You’d think that by now I’d have got bored of writing about The Brit Awards. They make an annual appearance on this site now, and I suppose that every year that they keep coming back and still offer absolutely nothing to culture then I’ll always want to say something else about them. I should admit and accept from the off that I don’t follow today’s music as well as I ought to; there’s still a load of music from decades ago that I have yet to discover and fall in love with, so the varied adventures of the charts and who’s ‘in with the kids’ is as alien a landscape to me as a jungle is to a polar bear (for now at least). But it doesn’t mean I don’t try, because I do, and every month a couple of shiny new albums come my way from artists I wouldn’t normally be seen dead listening to. Billie Eilish and The Weeknd are my February’s choices. So there.
Take Eilish, for instance. Talented girl, but just when I was starting to get to grips with her she turns up at The Brits and I start noticing all the silly things. Since it came out her new Bond song has been on the radio almost constantly and by the time the film comes out it will have gone so far beyond saturation point that people will be weeping and clawing at their ears during the opening credits (it is, however, still much better that the last one). The grand stage arrangements were insultingly unnecessary and quite what anyone thought Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr were being wasted for I’ll never know. I’m even starting to think of a list of everyday things that Billie Eilish will never be able to do as long as she has such ridiculous, impractical fake nails on. She may as well have umbrellas or fish slices for hands. Perhaps it’s just a fashion thing; of course it is because why else would she go up to get her award wearing an inside out space suit?
At least she wasn’t the worst thing about last night. Lewis Capaldi was there and while he’s one of those people you can feel a sympathetic kind of warmth towards I can also see him doing a George Ezra pretty soon. That really over-played song of his will eventually kill him as he’ll be ground down into singing it for his dinner money everywhere he goes. Fuck it – he’s already got more money than I’ll ever see. Up he came for his first statuette with a swagger that somehow works on Liam Gallagher but didn’t suit him one bit. The idiots in the audience chanted for him to down his beer (haven’t we got past that stage yet?) and he duly obliged and then said something sweary that had to be blotted out. I doubt it was anything too profound: later on he thanked his grandmother for dying, which might have been funny in some other context but here it was just the kind of slurred crap you’d expect from a kid with a fat arse in a sweetshop.
Other questionable moments included Ronnie Wood appearance, looking like someone had sucked all the air out of him with a vacuum, and wearing gloves which hinted he had just been branding cattle. I like Ronnie, he’s a Rolling Stone, but he’s the fourth best of four. Rod Stewart looked laughable, but he’s a saucy old bugger so I doubt he cared much. Harry Styles performed as a wrap around shower curtain and then changed into a dolly mixture, but I still have a soft spot for him. He certainly didn’t deserve to be very badly interviewed by Mr Jack ‘Funnyman’ Whitehall. Little Mr Giggles spoke for about 90% of the time, desperately trying to think of witty things to say but then failed at every attempt and said something tired and dull instead. Not that you would have noticed, since he is a very, incredibly poor comedian for a day job, so to most concerned that enjoy him this was his version of being ‘on fire’. Styles, meanwhile, managed to get about three words in and looked awkward throughout. There is a universal rule out there somewhere that insists that anyone who is missing a sense of humour must automatically find Jack Whitehall hilarious.
There were lots of things that were a very pained, stained and shitty ingrained wrong with the show last night. I have decided that Stormzy is a nice man, but generally speaking talks a lot of crap about things I can’t properly relate too and that makes at least one of us an idiot (if it’s me, well then so be it). I don’t really know what Dave does but he certainly wears a tracksuit better than any of the other Dave’s I know. Beyond that it’s all the same grime and rap soup that people like me aren’t really designed for. It’s bad names and flicky hand gestures and soul for the soulless and it may have something to say but I can’t help feeling that most of this music isn’t meant to be listened to on a meaningful level, hence the bright colours and constant need for movement. It’s background hum and spin classes; but I’ll keep trying.
And finally the stand out, prime time, tip top tit of the night award could only go to one person. And bearing in mind Jack Whitehall was there that’s something of an achievement. Quite what Lizzo was trying to get across, pretty much all night, remains a mystery. She darted around like an over nourished bee, busily trying to pollinate everyone else’s evening with her infectious joy, but to me she just came across as an altogether different kind of infection. Her ludicrous musical medley (these days medley’s are everywhere because very few acts have one entirely satisfying song in their repertoire) was the sensual equivalent of finding a few bits of Lego in your condom and if her twerking, flesh slap of a dance routine was somehow indicative of the way we’d like the next generation to think of feminism then it was all very confusing. Lizzo, who I had never heard of before and never wish to hear from again was a riot of nothing, and a talent vacuum without equal. Her goal in life seems to be to get as much attention as possible using as little of anything to offer worth giving attention; and so, at The Brit Awards 2020, she fitted right in.
G B Hewitt. 19.02.2020