For me the Brits are a staple of awards season, and while the Grammy’s and NME awards are considered perhaps more prestigious and established, the Brits celebrate everything that is great about the UK’s music industry. This year’s ceremony did not disappoint and it was a night filled with epic performances, controversial acceptance speeches and sprinkled with the humour of James Corden, hosting for the fifth, and allegedly final, time.
Performances on the night came from Ellie Goulding, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Bastille with Rudimental and a host of others. Most notably Beyonce performed XO for the very first time and was quite literally dazzling. When watching these performances, however, I couldn’t help but long for something a bit simpler and without all the theatrics, a-la Mumford & Sons 2011.
The results were thoroughly predictable; Ellie Goulding got best British female, and David Bowie got male, whilst One Direction naturally cleaned up, getting the awards for both global success and British video. Arctic Monkey’s also won two awards, British group and, I think very deservedly with AM, best British album. Bastille’s win of British breakthrough act was in my opinion at least a year overdue and it would have been more appropriate to award it to Tom Odell or London Grammar, who actually made their breakthroughs in 2013.
There is frequently talk about the crude nature of the Brit awards and it has been described as a night filled with poor taste jokes, mimed performances and drunken celebrities. Much in keeping with this sentiment, Alex Turner closed the show with a somewhat contentious acceptance speech for best British album, where he warned the audience of the resilience of rock and roll: “it’s always waiting there just round the corner, ready to make its way back through the sludge…it will never die and there’s nothing you can do about it”. The “sludge” referenced here is most likely a not-so-subtle dig at the likes of One Direction, and the Arctic Monkey’s front man seems to have confused and divided even his own band mates with his words, but what is an award show without a little controversy?