The 2009 Brit Awards: I Know I Shouldn’t Bother, But I Will Anyway

I already did a fairly comprehensive rant about last year’s Brit Award nominations, and when I first saw the Brit nominations for this year, I just expelled a huge sigh and asked myself, why bother wasting my energy again over a year that clearly mirrors last year’s nominations and many of the preceding disappointing years? Then I had another think, and figured “because it could be funny.” And in these supposedly dark times, I would like to spread a little vitriolic cheer. With the customary practice of giving all the nominations to a select few artists, there’s rarely any hope for variety and/or fairness at the Brit Awards, but that will not stop my commentary. In the spirit of a Jarvis Cocker bum in the air, I will plod through the sodden flotsam and jetsam that has washed up on the shores of this year’s Brits and give it a good go-over with the metal detector (preferably a Bill Wyman brand one) to expose the worth in the detritus and then confirm that those ones won’t win anything.

British Male Solo Artist

Ian Brown
James Morrison
Paul Weller
The Streets
Will Young

I wasn’t even aware the Mancunian monkey man had a record out last year – to be honest, I haven’t really followed him since the dissolution of The Stone Roses, and I’m thinking most of the press hasn’t either. I have a feeling the people doing the nominating recognized his name and figured he was old, and thus somehow credible. Then there’s James Morrison, who hails from the same school of bland balladry as James Blunt (maybe he is actually James Blunt – it’s a mere difference of surname and I’ve never seen them together in the same place). The Modfather himself makes an appearance as a nod to his legendary, previously lauded status at the Brits, and frankly, he’s the best on this list. To stay hip with the kids, the Brits nominated The Streets (AKA Mike Skinner) even though no one, including the kids, probably cares anymore about his overwrought, self-pitying rap narratives. And finally, there’s Will Young, the King of All Pop Idols, who seems to have the resilience of a cockroach and even managed an appearance at Glastonbury last year – I have to give him credit for his tenacity even though his music tends to hit me like globs of unsalted oatmeal.

British Female Solo Artist

Beth Rowley

In the event of Amy Winehouse’s incapacitation, Adele and Duffy have valiantly stepped forward as retro Brit darlings for this year. Then there’s more non-descript r&b/pop from Estelle, and what I figure is AOR in the form of Beth Rowley in order to represent the Diana Krall set. The only one out of this pack that I would give a vote to is MIA, but somehow I don’t think she or I would win.

British Breakthrough Act

The Last Shadow Puppets
Scouting for Girls
The Ting Tings

Guess who? More of the dueling Winehouses. And then some indie/mainstream from the frontman of the illustrious Arctic Monkeys (well, if the Arctic Monkeys can’t be nominated for the bazillionth time, they have to find alternatives), and the equally irritating Scouting for Girls and The Ting Tings (I only just realized that Scouting for Girls were the people behind that grating She’s So Lovely song and Elvis is Dead, which gets played on our indie radio station without obviously making any proper impression on me, but enough to make me remember that I hate it).

British Group

Girls Aloud
Take That

I’m still trying to work out the wonky rules for who qualifies – I feel like Radiohead’s album came out too long ago to be considered for this year (despite the fact they deserve the accolades more than most on this list). Man-boy-band Take That have seemingly slipped under the wire with a new album (practically sharing a title with Britney Spears’ comeback album), allowing them to be nominated yet again this year; they, too, have something of the cockroach about them. I will admit I did get a kick watching the music video for their lead-off single, Greatest Day, where Gary Barlow sings while the rest merely go “oh oh” and windmill and stomp in the background like they’re having epileptic fits or a very bad case of pins and needles. Elbow is here because the Brits don’t want to be outdone by the Mercury Prize while Coldplay is here (and leading the pack for nominations) because they’ve somehow mesmerized the masses with a whole new level of stadium-ready wallpaper paste complete with pseudo-spiritual fumes (the same kind U2 has been using for the last couple of decades). And last but I don’t even think least, is Girls Aloud, the pop group that it’s okay for hipsters to like. I’m still not a fan of the girl group, but at the very least they could snap Chris Martin in half like a twiglet. And feed him to Gary Barlow.

