As The Brits once again parades itself before the nation, Getintothis’ Banjo watches it all unfurl before his horrified eyes.
The Brits. Are they still going? Does anyone watch it these days apart from hyperventilating tabloid journos? Do we care? Should I even be writing this?
We don’t know. We just don’t know anymore. Personally I haven’t watched The Brits since the heady days of Britpop, when there was at least a chance we might see some decent bands, perhaps see one of our own pick up an award or two or see some scruffy indie oik twat a celebrity.
Why do people watch it these days?
Well, when I was a twenty something youth, lean of limb and glowing with a light not yet extinguished by the crushing greyness of life, I was in Liverpool town centre looking to buy records. This was when roads and vehicles still ran through the city centre.
Sadly, a woman had attempted to cross the road only to be struck by a car. People gathered around the stricken woman, not to help, but to watch. And then, and this awful, hideous image sticks in my mind to this day, a man lifted his child onto his shoulders so he would have a better view.
Perhaps this is both why and how people watch The Brits.
People secretly hope for ‘an incident’. Madonna falling down, Ronnie Wood getting rugby tackled by Carter, the horror show of Mick Fleetwood and Sam Fox – this TV gold is what people are hoping for. Not Sam Fender or Jess Glynn getting paid to plug their tawdry wares on prime time TV.
The 2019 list of nominees and performers makes depressing reading. Little Mix in the running for best band? Check. Clean Bandit for best single? Check. Shawn Mendes, Drake and Travis Scott for best international male? Check, check and check.
Well, don’t say that the good folk at Getintothis towers don’t care about you, because we are prepared to send one of our men into the field to report on The Brits as it happens so you don’t have to waste a single second of your life watching it. Unless you want to see what happens of course.
So what am I expecting? Melodramatic use of indoor fireworks, presenters missing cues and/or saying “Brilliant!” to the most inane of comments and a crushing sense of disappointment.
But, and here’s the thing, it isn’t aimed at me. Not any more.
In the early 2000s, I came to a sad and momentous decision. After over 20 years, I decided to stop buying the NME because, quite frankly, I was no longer their target audience. Perhaps this is what has happened with The Brits. I am not their demographic. For those who are, perhaps it is a wonderful, exciting and worthwhile spectacle.
So – Come on Brits, prove me wrong…
So, here we gooooo. The usual flashing lights warnings, a MasterCard sponsorship ad and we’re off!
OK, we’re having a Fyre festival theme. Let’s hope this isn’t an omen.
The Brit bosses have decided, in their own brand of wisdom, to kick things off with Hugh Jackman singing a number from The Greatest Showman. No offense and all that, but is this what counts as a big opening, a song from a musical? One minute in and I’m already glad I stopped reading the NME, stopped watching the Brits and found something more worthwhile. Mind you, sandpapering my face would be more worthwhile than this.
Jack Whitehall has come on to do some shouting. He is good at it to give him his due. I’m not sure what he’s so excited about, but he’s shouting random band names out like a man born to it.
Paloma Faith and a footballer (I don’t know, I don’t do football) have come on and we’re straight into Best British Male. So soon? Nobody has fallen over yet! Aphex Twin gets a mention to bemused mumblings, but he was never going to win. Of course it’s George Ezra. Of course it is.
A man I’ve never seen before takes to the stage and holds an award. I can only assume it is George Ezra. Is this what pop stars look like these days? Really? He looks like he should be advertising toothpaste.
Ad break! An advert for a Jack Whitehall tour? The cynic in me is crying to get out and switch off the TV.
Nile Rogers takes to the stage with somebody apparently called Her. She’s won 2 Grammys, but I’m guessing she didn’t win them for her presenting skills.
And the best female is (drum roll)… Jorja Smith. Is it me or is this all a bit predictable so far.
Speech, speeeech. She loves us all. Isn’t that nice, she hardly knows me.
We are all now to be treated to George Ezra‘s award winning talent. Ah, he sounds like a generic post-Ed Sheerhan charisma bypass. This is the best male artist in the country you say? Excuse me while I weep bitter tears of frustration. Every time he sings ‘shotgun’ I find myself hoping someone in the audience has one.
I’ve just invented The Brits drinking game – every time someone says ‘amazing’ you have to drink enough to blot out the pain.
Best group is… The 1975. As shit as it was back then, I find myself wishing for time travel. Anything to get me out of this. The best group speech focusses on misogyny and you can almost see the words fly over the heads of the audience.
Bros! Bros are on! Now we’re talking. They seem to be in on their joke, but you can never be sure with Bros, they’re such multi faceted geniuses. You get the feeling that they don’t know we love to laugh at them more than we ever loved to sing along with them. But we love them now anyway.
Time for Little Mix. Personally I’m hoping for less soft porn than their videos, otherwise The 1975 speech will have been in vain, and nobody wants that!
