Tuesday, January 10, 2006


The nominations for this year's Brit Awards have been announced, and the headline - "James Blunt leads the nominations" - really sums up how terrible it all is. Here we go, then:

British Male Solo Artist

* Antony and the Johnsons Rough Trade / Sanctuary
* Ian Brown Fiction / Universal
* James Blunt Atlantic / Warner Music
* Robbie Williams Chrysalis / EMI Music
* Will Young S / Sony BMG Music

Now, it was stretching a point when Antony scraped into the Mercury prize, but British Male? They're having a laugh. Ian Brown? He's doing better work than he's done since the first Roses album, but it's hardly stellar. But then a straight-faced vote for the chumpytrimuverate of Blunt, Williams and Young doesn't really scream about quality being that important. No Morrissey, though?

British Female Solo Artist

* Charlotte Church Sony BMG / Sony BMG Music
* Kate Bush EMI / EMI Music
* Katie Melua Dramatico / Dramatico
* KT Tunstall Relentless / EMI Music
* Natasha Bedingfield Phonogenic / Sony BMG Music

Poor Natasha must be as surprised as any of us to find herself in such illustrious company; although we don't care for her music we can at least see how Melua, the she-Cullum, has made it here, and KT Tunstall has shifted more albums than Madonna in the past twelve months. In a fair world, Kate Bush would have this one stitched up.

British Group

* Coldplay Parlophone / EMI Music
* Franz Ferdinand Domino Recordings / Domino Recordings
* Gorillaz Parlophone / EMI Music
* Hard-Fi Necessary / Atlantic / Warner Music
* Kaiser Chiefs B Unique / Polydor / Universal

To be fair to the Brits organisers, this is probably the strongest best band line-up for years - two or three bands who you wouldn't be ashamed to have on your shelves, a populist-but-not-too-bad option in Gorillaz, and Coldplay. It's just a pity they couldn't find space for at least a token nod to pop - surely Girls Aloud could have justified inclusion here?

MasterCard British Album

* Coldplay X & Y Parlophone / EMI Music
* Gorillaz Demon Days Parlophone / EMI Music
* James Blunt Back To Bedlam Atlantic / Warner Music
* Kaiser Chiefs Employment B Unique / Polydor / Universal
* Kate Bush Aerial EMI / EMI Music

The sludge starts again - the dull Blunt-Coldplay conspiracy; and while Kaiser Chiefs employment isn't a bad collection, it feels tired enough already to have its presence on the list seem to be on the side of sludge. Kate Bush if there's any justice, but will probably be given out as a balance to one of the greyer acts if they don't win elsewhere. Besides, everyone loves Coldplay, don't they?

British Single

Winner chosen by UK Commercial Radio listeners

Words there to chill the blood

* Coldplay Speed Of Sound Parlophone / EMI Music
* James Blunt You’re Beautiful Atlantic / Warner Music
* Shayne Ward That’s My Goal Syco Music / Sony BMG Music
* Sugababes Push The Button Island / Universal Music
* Tony Christie ft Peter Kay (Is This The Way To) Amarillo UMTV / Universal Music

Why ask commercial radio listeners? Why should the accolade be in the hand of the sort of people whose taste is so poor they listen to the UK's commercial radio stations? And what on earth is Amarillo doing on the 2005 awards list? The only new thing about it was Peter Kay in the bloody video.

British Breakthrough Act

Winner chosen by Radio 1 listeners

* Arctic Monkeys Domino Recordings / Domino Recordings
* James Blunt Atlantic / Warner Music
* Kaiser Chiefs B Unique / Polydor / Universal
* KT Tunstall Relentless / EMI Music
* Magic Numbers Heavenly / EMI Music

James Blunt again? Kaiser Chiefs surely would have to be judged the band who's most earned this nomination - although they might not have had the bursting breakthrough of the Monkeys (who used the internet, you know) for sheer effort of slogging they should win. But the Arctic Monkeys will take it. Because they can use the internets.

British Urban Act

Winner chosen by MTV:Base viewers

* Craig David Warner Brothers / Warner Music
* Dizzee Rascal XL Recordings / Beggars Group
* Kano 679 Recordings / Warner Music
* Lemar Sony Music / Sony BMG Music
* Ms Dynamite Polydor / Universal Music

Is it just us, or does this list sound less like a ringing endorsement of 2005 on the urban scene, more like a clips show of previous episodes. Dynamite? David? Lemar? Good lord. Kano has to win, surely, by being the only person on the shortlist to have demonstrated the existence of a pulse in 2005.

British Rock Act

Winner chosen by Kerrang! TV viewers

* Franz Ferdinand Domino Recordings / Domino Recordings
* Hard-Fi Necessary / Atlantic / Warner Music
* Kaiser Chiefs B Unique / Polydor / Universal
* Kasabian RCA / Sony BMG Music
* Oasis Big Brother / Sony BMG Music

See, and they reckoned they'd been passed over. Here's Oasis great moment, wanking for coins thrown by people who watch Kerrang TV. This one's anyone's guess, especially as all the shortlisted bands seem more like The Amp's thing than Kerrang's.

