Gary Flockhart: High praise for Lorde is deserved

Lorde

Lorde

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FROM the KLF firing blanks at the audience to Jarvis Cocker’s lampooning of Michael Jackson’s Jesus complex to Robbie Williams challenging Liam Gallagher to a “square-go”, the BRIT Awards have displayed a knack for sparking controversy over the years.

The 2016 instalment was far more predictable, with most headlines the morning after the night before centering on Adele’s four-award haul. Who saw that coming, eh?

Nothing against Adele, but after a night of watching the Hello singer going through the full spectrum of emotions with each triumph, I couldn’t help but hope the organisers had something else up their sleeves.

Step forward Lorde, who made a surprise appearance to perform a tribute to the late, great David Bowie. As readers of this column will know, the Kiwi songstress, pictured, is an artist I adore.

Bowie felt the same way, having once said her music “felt like listening to tomorrow”.

Still, to say she had big shoes to fill is understating things. Mercifully, the performance of Life On Mars by the 19-year-old – backed by Bowie’s old live band – was extraordinarily powerful.

Bathed in red lights, the precociously-talented teenager absolutely nailed it, performing the song with a moody restraint that drew listeners in rather than overwhelming them.

To take on one of the greatest songs ever written, on live television, and in front of the great and the good of the music industry was incredibly brave of Lorde.

The mourning period for Bowie is far from over, and had Lorde messed up she would never have lived it down.

You could sense her relief as the audience erupted in a loud ovation at the end.

Afterwards, she wrote on Twitter: “I was so nervous in the wings, and then I whispered to myself ‘just sing it to David’, and nothing else mattered.”

Well done, that girl.