Thursday, February 20, 2014

Brits 2014: The morning after

A couple of thoughts as the 2014 circus passes into history.

First: If Kate Moss mumbling something about Scotland is the most outrageous thing to happen, congratulations: your awards ceremony is officially moribund.

There is an interesting point, though: if Scotland does break from the UK, would it have an influence on the Brits?

Not really. None of last night's winners are Scottish. None of the performers were Scottish. I don't think any of the award presenters were Scottish.

Bowie might have been better off sending the message 'Scotland, join us' rather than 'stay with us'.

For the record, here's the full list of winners:
British Male Solo Artist - David Bowie

British Female Solo Artist - Ellie Goulding

British Group - Arctic Monkeys

British Breakthrough Act - Bastille

British Single - "Waiting All Night" by Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre

British Album Of The Year - AM by Arctic Monkeys

Best Video – One Direction

International Male Solo Artist - Bruno Mars

International Female Solo Artist - Lorde

International Group - Daft Punk

Global Success - One Direction

Critics' Choice - Sam Smith

British Producer Of The Year - Flood & Alan Moulder

Today just tried to draw the Arctic Monkeys on the Scotland issue, and got rewarded with one of those sub-Lennon "witicisms" rather than an answer. Their desire to not say anything upsetting confirms they've passed a certain point in their career - the Muse Horizon - where they just turn up with album after album that sounds a bit like the last one; the record business assumes they're some sort of edgy, alternative act; and everyone does very nicely out of this drifting along. Apart from the fans.


You can see Prince thinking "aaaand this is why I don't do this sort of thing."


James said...

Maybe "Scotland, stay with us" wasn't a pro-union message from Bowie. Maybe the Brits producer hastily scrawled it on the end of the speech after seeing how the viewing figures were doing north of the border.

Robin Carmody said...

I think I know what Bowie was saying (or had said for him). He is worried, as I am, about Scottish independence from the English perspective because he fears that it might make England pettier, narrower, more fearful, more reactionary, less supportive of the pluralism he has always stood for (and did a great deal to pioneer in the first place, during the withering years of the old order). Despite all his mis-steps and misjudgements, Bowie has always seemed to me to be quite smart on this front, quite aware of the geopolitical rules and pressures here.

Arctic Monkeys seem to have come back to something closer to their old popularity with the current album and the singles from it, but maybe that's down to a certain set of people's desire to have A Big Guitar Band after the genre's overall decline, and their last couple of albums were (or appeared to be) exaggeratedly unsuccessful because they came when everyone was (I hate myself for using this phrase) guitar banded out, like 'Standing on the Shoulder of Giants' ten years earlier. They're being rewarded for having survived into the era of Rudimental and Disclosure and others not considered Proper British Music by the aforementioned set of people.

That decline of the guitar band might have *slightly* damaged Scottish music at the UK level, but Emeli Sande and Calvin Harris are among the UK's best-selling acts of the last couple of years, and if the former had released a *new* album last year ... (you don't need me to complete this sentence)

Robin Carmody said...

re. Arctic Monkeys / Scotland, I'd *guess* that their political inheritance is socialist simply because they're from Sheffield (unless, of course, they're from the Hallam constituency - I've never cared about them enough to find out) and that, therefore, they might be opposed to Scottish independence because it would weaken their politics. But - befitting the age in which they emerged - they've always seemed so *post-political* that maybe they really don't care.

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