Hey, its’s the BRITs again. We first reviewed them back in 2016, but then forgot to review them in 2017. I think we might have been washing our hair that night. Last time we looked it was Ant and Dec presenting, then last year apparently it was Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis. This year it was Jack Whitehall’s turn to take on the poisoned chalice. When we last reviewed it we gave a potted history of the BRITs. To save you from clicking away, in a slightly plagiaristic Inception moment, here is a potted history of the potted history from the original review within this review:
“The BRITs weren’t always this arena-filling showcase that it is now. The first occasion when the British music industry decided that huge profits, gold discs, public adoration, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll wasn’t enough for their darlings and they needed an end of term prize for their efforts, was in 1977 as part of the Queens Jubilee. It was snappily called “The BRITish Record Industry BRITannia Awards”. The awards were such a roaring success that they didn’t bother having another one until 1982. In 1977 it was presented by Michael Aspel and broadcast on ITV. In 1982 it was presented by David Jacob and wasn’t even broadcast.
The first-time we mortals got to see how useless our music heroes were at acceptance speeches (a trait that lives on today) was in 1985 when the BBC began broadcasting it. In those days it was more like the Variety Club Awards i.e. it was presented by Noel Edmonds, everyone wore tuxedos, it came from the Grosvenor House Hotel and it was all done and dusted in an hour. That year Prince won two awards and accepted it by mumbling nonsensically. I also vividly remember an Australian man coming on in a baseball cap with a dog to hand over the lifetime achievement award (which I’m sure even in 1985 went to Annie Lennox). Hold on a mo…..yep just googled it…it’s not my age, I did remember it (sort of) correctly. The chap was Maurice Oberstein and he was the chair of the BPI. He was American and the award went to the Police. You can watch it here. Glad we got that sorted out.
The award itself in those days looked like a CD (which had only been launched a couple of year previously). It was then changed into dancing musical notes, then the back of a 50 pence piece and eventually like an Oscar™ (NB: for copyright reasons can I say that any comparisons between a BRIT award and an Oscar ™ is purely coincidental and is probably more to do with the fact that Britannia Music Club took over sponsorship in the same year). If you want to see the full collection then go to Annie Lennox’s website here (I told you she had won a lot).
The award ceremony then got bigger, bolder, better, then worse, then really worse, then recorded, then live again, then bigger and finally big and quite good. So that brings us up to date with last nights show.”
Right, back to 2018. Jack Whitehall took his time to settle in and looked like a scared rabbit for most of the first hour. He had some really good gags, but they fell dad in the auditorium. (This morning he was talking to Richard Arnold and he confided that he had chatted to James Corden about presenting the BRITs. Corden’s advice was “don’t wait for a laugh after a gag. It won’t come”. Now I just thought that was just the “Corden Effect”, but no, most of his gags fell flat in the room, even if we were laughing like drains at home.
The show started with Justin Timberlake singing a song so bland that it felt like eating a butterscotch Angel Delight in a magnolia room whilst wearing a beige cardigan and slacks whilst listening Val Doonican. In fact at one point they seemed to turn off his microphone off in a bid to get rid of him, but he persisted and by the end of the routine all the waiters in the audience seemed to be joining in so full marks for persistence there Justin.
This year’s award appears to be encased in Perspex a la Damien Hirst. I actually think they had been to one of those seaside tat shops and got one of those laser etching things done of the original award. Must have saved a fortune.
Other things that happened:
- Dua Lipas was nominated for so many awards that she may be the new Annie Lennox.
- Rag and Bone man somehow has won successive BRITs for the same song in different years. I suspect the Russians may have been involved in the voting for that one.
- There was a really long walk for the winners to get to the podium. Luckily there was someone half way along to hand them, what I originally thought was a bottle of water, but was actually just the mic.
- Leanne from Little Mix turned up in her dressing gown.
- In line with award ceremony tradition there were horrible pregnant pauses from the people presenting the awards. The organisers also thought it would be a good idea to have an English footballer and an American singer try “banter”.
- The audio was muted every time someone swore meaning that Kendrick Lamar’s performance sounded like a Norman Collier tribute act (Google it kids, it will all make senses). Talking of Lamar Kendrick it looks like he was also auditioning for the lead in Joseph and his Amazing Technicoloured Dream Coat. Well musical theatre is always a good fall back isn’t it?
- Bjork has been nominated so many times that she could be the new Annie Lennox. Lorde is bonkers and I actually like her more now than I did before.
- You know you are in trouble when an award winner leans on the podium and looks earnest and this was certainly the case with a worse for wear Damon Alban. Nothing quite like a drunk anti-Brexit rambling to rally the nation.
- Elton John has now taking to teaming his 1970’s glasses with his 1980’s track suit whilst reading an autocue badly.
And as for the performances:
- Ed Sheeran really bough the mood down with a song about death. Cheer up mate, you featured so many times that you could be the next Annie…ok I think we’ve done that joke now.
- Dua Lipa appeared to have dancer in London and the Home Counties on stage with her and ended up leading a “Boogie Bounce” class on stage.
- Stormzy sang in the shower. Well it always sounds better doesn’t it? Better acoustics.
So there we have it, two years on, nothing much has changed. Perhaps I might book in a hair washing appointment this time next February.
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