Thursday, February 15, 2007

And what became of it at last, quoth little Peterkin? Ah, that I cannot say, says he, but it went out live on ITV

Another quick rush round the Brits coverage from the web, starting with the viewing figures. They're not exactly great news for ITV, which managed an average of just 5.3million, coming second to a football match on BBC1 (Bolton versus what used to be Arsenal) which reached an average of 5.7million.

The Brits started with 6.3 million, from which it went downhill, although half-time at the football brought a small peak, reports MediaGuardian. This performance is better than last year (average of 4.6 million) but not as good as 2005's.

After pointing out that we were unable to click through to find The Times' Brit coverage during this morning's post, we got an email from Wapping with a link to Caitlin Moran's coverage of the awards. Do you wonder, like I do, if Caitlin still keeps in touch with former Naked City cohists Johnny Vaughan, Andrew Collins and Wigan's Stuart Maconie? It'd be an interesting little gathering that, don't you think? Anyway, Caitlin points out Russell Brand bears more than a passing resemblance to Timothy Claypole, before wondering just why the Brits have the reputation for danger:

For these days, the Brit Awards is nothing more than a gigantic works do, organised to allow people in marketing at Warner Bros to put on their second-best suits, get drunk and letch at that hot chick from Parlophone.

Its prominent place in the media calendar does, more often than not, make as much sense as televising Zoo magazine’s Christmas party. Less sense, in fact — I bet Zoo has shackled bears dancing on hot trays and one of those vodka luges shaped like the great god Pan.

Well, there were those women dressed up in costumes somewhere between Goth weekend in Whitby on a budget and "marriage minded Lithuanian seeks man, any age", a jarring note of old school-isms. If they'd gone with a proper bordello theme, or had some pretty boys naked but for feather dusters to escort winners to the stage, we might understand the blind eye being turned, but this was just a spot of business as usual: the men helm the stage, the women wear their undies and take a supporting role.

Random Ramblings was poised to bring us all the action, but:
Unfortunately I dozed off during Snow Patrol so I have no idea whether it descended into anarchy, as Russell mooned the audience and James Morrisson chucked a bucket of water over Gordon Brown. Somehow I doubt it. I doubt if any politicians actually turned out this year as they would certainly have come in for some stick. Not like the old days.

He says that almost as if it's a pity that you can't rely on Noel Gallagher to sob his heart out as Tony Blair makes a promise about how the promised land is just around the corner.

Talking of whom, and somewhat inexplicably, Punk Rock suggested that Noel Gallagher deserved the lifetime achievement award for, uh, the sense he talks:
Gallagher did deserve the Brits’ Outstanding Contribution to Music Award – if only because in recent years the Oasis badboy and king of Nineties Britpop has become a rare voice of reason on the British music scene. They are sad times indeed when otherwise unremarkable statements of common sense become worthy of note. Yet Gallagher’s tirades against the ridiculous and famous are soundbites of rationality in a pop culture dominated by the bien-pensant and self-regarding.

The man bought Mike Oldfield's seaside villa and yacht, Punk Rock. He is the very model of a modern self-regarding ridiculous machine, surely?

And if he really was outside the pop-back-slap-circle-jerk, why would they have offered him a prize for being a good egg? And why would he have accepted it?

Elsewhere, Lily Allen had apparently been a bad loser ever before she'd officially lost, with Starpulse quoting her telling MTV she'd been carved up before she'd even got into the auditorium:
"I already know I won't win any awards. I bet you £100 I'll get nothing.

"The judging committee are all industry insiders and they're predominantly from Universal (Records) - and I'm on EMI. I think you'll find that 70 per cent of the artists here tonight are on Universal. I'll leave you with that."

Well, of course it's all a bit of a stitch up, but is she right that Universal scoop 70% of the prizes?

Let's see:
* British Male Solo Artist James Morrison - Polydor (U)
* British Female Solo Artist Amy Winehouse - Island/Universal (U)
* British Group Arctic Monkeys - Domino (Indie)
* MasterCard British Album Arctic Monkeys - Domino (I)
“Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not”
* British Single Take That “Patience” MCA-Polydor (U)
* British Breakthrough Act Fratellis - Island (U)
* British Live Act Muse - Warners
* International Male Solo Artist Justin Timberlake - Jive (Sony/BMG)
* International Female Solo Artist Nelly Furtado - Geffen (U)
* International Group The Killers - Island (U)
* International Album Killers “Sam’s Town” - Island (U)
* International Breakthrough Act Orson - Mercury (U)
* Outstanding Contribution to Music Oasis - Sony/BMG

So, out of 13 awards, 8 went to artists on Universal - just over sixty per cent. Spookily, if you take away the acts voted for, in some way, by the public, you get a figure of 62.5% wins by Universal acts. Almost like there was some sort of quota.

