Say what you like about the BRITs, but it gets people talking. Ever year, it finds a way to produce moments that sends the internet into discursive frenzy, be them magical (we’ll never forget you, Florence and Dizzee) or infuriating (#BritsSoWhite).
2017’s ceremony was no different. Below, our writers dissect the evening’s biggest talking points.
George Griffiths: The George Michael Tribute – or lack of
Chris Martin, stay the fuck away from George Michael. You were introduced by Andrew Ridgely – the second member of Wham! – as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of your generation. This isn’t true, though no-one can deny Viva La Vida is a banger. But that didn’t offend me; do you know what did? That George Michael, one of the pioneering queer pop artists, was not represented on that stage by an LGBT artist whose work succeeded Michael’s own, informed by it and soaked in the knowledge that they have the platform they have today because of George Michael. We could have had Olly from Years and Years belting out Freedom ’90, while Matty Healy from the 1975 brought out Outside and closed with Elton bloody John singing Careless Whisper, one of the greatest pop songs ever composed. But no, what did we have? You, Chris Martin, with your pink fucking shoelaces howling over A Different Corner (which is probably the most boring George Michael song they could have picked, obviously) and generally ignoring the entire point of George Michael as both an artist and an activist. So thanks the BRIT Awards, thanks for nothing. At least it wasn’t Sam Smith.
Tanyel Gumushan: RIP, One Direction
Harry is going to launch his solo career with Ed Sheeran. The boys are going to reunite tonight. ZAYN IS COMING BACK. I’d say that it was my seventeen-year-old One Direction fangirl self that couldn’t handle the Brit Award rumours, but it was my twenty-year-old fangirl self that was fuelling them – setting myself for disappointment. When ‘daddy direction’ himself, Liam, appeared as a lone wolf picking up the award for Best Video, my heart broke and my Viennetta couldn’t fix it. Neither could your half-arsed Instagram vid, Louis, c’mon man. Can we all pretend Harry was just having a wee? When will this hiatus end?
Claudia Knight: Still No Grime
The Brits has just proved to me that Dermot O’Leary is swiftly becoming the embarrassing uncle we dread seeing at family gatherings and that, unfortunately, the Brits is still massively flawed. Before Skepta’s performance of Shutdown, O’Leary blurted out “go bat shit crazy” in a if-I-swear-I’ll-look-cool kind of bravado. Skepta performed and the shambolic censoring was out in full force. Maybe Britain is still too prude for the word ‘pussy’ but the whole bloody sentence? Really? God forbid a grime artist actually performs, post-watershed may I add, with the same freedom as Robbie Williams or Dermot O’fucking Leary. Pussies.
Kirstie Sutherland: The 1975 ‘Hack’
The 1975 are now officially a Brit-awarded band. Winning the award for British Group ahead of the likes of Radiohead, Biffy Clyro, Bastille and everyone’s favourite girl group, Little Mix, the boys were clearly ready to celebrate their win during their live performance of The Sound. However, their performance created a great deal of confusion for viewers, with pink and white messages flashing up on screen throughout their performance. Opinions such as ‘Genuinely laughable’, ‘Do people really still make music like this?’ and ‘This band thinks it has a charismatic singer… they are mistaken’ continued to appear throughout, leading several viewers to believe that the ITV award show had been hacked. In actual fact, these interruptions were deliberate, with them being quotes from criticism they had previously received throughout their career. Last night The 1975 stuck it to all their critics in the most televised awards ceremony for British music, proving they aren’t so ‘cringe-worthy’ after all.
Niall Flynn: Drake, Rapper and National Treasure
Last night, Drake won ‘Best International Male Solo Artist’ at the 2017 BRITs. Well done, Drake! In his acceptance speech, the happy rapper declared, without a hint of hyperbole: “This is probably the most important award to me that I could possibly win.” Now, in most cases, such sentiment would be deemed as uber popstar diplomacy. In Drake’s case, however, know that he is being totally fucking serious. He has never been more serious about anything in his life, ever. Drake loves the UK. Loves it. Loves it. And, in turn, we love him back. Drake loves Nandos, Skepta, gritty, three-part television dramas and Chelsea FC. Drake is one episode of skins away from downsizing to a semi-detached in Devon. He’s a jam sandwich away from an OBE. A game of cricket away from a regular, recurring role on Emmerdale. “You guys obviously know how much I care about UK, how much I care about London,” he beamed, clutching his award like a firstborn son. We do Drake, we bloody do. You are popular culture’s happiest anglophile. We’re not sure when, or how, it happened – but we love you nonetheless.
Words by HQ