British Live Act

Iron Maiden
Scouting for Girls
The Verve

I haven’t seen any of these bands live, but we get more repetition with the likes of Coldplay, Elbow and Scouting for Girls (I was always of the opinion that I would fall into a deep coma at one of Coldplay’s shows – for me, Chris Martin has the charisma of an inclined plane). Then there’s a slightly bizarre addition of Iron Maiden, who I have a feeling put on a better live show than The Verve.

British Album

Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
Duffy – Rockferry
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Radiohead – In Rainbows
The Ting Tings – We Started Nothing

No surprises here. While Elbow or Radiohead should get it, I have a feeling Coldplay or Duffy are the main contenders. I would love to be proven wrong, though.

British Single

Adele – Chasing Pavements
Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah
Coldplay – Viva la Vida
Dizzee Rascal/Calvin Harris/Chrome – Dance Wiv Me
Duffy – Mercy
Estelle feat. Kanye West – American Boy
Girls Aloud – The Promise
Leona Lewis – Better in Time
Scouting for Girls – Heartbeat
X-Factor Finalists – Hero

I tried to make a concerted effort to listen to all of these, but after Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis, you cannot expect me to even attempt a song by X-Factor Finalists, too. I’m only human. Not dancer. Perhaps Adele thought “Snow Patrol did really well with Chasing Cars…hmmm…what goes with cars? Oh yeah, pavement. No wait that should still be plural even though it doesn’t make any sense.” Dance Wiv Me is yet another hip-hop song about female bodies, dancing, sex, etc. augmented by Calvin Harris’s retro electro stylings and deadpan singing – it doesn’t do a ving for me. When I bothered to listen to American Boy, all I can think is that I’ve heard it on an advert somewhere – apparently it did nothing for my recall of either the song itself or the product being sold. Then there’s our favourite nominee Coldplay with their perfect-for-emotional-news-program-montages Viva La Vida (we get it, you like bombastic syncopation). Additionally, there’s Duffy’s version of Rehab. And now I can rest assured that Scouting for Girls is definitely more teenybopper drivel in indie hipster clothing.

International Album

AC/DC – Black Ice
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
The Killers – Day and Age
Kings of Leon – Only By the Night
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

Here we get some elder statesmen of rock with more of the same style all these years later, but who likely strike a nostalgic chord. And what list would be complete without the ubiquitous Fleet Foxes? I would also like those responsible for nominations to know that it is not obligatory that The Killers be nominated every year when they’ve lost their honourary Britishness a long time ago. My pick this time is MGMT, and because of their mainstream crossover appeal, they may have a chance. Then again, Kings of Leon have probably had one of the biggest crossovers of 2008 centred on their hit song Sex On Fire – I can’t speak for the rest of the album since I’ve never listened to it.

International Male Solo Artist

Neil Diamond
Kanye West
Seasick Steve

Of course Beck has to be nominated as the token avant-garde guy while Jay-Z and Kanye West have to be nominated to represent hip-hop. Nothing shocking here and nothing worth more commentary. But who is Seasick Steve? Neil Diamond is looking pretty good right about now.

International Female Solo Artist

Gabriella Cilmi
Katy Perry

We get the pop songstress regulars like Beyonce and Pink, along with Katy Perry, who somehow comes across cheaper than the pin-up girls she’s emulating. I had to look up who Gabriella Cilmi is (defying the laws of pronunciation, I still keep seeing her last name as an invitation to murder), and lo and behold, she also sounds like Amy Winehouse, but with some Anastacia as well. If pressed and if it mattered, I would pick Santogold for this category.

International Group

Fleet Foxes
The Killers
Kings of Leon

I see. Someone thought, well, we already have a list of International Album nominees – how about we just use the exact same people for this category? No one will notice.

And finally, the Critics Choice Award has already been handed out to Florence and the Machine, who sounds like Kate Nash attempting to do The Long Blondes. I’ve had enough of these acts that look like they stepped out of the NME Cool List. I’m frankly just bored by it all, and I’m close to throwing out all the striped stockings I own.

