For all you fans of quality, genre-busting, innovative music - tough shit. It's the Brit Awards (which has curiously been neutered to just the Brits since....oh, a few years ago) showcasing the "best" in "musical" "talent" (and Ant & Dec TM).
So, who will win the Best Album gong this time around? Who will emerge, beaten, bloodied and scarred as the victor in the tussle for supremacy that is Best British Breakthrough Act? Will someone get cut off by the presenters or fall flat on their arse this year? Will Jarvis Cocker re-enact his infamous 1996 stage invasion antics? (We can only hope).
So, in anticipation that neither of these things will happen, or anything else of consequence happening thanks to the fact the awards are probably on a time delay to prevent ill-placed swears, let's see how the action unfolds.
Not a good start, as the beginning appears to be late already. I'm being told about Olay beauty cream and some wet-looking bird eating Heinz soup. Ah, the continuity guy is on and has warned me of the "flashing lights" that might cause me to drop dead in a flurry of seizures. Let me tell you, it won't be flashing lights that kill me, but rather the fact that someone GASH will doubtless win every single category. Ant & Dec take a wander through the backstage area in tuxedos, claiming everyone has "upped their game" this year. This 2hrs, 20mins had best not be a waste of my time, or they can shove their Brits right up their candy asses.
Ooh, a strange sort of stage line up, looking like a UFC cage made of LEDs sparks into life as dancers in red costumes prance about in the audiences collective grills, generally putting them off their free beer. I thought for a moment that one of the female dancers had her waps out, but it was a cunningly-designed beige 'nude' suit. Cheeky. My wife has just told me that if Coldplay win just one award tonight, they will be the most successful band to ever appear at the Brits. Which tells you something.
Oh, the stage thing didn't actually amount to anything. Just more Ant & Dec. To kick us off, here are the aforementioned Coldplay, appearing on what appears to be the flower-strewn set from The Beatles' 'All You Need is Love' broadcast back in 1967. Nice to see Chris Martin has dressed up for the occasion, dressing like a mid-90s teenager. Still, kudos for bagging Jennifer Lawrence. I have no idea what they are singing - I went off Coldplay like most people did in 2002. Quite how they've remained so successful for the past 13 years is absolutely staggering; this is despite their drummer once wearing a Kraftwerk T-shirt. Spunking most of the stage design budget, Coldplay unleash glitter confetti a mere eight minutes into the show. Talk about premature ejaculation. Wouldn't all that crap just go in people's drinks?
Thank fuck for that, Chris can go backstage now and indulge in some organic kale smoothies. Ant & Dec claim the Brits nominees are "the envy of the world". Yeah, I'm not sure about that. Ooh, Joe Public get to vote on something - the British Artist Video of the Year: nominees for this include Adele's 'Hello' (is it me you're looking for?); Ed Sheeran's 'Photograph' (not a music video, just a bland montage of Sheeran looking awkward as a child); Jessie J's 'Flashlight' (when did that come out, 2013?); Little Mix's 'Black Magic' (best of a bad bunch - although I am seriously biased thanks to fancying Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall); Wand Erection's cover of 'Tubular Bells' and...oh, that's your lot. I didn't really like any of those. Can't we vote for Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'? I don't think any of them ought to get an award for those. Twelve minutes in and we see our first award - British Female Solo artist.
Presenting this is Liam and Louie from Wand Erection. Nominees for this include Jess Glynne (hair); Florence & The Machine (not a solo artist); Laura Marling (folk-a-geddon); Amy Winehouse (dead) and Adele (shoe-in). Seriously, did anyone else stand a chance, there? Adele appears to have come dressed as a theatre safety curtain. She acts all humble, to be fair, but come on - if you didn't win that award you'd be fucking livid, wouldn't you? She also supports K$esha's fight against...um...something.
Ant & Dec ominously throw to a commercial break with the promise that Bieber is coming. That's a bit like telling us a nuclear strike has been launched against this country. Seriously, I got shudders like I did when I heard about the 9/11 attacks.
