If one word summed up the 2013 Brit Awards, it was WHY? Why Justin Timberlake? Why Ben Howard? Why Robbie Williams? Why bore us to tears with the whole unfathomable car-crash of tedium when the results were so predictable you’d have made a combined total of £1.24 profit on a thousand pound accumulator hitting every single winner? Stumbling into the bright post-Brits dawn still dazed, bemused and bewildered at the whole in-yer-face boredom and irrelevance of it all, here’s just the tip of the iceberg of what was wrong with the Brits.
1The crushing money-based mundanity
A few weeks ago I was on a radio show with a film journalist discussing the various nominees for the Brits and the Oscars. He was avidly weighing up the relative merits of such inspiring, challenging and intelligent films as Lincoln, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty and micro-budget foreign language films I’d never even heard of. But if the Oscars were judged on the same commercialist merits as the Brits, with absolutely zero critical consideration involved whatsoever, he’d have been trying to decide which was better between The Hobbit, James Bond, Spiderman and Batman. THAT’S why the Brits 2013 was so boring.
Or, as he was known to Twitter all night, ‘Ben Whoward?’. At some point in the early-noughties the Brits ‘Academy’, which I’m beginning to think consists solely of James Morrison, decided that the pant-soilingly sexy and exotic alien pop gods of the future would all be anonymous, pug-faced, bullied-at-public-school virgins with acoustic guitars called Ed and Ben and James and, um, Paolo. They make them out of damp flannels and dormouse tears in a Dreary Wanker Replication factory in Kidderminster, and they come pre-packaged with a flexi-grip hand adaptor designed to hold three Brits at a time.
Well, if you’re going to have an award ceremony for un-exciting ‘music’, you might as well have it hosted by an un-funny ‘comedian’ every year. “He’s so massive,” he quipped of Robbie Williams, “that for his next tour they’re going to have to build the O3!” And shut down the last one because of the mess from 10,000 split sides, right Cordo! “There have been other band names inspired by retail outlets,” he gagged, “The WH Smiths, The U2 Phone Shop, Lidl Mix…” Yeah, and Mark Morrisons and the Top Pet Shop Boys and The Waterstonesboys and, oh we could go on all night! And he did.
Like, WHY? He wasn’t nominated for anything, why was he even there? And if it was some George Michael-style hijack of a major televised attempt to plug a new single, why stretch an already thin two-minutes-worth of song out to FIVE SODDING MINUTES?
Dave Grohl – WHY? And as for Ed Sheeran and Bryan Ferry, they were being paid the price of Hampshire to read out a list of dull names from a bit of card, could they not at least TRY to inject a bit of life, danger and anticipation into it? You’ve sold your sweet, pert lips to The Man, boys, now fucking SWALLOW.
There’s been something dead behind Robbie’s eyes for this entire comeback campaign but no amount of neon blue suit would stop him blending into the monochrome box backdrop last night like a karaoke chameleon.
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The creation of the Global Success award was always going to be a transparent attempt to try to avoid blowing the whole winners-by-spreadsheet façade by not giving One Direction one of the proper awards. But even creating the special award for War Child, a noble gesture, meant that the ceremony had no big finish, just the suggestion to switch over to watch Rizzle Kicks present a sister show that, even after a broadcast duller than a Hackney Central-to-Caledonian Road edition of Michael Portillo’s Great British Rail Journeys, was an anti-climax.