Big pants, pink latex, cleavage and throwing shapes lifted from a late 90s rapper, Little Mix do their thing with the efficiency of the well drilled media machine they are.
Call me out of touch, but I’d like the biggest girl band in the country not to intimate to their pre-teen audience that the way to success is to behave and dress like this, but rather to showcase their talent and personality. With people like Little Mix at the forefront, I doubt this will ever happen.
Browser crash! I have missed the chance to report on the breakthrough act. I don’t know who’s more disappointed, me or you.
Back in time to see Ed Sheeran win an award called, bizarrely, Global Success. Is that where we are? We have an award just for unit shifting? Isn’t the point of things like The Brits to encourage and reward talent, or am I missing something? What next, an award for most column inches?
A supergroup now, with Calvin Harris and Rag n Bone Man. This is obviously some new use of the word supergroup that I have previously been unaware of.
Unimaginative plodding rhythms, basic bitch beats and earnest vocals do not a supergroup make. Oh, it’s ok, we now have Sam Smith in the world’s worst shirt, that’s what we were missing.
Is it just me, or does this seem like the section in X Factor when all the losers come on and sing a medley together? Dua Lipa and more big pants. Oh good
Bros are back! Maybe they’ll talk loud enough that we can’t hear the sound of a barrel being scraped.
Best Video time. Aaaand it’s Little Mix. I must have confused the term ‘Best video‘ with ‘Most gratuitous crotch shot in a video‘ An easy mistake to make I think.
Another ad break. Good, I could do with a few minutes to scrub my eyes. Pass the Dettol would you?
Righto, back into it. We’re repeatedly being promised a performance by Pink, although it is currently uncertain as to whether this is a threat or a promise. She is frighteningly popular but judging by what I’ve seen so far, this is not necessarily a good thing.
Best producer Calvin Harris blah blah blah. How long does this thing go on for? It feels like it’s been on for 37 hours non stop already.
Jess Glynn is good. A nice change from the same old names being trotted out in rotation. Speaking of which, Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa have won best single. But why???
Best album time. And it’s the same names again, a limited cast of nominations. The 1975 win this their 2nd award. But by now it’s ceased to have any real meaning. ‘We’re humbled’ they mumbled and a nation was underwhelmed.
The table interviews are less interesting than those that are taking place at a million tables in a million pubs right now. Is it too much to expect interesting, outrageous or worthwhile conversations with people being held up as the best in the country?
What this thing needs is a Queen Zee performance to show them how this shit should be done.
The 1975 are playing. THEY’RE DREADFUL! Is this really the best band performing a song from the best album? There are no drugs yet invented that could make this sound anywhere approaching average.
Pink not only gets a headline slot at the Brits, she gets the most hyperbolic introduction this side of a Donald Trump inauguration. She’s won an award too! If this carries on I think she’ll be crowned Queen of Britain before the night is over, you mark my words.
She’s a spunky ball of fun, and no that isn’t rude, I was being American.
How do we follow our Pink love? With Sam Fender of course! No, I haven’t heard of him either. But on the plus side he is telling us a story about projectile vomiting, so that’s nice. I don’t know who Sam is, but I’m willing to place a fairly hefty wager that in a few years time no one will know who he is and I’ll be in good company. Sometimes things work out as they should.
There has just been an advert on for Nutella. The jingle they played was better than anything I have heard so far on The Brits. Maybe I’ll vote for Nutella as the best breakthrough act next year, although it’ll only win if Calvin Harris has a hand in it, And that’s just given me a horrid image of a brown handed Harris that I will never be able to unsee.
Pink is wondering on in a dressing gown! How very continental. I’m thinking that it will soon be discarded in favour of skimpy attire. Or big pants.
My mistake, she is now covered in red feathers. It looks like she’s just murdered Big Bird. Well that kind of behaviour is surely going to put the public off her if anything.
The feathers are off. BIG PANTS! She’s got big pants on! I don’t know about you, but I’m going to get some of those tomorrow. On my Mastercard. Advertising has a lot to answer for.
The graphics are good, but I am aware that that’s not the most rock n roll comment ever made about a live performance. I’m sure she’s good at what she does, but unless she falls over and rugby tackles a Rolling Stone I’m going to say this is a let down.Still, there’s time yet.
There are probably people thinking this is one hell of a live performance, but I have taken it as a chance to make a cup of tea. I think this puts me ahead of Pink fans because, well, I’ve got a cup of tea and they haven’t.
And we’re done! Pink and her crew raise their hands in the air and Mr Shouty comes on and shouts things in a shouty voice.
But, fear not. We are told that there is more footage available on the Brits website. I’m sure you will join me there as soon as possible, now that you’re as desperate as I am to hear somebody say Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa again.
Thank you for keeping me company. See you in the Big Pants shop tomorrow.