Blur, One Direction and Noel Gallagher don’t normally make cosy bedfellows – but there they were alongside many others last night, February 21st all tucked up at the O2 Arena for the
Blur, One Direction and Noel Gallagher don’t normally make cosy bedfellows – but there they were alongside many others last night, February 21st all tucked up at the O2 Arena for the Brit Awards 2012.
The red carpet was out throughout the O2 and the floor was packed with celebrities huddled around tables that were groaning under baskets of booze – all there to celebrate the best of the music industry. Those talented enough to be nominated had the chance to walk away with a Brit Award designed this year by Sir Peter Blake.
The show opened with Coldplay and set the bar for the night. The pyrotechnic display was outstanding – bringing a whole new meaning to indoor fireworks. Coldplay picked up the title of Best British Group which the audience agreed was richly deserved. They talked about how with their new album, Mylo Xyloto they had had the most fun in making it and this must surely reflect the maturity and standing that they have reached in the music business.
In stark contrast newcomers One Direction, X – Factor runners up who have been signed by Simon Cowell’s label won best single for What Makes you Beautiful, which was the only award voted for by the British Public. When it was announced there were a few boos but I guess they shouldn’t be denied their five minutes of fame. Let’s face it – will they be back in 17 years to collect anything?
Performances from Florence and the Machine, Noel Gallagher, Rihanna, (voted best International female solo artist) Bruno Mars (best International male solo artist) and a rather nervous looking Olly Murs proved once again that the O2 is not wasted as a music venue. The staging was magnificent and the artists knew how to use their space. The audience seemed somewhat subdued when it came to dancing although when Blur took to the stage plenty of them were up on their feet. Interestingly enough the members of Coldplay sat in their seats in apparent awe of the group. How times have changed!
It was a successful night for Ed Sheeran who won best breakthrough and best male act. He performed his hit ‘Lego House’ and thanked his manager for transforming a ‘spotty, chubby, ginger teenager’ into a Brit winner.
Another artist who picked up two awards was Adele, one for British female and the other for best album, 21. She performed a breathtaking performance of rolling In The Deep which had the audience on its feet and calls of encore echoed around the arena. It was a well received return to the stage following her much talked about throat operation which she underwent last year. The disappointing moment for her came, as she began her acceptance speech. She managed to thank the crowd for their applause and say how grateful she was to be back in her hometown collecting the Brit awards after her successful Grammy collection. However before she could continue James Corden arrived on stage apologised to her but said he had to cut her off. And with that Blur were announced. The power of live TV.
Surely the audience waiting for News at Ten wouldn’t have minded if it had been News at Five past Ten, just for one night? There was probably an ‘and finally cat’ story that the news team could have dropped later if need be. The irony of the whole debacle is that prior to this, when Blur went to collect their award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, Damon Albarn front man, brought with him two pages of an A4 speech. Had he been curtailed poor Adele may have been able to say her piece to her fans.
It is a shame, although an understandable one, that the talked about moment from this year’s show was not the performances themselves. However, for those that remember the Brits from the days of drunken DJ’s and fighting rock stars, this was quite a tame complaint. James Corden was a magnificent host bringing light relief when necessary and a certain gravitas to the evening when it was called for. Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston were remembered with a short montage of photos and songs. Perhaps if there had been more time these two could have been given more prominence for their contribution to the music scene – but as we now know, time was of the essence.
Due to the tight scheduling Blurs eleven minute performance did not fully make the TV screen. It included Song 2, Parklife and This is A Low. The crowd were on their feet and it was certainly an atmospheric end to the evening.
Amongst the other awards handed out were International group awarded to the Foo Fighters, International Breakthrough act to Lana Del Rey, Critics choice to Emeli Sande and best British Producer to Ethan Johns.