Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Liveblog: Brits 2009

Of course, the rest of the entire bloody world will be Twittering their Brits experience, but No Rock is nothing if not a stickler for tradition. Our Brits coverage will be an old style blog.

Like in 2008, when they clashed with Torchwood

And like in 2007, when the Scissor Sisters were still well-known.

Still, Twitter is already bringing us the event in a way unimaginable when George Michael was alive - Holy Moly have just pushed a picture of their supper. Yum.

I'm about to have yams. See you after Corrie.

Last year, they warned in the continuity announcement that "anything could happen." This year, they warned there might be flashing lights.

It's the same bloody break bumpers of people miming songs they've been using now for - what - four years? A dull idea made ever duffer by repetition.

U2 get things under way, doing what might be a new song from the album, or possibly a pisspoor cover of Subterranean Homesick Blues.

First prize - British female - goes to Duffy. "It's lucky my mum didn't have a boy" observes Duffy as she picks up the prize.

Horne and Corden are dressed in what's meant to be lady clothes, but just looks like they've been hosing down a sausage factory.

Bloody hell, they're already on to Best International Female. Lionel Ritchie is doing the honours- literally - for this one. "British women are taking over" he announces, which sort of suggests International Female is like a consolation prize. He could try breaking the statue to make it even less of an honour.

Pink gets the most (only?) cheers of the nomination reel.

Katy Perry wins. The only possible reason for this was to allow Matt Lucas to leer into the camera.

As she picks up her prize, the audio soundtrack goes off - with a 'replay' style 'Audio muted' logo in the top right hand corner. They must have carried out swearing coverage, as they left in the bit where she basically admitted they'd told her she'd won in order to get her in.

James Corden's slathering over Kylie doesn't really come across as anything other than a bit wrong in front of Earls Court.

Girls Aloud are on, with ten male dancers in white tie and tails. The five men who don't get to dance with a Girl have to make do with a large pink ostrich feather. The Girls themselves sound rather wan.

Sweeping The Nation are twittering this - suggesting Duffy might want to, you know, prepare something for picking up awards in case she needs to do some more thanking.

Backstage, Fearne Cotton has got a caravan, Duffy and Simon Pegg. Fearne is concentrating on talking to Duffy rather than, you know, the one who might be able to say something worth hearing.

It's time for us to start the shortlist for best single - Scouting For Girls are on it. And something called Better In Time by Leona Lewis - she had another single, did she?

Fearne spends about five minutes trying to persuade us ITV aren't ripping us off with the phonelines.

Ooh... LastFM itunes app in the ad break.

What the hell is that Cheesetring advert? I haven't been more frightened since I realised there were just men inside the daleks.

Horne and Corden have now changed into suits. Their bits are going down well, at least with the bloke playing in the sound of crowd noise.

Alex James has popped in to give British breakthrough - "Radio One supported", of course. Scouting v Adele v Duffy v Ting Tings v Last Shadows. All these bands already seem as old as... well, Alex James.

Oh. Duffy has won this one, too. Although if she *is* the best female, it probably follows she'd have to be the biggest breakthrough. Good lord, if you can't admire their taste, can we at least applaud the Brits' internal logic this year?

Duffy still hasn't got anything to say. Oh, hang on... she's thanking "radio" and "airtime."

Horner and Corner do a joke about free downloads disproving the existence of God - but isn't it possible that the Christian God, who threw money changers out the temple, might approve of free downloading?

Coldplay are on now. Chris Martin is hopping about on one leg, as a one-man tribute to the Cook and Moore Tarzan sketch. They're tossing rose petals down on them. Or maybe its poppies? They could show separate confetti showers on ITV2.

On twitter, Yahoo UK entertainment is suggesting that Martin already looks like he's bored singing these songs.

Thanks to Simon in the comments for explaining that Girls Aloud were supposed to be pretending to be naked - an idea which fails completely with cameras mounted at a higher point than the Earls Court audience eyeline.

Chris Matin says thanks thanks.

Fearne has got Jamies Oliver and Cullum backstage. "Duffy won't win best British Male" snorts Cullum - a gag Alison Moyet first did back when this was part of Nationwide. The Q Dot suggest we're seconds from an ad break.

It's not even the same old idea for the break bumpers - these are the same bloody ones they were using last year, aren't they?

Twitter, as one, has splurged a "KILL THEM BOTH" rage at the Two Jamies.

Despot wins for observing "Jamie Cullum looks like a cross between Jack White and a potato."

Oh, they've given Kylie something else to do - although, again, it's mainly standing there and letting Horne pretend he can't control himself.