Admittedly, the hosts for the Brits are better this year (last year, Ozzy had his family practically propping him up with a broom); this year Kylie will be hosting alongside Gavin and Stacey stars James Corden and Matthew Horne as they make further rounds as music awards hosts. And this year at least I’m not offended by the choice for Outstanding Contribution to Music: Pet Shop Boys. In addition to Pet Shop Boys, performers announced so far are U2, Kings of Leon, Duffy, Girls Aloud, Coldplay and Take That. I think U2 and Coldplay should have a pomposity-off, spastically circling each other until they combust in a fiery ball that takes out Third World debt. And I wouldn’t mind seeing if Gary Barlow remains glued to his piano seat while the rest breakdance around him. Or maybe they’ll all just windmill like a human mini-golf course. Well, now that I’ve got all that off my chest, I feel much better. I’m a bit surprised that even the Brits got tired of Kaiser Chiefs, and there’s no mention of Oasis. Maybe there’s a glimmer of hope after all.

Pretty Boring – No and the Maybes

Peggy Moffitt Look-Alikes – Mikrofisch


2 Responses to “The 2009 Brit Awards: I Know I Shouldn’t Bother, But I Will Anyway”

  1. 1 Rol
    January 27, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    No hope, that’s a pretty disastrous list… and I’m almost certain Ian Brown’s last album was released in 2007, so god knows what he’s doing on there.

  2. 2 The Cat
    February 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Some good points there. I didn’t even realise The Streets had an album out last year.

    Here’s my own take on it all: http://miseryguts.blogspot.com/2009/01/dose-of-brits-on-one-hand-i-find-new.html

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Arcade Fire w/ Bell Orchestre + Wolf Parade (2005)

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Big Audio Dynamite (2011)

Billy Bragg w/ Ron Hawkins (2009)

Billy Idol w/ Bif Naked (2005)

Bloc Party w/ Hot Hot Heat (2009)

Buzzcocks w/ The Dollyrots (2010)

Damo Suzuki (2012)

David Bowie w/ The Polyphonic Spree (2004)

Diamond Rings w/ PS I Love You + The Cannon Bros. (2011)

Diamond Rings w/ Gold & Youth (2012)

Dragonette w/ Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees (2009)

Frank Turner w/ The Cavaliers (2010)

Frank Turner w/ Into It Over It + Andrew Jackson Jihad (2011)

Franz Ferdinand w/ Think About Life (2009)

Gang of Four w/ Hollerado (2011)

Good Shoes w/ The Moths + The Envelopes (2007)

Hot Hot Heat w/ The Futureheads + Louis XIV (2005)

IAMX w/ closethuman (2007)

IAMX w/ Coma Soft + The Hourly Radio (2007)

Interpol (2007)

Janelle Monae w/ Roman GianArthur (2012)

Joel Plaskett Emergency w/ Frank Turner (2012)

Jonathan Richman (2011)

Keane w/ Lights (2009)

Lou Reed w/ Buke and Gass (2011)

Manic Street Preachers w/ Fear of Music (2007)

Manic Street Preachers w/ Bear Hands (2009)

Manic Street Preachers at Wanaja Festival (2011)

Mother Mother w/ Old Folks Home (2009)

Mother Mother w/ Whale Tooth (2011)

Mother Mother w/ Hannah Georgas (2012)

MSTRKRFT w/ Felix Cartal (2008)

Muse (2004)

Nine Inch Nails w/ Death From Above 1979 + Queens of the Stone Age (2005)

of Montreal w/ Janelle Monae (2010)

Owen Pallett w/ Little Scream (2010)

Patrick Wolf w/ Bishi (2007)

Prince (2011)

Pulp w/ Grace Jones, TV on the Radio, The Hives, The Horrors, Metronomy, Devotcka, Vintage Trouble (2011)

Rufus Wainwright w/ Teddy Thompson (2010)

Snow Patrol w/ Embrace (2005)

Snow Patrol w/ OK Go + Silversun Pickups (2007)

Sons and Daughters w/ Bodies of Water (2008)

