Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Were the Brit Awards ever actually good?

In short, the answer is neither yes or no. 

However, if you're asking me, the Brits were actually more memorable, rebellious and interesting in the past. This isn't a post whining about them being better 'back in my day', I know they have obviously never been at the cutting edge of music throughout their history.

These days, the Brits are a procession of control and tedium. The banality of the performances matched perfectly by the choice of presenter, James Cordon, the living embodiment of middle of the road 'lads bantz'.

If you were to take the Brit Awards as the face of British music, you would start to believe it had reached a cultural nadir. 

In fact this couldn't be further from the truth, British music is alive and as innovative as ever. Bands and musicians of all types are creating some fantastic music all around the country. Not only is the music great, but they're gaining massive fan bases too. So why is this diversity not reflected in the Brit Awards?

Well, this leads me to why the Brits look especially out of touch in 2014. It's because they ignore the driving force behind the creation, consumption and dissemination of modern music. The internet.

The big sub culture movements of today happen and are spread online. The internet generation use their mobiles, watch YouTube performances, listen to Soundcloud and stream almost all their music. Some would argue radio has becomes almost irrelevant. These days people listen across genres and styles, creating their own personal radio station because everything is at their fingertips. This has the knock on effect of making the streamlined Brits talent pool seem even more boring.  

Another thing the Brits did better, controversy. Even mainstream popular music used to reflect rebellion and an attempt to subvert the mainstream consensus. Popstars of yesteryear used to subvert paradigms, not reinforce them. This is why popstars acting up at the Brits often created some great moments of chaos, which made it a much more entertaining awards show.

You get the impression that if David Cameron himself turned up this year, he'd probably get a standing ovation. Not to mention a song dedicated to him by the magnificently boring public school Wurzels, Mumford & Sons. Rock'N'Roll counter culture, if the Brits are anything to go by, is dead.

Maybe, its not just the Brits, its the absolutely predictable safety and banality of so many of today's pop and rock bands. Ironically, something that is a symptom of record labels failure to adapt effectively in the Internet age.

I for one will probably still watch it and moan, more fool me. But since we're looking back, here are some of the weirdest and most controversial moments from the awards over the years...

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