Back to Business As Usual at the BRITS, Adele, Ed and Little Simz

It’s going to be a really busy few months for me, so I might not be posting quite as regularly. My college course has not been what I’d hoped for, mostly down to the pandemic. I’ve not been inside our local college for nearly two years and it seems they are more than happy to keep things that way. I’m therefore going to try and complete this semester’s module as best I can from home, and then pick up the resulting qualification, but an awful lot of research/reading/writing to be done before then. I’ve enjoyed all the modules so far but this one, quite rightly, is a highly academic one, so a bit more graft involved.

As we are now in the month of February, we are well and truly into Awards Season. I was pleased to see that the film Belfast, written about last time, is up for many BAFTAs and Academy Awards. Hope it does well although I have a sneaking suspicion it might hog the runner-up spot in most categories. We’ll have to wait and see. This week (here in the UK) we had the BRIT Awards back on telly in all their former glory. Unlike last year, the word ‘pandemic’ wasn’t even mentioned, and not a mask or a socially distanced performance graced our screens. After the last couple of years where such shows have had to be either cancelled altogether or held in a limited capacity in open spaces such as Railway Stations (93rd Academy Awards), it was the biggest sign that life is hopefully going to return to a semblance of normality this year.

Unlike Mr WIAA, who is not a fan of award shows, I have always watched the BRITs as that’s when I find out about some of the new artists/bands who would otherwise never have crossed my radar. This blog is very much a retrospective one, where I revisit songs from my youth, but important not to get totally stuck in the past and over the last few years I’ve been blown away by some of the live performances on the show – Stormzy in 2018 and Dave in 2020. As a middle-aged female living in the North of Scotland I know nothing of what life must be like for young, black, urban males but when you watch these guys in action, they definitely help you understand.

This year, the performance that stood out for me most was by Little Simz – She won the award for Best New Artist (although she has been around for a while it seems). The actress Emma Corrin also appeared on stage with her in a very spectacular hat. Together they gave us Introvert and Woman.

Introvert and Woman by Little Simz:


The big change this year was that the awards were gender neutral with no Best Male or Best Female categories at all. This made room for some new categories which included Best Dance Act (Becky Hill), Best Rock/Alternative Artist (Sam Fender), Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Act (Dave) and Best Pop/R&B Act (Dua Lipa). I’m afraid when it comes to genres such as these I come a bit unstuck and would probably fail spectacularly if it came to categorising songs in such a way myself, but the winners of these new awards certainly were pleased, some deliriously so (Becky Hill?), so in turn I was pleased for them.

Another big change this year was that I managed to persuade Mr WIAA to watch the show with me. “There’s always a really big memorable moment,” I told him. “From Jarvis Cocker’s very justified storming of MJ’s stage, to Madonna in her cape falling down those steps, to Geri’s Union Jack dress, to Freddie’s last appearance…”. Yes, lots of memorable moments over the years, but as luck would have it, not this year, so I had to eat my words.

The really big winner was Adele, so a lot of the industry ‘suits’ as she called them at a previous BRITs would have been happy, but all a bit safe and predictable. She lives in LA now, stages big shows in Las Vegas (although that’s a whole other story) and looks nothing like the Adele we first saw on the show back in 2008. Was all a bit disappointing and samey, in my humble opinion.

The girl’s come a long way, but I miss the old Brit School Adele:

Although I totally agreed with the move to gender neutral awards (needs to happen in the world of film too I think), one key difference between the vast majority of men and women at the BRITs was the footwear they chose to wear on the night. I couldn’t help but notice that many of the women were sporting shoes that were detrimental to their health. Adele’s spikey heels got caught up in her long dress when climbing the steps to pick up her first award and poor Anne-Marie fell down some steps in her platform boots whilst performing Kiss My (Uh-Oh). Not quite as spectacular as Madonna’s tumble a few year’s back but she still took a tumble, and landed on her Uh-Oh. She was a trooper however and carried on as if nothing had happened. We’re still a long way off from equality in footwear it seems, which is a shame, as at my age I regret many of my younger self’s footwear choices. My younger self would of course have ignored my older self’s advice, and there lies the rub.

Poor Anne-Marie took a tumble

Like Adele, he’s been around a long time now, and he’s not for everyone, but I do still have a soft spot for Ed Sheeran. He too looks a bit more polished than the lad who first rolled up at the BRITs back in 2012, but whatever you think of his music there’s no denying he knows how to write a successful pop song. He didn’t win big on Tuesday night like Adele, but he did win the award for Songwriter of the Year and I enjoyed his performance of The Joker and the Queen. Many a metaphor/pun can be found in a pack of cards it seems. I was trying to work out what it reminded me of, and of course it’s music from a classic film score, which is what was intended.

The Joker and the Queen by Ed Sheeran:

I really should be doing college work today but procrastination came along in the form of this blog post. Exactly what used to happen first time around, although there weren’t blogs back then, or an internet, or Netflix, just lots and lots of fellow students to be distracted by. Changed days. I’ve just heard back from my course tutor who tells me I can keep going with the course one module at a time – I really thought there was a time-limit on it but they don’t want to lose any students it seems, even ancient ones like myself. Decisions to be made.