Natalie Imbrooglywoogly - from the 1990s - is doing international band giving. Will it go to the Fleet Foxes? Will it buggery. It'll be the Kings Of Leon, won't it? Why are they even bothering with the shortlist?

The winner is... Kings Of Leon. Well, what a surprise. How lucky they're here to play some songs.

Fearne tries to suggest that the people who vote for the Brits are "the great and the good", although actually they're the people who spend most of their time smothering music.

The KOL ask "what is going on?" and remember to thank Columbia.

A joke at the expense of Craig David. Cutting-edge stuff.

The two Jamies have now emerged from the 'tent' to give the Best British Male solo artist.

Have I mentioned how bloody annoying the Johnny Vegas bits are (he's the Alan Dedicot for the evening).

This award is the one which should have been closed because there were no actual nominees with a point to it. And on which betting had been closed because Paul Weller had won and it leaked.

Adele gives him the prize on a video, which it appears to have taken three dozen takes to get right. We're shown the outtakes, presumably because they were so poor Alright On The Night passed on them.

The BBC Ents Team (who sound like something from It Aint Arf Hot, Mum) point out that Weller is only the second person to win a proper prize after getting a lifetime achievement award - that sort of fact is worth the licence fee on its own, surely?

Duffy is now earning her four awards by singing one of her songs. You can see why she gets annoyed with Dusty Springfield comparisons - it sets a bar she's never going to quite make.

Ooh... the picture just froze. Best Moment So Far.

"Natalie, you presented an award to one of your favourite bands... how much do you love Kings Of Leon?" - Fearne. She's like Robin Day in a short skirt.

The joy of following the Twitter #brits hash is somewhat ruined by the presence of a spammer pushing junk with the hashtag.

The Hovis through the ages ad and the Heinz Beanz archive mash up in the same ad break? Are we being sucked backwards to the 1960s?

Hope and Glory aren't, at least, as bad as The Osbournes, but the constant played-in soundtrack almost makes it like they're doing a show for a totally different audience.

Some boxer called Joe has tuned up to give a prize for International album - is he the one that Noel Gallagher really, really, really loves?

Another prize for the Kings Of Leon. And they make a bloody meal of sloping down to pick it up. Come on, guys, there's a schedule to keep to here. If you take too long to get on stage, we're going to end up with credits running over the Pet Shop Boys.

Kings Of Leon thank England for the prize. Dude, there's a reason they're called the Brits, you know.

And they thank bloody Columbia again.

People are now running through the audience with lamps. Exciting! Is it a raid? Is it the police? Are Jack and the boys going to set fire to the stage?

Oh, no, it's Take That from the Marks and Spencers adverts.

Take That are wearing spectacles and floating in the air. Like secretaries who only need to be told they're beautiful and, simultaneously, rescued by the fire brigade.

Actually, that platform doesn't look too safe, to be honest. Health and safety, anyone?

CMQueen suggests that the spaceship is a dig at Robbie Williams.

Ooh, they're ascending now. Hope they don't win best live show, otherwise they're going to need rope ladders to get down.

Nick Frost presenting now - probably glad to not be forced to back up Simon Pegg, although it might be a sign they're running short of people willing to head out to give awards in return for a nasty meal and a goodie bag. This is the best live prize.

Is it just me, or does every time Scouting For Girls pop up in a nominations clip, does your belief in British music die a little more?

Iron Maiden have won this prize - they pick it up on film. "We can't be there" they explain, listing international tour dates for the overseas sales. When did Iron Maiden last win a prize, exactly?

The Maiden do a bit of business with Eddie zapping them all into smoke, which must count as the most "one for the fans" Brits moment ever.

David Hasselhoff is on now - tomorrow night, he's doing the One Show. It's all go for him, isn't it? He seems to think that we care what he might have to say.

He's only introducing the best british band prize, but he's written a speech as if it was first contact.

Wouldn't it be nice if Elbow won this? Unlikely, but nice.

Oh... well, that's a surprise. It *is* Elbow.

"It's nice to know quality music gets recognised, even if it takes ten years or so" says Fearne - i think she means Elbow's success, but it sounds like she's suggesting you only get a decent artist winning a Brit once a decade.

Guy Garvey has the air of a man who had thought all he'd get this evening would be the free beer.

Twitter applauding the Elbow win. Kings Of Leon come on. Time for a pee, I think.

You see? Dull but inappropriate personal information can thrive on long form blogs as well as it does on Twitter.

The Kings Of Leon's performance is the only straight one so far tonight - and after all the costumes, and saluting and feathers, it's refreshing to see a band who are happy to perform as a band. Pity they're just not very good.

Hasslehoff flirting with Fearne Cotton. Who knew there was a 'down' from Holmes and YoYo slathering over Kylie?

