Thursday, February 21, 2002

Tonight we were treated to the very best of British. The Brit awards. Or, rather, the Brit "awards". All of which were announced in the tabloids last week, so what was the point of the show? Why, to shift a few more units, of course. "Units" being the sole criterion for giving the awards in the first place.

I settled down with a bottle of Alsace pinot gris [notes of grapefruit, honey and ginger, since you ask] and watched.

Hot damn, it started well, with Gorillaz. Knowing, cynical. Composed of 2D cartoon, 3D CGI, shadow and live action, this was a warning, a way of saying "we're more real than what you're going to have to sit through over the next two hours".

Then shiny shiny smiley Kylie Smilie. Goddamn, her people have their fingers on the pulse of the zeitgeist. Her mini-skirt riding up her space-boot-clad thighs, glittery knickers to the fore, she rode the bootlegging craze so hard, she was shagging its corpse like a mechanical bull. The bootlegging craze has entered the mainstream before it even had a chance to become a cult. For what it's worth, her version of Can't Get You Out Of My Head mixed with New Order's Blue Monday really is a Stroke of Genieus. Number One all over again if there's any justice.

The nominees for Best International Male: Bob Dylan, Dr Dre, Ryan Adams, Shaggy and Wyclef Jean. Like choosing between typhoid and cholera. The judges went with the typhoid option, giving it to Shaggy.

Next! Jamiroquai and Anastacia, performing "Bad Girls". The twat in the hat and the tat with a twat. This being ITV, it was Will from Pop Idol meets last week's winner of Stars In Their Eyes, all eye-ronnik take on a disko klassik. And was shite.

Best International Group: "And the nominees are: Daft Punk!" [cheer], "Destiny's Child!" [wild cheer], "Limp Bizkit!" [cheer], "REM!" [silence. tumbleweed rolls by. a distant coyote howls.] "The Strokes!" [yay. who?]

It was around this stage I began to lose it: "Here to present some or other award, it's Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Sophie, Frank. Frank, Sophie." Silence. Frank:"It's a great joy to be here." Sophie: "Er, yeah, you too."

"Next up, So Solid Crew fill the stage and best British female Dido." What??? Do they get 21 seconds each?

The next segment is a blur of deadness: So Solid Crew: crapulent. "Samantha Mumba! You've just made a film! Who do you play?" "Myra, the lead." "The lead?" "Yeah." "Yeah?" "Yeah." "Right, let's get on." Simon Cowell presents Best Pop Single to his charges S Club 7. Dido imitates a foghorn :"Ah Cahn't Hahd".

"Laydeez and gennulmen, give it up for the fantastic, multi-talented Mis-Teeq!" Multi-talented? By Jove, they're right. Give these girls their own show. One Night Stand really was one of the best singles of last year, if, that is, you can ignore that bit in the middle. Tonight we get in Waltz Style! Regular! The Whitney Bit! Ding ding, first round! And then... and then... "are you ready to make some noise?" and then that perfectly nice girl does her Ali G bit, parodying a South London accent. Ghetto Crapulous. Someone shoot her soon. Or just shoot me, now.

Hurrah! Aphex Twin is nominated for something. Oh, if only. Robbie dials in a thank-you from an LA poolside, where he's working on his first feature film. On this evidence, I'm not holding my breath. And I wish he'd jump in and not hold his.

Off we go to Best Video. Hurrah for Basement Jaxx, hurrah for Fatboy Slim, hurrah for Gorillaz - great videos all. Oh, So Solid Crew have got it. Never mind, could have been Elton John [wtf?].

The Strokes come on and show us Brits what it's all about. Not bad, but they were shown up by Kylie. If only they'd had the nous to include a bit of Christine Aguilera's Genie In A Bottle. Sadly, they didn't.

My bottle of wine is nearly empty, my patience too. Just time for Best International Album. Some excellent nominees, one turkey. Spot the odd one out, and remember, this is best album: Alicia Keys, The Strokes, Daft Punk, Destiny's Child, Kylie Minogue. Yes, Kylie Minogue. True to form, Kylie's shifted more units. Russel Crowe presents the award.

Enough now. I have heard rumours of Ali G and Shaggy performing; of Elton John; of - oh god no - Sting. Just time to see "Supermodel!" Heidi Klum yodelling [you think I'm making this up? sadly, no].

I am drunk and can stand no more. [What, lidderally?]

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