Paul Weller won the Brit Award as Best Male Artist. A well deserved win, I say. Welsh Retro Soul singer Duffy was the clear overall winner, taking home three Brit Awards.
You can’t deny that Paul Weller’s got class. He fronted The Jam, Style Council and launched a third career as successful solo artist. His voice might be getting on a bit, but he still has the knack for re-inventing himself before his music goes stale.
Weller turned 50 in 2008 and deliverd an album, ‘22 Dreams’, that is a bit like a compendium of the different styles that inspired him over the years. That’s mainly Jazz, Funk, Soul and that particular kind of Georgie Fame style Rhythm and Blues that fuelled the original Mod scene. You also get a bit of Folk in the mix. As the saying goes, ‘once a Mod, always a Mod’, Weller stays sharp and has an eye for detail that leaves artists half his age looking clueless.
The Brit Awards winners were announced at Earls Court in London last night.
Elbow pip Coldplay to the post as Best British Group. That’s a decent achievement for the lads who already won the Mercury Music Prize for the best album by a UK band with ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ last year. Coldplay also lost out to Duffy in the Best British Album category - Is the band now on the way to follow in the footsteps of Radiohead, racing up nominations but leaving the Brits empty handed?
Despite their sizeable fan base, Radiohead now look condemned to be the token losers at the Brit Wards. The band has been nominated 14 times during its career and never had the opportunity for a ‘thank you’ speech.
Interestingly, veteran Metal band Iron Maiden clinched the award for Best British Live Act ahead of Elbow and Coldplay. Now, I would have said that Elbow quietly made their way to the top thanks to a loyal live audience, but maybe there are more ageing air guitar players out there than I think.
You won’t find the Best British Single, ‘The Promise’ by Girls Aloud, among the original nominations. It crept in later when nobody was looking… The public voting in this category went through seven stages, with one single being voted out at each of the first six stages and a new title being added instead. The winner was then voted out of the five finalists in stage seven. Confusing? You bet.
The Producers Award went to Bernard Butler, former frontman of UK band Suede, for his production of Duffy’s multi-award winning album ‘Rockferry’. Fair dues to Messr. Butler, it’s a classic sound he pinned down for a singer who could easily have ended up sounding a lot more cheesy.
You could argue that fellow nominee Brian Eno doesn’t really need an award at this stage. Eno is the former founding member of Roxy Music, forefather and catalyst of UK and US New Wave and a fine recording artist in his own right. And he provided the most interesting songs on Coldplay’s last album ‘Viva La Vida’, in my humble opinion. Anyway, Eno made off with the Producers’ Guild’s Joe Meek Award For Innovation instead.
It’s a delicate balancing act for awards ceremonies: You can either provide an accurate snapshot of the moment or you can emphasise the timeless, the classics of tomorrow. The Brtit Awards 2009 fall into the first category in my eyes.
Brit Awards 2009 - The Winners
Best British Album
British Male Solo Artist
British Female Solo Artist
British Breakthrough Act
Best British Single
Girls Aloud ‘The Promise’
British Live Act
Kings Of Leon ‘Only By The Night’
International Male Solo Artist
International Female Solo Artist
Kings Of Leon
Outstanding Contribution To Music
The Pet Shop Boys
Critics’ Choice Award Florence and the Machine