I used to go myself and had a jolly good time, but the nominations for this year’s Brit Awards are excruciatingly stale and safe. Hold on lads, the year couldn’t have been that bad, surely?
I mean, it’s the Big One, the prime UK music awards show and we get as nominations - announced Tuesday, 20th January - for British Breakthrough Act: Adele, Duffy, Last Shadow Puppets, Scouting For Girls and the The Ting Tings.
Nominations for the Brits are selected by a panel of more than 1,000 music and media professionals, called the Academy. In fairness, Brits chairman Ged Doherty has picked a wide selection with less than half of the panel coming from the UK record industry. The rest is made up of media, producers, retailers, artist managers, live music professionals and more.
So it’s all above board and kosher with people from all walks of life, you’d imagine. Why is the Academy’s selection so uniformly mainstream then?
I take on board that the Brits aim to be a family show, not an elitist event. But even within that brief there’s more space for a bit of adventure.
As it stands, the awards are more likely to produce the next generation of celebrity TV hosts and panelists than making a wider public aware of the music that’s really going on right under their noses.
I mean, check out the next two categories:
Best British Album
Coldplay (pictured above) ‘Viva La Vida’
Elbow ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’
Radiohead ‘In Rainbows’
The Ting Tings ‘We Started Nothing’
Just a quick note to throw in that Radiohead were nominated 13 times during their career but have never actually taken home a Brits Award… the only other UK artist with that much bad luck is 2-Step singer Craig David with 12 nominations and no Brits Award on the mantle piece.
Best British Single
Adele ‘Chasing Pavements’
Alexandra Burke ‘Hallelujah’
Coldplay ‘Viva La Vida’
Dizzee Rascal/Harris/Chrome ‘Dance Wiv Me’
Surely Dan Le Sac vs Scroobious Pip would have merited a mention among the nominations? Fresh, popular and part of a healthy scene? How about the Dubstep geezers? Shackleton, Appleblim, Peverelist, Kode 9 - That’s Worldclass music right on your doorstep. If you want it a bit more mainstream but with a slight edge, what happened to Glasvegas, Light Speed Champion, Spiritualized or The Foals?
To cut a long story short, the Brits Nominations don’t reflect my soundtrack of 2008 when it comes to UK artists.
With two exceptions. It’s good to see that Florence & The Machine (pictured left) clinched the Critics’ Choice Award. It’s interesting to note, that this slightly more hip choice was voted for by media people only. And Brian Eno is up for the Producers Award. Right on. The competition for the latter award are Bernard Butler and Steve Mac. No comment.
The Producers Award will be handed out on 12th February at the Cafe De Paris in London. The other winners will be announced at the Brits show at Earls Court in London on 18th February. Live TV coverage comes from ITV. Artists due to hit the stage for the Brits show include Kings Of Leon, The Pet Shop Boys, Coldplay and U2.
Will there be any amusing scandal this year? My favourites so far were: Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker one-man stage invasion during a pompous Michael Jackson performance featuring Jacko and a bunch of kids in ‘96, Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba emptying a wine cooler of water over then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in ‘98 or DJ Brandon Block and Rolling Stones’ rhythm guitarist Ronnie Wood working themselves up to a drunken scuffle on stage in 2000. Classic show biz moments.
Check out the rest of the Brits nominations below.
Brit Awards 2009 - Nominations
British Male Solo Artist
British Female Solo Artist
British Live Act
Scouting For Girls
AC/DC ‘Black Ice’
Fleet Foxes ‘Fleet Foxes’
Killers ‘Day & Age’
Kings Of Leon ‘Only By The Night’
MGMT ‘Oracular Spectacular’
International Male Solo Artist
International Female Solo Artist
Kings Of Leon
Outstanding Contribution To Music
The Pet Shop Boys