On the other hand, Allen was rejected in the public polls, not even making the shortlist for best single, which might just suggest she's not as good as people are supposed to think she is, and, given a secret ballot, nobody pretends they like her any more. It's a lesson either way.

Some of the other lessons we've learned were detailed by Drowned In Sound:
# Hitting duff notes on the telly doesn’t matter when the viewers have already voted your single their favourite of the last year: see Take That.
# James Morrison, right, he’s really bad.
# Fearne Cotton’s accent is well weird sometimes. Is she from London or Lancashire? Or, like, Greenland. What?

Apparently, we also learned that Joss Stone is hot, or so I'm Not Obsessed would have you believe:
At first, I wasn’t LOVING the pink hair. I thought Joss Stone looked like she was trying too hard. But it seems she has grown into this new person since she’s made the change. Very confident and sexy!

We can only presume he was watching in black and white. On a small screen. Through a window. Or else he has a thing for 1980s gym bunnies.

Putting the counterpoint on Joss is Missy:
Then there was Joss Stone. Oh dear. There she was wondering around the stage failing to get the crowd going and sending love to Robbie in Rehab. If you want to send wishes to Robbie, send a card to his agent, don't sound like Madonna! And the hair!

Then there were certain international bands who won and were, lets face it, a tiny bit OTT. Accept an award with grace not by screaming and crying with excitment. They should take a tip from Amy Winehouse who was very modest thanking her boyfriend and parents.

Of course, turning up on stage so drunk you can't remember which way is forward helps keep the thank you speech to the point.

The mystery about who it was who was down the front trying to at least shake some of the apathy out of the audience is answered on the Brit School Blog, written by the kids at the school underwritten by the Brits foundation:
The BRIT School students were at the forefront of the show, in the pit, with the best view of the artists performing.

Although the only real highlight of the evening was the Arctic Monkeys "not turning up" video, it upset Denni Schanpp, especially because:
They dressed up in hideous costumes—different ones each time—which must have taken longer for them to put on than to get to the event, because they did make it to the Oasis (Musical Achievement) after-party!

Celebrities not turning up to award ceremonies where they are honoured are a pet peeve of mine. I can understand it (grudgingly) if they are actually on tour/playing a gig or—as in Robbie's case—in rehab. I cannot understand it if they feel that they are too big to grace the event with their presence, because it makes me feel like an idiot sitting in front of the telly watching it.

Yeah, shame on the Monkeys for not bothering with hanging about for two hours just to get to mumble a thank you - if they were that keen on not going, they should have eaten three packets of Pro-Plus a day for ten years like Robbie, and had an excuse to check into a health farm. Youngsters today, eh?

Splash enjoyed the Brits so much, they didn't mind not having sex:
I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching The BRIT Awards last night. It made the perfect date for valentine’s night. The BRITS was sexy, well dressed, funny and all round entertaining, who needs a man!

Well, if you idea of a perfect date is one spent all evening being forced to watch someone celebrating their own dubious achievements and dominating you with their questionable taste, the Brits surely would be the perfect date. Plus, there's someone from accounts I could hook you up with.

Hang about a moment, though, because Lily Allen appears to have changed her mind about the dark conspiracy at the heart of the Brits voting - she didn't lose out because she was victim of block voting, she's quoted by VIP Glamour as saying, it's just bad luck:
“When I heard about the nominations I felt like it was a bit of a burden. I hate being in competitions because I never win. I’ll go home with nothing. I just know I will.”
“Corinne Bailey Rae? I think she’s a bit boring, sorry. She’s a lovely girl but I don’t think her music stands out and I’d be a bit annoyed if she won Best Female Artist. I’d be really happy if Amy Winehouse wins, though. She’s brilliant.”

But Amy Winehouse is on Island, isn't she? Part of the Opus Dei of the Brit panel, isn't it? Shouldn't you be supporting EMI's CBR?

Kudos to Guardian blogger Alex Needham, who watched the ITV2 aftershow show so nobody else had to:
the quote of the night came from Ana Matronic out of the Scissor Sisters backstage on ITV2: "I'm sweating like a blind lesbian in a fish market".

Last word, I think, to Wateracre, and his post headlined "The Brit Awards cause opinions from 11 years ago to become again timely and relevant":
Christ Almighty, Oasis are shit.