Wednesday, January 21, 2009


On the one hand, I find the new rule that only artists who have had a Top 40 hit can be considered for nomination for a Brit Award to be rather stupid and very narrow-minded. Not every band is obsessed with the charts; charts which lost any significance a long time ago, except to pony-tailed Charlie-snorting record company execs.

Isn’t the Brits supposed to some sort of celebration of the previous music year? Instead we have an even narrower playing field for smaller acts to compete on as the record industry backslapping love-in becomes evermore inclusive to those who have ‘shifted units’. Apparently, it used to be that your humble offering to the chart gods could have spent a solitary week at number 75 and still you had a chance to win an award. No more.

Perhaps the Brits Academy are scared that some minor band who haven’t performed outside the confines of their own MySpace page will be able to mobilise enough fans to gatecrash the party. Remember when Belle and Sebastian “stole” the Best Newcomer award from Steps. (Does anyone recall Kelly Brook on The Big Breakfast trying to goad 5ive into saying how terrible it was that Steps lost out to Belle and Sebastian? Fair play to 5ive, they didn’t bite. I even sent a complaint to The Big Breakfast about it. If I can find it I reproduce it here.)

The other way to guarantee at least a nomination seems to involve being a pupil at the BRAT School for the Precocious Jazz Hands or whatever it’s called. Kate Nash, Leona Lewis, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Katie Melua, Luke Pritchard (The Kicks) and two of the blandest band in the world, The Feeling, are some of the most well known names to emerge from the sausage factory of pop. Apparently this facility is actually a charity, with some of the money coming from the BRIT awards. So it’s YOUR fault that we have Leona Lewis. You should be ashamed of yourself.

On the other hand, I don’t give a fuck.

No, wait there, I knew there was something else I needed to get off my not insubstantial chest. Have a look at the nominees for Best Single and, like me, ask yourself how the hell is “Hero” by The X-Factors Failures worthy of a place on that list. Putting on my Reasonable Head I can see why some of them are in there. Duffy, Estelle, Coldplay and Adele were, notwithstanding my own musical preferences, reasonable guesses to be on the list but I can’t believe that two songs from The X-Factor are in there. Maybe the goalposts have been shifted for Simon Cowell’s little devil spawn but wasn’t the qualifying period October to October? I fully expect next year’s Best Single list to include The X-Factor First Round Fuck-Ups butchering “Sugar Sugar”.

I’m on a roll now…have you seen the British Male Solo nominees? Has there been a more piss-poor assembly? Sure Paul Weller and Will Young were omnipresent throughout 2008 with albums to promote but The Streets and Ian Brown, what did they do last year? Ian Brown’s only contribution to 2008 was to fall offstage and Mike Skinner seems to have done hee-haw except to inform everyone his new album will be a couple of years away. As for James Morrison, he’s only in there to get the Commercial Radio Listener Vote. (See also Scouting for Girls). Why wasn’t Morrissey nominated? Love him or loathe him, at least he had two singles out in 2008, albeit new tracks from a Greatest Hits compilation. Mind you, last year they gave it to a record producer so what do I know. Maybe I’ll write and ask them just how they come to this short list. Yes, I will and I’ll share their response with you all. I’m good like that.

Go Fleet Foxes!


Bright Ambassador said...

I think The Streets did, unfortunately, release an album last year.

I gave up getting mad at The Brits in about 1996 when I finally realised it's just the record industry giving itself a big pat on the back over two hours of primetime television. It's also a way of shoehorning in two hours worth of advertising for extremely mediocre music in the guise of an awards show. See those record sales go through the roof the week after!
Needless to say, Elbow won't win owt.

JC said...

BA is spot on.....

Piss-poor set of nominations. I actually think its deliberately bad just so that those of us that care about music get all frothy-mouthed about things, write and whinge about it and thus give it publicity.

Ignore the fuckers.

The Cat said...

I know but...but...aarrgghh!

I did e-mail the Brits PR company and they said my e-mail would be passed on to someone at the BPI. My money's on the tea lady.

JC said...

A 20-something Canadian's perspective:-

well worth a read.