Friday, February 21, 2014


Lo, it came to pass that of the 9 Brits Awards I attempted to predict  I got 6 right, 66%, very similar to last year. It could be stated that the whole thing is a bit predictable. The performances and the speeches are generally safe, the host is usually rubbish and the voting is generally skewed towards ‘rock’ music even if the prevailing trend is overwhelmingly for pop/RnB. Had I thought more about this latter point I’d have predicted less for Disclosure.

It’s always useful to remind yourself what The Brits is now about – publicity in all its forms. It is a showcase for the industry, a big TV production and a chance to be talked about. This year they may have excelled, becoming the most ‘tweeted’ about show in UK TV history – 4.14 million tweets which equates to 78,000 per minute. Given our current obsession with social media this alone would have made the show organisers scream WIN and give James Corden a new contract, which is great news for everyone of course…..

Of course it’s not just that. The show also puts music in front of people in a way that no longer happens on this scale or in prime-time. It makes One Direction fans (those who’ll watch anything that features the band, however briefly) put up with music they’d never otherwise see as they’re otherwise One Dimensional. Being a prime-time show it also attracts people who don’t watch music shows or channels, people whose relationship with music is passive at best.

The presence of the latter usually results in large sales spikes for those acts who are invited to appear and particularly those who win awards. It rarely matters that we might’ve all thought they were crap, derivative or uninspiring. Last year’s sales spikes were particularly impressive – 320% for Ben Howard and even 62% for Emeli Sande and  you thought everyone owned that album already.

In these times of strife for the music industry it’s still hard to knock The Brit Awards, it may not be your cup of tea – or mine – but it is very effective.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Brit of all trite

History dictates that I should pre-empt the Brit Awards with my predictions of who will win what. I had a 64% strike rate last time  with 7 of the 11 attempted. I was hedging my bets on a few though which I will also repeat this time around.

I should have got around to it before the day of the event, you can be assured that if I rigged it by doing it afterwards I’d get 100% and call myself Nostradamus thereafter.
The truth is that it’s a lottery and I feel a little more out of touch this time around but having made those qualifying remarks I should just get into it.

All the nominees are here and these are my ill-educated guesses:

British Breakthrough Act              

My instinct is for Disclosure but it could go to any of the nominees, London Grammar is a good second shout.

British Female Solo Artist          

I genuinely haven’t a clue, where’s Kate Bush when you need her? I despise Jessie J though so it has to be Ellie Goulding or Laura Mvula.

British Group                           Arctic Monkeys or One Direction

British Male Solo Artist             David Bowie

British Single                           John Newman

International Female Solo Artist               

          How I would love this to be Janelle MonĂ¡e, it’s surely going  to be Lorde

International Group                                   Daft Punk

International Male Solo Artist                     Bruno Mars

MasterCard British Album of the Year          David Bowie or Disclosure

Time will tell. Put some money on Clean Bandit for next year though.