Dance acts were overlooked at the Brit Awards last night (Wednesday 19th February), with only pop-junglists Rudimental winning anything amongst UK dance acts. The east London collective, signed to Black Butter Records, walked away with the gong for Best Single for their track 'Waiting All Night' — but Disclosure, nominated in four categories, left empty handed.
Disclosure duetted with 17-year-old New Zealand singer Lorde on the night, although the Lawrence brothers spent the first track — Lorde's hit 'Royals' — behind a screen with an image of Lorde made up in the signature Disclosure style. Disclosure then blended 'White Noise' into 'Royals', and singer Aluna George came onstage for their poppy-garage hit.
Rudimental, meanwhile, were teamed with indie band Bastille, who only broke through with their 'Of The Night' mash-up of early '90s dance tracks 'Rhythm Of The Night' by Corona and 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' by Snap! The 'collaboration', however, merely involved Rudimental playing drums on a Bastille track, and Bastille doing not much more than 'dancing' on Rudimental's 'Waiting All Night'. It was as if Brit organisers had to find somebody for the dance acts to work with, as they thought they weren't strong enough on their own — or the crowd wouldn't 'understand' them, in that old Top Of The Pops way.
Best Album and Best Group were won by established indie-rock band the Arctic Monkeys, whose singer Alex Turner rambled “rock & roll seems like it's faded away sometimes, but it will never die”, saying that it will make its way back through the sludge to “smash the glass ceiling” again. The reality is that indie-rock, what a sizeable portion of the music industry insist is the most artful of music genres, still IS the glass ceiling.
Best Male Solo Artist was deservedly won by David Bowie, still putting artists half his age to shame. Noel Gallagher introduced model Kate Moss, dressed in a Ziggy catsuit, to pick up Bowie's award on his behalf.
Daft Punk won Best International Group — how could they not? — and Nile Rodgers picked it up on their behalf. Nile did a medley of tracks with Pharrell to close the show — a snippet of Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' and Chic's 'Good Times' before most of Pharrell's new single 'Happy', which nobody can really complain about. But for an awards ceremony that's meant to showcase British talent, there were a lot of Americans hogging the limelight. Recruiting Beyoncé for a song was quite a coup, but having Katy Perry AND Bruno Mars performing was maybe one international — read: US — act too far.
Elsewhere, Simon Cowell's manufactured pop act One Direction and singer Ellie Goulding won some other awards. It's unclear whether Lorde's sign off at the end of her acceptance speech — where she said her award was a “priceless surprise”, the contrived slogan of Brits sponsors MasterCard — was tongue-in-cheek or a shameless instance of corporate compliance. Whichever it was, with all the ad breaks there was more time for MasterCard plugs than there was showcasing new British talent.
At least this was presenter James Corden's last year as host!
Full list of Brits winners here
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