Rory Cellan-Jones is apparently using the Brits as background noise: "perfect TV to watch when doing something else(blogging about myspace), requires no concentration whatsoever".

Another Craig David joke. Perhaps not listening might work for us all.

The Critics Choice award now - pre-ordained to go to Florence and the Machine. In return, they get three seconds of a video played. "There is no machine" observes Shawndra, as ITV blank out the soundtrack again. If the critics really love them - and they should - couldn't they have a, you know, slot to play some music? Wouldn't that be a good idea?

But they have to chase Florence off, to make room for Gok Wan. "Do you look good naked?" asks Gok. It's the music industry, Gok. You don't want to picture the head of A&R fromanywhere anything other than fully dressed.

International male, is it? Do they check Beck is still alive before they pop him on the shortlist each year?

Kanye West couldn't even be arsed to find a decent place to film the acceptance video - it looks like he's in his garage.

"It's time" warns Kylie "for one of those unique collaborations that can only happen at the Brits."

Ting Tings and Estelle, then.

The Ting Tings, hilariously, in today's Guardian claim to still feel like outsiders. Estelle seems to have just been told to sing her song over the top of Shut Up And Let Me Go. they said at the start this was the first time they'd performed together - who knew that meant they hadn't even rehearsed?

How far doesn't this work? MDG27 is begging for the Klaxons and Rihanna gto come back.

Ouch - an awful crunch of gears into That's Not My Name. You'd have thought they'd at least get Estelle to do the singing bit... oh, she just has, and she's out of tune.

ChuckDarw1n pointing out Twitter is putting him off the idea of watching the Brits on TV.

Alan Carr is giving the best single prize - the only one that we're to suppose hadn't been leaked beforehand, anyway. Nice to hear a reference to High And Mighty, the bigfatbloke trouser shop.

What have the people done to us? Its... Girls Aloud, winning for Promises. "It's official" says Fearne "Girls Aloud are national treasures." Because they won an ITV phone vote? Don't they only exist because of an ITV phone vote?

You're doing a boring list of thanks. You're never having an award again. "This", apparently, "is the cherry on the cake."

"It's the one we've all been waiting for" says Kylie... has the last hour and forty minutes been nothing more than an empty sham, them? [Runs through Sky+] Oh.

Tom Jones has come on, trying to make a lewd remark about Girls Aloud but accidentally winding up sounding quite sweet.

This is album of the year, by the way.

Maiko Miyabi has it about right:
Tom Jones = hasn't it been a great night? Audience = indifferent.

Bloody hell, Duffy wins again.

Fearne puts it into context, with all these awards she's entered an exalted plane occupied by the likes of Robbie Williams and, erm, The Darkness. So: scrubbing floors and hiding from blinking lights in twelve months, then?

Duffy is trying to claim that she paid her dues - "I travelled this country playing my songs to old ladies who are probably watching this saying that they'd heard my songs"... okay, we were wrong, Duffy. Don't prepare anything. You're better winging it.

Fearne announces the next performance will go down in Brits history. Shouldn't we at least wait until it's happened before popping it into the history books?

Scott Mills off the radio is chivving the Girls Aloud: "Sarah Harding seems to be having fun anyway. May be the others could follow her lead..." Only it's not Scott, of course, he's too grand to update his own Twitterfeed.

"How many of the top ten bands are British?" asks the trail for the News At Ten. Please keep watching! Nobody ever watches us! We'll talk about pop, if you like that.

Brandon Flowers looks like Maxwell Demon as he comes on to give a prize to the Pet Shop Boys for still going. Flowers is detailing this one time he was in a record shop trying to choose between The Pet Shop Boys and The Smiths and... oh, he chose the Pet Shop Boys. Has Flowers *really* always believed Chris Lowe to be some "sort of wizard"? Really?

Oh, please just bring them on.

They're accepting a big floating heads on the screen! This is what we want! And now Lady GaGa has come out of their giant floating head. (No, not really, it's just Chris in a wig.)

if you must do gimmicks, make them great gimmicks.

Louis Walsh looks confused and a little frightened.

Unfortunately, it sounds a little less than Earls Court filling.


Neil Tennant's coat looks a bit like a DIY bondage outfit. Not self-bondage; bondage with DIY equipment.

You have to wonder if they should try giving this award to Erasure next year. Clearly, nobody under the age of thirty is going to make it to the end of the event, so inviting along someone to do a bit of a Stars On 45 of their greatest, mostly forgotten hits is quite a nice way to end.

Go West has brought more marching people onto the stage - perhaps they're being drilled by U2 backstage?

