Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brits 2011: The nominations

God alone knows why ITV2 aren't bothering to show the Brits nominations programme until 9pm tomorrow night - over a day after the shortlists have been announced and been picked to pieces.

That's the way to build the tension, ITV.

So, here's what you'll have to pretend to be surprised by tomorrow:

International Group:
Arcade Fire
Black Eyed Peas
Kings Of Leon
The Script
Vampire Weekend

The Script? Are they included to make Vampire Weekend think they might not be solid bottom?

International Breakthrough Act
Bruno Mars
Justin Beiber
The National
Temper Trap

Notably, the Glee cast are a bit like the Wombles in the sense of being a made-up thing that shouldn't even be eligible; Bruno Mars is less like a Womble and more like the Hoffmeister Bear. Justin Beiber had scored Platinum records in Autumn 2009, and thus hardly "broke through" in 2010. Admittedly, only two of these points are moral objections.

International Male Solo Artist
Bruce Springsteen
Cee Lo Green
David Guetta
Kanye West

Odd company for Bruce to find himself amongst; the town sure has changed since he was a lad. Let's see who agrees to turn up before we decide who'll win. (Although even if Guetta shows up, it won't be him.)

International Female Solo Artist:
Alicia Keys
Katy Perry
Kylie Minogue

It's perhaps a sign of how dismal the BPI-version of British music is that there are so many International prizes to try and keep the interest up. This one feels like it's made up of proper pop stars, too. Let's hope Robyn pulls an upset.

British Male Solo Artist:
Mark Ronson
Paul Weller
Plan B
Robert Plant
Tinie Tempah

That's a bit of a thin mix, isn't it? Gristly chunks of Plant and Weller, Ronson - whose best work was hosting Buzzcocks - and the alright-but-overrated Tempah and B. They're going to give it to Plan B, because Strickland Banks would probably seem quite innovative if you're measuring it against a Paul Weller album.

British Female Solo Artist:
Cheryl Cole
Ellie Goulding
Laura Marling
Paloma Faith

See, compare this with the international section, and tell me that this nation shouldn't hang its head in shame. Sure, there's the splendid Laura Marling, but her inclusion performs the same function a teenager's copy of Nietzsche shoved under his arm does: an attempt to disguise a lack of vision and experience by clinging to something a few marks smarter. Paloma Faith is, at best, like an discarded Cyndi Lauper that someone was trying to pass off as a Lady GaGa. Cole advertises shampoo, and her music is the music of someone who advertises shampoo. Goulding and Rumer don't even make up the numbers if you add them together.

British Breakthrough Act:
Ellie Goulding
Mumford And Sons
Tinie Tempah
The XX

The XX's best chart position came in September 2010, admittedly. With a track released in Autumn 2009. But, to be fair, I can see how their 2010 was a breakthrough year in a way that it wasn't for, say, Justin Beiber.

British Group:
Biffy Clyro
Mumford And Sons
Take That
The XX

This shortlist is only designed to give time for Robbie Williams to be told to calm down a bit while it gets read out on the night.

The Critic's Choice
Jessie J

That's a winner, that is - The Vaccines and James Blake were also in with a chance, but Mrs J has won. Currently her official website is trying to bribe people to vote for her in the MTV New for 2011 awards; three days have garnered four pledges. Clearly had a bit more luck with the critics than people who actually buy records.

Best British Single
Alexandra Burke Ft. Pitbull - All Night Long
Cheryl Cole - Parachute
Florence + The Machine - You’ve Got The Love
Matt Cardle - When We Collide
Olly Murs - Please Don’t Let Me Go
Plan B - She Said
Scouting For Girls - This Ain’t A Love Song
Tinie Tempah - Pass Out
The Wanted - All Time Low

Remember, we all get a chance to have a vote on this. I vote Matt Cardle, Olly Murs, Scouting For Girls, The Wanted and Alex Burke are taken to one side and asked to stop. Seriously, when the only spark of creativity is a song that was better when Candi Staton did it, what's the bloody point?

International Album
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer
Eminem - Recovery
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Kings Of Leon - Come Around Sundown

"Russell, the British Awards are on the phone, they want to know if we're going? ... I don't know, I can ask them... they say they're being held in Green Witch this year, Russell. What shall I tell them?... Yes, they said that's fine, as they'd bought enough statues to give them to all of Kings Of Leon instead."

British album of the year
Mumford And Sons - Sigh No More
Plan B - The Defamation Of Strickland Banks
Take That - Progress
Tinie Tempah - Disc-Overy
The XX - XX

The Brits team didn't even seemed arsed about this one, as they didn't bother to Tweet it. Does anyone really think Mumford And Sons is going to win? Three nominations they've picked up - can anyone say "unique collaboration with, ooh, lets say Ellie Goulding kicks off the evening"?

British producer
Ethan Johns
John Leckie
Markus Dravs
Mike Pela
Stuart Price

This category has been reintroduced because it's all about the music, right. Although I think they only stopped doing it because having Dave Stewart come up on stage scared the audience a bit.

So, there: pretty much as you'd expect, with the rules stretched to bursting to try and include the XX and Justin Beiber.

Remember: the actual event will be this list, with one of each getting prizes, but James Corden bunged in the middle of it. You have a month to emigrate.