I enjoyed the BRITs this year, for the many performances, but also because it felt as if things are truly getting back to normal again. Lord knows we all need that.

Until next time…

The Joker and the Queen Lyrics
(Song by Ed Sheeran/Johnny McDaid/Samuel Elliot Roman/Fred Gibson)

How was I to know?
It’s a crazy thing
I showed you my hand
And you still let me win

And who was I to say
That this was meant to be?
The road that was broken
Brought us together

And I know you could fall for a thousand kings
And hearts that would give you a diamond ring
When I fold, you see the best in me
The joker and the queen

I was upside down
From the outside in
You came to the table
And you went all in

With a single word
And a gentle touch
You turned a moment
Into forever

And I know you could fall for a thousand kings
And hearts that could give you a diamond ring
When I fold, you see the best in me
The joker and the queen

And I know you could fall for a thousand kings
And hearts that would give you a diamond ring
When I folded, you saw the best in me
The joker and the queen
The joker and queen

Postscript:

Before I started writing this one I looked back over the years to my previous BRIT Awards posts. It seems I wrote something about all of them except the 2019 show. Remiss of me but perhaps also a bit of an unremarkable one that passed without incident.

What I do remember about that show however was that Scottish DJ Calvin Harris (along with Dua Lipa) won the award for British Single of the Year. He appeared on the night and it occurred to me that had he not, I wouldn’t have known what the world’s highest paid DJ, a Scot, looked like. Remarkable how anonymous DJs can be. The standout collaboration that year was when Calvin manned the decks whilst Dua, Sam Smith and Rag’n’Bone Man sang. Only three years too late but I give you a medley of Giant, Promises and One Kiss.

One Kiss by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa:

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

15 thoughts on “Back to Business As Usual at the BRITS, Adele, Ed and Little Simz”

  1. I turned on the Brits by accident, but as luck would have it, I was just in time to see Sam Fender pick up a much-deserved award. After that, I thought it best to quit while I was ahead.

    Good luck with the rest of the course. If I were you, I’d take my time with it. They won’t want to lose any students, since student losses equate to bad data, the thing college bosses find most terrifying. And from our perspective, hopefully that’ll mean you don’t have to limit your blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was pleased for Sam and remembered you’d written about him recently. He’s going to be around for a while.

      Now that I realise they’re not going to hold me to any maximum period of registration I might well continue after all. As you say, they won’t want to lose students and although the maximum period was in black and white on the prospectus, they seem to now be conveniently forgetting about it. I will definitely be the oldest student in the Highlands at this rate!

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    1. If not for the Brits, I probably wouldn’t have heard of her, for a while yet anyway. They are very passionate these artists and I really admire them for it.

      I heard Adele say that Inflo produced her album too – Prolific indeed.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve not seen either yet but it is funny isn’t it how some films are critically acclaimed and win lots of awards but we don’t necessarily always enjoy them. I’ve been caught out a few times.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. As for the hooking up in June, only if we can definitely fix a date in the calendar, but I am hopeful our much belated bloggers summit will go ahead this summer. Those who have previously expressed an interest in meeting up in the real world will be contacted in due course!

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  2. I do hope you’ll be able continue with the studies at your own pace and enjoy it (even though I know it’s hard work) while still leaving time for other things…. especially blogging… Good luck with it and please keep us posted.
    I didn’t watch the Brits this year but was pleased to hear about Sam Fender, Wolf Alice and Little Simz. I remember seeing Little Simz on Later back in 2015, even then she made an impression and has since been championed by 6Music for quite a while (my daily work accompaniment) – I was especially blown away by Introvert. Seems at last she’s getting well-deserved recognition but the ‘New Artist’ category was unexpected and I wonder what the criteria is?
    Those two pics of Adele side by side are quite mesmerising. I rather miss her old look too, but perhaps it’s just the make-up she’s wearing in the new one… there’s a certain generic style going on. But she only has to speak and cor blimey, guv’nor, you know she ain’t really changed (I do love her manner!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I might or I might not – I always seem to be juggling so many different things and can’t focus on any one of them properly. I get nostalgic for the days I just turned up at work and then got paid at the end of the month. Trying to earn my living the way I do now is hard and 5 years to go until the pensions kick in. Don’t want to wish my life away but…

      Yes I was pleased for Sam – One of my best friends is also from ‘Shields’ so I always love to hear him speak. Those in the know about Little Simz must be mighty confused as to how she is classed a New Artist but hey, she was really pleased with her award and took her mum up on stage with her to receive it. Sweet moment.

      I was being a bit hard on Adele I suppose but she seems to have been LA/Las Vegas-ised, looking so polished and glamorous nowadays. She certainly does speak in the same way but she’s all grown up now. I was surprised she won so many awards actually as nothing particularly new or innovative but the Industry people seem to love her.

      Liked by 1 person

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