Without wishing to sound hopelessly unpatriotic, the Brits is an awards ceremony that exists within the shadow of the Grammys. It nearly invariably takes place per week or so after the US Recording Academy doles out its gongs in a ceremony that’s greater, extra star-studded and with extra impression than the Brits can ever hope for, not least as a result of the general public appear to have somewhat extra funding in who wins. Declining curiosity within the Brits is one thing you watched even its organisers are conscious of: you’ll be able to detect an urge to drum up extra consideration on this yr’s resolution to shift the ceremony from midweek to a Saturday for the primary time.
And typically, the US awards simply foreshadow what’s going to occur on the Brits: from the second Harry Types snatched the album of the yr Grammy from underneath Beyoncé’s nostril, you someway knew he was going to brush the board in London. And so it proved.
He went residence with nearly every part bar the onstage Autocue: greatest artist, greatest album, greatest track and greatest pop/R&B act. For good measure, his chief collaborator Child Harpoon bought greatest songwriter: there was all the time the possibility the British Phonographic Business gave it to him for his work on acclaimed US singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers’ second album somewhat than the multimillion-selling, No 1-in-27-countries Harry’s Home, however you wouldn’t financial institution on it.
And, actually, truthful sufficient. The Brits rewards success, and Types has pretty conclusively owned the final 12 months – even earlier than Harry’s Home got here out, he’d introduced a US tour that entailed a staggering 10 nights at Madison Sq. Backyard – so the possibilities of an upset in any of these classes was nearly nil.
The remaining was equally a lot as you may anticipate: Beyoncé successful the classes she was nominated in, Becky Hill held up as the most effective dance music has to supply, the pop-facing Aitch beating Stormzy – whose most up-to-date album bought a distinctly muted industrial reception – in hip-hop/grime/rap act.
The latter could effectively show controversial provided that Aitch was the one white act within the class. Moreover, Beyoncé and British lady group Flo have been the one artists of color to take residence prizes on the evening. There have been additional headlines that the Brits would somewhat have averted when Tom Grennan made off-colour remarks to Ellie Goulding about her breasts.
In milder phrases, you may attempt to recommend that indie bands Moist Leg and Fontaines DC triumphing (respectively: greatest new artist and greatest group; greatest worldwide group) constituted an upset, however that looks like clutching at straws. Given the character of the Brits, it’s actually slightly shocking that Fontaines beat Ok-pop titans Blackpink, however they’re hardly left-field unknowns: their final album entered the charts at No 1.
Avoid wasting shonky internet hosting from Mo Gilligan – introducing Lewis Capaldi as Sam Capaldi, and invariably counting on “gags” about alcohol consumption in between awards and performances – and a technical hitch that required exhibiting a 2022 efficiency from Adele, just about every part went to plan. Besides, one suspects, fixing the Brits’ most blatant drawback. We reside in an age when pop’s main viewers of teenagers and younger twentysomethings merely aren’t going to take a seat down and watch a two-and-a-bit-hour award ceremony on reside TV: viewing doesn’t work like that any extra.
How transferring the Brits to a Saturday was imagined to lure its goal market away from social media and on-demand streaming – or certainly simply going out with their mates – is an intriguing query. You somewhat bought the sensation that almost all of this years’ viewers might need been sufficiently old to recollect the times when the Brits appeared to offer Annie Lennox an award yearly, and that they could have spent the night asking “who’s that?” each time 2023’s stars appeared. Which might’t presumably be the Brits’ desired impact.