Stars w/ Thurston Revival (2006)

Stars w/ The Details (2008)

Stars (2010)

Steven Severin (2010)

Stroszek (2007)

The Antlers w/ Haunter (2012)

The Flaming Lips w/ Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (2010)

The Jesus and Mary Chain w/ Nightbox (2012)

The Killers w/ Ambulance Ltd (2004)

The New Pornographers w/ Novillero (2008)

The New Pornographers w/ The Mountain Goats (2010)

The Ordinary Boys w/ Young Soul Rebels (2006)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart w/ Suun (2011)

The Rakes w/ The Young Knives (2006)

The Raveonettes w/ Black Acid (2008)

The Stills w/ Gentleman Reg (2009)

The Subways w/ The Mad Young Darlings (2006)

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TV on the Radio w/ The Dirty Projectors (2009)

Yann Tiersen w/ Breathe Owl Breathe (2011)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The only certain thing that is left about me

There is no part of my body that has not been used

Pity or pain, to show displeasure's shame

Everyone I've loved or hated always seems to leave


So I turned myself to face me

But I've never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I'm much too fast to take that test

The Smiths Queen is Dead

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're happy

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Oh, Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're wanted

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Keats and Yeats are on your side

But you lose 'cause weird lover Wilde is on mine

The Clash London Calling

When they kick at your front door

How you gonna come?

With your hands on your head

Or on the trigger of your gun


Charles Windsor, who's at the door

At such an hour, who's at the door

In the back of an old green Cortina

You're on your way to the guillotine

Here the rabble comes

The kind you hoped were dead

They've come to chop, to chop off your head


Then you came with your breezeblocks

Smashing up my face like a bus-stop

You think you're giving

But you're taking my life away


Won't someone give me more fun?

(and the skin flies all around us)

We kiss in his room to a popular tune

Oh, real drowners


Don't walk away

In silence

See the danger

Always danger

Endless talking

Life rebuilding

Don't walk away

Walk in silence

Don't turn away in silence

Your confusion

My illusion

Worn like a mask of self-hate

Confronts and then dies

Don't walk away


You don't want to hurt me

But see how deep the bullet lies

Unaware I'm tearing you asunder

Oh there is thunder in our hearts

Is there so much hate for the ones we love

Tell me we both matter don't we

The Associates Affectionate

I don't know whether

To over or under estimate you

Whether to over or under estimate you

For when I come over

You then put me under

Personal taste is a matter of gender


I wake at dusk to go alone without a light

To the unknown

I want this night inside of me

I want to feel

I want this speeding

I want that speeding


You'll never live like common people

You'll never do what common people do

You'll never fail like common people

You'll never watch your life slide out of view

And dance and drink and screw

Because there's nothing else to do

Vanilla Swingers

All I have is words, words that don't obtain

And I feel I'm a stain on your horizon

So I stay away - it's easier that way

And there won't be no-one I need to rely on

Is it him, is it me

Or is there something only I can see

How did I get here, why do we blow around like straw dogs on the breeze

I'm a special one, what they used to say

But I've to stay on, finish levels-A

You don't need exams when you've read John Gray

The Indelicates American Demo

And nobody ever comes alive

And the journalists clamour round glamour like flies

And boys who should know better grin and get high

With fat men who once met the MC5

And no one discusses what they don't understand

And no one does anything to harm the brand

And this gift is an illusion, this isn't hard

Absolutely anyone can play the fucking guitar

JAMC Darklands

And we tried so hard

And we looked so good

And we lived our lives in black


Plucked her eyebrows on the way

Shaved her leg and then he was a she

She says, hey babe,

Take a walk on the wild side

Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side


Hide on the promenade

Etch a postcard:

How I dearly wish I was not here

In the seaside town...that they forgot to bomb

Come, come, come - nuclear bomb


Back when we were kids

We would always know when to stop

And now all the good kids are messing up

Nobody has gained or accomplished anything

Wire Pink Flag

Prices have risen since the government fell

Casualties increase as the enemy shell

The climate's unhealthy, flies and rats thrive

And sooner or later the end will arrive

This is your correspondent, running out of tape

Gunfire's increasing, looting, burning, rape


Well, maybe there's a god above

But all I've ever learned from love

Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you

It's not a cry that you hear at night

It's not somebody who's seen the light

It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah


And what costume shall the poor girl wear

To all tomorrow's parties

For Thursday's child is Sunday's clown

For whom none will go mourning


My body is your body

I won't tell anybody

If you want to use my body

Go for it


Oh it's opening time

Down on Fascination Street

So let's cut the conversation

And get out for a bit

Because I feel it all fading and paling

And I'm begging

To drag you down with me

Mansun Six

And you see, I kind of shivered to conformity

Did you see the way I cowered to authority

You see, my life, it's a series of compromises anyway

It's a sham, and I'm conditioned to accept it all, you see

Japan Gentlemen

Take in the country air, you'll never win

Gentlemen take polaroids

They fall in love, they fall in love


We just want to emote til we're dead

I know we suffer for fashion

Or whatever

We don't want these days to ever end

We just want to emasculate them forever

Forever, forever

Pretty sirens don't go flat

It's not supposed to happen like that

Longpigs The Sun

There's no perfume I can buy

Make me smell like myself

So I put on perfume

To make me smell like someone else

In bed

Calvin Harris I Created Disco

I got love for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's

I've got hugs for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's


Does his makeup in his room

Douse himself with cheap perfume

Eyeholes in a paper bag

Greatest lay I ever had

Kind of guy who mates for life

Gotta help him find a wife

We're a couple, when our bodies double

Simple Minds Sons and Fascination

Summer rains are here

Savaged beauty life

Falling here from grace

Sister feeling call

Cruising land to land

No faith no creed no soul

Half a world away

Beauty sleeps in time

Sound and fury play

Bloc Party Silent Alarm

North to south


Running on


As if to say, as if to say

He doesn't like chocolate

He's born a liar, he'll die a liar

Some things will never be different


LCD Soundsystem

Well Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house

I've waited 7 years and 15 days

There's every kid for miles at my house, my house

And the neighbors can't...call the police

There's a fist fight brewin' at my house, my house

Because the jocks can't...get in the door

Johnny Boy

I just can't help believing

Though believing sees me cursed

Stars Set Yourself

I am trying to say

What I want to say

Without having to say "I love you"

Josef K Entomology

It took 10 years to realise why the angels start to cry

When you go home down the main

Your happy smile

Your funny name

Cocteau Twins Bluebell


Doesn't she look a million with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Yes, she's a beautiful brunette angel from heaven with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Augment a beautiful brunette

New Order Power Corruption

How does it feel

To treat me like you do

When you've laid your hands upon me

And told me who you are


You must let her go

She's not crying



Feeling like I'm waiting

Modern times



Hating to distraction

Just leave them alone


Girls in the back

Girls in the back

Puressence Don't Forget

They say come back to earth and start getting real, yeah

I say come back to earth and start getting real

I know I can't


So I walk right up to you

And you walk all over me

And I ask you what you want

And you tell me what you need


The problem of leisure

What to do for pleasure

Ideal love a new purchase

A market of the senses

Dream of the perfect life

Economic circumstances

The body is good business

Sell out, maintain the interest


Sitting in my armchair thinking again and again and again

Going round in a circle I can't get out

Then I look around thinking day and night and day

Then you look around - there must be some explanation

And the tension builds

Psychdedelic Furs

India, India

You're my love song

India, you're my love song

In the flowers

You can have me in the flowers

We will dance alone

And live our useless lives

Ladytron Light Magic

They only want you when you're seventeen

When you're twenty-one

You're no fun

They take a polaroid and let you go

Say they'll let you know


No consolation prizes

Spit out your lies and chewing gum

Cut off your hair yeah that's it!

If you look like that I swear I'm gonna love you more


All the neighbors are startin' up a fire

Burning all the old folks, the witches and the liars.

My eyes are covered by the hands of my unborn kids

But my heart keeps watchin' through the skin of my eyelids


Prince charming

Prince charming

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of

Don't you ever, don't you ever

Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome


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