British Live Act

Nominees chosen by a panel of experts in association with The Live Music Forum. Winner chosen by Radio 2 listeners

* Coldplay Parlophone / EMI Music
* Kaiser Chiefs B Unique / Polydor / Universal
* Franz Ferdinand Domino Recordings / Domino Recordings
* KT Tunstall Relentless / EMI Music
* Oasis Big Brother / Sony BMG Music

"A panel of experts", eh? We wonder what their field of expertise is, as it's almost certainly not music. But the Radio 2 audience is a wide church, so it could be anyone's here. We would stress that anyone voting for Oasis will be outed and ridiculed.

Pop Act

Winner chosen by CD:UK viewers, readers of The Sun Bizarre column, and customers of O2 and Motorola

* James Blunt Atlantic / Warner Music
* Katie Melua Dramatico / Dramatico
* Kelly Clarkson RCA / Sony BMG Music
* Madonna Maverick / Warner Music
* Westlife S / BMG / Sony BMG Music

"Customers of o2 and Motorola"? Madonna a pop act? Westlife haven't been taken out and poisoned? And what the hell is Katie Melua doing here?

And, more to the point, James Blunt but no Girls Aloud; no Charlotte Church? Eh?

International Male Solo Artist

* Beck Interscope / Universal Music
* Bruce Springsteen Columbia / Sony BMG Music
* Jack Johnson Island / Universal Music
* John Legend Columbia / Sony BMG Music
* Kanye West Roc-A-Fella / Mercury / Universal Music

Jack who? John what? And is it us, or is Beck nominated for this every bloody year? Is that a Scientology thing? Do they control the International Male Solo panel or something? Kanye should waltz this. If he's nice to Tom Cruise for the next couple of weeks.

International Female Solo Artist

* Björk One Little Indian / One Little Indian
* Kelly Clarkson RCA / Sony BMG Music
* Madonna Maverick / Warner Music
* Mariah Carey Def Jam / Island / Universal Music
* Missy Elliot Atlantic / Warner Music

And as with Beck, so with Bjork. Every bloody year. We bet nobody at the BPI even knows if she released anything this year or not. We fully expect Madonna to "win" this if she turns up to sing a song.

International Group

* Arcade Fire Rough Trade / Sanctuary
* Black Eyed Peas A&M / Universal Music
* Green Day Reprise / Warner Music
* U2 Island / Universal Music
* White Stripes XL Recordings / Beggars Group

We have a small dream that Arcade Fire win this, and instead of showing their accpetance speech, the ITV camera stays fixed, permanently, on Bono's face, as he attempts to look pleased and magnanimous. We have a feeling, though, that Green Day might just edge this one.

International Album

* Arcade Fire Funeral Rough Trade / Sanctuary
* Green Day American Idiot Reprise / Warner Music
* Kanye West Late Registration Roc-A-Fella / Mercury / Universal Music
* Madonna Confessions On A Dancefloor Maverick / Warner Music
* U2 How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb Island / Universal Music

Of course, it's Arcade Fire. Naturally, they won't get it. This'll probably go to whichever of U2 and Green Day don't win the previous category.

International Breakthrough Act

* Arcade Fire Rough Trade / Sanctuary
* Daniel Powter Warner Brothers / Warner Music
* Jack Johnson Island / Universal Music
* John Legend Columbia / Sony BMG Music
* Pussycat Dolls A&M/ Universal Music

Nooooo! Daniel Powter is just James Blunt through the backdoor. Surely, surely, this one has to go Arcade Fire, although we have fears that the Brits people might give it to the Pissybat Dolls to get some push-up bras onstage.

Outstanding Contribution to music

* Paul Weller V2 / V2

Well, he finks it's deserved, and while he could have made a bigger contribution retiring at the same time Mick was sent back to the job centre, he has made some excellent records. Plus, he sold a shedload of Fred Perry shirts back in the day.

Nothing, nothing at all, for Babyshambles. We don;t imagine Pete will care.


ian said...

Q: When did a Radio 2 listener ever go to a gig?
A: To see Coldplay.
I think that's sewn up.

Anonymous said...

Really Ian, have you ever listened to Radio 2? It's easily the most eclectic non-digital radio station in the country. I listen to it on occaision, and the last gig I went to was We Are Scientists. Now, you'll have to excuse me, there's a cardigan sale on at M&S I really must get to.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

And Sing-Sing are playing live on the network next Tuesday...

Anonymous said...

"James Blunt through the backdoor"

Not an image I want while I'm having my breakfast, thanks... ;)

ian said...

Ok. I admit it. Only slightly more recently than i listened to Radio 1. I'll put my prejudices back in their box, but I reserve the right to take them out again if Coldplay win.

adhe donat said...

Thank you, your article is very good

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