The brightest talents in showbiz (plus James Corden) descended on London’s 02 Arena last night for this year’s Brit Awards, promising glitz, Prince and priceless surprises. Did it deliver? Here’s our guide to the evening’s good, bad and bizarre.
Good – Arctic Monkeys were in force to pick up two awards. Alex Turner’s smile however was unable to attend due to prior engagements: “There’s that 15 quid we put on One Direction to win down the drain,” he deadpanned during his British Group acceptance speech, with all the cheer of a man who’d just been informed joyriders had left his car in a Grimsby laybay. What a hero.
Bad – James Corden. With all the wit and charm of a slab of rotting supermarket ham, Corden spent the evening unleashing dad jokes so abysmal, workers all over the country will be calling in sick this morning with chronic face-ache from cringing so hard from watching at home. The campaign for Lily Allen and Noel Gallagher to double-team presenting duties at next year’s event begins here, yeah?
Good – Chic legend Nile Rodgers collected the International Group Award on behalf of Daft Punk. “The robots had an amazing vision. They stuck to it when everybody said it couldn’t be done,” he said. “I guess we got lucky.” See what you did there Nile, you old joker you. Constant lols, that guy.
Bad – Katy Perry might have lost out to Lorde in the International Solo Female stakes, but that didn’t stop her giving a weird Cleopatra-with-glowsticks themed performance of ‘Dark Horse’, decorating the stage in nu-rave style fluorescent colours. Katy’s obviously well excited for the Klaxons comeback.
Good – “You maniacs didn’t actually think he’d be here did you? He’s too cool for this shit!” said Noel Gallagher, onstage to announce David Bowie as the (oldest ever) winner of the British Male Solo Artist award. Kate Moss accepts the awards on Dame Dave’s behalf instead, reading a statement from the icon that mentions Japanese myth and rabbits, then pleads with Scotland to “stay with us”.
Bad – Lily Allen didn’t perform as had been rumoured, which would have been nice. Instead, she presents Arctic Monkeys with the British Group gong, which Alex Turner accepts by delivering a missive on the invincible state of rock ‘n’ roll before smashing a microphone. Rock ‘n’ roll indeed.
Good – Beyonce popped into the O2 to remind us mere mortals that it’s Bey’s world and we’re just living in it, delivering a barnstorming rendition of ‘XO’. Reports she made it to the venue by storming up the Thames on a “SURFBORT” have yet to be confirmed.
Bad – look, we’re all for Rudimental, winners of best British Single for ‘Waiting All Night’, but their outfits from last night? DJ Locksmith turned up in his pyjamas, while the rest of them looked like they’d raided Will Smith’s wardrobe from the set of Fresh Prince of Bell Air. C’mon fellas, we’re better than this.
Good – See, Rudimental? Look at Prince. There’s a guy who knows how to deck himself out for an awards ceremony, strutting out in opulent top hat to present Ellie Goulding with the Best Female Solo Artist award. “The O2, I remember this place!” he banters with the crowd, flanked by his 3RDEYEGIRL band mates.
Bad – Ellie Goulding won Best Female Solo. This is why we can’t have nice things, Britain.
Good – Disclosure collaborated with Lorde, performing ‘Royals’ with a dancey Lawrence brothers twist. It was predictably amazing. Fingers crossed this wasn’t a one-off and the trio will soon be hitting a studio.
Bad – Disclosure, who were also joined by AlunaGeorge onstage for a rendition of ‘White Noise’, somehow missed out on British Breakthrough Act to Bastille, indie pop’s answer to Night Nurse. The less said about that gross oversight, the better.
Good – Pharrell and Nile Rodgers appeared onstage not just in a duel of weird hats, but to close out the night with a medley of massive tunes including the NERD singer’s ‘Happy’ and a snippet of ‘Get Lucky’. It was decidedly brilliant. Jury’s still out on who had the stranger headwear, though.
Bad – the night’s Best International Male Solo Artist Bruno Mars performed but didn’t bring out Red Hot Chili Peppers a la his Superbowl performance. Good enough for a cola-sponsored 15 minute break between sporty beefcakes chasing a mishaped ball around a grass pitch but not good enough for our Brits, hey Bruno?