Gary Flockhart: Music takes tumble at Brit Awards

Madonna at Brit Awards. Pic: Comp

Madonna at Brit Awards. Pic: Comp

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JUDGING by the volume of column inches berating this year’s Brit Awards, you’d swear there was never a time in the past when the music industry’s annual back-slapping ceremony served up dross.

Not only has it always been a bit embarrassing (sort of like a boozed-up edition of Top of the Pops, with a better-dressed audience), but how can anyone take seriously a mainstream awards bash that over the years has bestowed the likes of the Spice Girls, Steps and Robbie Williams with multiple gongs but has overlooked myriad incredible artists such as the Rolling Stones and Radiohead?

The Brits is a popularity contest, reflecting sales and radio play and, as such, there are never any surprises when it comes to dishing out those shiny statues.

Despite - or rather because of - being voted for by a 1000-strong academy of music industry folks and fan votes, you could use a computer to come up with the same shortlist of acts for nomination.

This year’s instalment was - shock, horror! - as predictable as ever, with big wins on the night for Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.

Sam is a beige balladeer who got his big break on his rich banker mum’s credit card, whereas Ed . . . Well, if he’s responsible for the Best British Album of the year, then I’m with my old pal Noel Gallagher when he says he couldn’t live in a world where such a thing is even possible.

Morrissey nailed it this week in an online rant, saying: “The Brit Awards have hi-jacked modern music in order to kill off the heritage that produced so many interesting people, to such a degree we could not imagine anyone who has ever truly affected the course of British music to be on the stage at the 02 collecting a deserved award”.

Well said, Mozzer.

All anyone will remember about this year’s Brits in years to come will be Her Madgesty, the fallen Queen of Pop, falling arse-over-tit. Says it all, really.