Wednesday night was an eclectic evening for British music. At the Brits ceremony live at the O2 in London, cooler than school rock band The Arctic Monkeys sat table to table against X-Factor protégés One Direction, and thanks to David Bowie (more of that later) the odd supermodel was thrown in for good measure.
Up for Best Group and Best British Album, Arctic Monkeys started the show, before effortlessly scooping both awards and giving two unforgettable and surreal acceptance speeches involving sludge, swamps and glass ceilings. Talking about rock and roll, Alex Turner said: ‘It seems like its faded away sometimes but it will never die.’ And last night showed it definitely hasn’t.
In his last year as presenter and all round ring master of the event, James Cordon did a good job stroking the egos of the sea of music stars. There were plenty of shenanigans both at the tables and on stage, including a passionate snog between Cordon himself and Radio 1 Breakfast show presenter Nick Grimshaw, who was there to present an award.
However, in direct contrast to the ‘off the leash’ antics of some of the British stars, the live performances by US artists Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Bruno Mars added some polished lustre to the night.
Our personal highlights include One Direction’s Harry Stiles running on stage mid-speech in a fluster to accept the Best Video award, Ellie Golding scooping British Female Solo Artist, before giving a show stopping performance of Burn – in a suitably gold bra, and fledgling singer Lorde beating Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to Best International Female Artist.
But it was David Bowie who taught the cool new Brit brigade a trick or two about winning awards when he landed the British male solo award. However winning the award wasn’t enough to entice the 67-year-old across the Atlantic to collect it, so he sent no other than Kate Moss to pick it up for him, wearing his Ziggy Stardust outfit from 1972.
Finally, the show closed with a climatic performance from Pharrell Williams and Nile Rogers, who ended the night with a medley of last summer’s smash Get Lucky and Pharrell’s Happy. Happy ending indeed.