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The Brit Awards 2013

Other | Thursday 21st February 2013 | Harry

What is your take on 'the most boring Brits' ever? 

Last night’s Brit awards saw the British music industry once again take centre stage. But in contrast to ceremonies of late it was a rather more demure affair with, for once, the music taking its power back from the glitz and glamour of the bands and artists usually associated with the show.  That is not to say that these figures weren’t there in force as One Direction, Taylor Swift and Emeli Sande performed amongst others. But the Brits have never really been about celebrating true musical quality, and of course the big winners on the night were the somehow-all-conquering One Direction who went home with the Global Success award.

Other than that though, to take a look at the winners list is both heartening and disheartening. On the one hand it is encouraging to see artists such as Mumford and Sons (rightly) picking up the British Group award, and Coldplay still trudging on and getting the award for Live Act, but on the other it is a slightly alarming commentary on the overall state of the British music scene. One could be forgiven for wondering where the new and exciting talent is emerging from as the same artists are laundered through our systems. Indeed the Breakthrough Act winner, and British Male Solo Artist winner Ben Howard is hardly groundbreaking, good music yes, but nothing we haven’t heard before in the form of Damien Rice or someone similar. It is not exactly what the kids are going to be screaming to on a Wednesday night. This brings me to my next point, this awards ceremony has always been for the younger audience. It is even during half term so that it can reach its maximum audience and it begs the question of why the ceremony has taken such a big step in a different direction when still catering for the same audience? A list of Ben Howard, Coldplay and Mumford & Sons will hardly get your average 15 year old girl weak at the knees.

However the International Male Solo Artist is where they have really got it right with the award going to a certain Mr. Frank Ocean. I am not aware of his impact on the teenage audience but I can see no reason why he would not appeal with his strong personality, looks, and overall extremely high quality of music. Having received recognition at the more prestigious Grammys recently, it would have surely looked naive of the Brits to overlook him in favour of someone like, say Michael Buble who he was up against. I am sure that in past years the award might have gone in his favour but it is certainly a positive that Frank Ocean has received the accolades he deserves.

It seems then that it is impossible to win and the organisers have a thankless task. Give the public what they want and the show is criticised for being meaningless, cater to a better quality of music and it is criticised for being the most boring yet and not giving the people what they want. What the answer is I don’t know but there is certainly a decision to be made in the direction the organisers want these awards to go in.

Here is a list of the night’s winners in full:

British Breakthrough Act: Ben Howard

British Female Solo Artist: Emeli Sande

British Group: Mumford & Sons

Live Act: Coldplay

British Male Solo Artist: Ben Howard

British Producer: Paul Epworth

British Single: Adele, Skyfall

Special Recognition Award: War Child

Brits Global Success: One Direction

Critics’ Choice: Tom Odell

International Female Solo Artist: Lana Del Rey

International Group: Black Keys

International Male Solo Artist: Frank Ocean

Best Album: Emeli Sande, Our Version of Events

 

Harry Illingworth

@harryillers

 

And here's just in case you fancy watching Taylor Swift prance around the stage looking far more rock/alternative than she really should...

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