me with sadness to see him flounder so badly. Maybe it was great if you were there, but watching it on TV, his cultural references seemed to go down as well as a bucket of sick. It was like watching Arthur Askey presenting Top of the Pops. I don’t know if he, or someone else wrote the script, but it just didn’t work. At times, it looked as if he wanted to get the job over and done with and leave as soon as possible. Although he’s a young man, he acted like a slightly disapproving middle-aged dad who’d found himself in the middle of a teenage rave.
The other middle-aged dad at the teenage rave was Jonathan Ross. What the hell was he wearing? If it was an attempt to spoof gangsta rappers, he failed. He just ended up looking like a tool.
Speaking of tools, Liam Gallagher of Oasis didn’t let us down. On collecting a Brit for the best album of the last 30 years (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, he proceeded to do the now very tired pseudo badly behaved rock star schtick by swearing, then throwing both his award and microphone into the audience. Once Liam had left, Peter Kay came back onstage and said “What a knobhead,” possibly the most insightful, succinct and funniest thing he’d said all night. Other things that annoyed and baffled me included Lily Allen looking like Orphan Annie with a shock of marmalade hair and the cutting of sound whenever people swore or said things they shouldn’t have. It wasn’t just a bleep; it was four seconds worth of silence, which left out whole chunks of speech. It was fair enough to have the filter before 9pm, but after the ‘watershed,’ all bets were off as far as I was concerned. I’m an adult, not eight years old.
It wasn’t all rubbish, though. There were some great performances from Kasabian, Lady Gaga and Jay-Z with Alicia Keys (that song, Empire State Of Mind is surely the New York anthem for a new generation, like Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York). Florence And The Machine with Dizzee Rascal was my favourite.
Some people complained about Lady Gaga’s choice of songs, because they weren’t the hits. I liked it precisely because she didn’t play the hits. By her showcasing something different, I got to know a bit more about her work and heavens-a-betsy, I might actually buy something. Some of the awards too were well deserved in my opinion. Dizzee Rascal for British male solo artist (and about time too); Lady Gaga for International breakthrough act and female solo artist (not so sure about the album); Florence And The Machine for The MasterCard British Album; Kasabian for British Group and JLS for British breakthrough act and British single. JLS are not my thing but they’ve worked from the ground up and they seem to be genuinely nice people, so good luck to them. However long it lasts I hope they thoroughly enjoy it and not lose sight of what made them successful in the first place. As for Robbie Williams’ lifetime achievement award, I’m going to leave that one in the air. You tell me…
Congratulations to all the winners of the 30th anniversary 2010 Brits, but I think I’ll be reverting to type and give it a miss next year.