Shameless plug for the Brit Award 2016 album, somehow shoe-horning 62 tracks into it. Even more shameless plug in for 'Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'. Another of those God awful Mastercard ads, this time with the walking horror that is Ellie Goulding. Back to the action, and Ant has armed himself with a flamethrower. Sensible chap. Hopefully he goes full postal by the end of the show and burns the entire Critic's Choice nominees alive. Oh Christ, hang onto your ovaries, it's Bieber. For some reason he has started a campfire and has blackmailed James Bay into playing guitar for him, probably by threatening to share "THOSE PICTURES" of Bay's weekend at a Snowdonia swinger's retreat with the world. Bieber is dressed like....fuck knows. His jacket was apparently made by blowing up the label from a bottle of Malibu or Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion and whacking it onto a crap 90’s bomber jacket. Bieber now has the whole stage in flames - it'd be a terrible shame if he took a tumble now, that polyester would go up like Adam Johnson's willy in a nursery. Where's Kanye? Get Kanye on now! I've just noticed that James Bay has buggered off; he either got bored playing for Bieber or he was dispatched to the backstage area for looking at one of Bieber's backing dancers funny. Bieber stands before the campfire with his arms raised aloft, and for one glorious second, I think he's going to cast himself into the fire. But he doesn't. Shit.
Ant & Dec big up Bieber like he's the saviour of music, before too warning him about his non-fire retardent jacket. Next award is presented by everyone's favourite bootilicious pop pixie, Kylie! She appears to have a pair of those fairy wings on her back. It's Best British Solo Act. Nominees are: Calvin Harris (omnipresent); James Bay (Bieber-fodder); Jamie XX (XXX rated); Aphex Twin (go on, give it to him! I dare you!!); Mark Ronson (funk). Bay claims it, causing a non-committal "fuck that shit, I didn't want that award anyway" face from Ronson. I would have wet myself if Aphex Twin won that one...despite his last album coming out two years ago. Does James Bay just have one hat? Does he wash it loads, or does he have a skip he just grabs one out of as he flounces out of his house for the day before tossing into a bin in the evenings? "This is insane" he says, summing up the decision not to give the award to Aphex Twin, before going off to perhaps indulge in a few lines of charlie backstage and buggering some strippers (Note: he probably just went and sat back down like the thoroughly nice chap he is). Ant & Dec have a wander through the crowd, bothering Radio 1 ratings-lowerer and 'X Factor' deserter Nick Grimshaw, Coldplay (who merely get a passing mention because they're too famous), Alan Carr, who is treated like some sort of deity (credit for Carr quipping: "I'm out with my wife!") and Simon Pegg, who is out in between filming 'Mission: Impossible 22' and who claims he has just pissed on Alan Carr. Time for another break, which means another three minutes for me to jam some more heroin in my veins to get me through the next portion of the show.
No shameless plugs in this ad break so far.
Another Goulding/Mastercard ad. Euurrgh. Next up is International Group. Presenters are Henry Cavill (you know, Superman) and...some model woman, who looks like a stick insect mated with Beyonce. Nominees are: Tame Impala (???); Major Lazer (????????); Eagles of Death Metal (sympathy vote); Alabama Shakes (???????????????) and U2 (oh Christ, really? What for?). Despite Eagles of Death Metal BEING SHOT AT, Tame Impala take it, probably for one of the chaps having long ginger hair and being very thin. Seriously, I've never heard of them. One common theme with the Brits seems to be that the award winners have no fucking clue where to look when addressing the crowd. So the chap talking does the decent thing and keeps swinging around, looking everywhere as if searching for a particularly annoying fly. Ant & Dec take the piss out of him. Time for more live music now, but during the introduction for walking hairball Jess Glynne, some androgynous looking bird in a very risque outfit comes and gyrates in front of Ant & Dec. Like, WTF? Really? I think she might be in 'The Rocky Horror Show’.
The ever-present Jess looks like someone has modelled her hair on one of Marge Simpson's sisters. And someone has spilt white paint over her black trouser suit. Jess does 'that Brit thing' where she does a medley of her songs, which means given enough time she'll perform all eight singles taken from her debut album. Glynne pisses me off immensely. It's her hair, I've decided. That, and her album title, which would have been infinitely better if it was 'I Fart When I Sneeze'. She starts to grate on me as she launches into her third song of her little segment, so we only have another five to go. Has she done a song with Calvin Harris yet? If not, I'd be VERY surprised. Everyone has done a song with Harris. Even me.
