diamond geezer

 Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The Yanks Brits

What a great idea to have one night to celebrate all that's best about British music. Cutting-edge creativity, genre-busting originality and arse-wiggling brilliance - all of these deserve to be celebrated. Just not last night. Last night the record industry organised a marketing piss-up with one eye on the American market to promote all that is middle-of-the-road, mid-Atlantic, and safe. Shall we just roll over now and let MTV rule our airwaves?

Last night's Brit Awards show kicked off with a band from LA performing in front of a US diner backdrop. Then a country singer from Canada presented the Best International Male award to a Rolf Harris lookalike from Tennessee. The awards continued in a similar vein, a conveyor belt of gangstas, molls and transatlantic cheese. Not that I have anything against American music per se you understand. Sure a lot of it is tepid, bland and overproduced, but hey, so's a lot of British music these days. There just seems to be less British music around.

But there were still golden statuettes for us to win. How kind of the Britmeisters to invent a special rock category for The Darkness, and then to allow them to win two of the existing awards as well. It's clearly still 1974 in Lowestoft - I know, I've worked there. How unexpected to watch Fame Academy reject Lemar scraping Best Urban Act, as announced by a hip-hop act from Virginia who'd clearly never heard of him. And what a night of triumph for the sterile triumvirate of Dido, Busted and Daniel Bedingfield, who'll no doubt value their clutch of awards almost as much as their imminently increasing royalty payments. Still, this is what happens when you get Sun readers, MTV viewers, commercial radio listeners and record executives to vote for the winners.

Sorry, easy target. Actually, if you look back through the history of the Brits (here), a load of crap wins every year. Just that there's usually the odd gem in there too and, this year, that didn't shine through. Anyway, for balance's sake, here are some past Brit award winners we'd rather forget...

[1982] Best British Male Solo Artist: Cliff Richard
Best International Act: Kid Creole & The Coconuts
Award For Technical Excellence: Spandau Ballet
Best British Comedy Recording: Neil - "Hole In My Shoe"
Best International Group: Huey Lewis & The News
Best British Group: Five Star
Best British Producer: Stock/Aitken/Waterman
Best Classical Recording: Handel's "Messiah"
Best British Single: Phil Collins - "Another Day In Paradise"
Outstanding Contribution: Status Quo
Best British Newcomer: Beverley Craven
Best British Group: Simply Red
Best Soundtrack: The Bodyguard
Best International Newcomer: Lisa Loeb
Artist of a Generation: Michael Jackson
Best British Newcomer: Kula Shaker
Best British Male Solo Artist: Finley Quaye
Best Soundtrack: Titanic
Best Selling Live Act: Steps
Best Pop Act: Westlife
Best International Male: Shaggy
British Breakthrough Artist: Will Young

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