Saturday, February 16, 2008

Craig David and why the BRIT Awards fail British music

If you think M People, Five and S Club 7 are faithful representatives of British Music then tune in for the Mastercard-sponsored awards

Craig "Crazy-Paving" David is the new welcome addition to the list of mortals suspecting the BRIT Awards are not representative of the true reality of the music business.

But is the R&B vocalist simply embittered by years of relentless pisstake (remember Bo Selecta, the pissbag and the Peregrin falcon) or has he got a valid point?

Let's put aside the fact that million-making horrors like Spice Girls, Take That, Robbie Williams and Dido were obviously going to be showered with awards and nominations alike. Good or ill, they did leave their mark.

Still, a look at the roll of honour would make for a fascinating read. You get characters like Rick Astley, for goodness' sake, netting the BRIT Award for best singer, but not Morrissey. Simply Red were twice sanctioned best band, but don't mention groups that influenced generations, i.e. Depeche Mode or The Clash, coz they're notable by their absence.

An alien who landed on earth today and flicked through the winners' list (though why he'd want to do that may be a pertinent question) would scratch his head(s) at a roll that include Liberty X, M-People, Shaggy, Five, Blue, Sonique, Bros and other timeless acts. Yes, you read well, these people all pocketed BRIT awards. But The Kinks, Elvis Costello, Roxy Music and The Smiths didn't.

Luckily people deserve more credit than the saturated award and backpatting industry suggest and the indelible mark left by neglected non-winners like Radiohead, Pulp or Pink Floyd will always be a million times more meaningful than the piece of silverware waved about by Kula Shaker or S Club 7 (yes, they won one too).

In the meantime, if you have any luck grabbing hold of S Club Party or Mr Boombastic at a car boot sale, try and run a context for outstanding contribution to oblivion. It's good fun and it can be called the Steve McLaren music awards.

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