Perhaps it's an age thing, but music awards used to be something to get excited about. There used to be performances from all styles and genres, not just the biggest selling tracks of the year once again forced down your throat in huge indigestible chunks. There used to be some major rock outs. There used to be more than the same ten acts paraded around like good little puppies. And there used to be some controversy and an exciting incident or two. Now they seem to be stale, repetitive and completely forced. The links are awkward and in no way amusing. And it just seems to be a lot of faff for not much result.
The Grammy Awards last week were particularly disappointing. Once again, so much cut out of the UK broadcast, and just nothing spectacular, though Kendrick Lamar's political performance did ring out as the best/most interesting performance of the night. There was a distinct lack of rock, as the band picking up best rock performance admitted that they don't even see themselves as a rock group. And the collaborations seemed completely forced. These people in no way arranged the collaborations themselves and they did the best they could, but really Ellie Golding singing with Andra Day who has a voice thrice as strong as hers. I mean, that's just cruel. And don't get me started on Tributes. Every other act was a tribute. It was like cover band night or something. And Gaga tried but I think I got whiplash from the song changes. Pick a couple of songs, sure, but trying to cram his entire back catalogue into a few minute's slot felt rushed and a tad overwhelming.
I was having a lot of trouble ordering my thoughts around this blog. I'd started writing it on Thursday and abandoned it for complete lack of direction/the splurge of wordy vomit coming out of me. But, inspired by an article I read entitled 8 Things We Loved About the Brit Awards, I realised the best way to order my thoughts:
8 Things I Disliked About The Brit Awards
- Ant and Dec. When will people realise that Ant and Dec are over? Not funny! And not the nations favourite people. They are also condescending and pretty stupid. No one was laughing and surely everyone there was drunk and/or high. If they aren't laughing do you really think the people at home are? Oh, I know let's dress Ant up in a dress. *fake laughter* It's so pantomime, it's sickening. Pantomime belongs in theatres at Christmas time only. We all know that. They kept talking about 'Upping their game from last year,' well Brits you failed. Though you could have had a drinking game and every time they said, 'Upping their game,' you take a shot. You'd have been more pissed than the guests. Really though, next year, time for a shake up in the hosts I think.
- Justin Bieber. That's all fairly self-explanatory. Saw him at the Grammys, why did I have to suffer him at the Brits too?
- Bowie Tribute (Part 1). Okay, so the Brits Bowie Tribute has to be mentioned for the sheer bizarreness of the whole thing. Can you say intense? Annie Lennox and her pauses were terrifying everyone. I don't think people were actually listening to her - presumably - kind words, as they were too scared off by the eyes and the look on her face. It was so severe. And to be fair there was just a bit too much talking. You could have summed all that up in a couple of songs. Or at least something a little less like a lecture at the University of Severity and Timed Pauses. And they even talked about how funny David was and how he tried not to take anything too seriously. They should have taken his advice.
- Being Taken From Behind. Rihanna performing in front of lined paper, graph paper and many lines of barcode was impressively stationary. They were trying to distract us from the none-song. And it almost worked, but then I remembered I actually like lyrics and melody and a song that actually goes somewhere. Still, you can't beat a bit of Drake taking her from behind, which by the way is fine to show and not censor in any way, but Adele can't say fucking hell I'm excited I've won. There is something wrong with this world.
- Black Magic. Little Mix started off all, Dumstrang-have-just-arrived-at-Hogwarts-for-the-Triwizard-tournament, and then quickly dissolved into the cheesy pop stylings of circa 1996. Come on, did you seriously think you could pull off cool magic and men with masks and sticks? Just because you're wearing the colour black doesn't mean you're doing dark magic. I mean, they were only wearing knickers for pickles sake. I don't think Dumbledore would be too pleased. Private boarding schools tend to have a rather strict dress code and I'm pretty sure high -waist black knickers with zips at the back are not part of it. Unless that's what Hermione's got under her cloak the whole time. Lucky Victor Krum eh? But really, stick to the cheesy outfits and don't try to Durmstrang it up, if you can't follow through.
- Hello on Repeat. The amount of times Adele was nominated for stuff meant that we were treated to the snippet of Hello about sixty thousand times. So you can't help but make up alternative lyrics. It'd be rude not to. E.g. I've heard this clip three thousand times. I'm slowly going out my mind. (There's more than one song on the album, just pick a few other clips so we don't go doolally and end up singing that clip the whole night.)
- Lack of Varied Performances. More of the nominees should have been invited to perform and not just the ones they presumed would win. In fact they were mostly solo artists, the only actual band playing was Coldplay who performed first. It seems 2015/2016 was not about bands and people who play instruments (with the exception of James Bay), it was about solo artists and lighting effects and visuals and still about manufactured pop. A sad state of affairs.
- Where's the Camera? No one knew where to look when accepting awards. A small thing, which slowly became annoying. They were stood on a circular plinth in the middle of a massive, oval arena. How the hell were they to know where to look? The people presenting the awards were a bit flumoxed too - probably shit faced - and half the time were caught chinwagging whilst the nominees were being announced.
It was just all a bit underwhelming. Shame really. But don't get me wrong, there were a few good bits:
- Bowie Tribute (Part 2). Now I thought Lordes was a strange choice to sing the tribute, but after the twenty second snippets from each song by the band, she settled in and sang Life on Mars, and it was beautiful. Really heart felt and you could see it meant a lot to her. This was a refreshing surprise and well done to her. A big feat to put on anyone's shoulders.
- Charity Shout Out. Best moment of the night when they mentioned Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity, which is my charity. Whoop! http://www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk/ Check out their fantastic work at the website.
- 2 Missing. Only two of One Direction were there. Whoop! I didn't have to deal with them all at once. Going to prove that they clearly have more then one direction. (Oh no, I'm making up my own shitty jokes now that could be used at a future music award shows. NOOOOOOOO. Stop me.)
- Adele and the F Word. It was after the water shed. Let her swear for fucks sake. She's a global superstar! She's sold millions and millions of albums. She's the most successful female singer songwriter ever. I'm not exactly a huge fan, but if I had to choose between Rihanna being taken from behind on stage, or a few F's and Geoff's from Adele, I know what I would pick every day of the week. Besides, this was actually the most exciting thing that happened the whole night, don't take it away from us.
- Random Presenters of Awards. Including: Craig David (Bo Selecta flashbacks); Gary Oldman (ledge!); Simon Pegg (dude); and Tim Peake from the International Space Station.