Well done Jess, please go and have a sit down. I insist. Ant reads out a fake award which Dec wins. I think it's Man Most Likely To Engage In A Homosexual Relationship With Ant McPartlin. Simon LeBon from Duran Duran is giving out the next award, along with Suki Waterhouse (mmm, was she in an advert for something once?). This award is Best Single. The nominees are: Years & Years ('King'); Little Mix ('Black Magic'); Adele ('Hello (Is It Me You're Looking For?'); Calvin Harris ('How Deep Is Your Love', strangely not the Bee Gees version); James Bay ('Hold Back Me Ears'); Olly Murs & Demi Lovato ('Up'); Jess Glynne ('Hold My Ham'); Philip George ('Wish You Were Mine') and Ellie Goulding's tosh from the 'Fifty Shades of Ooh That's a Big Whip'. Quite a list. Predictably, Adele wins, meaning she has to risk life and limb by tottering towards the stage in her awful theatre stage curtain dress again. "I wasn't expecting this one" she lies. I think she's been at the wine, and appears to have forgotten she's performing herself later on. Another break, because why not? Mark Ronson takes over the Mastercard plug duties, sounding like he's pissed and stoned, as he always does.
Are Muse nominated for anything this year? Best Album, perhaps? Best Group? Best Live Act? Anything?? Please??!?!? I guess they won a Grammy, so...we're back, anyway, with Dec telling us we're about halfway through. Ant has apparently gone missing, but is found by a cameraman apparently getting a blowjob off Lenny Kravitz in the toilet (this is speculation, we never see the administerer of Ant's oral satisfaction). Best British Group is next, and presenting it is Simon Pegg, who is now sporting a disappointing hipster beard. Nominees are: Years & Years (ugh); Foals (double ugh); Blur (my personal choice); Wand Erection (in the bag, methinks) and Coldplay (christ on a stick). Coldplay surprisingly get this over Wand Erection, whose time appears to have passed now they're "on hiatus" and Zayn went a bit weird and messed his hair up. I've no idea what they've done to get Best British Group, apart from contribution to splashing themselves with coloured paint and dressing up like monkeys. Chris Martin also forgets where the camera is, and dedicates the award to refugees. Oh fuck off, Chris. I'm embarrassed he supports Exeter City football club, like me.
Performing 'Hold Back Me Ears', for you, yes YOU - it's James May. I mean Bay. Although what an idea for his next album, recording all his songs with former 'Top Gear' and Amazon Prime whore James May!! They could call themselves Definitely MayBay! James can have this idea for free, provided he sets fire to that hat he always has on. "Hold back me ears, let me piss in your eyes..." James urges the crowd to sing along. I feel like I've heard this song approximately 14,000,000 times. Does he have any other tracks? I guess when you have something this popular you can say "tish and fipsy" and just play it ad nauseum and everyone will throw sacks of cash and awards at you.
Next up is International Male, with the award presented by Major Lazer (????????). Not even seeing them makes me realise who they are. One looks like the football player Marcelo, another wears a militant black cap like he's in mid-90s WWF wrestling faction The Nation of Domination. Nominees are: The Weekend (sorry, WeekND!); Drake (no relation to Francis); Kendrick Lamar (I'VE HEARD OF HIM!!!); Father John Misty (nope) and Justin Fucking Bieber. Beiber wins, now wearing a coat that makes him look like an absolute cunt. "Life is a journey" he muses, philosophically. What does he know? He's about twelve. He'll always be about twelve. I can't wait for that guy to crash and burn, I really can't (in much the same way comedian Denis Leary did in his sketch about the drummer from 90s pop group Hanson). He'll find out what a journey is then, I can tell you. Ant & Dec join Coldplay AGAIN (well, two of them), because the entire ceremony appears to be about them, and shills their Glastonbury headline slot as well as the fact they are THE BEST BAND LIVING IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE TODAY. There's enough booze on their table to kill Oliver Reed (if by some miracle, he was still with us). Coldplay's drummer appears to be morphing into 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin.
Break time. Rihanna and Little Mix coming up after. Rihanna can go stick a Brit up her mimsy for all I care, but I do want to see how minimal Jade from Little Mix's dress is. She might fall over and have forgotten to put any knickers on. Shameless plug for Capital FM (the radio station coming out of Liverpool, which isn't a capital - also featuring, entirely by coincidence, a number of artists on the Brits!).
