It makes sense that given the current political and economic uncertainty as the result of a Brexit process that feels about as much fun as an awkward birth that we get a Brit Awards to match it. Brexit has been boring and frustrating and dangerous all at once; which gives it thrice the edge over The Brits, which are just plain boring. Does anyone really give a shit about The Brits? I’m pretty sure I’ve written about them before but since no-one took any notice of my complaints last time along comes another year and they’re still with us, like a refugee hanging off the back of a fishing boat.
The best Brit Awards ever was the one hosted by Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood, because even today you can watch it and cry laughing at just how inept the whole thing was. There isn’t a second best Brit Awards because the rest of them are all basically equally rubbish. Some might hold up the Britpop years as a purple patch for The Brits but they’d be wrong because those events were just a showcase for a saddle full of coke heads and twats. The music wasn’t all bad but the watching was still fairly grim. Yes, Jarvis Cocker waved his arse during Michael Jackson’s performance but it was hardly protest of the decade – it might have been more fun if he’d engaged in a spot of self-immolation.
And as the years have gone by so this most self-congratulatory and needlessly excessive tapeworm of an awards ceremony crawls on, skid marking everything it touches. This year it was hosted by Jack Whitehall, who some people say is quite funny but who I find about as satisfying as a bowl of placenta broth. Lo, he pranced, far and wide, sliming as many worthy tables as possible with his smug fat face and Timmy Mallet enthusiasm. Why no-one thought to bottle him in the neck is beyond me. But the crowd roared and laughed and cheered him on anyway, or at least those that were listening did, and so he carried on, like a precocious little prick being allowed to stay up at his parent’s dinner party.
The music, however, is supposed to be the important thing, or so you would think. But sadly all the acts that performed were only able to produce about 90 seconds of worthwhile material; and when you spread that over a couple of hours you’ve got serious trouble. If anything The Brits Awards are the antithesis of a celebration. Rather, I would offer, they serve merely to peel back the foreskin of poor taste and reveal the scabby, foetid glans that is popular music today. You shake your head, unwilling to believe me or uncertain if I know what I’m talking about. Well, here are a few examples to offer in support of the prosecution.
- George Ezra. I warned you about him. I accepted he was a nice bloke but I told you he would turn out to be a half-tune wonder. His smash hit ‘Shotgun’ is, in fact, diabolically off-white and shifts him forward not one inch musically. However I am willing to concede he has one talent and that is to throw tens of thousands of pounds into his performance at The Brits and make that song twice as crap as it already was. That’s right George, just pop both barrels under your chin and squeeze the trigger, it’s time for a little nap.
- Little Mix. Given that we’re supposed to be getting towards gender equality and women across the globe are making bloody well sure that they get recognised for all the fabulous things they do and we’re also trying to set young children a good example it didn’t really help that Little Mix seemed to think they were on the set of a porn shoot. I have never gone into a costume shop and asked for four prostitute outfits (well, I say never…) and if I did I would leave disappointed because apparently someone has already got them. Oh please Mum, please can we dress up as whores and go to a Little Mix concert? Pleeease.
- Ariana Grande. Let’s just say that love or loathe her music it is my opinion that her current status as world conquering, tear-duct bothering, hug monkey is at least partly due to milking the Manchester bombing for every ounce of something she could get. It is worth remembering that while 23 died and 139 were wounded in that shameful act of terrorism Miss Grande wasn’t actually one of them.
- The 1975. I have The 1975’s second album (which has a ludicrous and exorbitantly pretentious title) and while it just about qualifies as OK in a 1980’s Peter-Gabriel-wearing-nappies kind of a way it at least made me realise I probably wouldn’t need any more of their ‘work’. That they represent the best British music has to offer is a low point for popular culture and taste. I can only assume The Wombles were on the short list.
- Pink. It seems that ‘The Outstanding Contribution to Music’ Award is a category that has confused many involved with The Brits over many years. Some have been well deserved: The Who, Van Morrison, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Jones, Pet Shop Boys, David Bowie, Blur etc. Others have been the kind of choices that you would only expect a music hating paranoid schizophrenic to make: Sting, Bob Geldof, Cliff Richard, Status Quo (I have a soft spot for The Quo, but come one!), The Spice Girls, Wham!, Duran Duran, Robbie Fucking Williams. I have very little against Pink, but the fact is that they haven’t awarded this title since 2012, so when they decided to dust off the silver wear I find it quite flabbergasting that she was the first and apparently only name that jumped out at them. Her contribution to music is no more meaningful than my contribution to space travel.
There, 5 cast iron arguments that popular music is a bit shit. I suppose we could argue all day about that but please, please don’t tell me The Brits are worthwhile because they’re not. They’re an empty pair of bollocks and nothing can save them now. Go on, The Brits. Shoo.
G B Hewitt. 21.02.2019