Storm Doris might have been playing havoc outside, but the Brits 2017 at The O2 was a two-and-a-half hour sanctuary from the real world with lashings of sparkle, music, congratulations and champagne. Here’s some moments to remember.
Ed Sheeran and Stormzy. Head and shoulders above the rest. They’re going to release their brilliant duet of Ed’s Shape Of You on Friday. So expect the current No.1 to be replaced by the same song, now with added Stormzy. Ed Sheeran is heading to The O2 for three nights in May and it is going to be massive.
Robbie Williams. Oh dear. We were expecting the pomp and the majesty but we weren’t expecting the songs, that overblown trumpet parp cacophony, that had more volume than melody, more ego than purpose. His Brit icon award was for his successful career but he seemed intent on showing the world he’s still got it with his newest material. A crushing anti-climax.
Most willing entertainer
Chris Martin is forever collaborating. At Glastonbury he brought on a Bee Gee and at the Brits he joined up with The Chainsmokers to no great effect. (Rule No.1 – the “Robbie rule” – play the crowd pleasers not the new stuff.)
But, of course, his most poignant collaboration was with George Michael on the big screen singing A Different Corner, a song often underrated but given its chance to shine at The O2. Chris has a strong voice but it was a reminder how effortlessly smooth George Michael’s vocals were, so effective in his beautiful ballads. The duet was simply magical.
Most memorable visuals
Katy Perry’s large-scale attempt at satire with Theresa May and Donald Trump (we assume) re-created as skeletons. But when one of her Monopoly houses fell off the stage and, forget the big production bucks, *that* was the money shot.
Biggest lump in the throat moment
Two of them in fact. Of course there were tributes to double award-winner David Bowie but the most effecting was that of Andrew Ridgeley alongside Pepsi and Shirlie.
Andrew’s tribute was all the touching because it wasn’t slick, it was heartfelt; the eulogy of a heartbroken friend, not a production number. He read from a paper script that trembled in his hand. Andrew never claimed to be anything other than the brash boy who delivered shy George to the world for which the pop world rightly showed its gratitude. Dignity personified.
Most typical east London moment
They relate to transport, obvs. Prosaic stuff but typical. The Blackwall Tunnel was congested leading to heart palpitations for some running late. The Tube strike meant the network was busier than usual. The wise ones went from the DLR/cable car option or the Thames Clippers. The rich ones stuck with the Roller.
Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis . The job should have been Michael Buble’s but he pulled out because of his son’s illness. Of course, it’s usually Ant and Dec’s gig but you know you’re in safe hands with Dermot and Emma who stepped into the spotlight with a deft touch. Same again next year?