The Mastercard ad features some cretins recording an ill-advised violin cover of 'Uptown Funk'. Ant & Dec have found Simon Cowell on his way back from gutting the corpse of Nick Grimshaw out the back. Time for me to go for a shit as Rihanna takes to the stage. Never before in the history of music has there been such an over-hyped 'performer'. Apart from Kanye, obvs. She does nothing for me, if you hadn't guessed. Her new song appears to go: "work, work, work, work, work..." over and over, but she sounds like she's forgotten the rest of the words as she starts murmuring "dur, dur, dur, dur, dur". Perhaps there aren't any and she's making it all up. I really couldn't be doing with this, and had to have a chocolate digestive. Halfway through, some goon in a white tracksuit turns up on stage, who the crowd appear to recognise. Is he meant to be there? Is he just an extremely well rehearsed stage invader? He's bald and has a beard, if that helps. He might turn up on 'Crimewatch' later.
Fuck me that dragged on. Oh, it was Drake who was on with Rihanna; that's news to me. Next award is British Breakthrough Award. Presenting are Nick Grimshaw and Cheryl Fernando Versini-Coletweedy, who looks to have had a couple more pies since I last saw her and no longer looks on the verge of death. Grimshaw's suit appears to be made of a Ferrero Rocher wrapper. Nominees are: Years & Years (again); Wolf Alice (???); Jess Fucking Glynne (of course); Catfish and the Bottlemen (???????) and James MayBay. Taking this award is Catsticks and the Ficklemen. I've never heard of those either, but apparently their album came out last September. Still breaking through, obviously. One of the Cattlemen looks like that frizzy-haired fellow from The Killers. Another one looks like a lad on work experience at a library. Hmm.
Shit is about to get real, as apparently the next award being given by Major Tim Peake on the International Space Station - quite why, I have no idea. I mean...doesn't he have science things he's meant to be doing? The award is for Global Success. As if she's not won enough, this is for Adele, who has been No.1 in 3,500,000 countries for a total combined time of forty-seven years. I mean, where is Don Johnson's global success award? He had an amazing album out a while back called 'Heartbeat' - go check it out, you won't be disappointed. Adele once again feigns surprise, and even starts crying. The sound editing guy completely captures Adele saying "fucking" on telly, proving that even with a time-delay they can't do anything right. Ant & Dec will have to do some serious grovelling about that swear. Adele is definitely pissed now.
Little Mix are on now, so I will be spending the next five minutes perving. OK, I'm back in the room now, and rather enjoyed that (you could almost see their bums!) even if their backing dancers appeared to be Papa Shango from old school wrestling. Thankfully, we go to a break so I can go and have a cold shower. We get another plug for voting on the music video award, WHICH NOBODY CARES ABOUT.
The weird-voiced Ellie Goulding incites murder (sorry, provides a 'priceless moment') in this ad break's Mastercard commercial. For me, a priceless moment involving Goulding would involve her falling from the top of a ferris wheel.
Still to come: Adele live (if she can prevent slurring her words). Presenting this next award are Fleur East (with an ENORMOUS red wig) and Craig David (is he still alive? Apparently he's the same age as me but he looks about fifty). Best International Female is the award, with nominees being: Meghan Trainor (whose songs all sound identical); Courtney Barnett (nope); Lana Del Rey (been a bit quiet lately); Bjork (been even quieter recently) and Arianna Grande (did she do a Disney song or something?). Bjork somehow wins it, and isn't present, probably because she never thought she'd win in a thousand months of Sundays. Well that was unexpected.
Ant & Dec do a tribute to David Bowie, because he fucking loved the Brits. Annie Lennox turns up to read a few words, because Bowie fucking loved a bit of Annie. I hope to God Lady Gaga isn't here to do another "tribute", that was bloody awful. Why not give the Global Success award to him? I dare say he deserved it. As if to sum this up, we get a shot of a sombre looking Louie from Wand Erection, who is probably wondering who this Bowie chap is and what all the fuss is about. Rather than cause cheap shocks by saying what a bastard Bowie was, she just tells us what a genius he was instead, which we all kind of know anyway. This is also summed up by a shot of a sombre Graham Coxon, who is probably still pissed off that Blur didn't win earlier. Oh right, they ARE giving Bowie an award - Gary Oldman, who was apparently bosom buddies with Dave, comes up to accept it. Even my hamster Patsy comes out to pay her respects, as hamsters are little-known fans of Bowie's classic 'Low' album from 1977, in particular the album-closer 'Subterraneans'. Patsy loves that one. Oldman's speech has been going on a fair while now, and Christ, you'd hate to be Ant & Dec having to cut him off for danger of going over time, wouldn't you?? At least Oldman knows where the camera is, but then again he's been acting for ages, so I'm not surprised.
