The Rambler :: blog

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Brit bafflement 

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I know it shouldn't annoy me because no one actually cares about the Brit awards, but every year I get annoyed all the same. This year's nominations have been announced, and I'm utterly baffled. While no one is in any doubt that there is an agenda to the Brit nominations, as there is for any award cermony, it's the fact that even with this in mind, the nominations palpably don't make sense. I mean, you can argue all you want about the flood of Oscars that, say, Titanic received, but at least you knew why it had got them: it was the grandest film vision of the year, in scale if nothing else, and the Academy decided that this is what should count. You'll see similar agendas in place this year, and already critics are predicting how the nominations will fall - and no doubt accurately.

But how do the Brit Academy explain their set of nominations? Leaving aside the bizarre presence of Annie Lennox and Duran Duran (part of the Brits' regular theme of regarding pop music as something for reverent middle age), look at the other nominations. 'Best British Group', for example. Here we have Busted, The Coral, The Darkness, Radiohead and Sugababes. All, according to different tastes, plausible nominations, you might say (even if you have your own preferences). But, if the Brits Academy regard (rightly, IMHO, I should add) Radiohead as one of the best British groups of the year, on what basis have they made this decision? Because according to the same nominations, they haven't made one of the best albums or singles of the year, and aren't even one of the best British Rock Acts. So how did they get there? And the same might be asked about the Sugababes, for whom the pop tokenism rule presumably applies.

I don't care that Will Young is mentioned in the same breath as Dizzee, or that the Stereophonics are thought worthy of a gong, or that a novelty Comic Relief record is one of the best singles: at least there's some kind of sense at work here. If only the Brits made more of this sort of sense, then I might be able to ignore the damn thing.

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