The launch of BBC Music last year was full of pomp, circumstance and Dave Grohl singing The Beach Boys atop a pink fluffy cloud. Bombarding us with advert after advert after advert, the BBC promised richness and music-related goodness for all, presumably with the intention of getting parents across the country to ask did-you-know-there’s-this-thing-called-music?-type questions of their kids. And, as if that wasn’t enough, there was the first of their annual and rather glittery awards ceremonies, The BBC Music Awards, which would surely rise to the top table of awards-giving events. You can keep your VMAs, your Grammys, even your bloody BRITs – artists would now only go into a studio with the intention of making a BBCMA-winning record.
And yet, 2015’s ceremony – the second, after 2014’s bash at Earl’s Court – was just rather… dull. Held last night at the Genting Arena just outside of Birmingham – aka the greatest city on earth – things got off to a murky start when the camera panned down from the gray Midland skies to an ever grayer people carrier carrying the grayest thing of all: a Chris Evans and Fearne Cotton presenting duo.
And from there, there was to be no recovery – no, not for all the shots of One Direction and their screaming fans in the world – as the BBC Music Awards fell inevitably into the hole of becoming a two-hour advert for the corporation’s music coverage. Elsewhere there was an increasingly-husky Rod Stewart closing the show, a measly five awards that were painstakingly given out, Stereophonics bringing “the rock”, and ugh, no more.
Who won? Oh, who knows. Here’s the bits we do remember, though.
Little Mix didn’t say anything inflammatory about the Syrian crisis
Which is a shame, because their social media strategy seems so geared recently towards solving all the problems in the Middle East.
They just turned up last night and PR’d their way through it all. A real shame.
Chris Evans and Fearne Cotton’s severe lack of anything
Live television is hard, no doubt. But why did Chris Evans and Fearne Cotton make it look impossible? There was Evans asking each member of One Direction what their favourite brand of car was – because he’s going to be the new host of Top Gear, as he kept pointing out – before then barking “Go on, One Direction, get off!” once they’d each given him an answer.
There was Evans’ insistence on keeping his coat on throughout proceedings. There were blunders with the autocue (“Right now he have a musical collaboration made up of…” began Evans, “Two singers!” Fearne butted in, simultaneously with her co-host). And who invited Citizen Khan (who insulted Evans’ hair colour and then cracked a joke about the almighty Lenny Henry/Ainsley Harriott ITV balls-up, to which Evans could only reply, “er, right”)?
Adele wasn’t there
Videoing in her acceptance speech because Adele had something more pressing to do than turn up to the BBC Music Awards (“As if!” we hear you cry), it confirmed that the ceremony has some way to go before it can attract music’s real greats (The Shires just didn’t cut it). Adele’s absence was a particular pity, as you can normally rely on her to gob off about someone or something – the sheer pointlessness of this tired exercise of an awards ceremony, perhaps.
Taylor Swift wasn’t there either, although she did namedrop Norwich – probably the first non-Alan Partridge instance of a megastar mentioning the Norfolk city in a televised acceptance speech.
They didn’t televise this backstage moment
Good guy, is our Brian. When he’s not saving badgers or not cutting his hair, he’s holding a golden envelope backstage or looking positively nonplussed about posing for a photo with Little Mix. Music really does have the power to unite individuals, doesn’t it?
Hozier’s long, long, long acceptance speech for a two-year old song
“Thank you so much! Wow. Thank you. I genuinely wasn’t expecting that…” oh, here we go. Poor ol’ Hozier, with his moment in the Genting sun, was reeling off all the people who’d helped ‘Take Me To Church’ win ‘Song Of The Year’ (fun fact: ‘Take Me To Church’ was actually first released in 2013): his label, his manager, his Ma and Da, the BBC, BBC DJs, his cat, the barista who makes his Oolong at the local café, his… “SONG OF THE YEAR, COME ON LET’S HEAR IT FOR HOZIER! WELL DONE WELL DONE!” This was Chris Evans, deciding that Hozier’s moment in the Genting sun was over and essentially pushing him off stage, presumably due to time constraints. At least the Oscars are polite about getting the talkers off stage with some “well done, but fuck off now” orchestral music.
Eamonn Holmes enjoyed it, though
And if that isn’t a victory for the Beeb, then I don’t know what is.