Oh The Brits! Record industry schmoozing went hand in hand with some humdrum performances and some luke-warm controversy. We had the bizarre sight of the rubbish one from Gavin & Stacey stopping Adele’s speech, Plan B seemingly calling Ed Sheeran a very, very bad word and a previously robotic Lana Del Rey shocking everyone by showing something resembling human emotion (“Why is water coming out of my eyes?” etc etc).
We were rooting for our favourites (hello Anna Calvi!) to win, but in the end it was a largely SheerAdelean clusterfuck. But let’s take a blow-by-blow look at the performances to see if they merited a thumbs up or thumbs down.
9Bruno Mars – ‘Just The Way You Are’
The Smallest Man In Pop TM did a remixed version of his biggest hit. And by “remixed” we mean slowed down to an ant’s pace and tinkered with by the hand of Michael Buble. Glass of bubbly, some smoked salmon canapes and an awkward conversation with someone who may or may not be a Freemason, anyone? Smooth.
Let’s just say; from where we were sitting there was a mass exodus to the bar/loo at this point. That being said, thank the gods of award show scheduling, there wasn’t any time for Edrapping. Can we also point out that the ‘spectacular’ accompaniment to the song was a visual of some bricks on the floor. Yes, some bricks. That is all.
Despite the hundreds of dancers in red capes running about, Olly’s performance still had a touch of the cut-price-Robbies about it. Perhaps it was the massive plastic heart covered in a Union Jack? Always the pop bridesmaid never the bride, the performance was a charisma free zone. Still, nice red capes.
6Adele – ‘Rolling In The Deep’
AT LEAST IT WASN’T ‘SOMEONE LIKE YOU’.
Styled in their ‘we’re builders at a rave’ look, Coldplay decided against playing ‘Paradise’ (or the rumoured duet with Rihanna, ‘Princess Of China’) and instead belted out a suitably rousing ‘Charlie Brown’. The whole thing was less ‘rousing watercooler moment opener’ and more ‘just Coldplay at The O2 then’.
4Noel Gallagher – ‘AKA…What A Life’
Aided by Chris Martin (on paint splattered piano), Noel’s dancey anthem provided a welcome change of pace to the weirdly swift Amy/Whitney tributes. As Mr Martin did his best ‘house piano’, Noel trilled over the beat. Was it just us or did he look slightly overwhelmed by the whole thing?
3Rihanna – ‘We Found Love’
2011’s Brit performances were all about popstars in riot gear (Plan B, Take That) and this year it was seemingly about paint. Rihanna and her dancers were trapped in a see through plexi glass box like some refugees from the Turner Prize. Miming issues aside, this was a great use of The O2 space -a one-note rave fist pumper with a great dance routine. Also- good use of the ticker tape!
Of course ‘Girls And Boys’ and ‘Parklife’ are stone-cold classics. But for us ‘This Is A Low’ was the high point. After the spectacle of the Phil Daniels-featuring ‘Parklife’ and the grand entrance of ‘Girls And Boys’ (complete with a 3-D spinning kebab meat) this felt a bit more personal and more like the Blur we know and love.
1Florence And The Machine – ‘No Light, No Light’
Now, we’re pretty ‘one foot in, one foot out,’ about dear old Flo, but we thought this was the performance of the evening. The multiples of ballet dancers in tan coloured outfits flanking her was a stunning visual spectacle.