To pay tribute, we get a performance from.........LORDE!!! Yay...I think. Is she that mardy looking young girl who everyone said was like, the future of all things musical (about four years ago)? She's not shown her face yet, but I have no idea who this backing band are, who run through a medley of Bowie's past hits. Oh, here's Lordy Lordy, who proceeds to murder 'Life on Mars?' in quite a non-tribute fashion. Honestly, she sounds like Avril Lavigne - she does all the verses in the same flat, monotone voice, it's shocking.
Well that was...pointless. Why not just show a montage video of the great man in action? Not this whining bloody quim, who is now getting all emotional after putting her own slant on one of David's best known and loved tracks. They'd better get a wriggle on as well, as they've just gone to ANOTHER break, and there's only about twenty minutes left before the ITN News is due on!
Sadly there's no space for a Cilla Black or Lemmy tribute at this year's Brits, but we do have the final part of the ceremony to enjoy, so let's see what it brings. Dec has changed into a Sean Connery-era James Bond white tux, and once again Ant is nowhere to be seen. He then comes on in a dress. Now comes the climax of the Music Video award that the public has been voting for in their droves, and is presented by Alan Carr and some woman I don't recognise. We get another run down of the nominees, who I'm not going to repeat as I'm sick of hearing about them. Wand Erection win their sixth Brit. Zayn must be kicking himself for leaving the band so hastily now, eh? Only two of Wand Erection make it to stage; perhaps the other two have sodded off home. I bet they didn't even turn up and decided to get wrecked at home. Harry Styles is on his futon somewhere, raising his nineteenth can of Tennant's Super to the screen in celebration.
Live music now, from The Weekend! Sorry...WeekND! Crikey, he has some unusual hair going on there, doesn't he? I don't even know what style that is meant to be. It's like a sort of...mohawk mullet? With a quiff? A momuiff? I tell you one thing, he's not taken his coat off - he won't feel the benefit when he leaves, and he never even won an award!
Ronson comes out to introduce the nominees for Best British Album, which is of course Adele's for the taking. Rumour has it (see what I did there?) that Adele's next album '36' will feature her vomiting and farting into a bucket, and it WILL STILL SELL 550,000,000 copies in a week. Adele has also got changed out of her challenging theatre stage curtain dress and has a more sequinned effort on, and tells us we're all amazing and that she loves us very much. Well, that's her work done for another six years. Ant & Dec join the Critics Choice award winner Jack Garrett, who has frizzy hair and a beard and looks like he lives in Hoxton. If I remember, he's a solo artist who plays EVERYTHING at the same time. It's quite bewildering. James MayBay joins them, for no other reason than he's ecstatic that he's escaped Justin Bieber's clutches (who has gone off to egg some nearby houses with his entourage). Curiously, Dec has taken off his white tuxedo and gone back to his black suit. Weird. Another break now - with seven minutes of the show left, that doesn't really seem appropriate, but I guess it gives Adele time to get her pipes warmed up and her management company another couple of minutes to pour as much black coffee down her as possible in a bid to sober her up before she sings, lest she screams "FAAAHKIN' 'ELL!!!!" again.
Three minutes left, and we get back to the Brits, with Adele in serious danger of being cut off again! We've not had a disastrous Brit moment this year, so hopefully this fate doesn't befall her. Unfortunately, she's singing 'When We Were Young' off her new album, which is a dour, downbeat and dare I say, pretty boring choice as a single (if people even release singles off albums any more). Why not do 'Hello'? That's the one everyone knows and probably prefers. She's also singing it as per the album version as well, not even pimping it up for the Brits by turning it into a camp, hi-NRG disco anthem with a male choir dressed as spandex-clad sailors. Disappointing.
So, what have we learned from the Brits this year?
a) Ant & Dec love Coldplay. Like, REALLY love Coldplay. And James MayBay.
b) No bugger knows where the fixed camera for the awards is.
c) Those horrifying Mastercard ads whenever they go to commercial breaks need to stop. FULL STOP.
d) The most random of people will still receive Brit Award nominations - Aphex Twin, anyone? The most deserving (I know I'm biased, but Muse - come on!!!) will never win one.
Right, that's yer lot. You have ten minutes to vacate the arena before I release the