Here's Lady GaGa, singing What Have I Done To Deserve This, as, erm Gordon Smart didn't announce exclusively in the Sun. Presumably, though, she'll have to come back to do more than just a couple of lines?

Brandon Flowers is now on, having a crack at making It's A Sin a little less in tune. He bought a Pet Shops Boy best of back when he was a kid, you know.

Actually... I think I'd have preferred a reminder of a couple of the truly great songs they've done, rather than being reminded of snatches of absolutely every thing they ever released.

Another shot of Matt Lucas, and David Walliams jiggling about pretending that he doesn't think he's the Chris Lowe of his double act.

GaGa back for West End Girls. Did I mention she was wearing a waste-paper basket on her head?

And there's the closing credits... is nobody going to actually say goodbye to us? That's just bad manners, surely?

So, what was that, then? Not a car-crash like last years, just rolling on, in a safe way. And even the Pet Shop Boys felt like they wound up not going anywhere - particularly with all the excitement over the collaborations turning into little more than a couple of lines being sung along. And surely Neil Tenant knows that you need to have a crescendo to end on? Some balloons or something?

Jemima Kiss tweets "The Brits is just a dirty great marketing exercise. Fifty teens at the front & the rest of the audience is suits. I prefer Dicky Atten'bro." - but she forgets to mention the fifty teens are hand-picked from the Brits school.

Actually, that was missing this year, wasn't it? Normally they throw in one or two mentions of the Brits school, to make it look like the event is a charitable bash, and to pretend the UK music industry is investing in talent - not a word this year. Why so quiet?

There's now a Brits hashdictionary entry.


Anonymous said...

was bono rehearsing for his performance on stars in their eyes as a podgy keith flint

Simon said...

The gag with the Girls Aloud performance was that they were meant to be naked, right? (Fearne said "who needs a dress anyway?" as her first comment) It didn't work. Television has different camera angles.

Anonymous said...

rather sadly the best song we'll hear tonight is being used for a Weetabix ad, where's the lifetime achievement award for Jonathan Richman?

Anonymous said...

a brits dinner 'yum'?

i doubt it, unless they've really sorted out the catering in the last couple of years, the 4 meals i've had there were all terrible

Anonymous said...

how many sales has this performance cost Coldplay tomorrow, the chap from HMV will be wringing his hands in disbelief?

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Still, anon, it's nice to know that even Chris Martin is sick of himself.

Simon Thornton - ours was nice, although Tesco fake vegetarian chicken has got a sort of fake chicken skin on it. Which is odd.

Anonymous said...

Has Kylie had eye lid botox?

Olive said...


Last Of The Summer Wine is on GOLD +1!

Jack said...

Aah, the joys of liveblogging. I can find out enough using half the time and energy, and I can still have conversations with other people about what happens.

XRRF: Watching crap TV award shows so you don't have to.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Olive -

Is it a post-Compo episode?

Anonymous said...

i'm happy girls aloud won, i mean it's short senseless music (mostly) which is my sort of pop music, really

and at least their award wasnt decided by a bunch of sweaty record business suits talking marketing...

Olive said...

Nope. Post foggy (2nd time). Truly is about to throw a small dog in a lake. Howard and Marina are having a clandestine meeting and a Triumph Herald convertible, brimming with pensioners, is being inexpertly piloted through the Yorkshire Dales.

Olive said...

Has anybody live blogged an episode of Last Of The Summer Wine before?

Anonymous said...

Great coverage, Jemima Kiss's twitter comment is a great description of twitter itself

Anonymous said...

Did anyone actually bother to notice that Take That mimed their song?! Or when Gok Wan shouted out "Do you look good naked" that the camera cut inappropriately to some 14 year old-esque in the audience retorting uncomfortably "" and who was that bloke behind the cardboard Duck cut out on stage... Anyone see the Tweedy cutting Ginge off on the stage walk up to stare back at Kimberley, cue the whole band to keep the Mic away from her on the thank yous...

Pierre said...

You really never liked the Pet Shop Boys, did you?

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

At the time of Opportunities, I liked them very, very much indeed. Almost as much as I liked Two People back then.

Olive said...

You're a scary person Simon. For the first time in nearly 20 years I found myself humming 'This is the shirt'. 'Opportunities' is cursed to only ever be played over archive footage of chinless scumbags from the City waving massive wads of tenners at the camera.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

"oh, hold me, Joe/ this feels so good because... look over there..."

Unknown said...

please, anyone has the lyrics of the this two people unforgettable song...

I live in Brazil, and is not so easy to catch all the things in the lyric. Please if somebody could help me, my e-mail is

thank you so much.

viviene joeli said...

Thank you, your article is very good

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