The BRIT Awards 2013 Launch

Last night we went on a jaunt to the launch of The BRIT Awards 2013. Held at the swanky The Savoy in the heart of the West End, journalists, industry people et al gathered to hear the unveiling of the nominees and see some live performances and so forth.

We arrived just as Rita Ora turned up, so big apols for indadvertedly photo-bombing anyone who was taking pictures outside! When inside the hotel, there was a copious amount of free alcoholic beverages (mainly wine and champagne and water (original!) for those non-drinkers amongst us. A few table were scattered around the room with a selection of high class nuts and dried crystallised fruit in fancy bowls.

Before lots of others arrived, it looked like this inside…

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The launch kicked off at 6pm prompt (with a countdown at ten and five minute intervals beforehand – very thorough) Compere of the evening, Nick Grimshaw did a very fine job using his observational humour and relaxed charm to lift proceedings. We were stood in his eye line of the auto-cue though which was a little weird and awkward. Nevermind!

After brief introductions and the unveiling of the Damien Hurst designed trophy, the first raft of nominees across the four best British categories were announced. Cue more Nick Grimshaw, who was joined onstage by the wondrous Emeli Sandé, who has there to hand over the mantle of Critics Choice winner to the next – my how a year passes so quickly!

Emeli presented Tom Odell with his award, he made an awkward speech, making Aiden Grimshaw look positively charismatic and enthusiastic before performing ‘Another Love’which appears on his recently released ‘Songs From Another Love’ EP. The sound of his band filled the room and he gave a strong and masterful performance.

Upon reflection, this years Critics Choice award is a strange appointment. Previous winners Adele, Florence & The Machine, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and Emeli Sandé all appeared to be chosen as the next big thing and it seemed inevitable that they would each find success without the BRIT Award recognition, yet it seems different for Tom, he wouldn’t necessarily reach anywhere near as many people he would if he had not been given this accolade, which is no disrespect to him, he seems like a different kind of artist with a different agenda and priorities – his music seems more introspective, arty and delicate, not the sort that will be owned by over a million of the record buying public. It’s hard to imagine him dominating and owning his year, the year in the way in which the previous recipients have done. Anyway, what do we know, the Great British public will decide of course! Tom gave a great performance of a beautiful song when it mattered so well done to him!

More nominees were then announced with video montages of the International categories flashing across large screens. 

This year, there is no Outstanding or Lifetime Contribution award but a new first time award has been created and awarded to War Child for their work within music which has helped to raise money and awareness to provide for vulnerable children affected by war in areas of conflict across the world. A short film about their work was shown before fundraising director Ben Knowles acknowledged the recognition with an impassioned speech (Tom Odell, take note)! A worthy cause indeed, the announcement was greeted with the big reception of the night.

Then, more nominees across the remaining categories were announced. Apols to anyone close by for groaning several time throughout the announcement – as with most years some of the selections really are a big giant joke with much more deserving nominee recipients being ignored.

Then, the two time BRIT Award nominee, Jessie Ware took to the stage to perform an elegantly opulent acoustic version of ‘Running’. Here she is doing just that…

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Before, thank-you’s and goodbye’s from Nick – another video montage announced which artists were to perform at the ceremony, somewhat including Ben Howard, Emeli Sandé, Mumford & Sons, Muse, One Direction and Robbie Williams with three more artists to be announced (i.e the American’s) and, then that was about it and all you need to know really!

Below are the full list of nominees – we’ve italicised and highlighted in green who we think is deserving and should win the award in each category – we are usually hopeless wrong so let’s compare notes on Wednesday 20th February when the awards, hosted by James Corden (!?!) are held at The O2 and screened live on ITV from 8pm. 

Best British Male
Calvin Harris, Plan B, Richard Hawley, Olly Murs, Ben Howard

Best British Female
Paloma Faith, Bat For Lashes, Jessie Ware, Amy Winehouse, Emeli Sandé

Best British Group
Mumford and Sons, The xx, Muse, One Direction, Alt-J

Best Live Act
Mumford and Sons, Coldplay, Muse, The Vaccines, The Rolling Stones

Best International Group
The Black Keys, The Script, Alabama Shakes, Fun, The Killers

Best International Male
Jack White, Gotye, Michael Bublé, Frank Ocean, Bruce Springsteen

Best International Female
Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Cat Power, Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift

Mastercard British Album of the Year
Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Emeli Sandé – Our Version of Events
Paloma Faith – Fall To Grace
Plan B – iLL Manors
Mumford and Sons – Babel

Best British Single
Adele – ‘Skyfall’
Alex Clare – ‘Too Close’
Coldplay and Rihanna – ‘Princess Of China’
DJ Fresh feat. Rita Ora – ‘Hot Right Now’
Emeli Sandé – ‘Next To Me’
Florence + the Machine – ‘Spectrum’
James Arthur – ‘Impossible’
Jessie J – ‘Domino’
Rizzle Kicks – ‘Mama Do the Hump’
Labrinth and Emeli Sandé – ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’
Robbie Williams – ‘Candy’
Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida – ‘Troublemaker’
Rita Ora feat. Tine Tempah – ‘RIP’
Stooshe – ‘Black Heart’
Rudimental feat. John Newman – ‘Feel the Love’

Best British Breakthrough
Jake Bugg, Jessie Ware, Alt-J, Ben Howard, Rita Ora

Best British Producer
Damon Albarn, Jake Gosling, Paul Epworth

Special Recognition Award 
War Child

Critics’ Choice
Tom Odell

Keep up-to-date with The BRIT Awards 2013 by visiting the official site here.