February 20, 2008

Ollie///Beauty is music on a wonderful night!

The Brit Awards 2008 in association with MasterCard

The lights were dimmed, the phone was off the hook and the surround sound was on, what was this in aid of?

The Brit’s, of course and what a way to start the night, the most prestigious night in British music sees the crème de la crème of the music scene awarded for their efforts in the past year, and what a year it had been. There were so many new bands to choose from, with reunions and with collaborations. 2007 saw a new record broke in the form of Umbrella by Rihanna but has she managed to break into the hearts of the UK?

The night started with Mika exploding onto the stage. Now whatever anyone’s opinion and I am one to speak out about this man, his rendition of Love Today was a brilliant way to start and only bettered with the addition of Beth Ditto for a duet of Standing in the Way of Control. Their contrasting voices with Mika surprisingly taking the higher vocals and Beth, the lower.
Then it was time to start the presentation, people were somewhat blown away by the selection of presenters for this years show after the controversy of last year’s, Russell Brand debacle. But I was looking forward to seeing the Osborne’s on stage and what a job they did. No one knew what they had planned, was Ozzy going to come on with a bat’s head? Was Sharon going to swear way before the 9o’clock watershed? Not only did their children, Kelly and Jack, join the couple but also they were surprisingly behaved. The question on my lips though, was Sharon drunk? I have never seen her smile so much and she bounced along the stage, it was a surprise the rest of her family kept up with her.

The awards started and with the orders shook up, they started with the Best Live Act, previously won over the past two years by Muse, the award this year went to Take That, who also went away with Best British Single for the Mark Owen lead, ‘Shine’. On their first time up on stage it almost seemed as if Jason Orange had stage shock, as he stood there shaking, speaking for the longest time and thanking people who had already been thanked. But it’s Take That and they proved that they are still one of the best in British music.

The event was only made better by proving the great diversity there is between the different genres of music and yet they all took away awards. With pop making a return in the form of Take That, indie showing they are still on top with two awards (Best British Group & Best British Album) going to the Arctic Monkey’s and rock showing there is still a place in our hearts as the Foo Fighters won both Best International Group and Best International Album.
But what is the Brit’s without the performances? Well tonight was nothing short of brilliant from thrilling performances of Ruby by The Kaiser Chiefs where the stage emulated their music video with specially build towers rising out of the stage throughout the song until they were covered. Kylie Minogue continued her massive comeback with her rendition of her new song, Wow, which although may not be her strongest song, is guaranteed to stay in your head from hours afterwards. Did anyone notice how much she looked like Debbie Harry in her Blondie days during the performance?

The two biggest performances of the evening had to go to Rihanna and the Klaxons singing Umbrella/Golden Skans, which may not sound like the right combination but put together, they really pulled it off. The stage for the performance was amazing, holding all the classiness that Rihanna tries to show in her music mixed with the rave atmosphere of the Klaxons, the flashing greens and blacks into the audience, the strobe lighting and the wonderful pillar which Rihanna started on until it lowered to stage level showed that the thought and design that goes into the awards really can make all the difference. The other big performance of the evening was the Mark Ronson medley, after winning the Best British Male (the first non-singing winner) and saying that he has never felt so male and never felt so British he blew the audience away with a collection of his biggest hits. First Adele joined him (she won the Critics’ Choice Award, the very first time this award has been seen) to sing God Put A Smile followed by Daniel Merriweather to sing his hit, Stop Me and ended with Amy Winehouse and their hit of last year, Valerie. She was let out of rehab to come to the event and she looks brilliant, she has gained some weight, has better colour skin and stood up strong and looked as if she was starting to overcome her troubles.

Other winners of the night were Kate Nash for Best British Female, Mika won Best Breakthrough, International Male was Kanye West and Kylie Minogue collected International Female. A performance from Amy Winehouse singing, Love is a Losing Game and Leona Lewis with Bleeding Love were just some of the other pieces in this amazing night. Leona Lewis stood out, only two years ago, she was a normal girl and then she won The X Factor and two years later, she had the biggest selling album of 2007, selling two million copies in just six weeks. In her purple gown surrounded by about a dozen dancers, she amazed the audience with Bleeding Love and once again showed early signs of a singer like Whitney Houston.

The awards were presented by an array of people from Sir Ian McKellen to Chris Moyles to Alan Carr (who was drunk!) and each bought something special to the show. Outstanding Contribution to Music, the last award of the night, was presented to Sir Paul McCartney for all his work from The Beatles to The Wings to his solo career and all the amazing things he has done for the music industry.

The evening finished with a medley of hits from McCartney, he started with the recent feel-good single; Dance Tonight followed by Live and Let Die (with amazing pyrotechnics) and to end the two-hour event, he sung The Beatles hit, Hey Jude!

Overall, an impressive night that could only have been made better if the artists I wanted to win had. But with only 12 more months to go until The Brit Awards 2009, it’s only a matter of exposing new talent and some really great music planned for the rest of this year.

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