everything you missed at the brits last night
Mainly: Stormzy called out Theresa May and the Daily Mail in his performance.
Image via Instagram
Oh, the Brits. A night of pop, tears, sequins and bromance. A night to assess the current state of British music, as assessed by a select group thrusting objective rankings on a very subjective subject.
Lucky for you, i-D was in there in the middle (ok, at the back) of the action to watch it all unfold, and later answer your burning questions. Did the country’s finest talent get the recognition they deserve, or did it fall to the predictable shaggy red hair dos? What’s the snack selection like? Which performers brought the dome down and who almost shattered it? Who’s the most likely to only to palm off their award on eBay in twenty years when their career goes tits up? Here are your answers.
Justin Timberlake opened the show with a resoundingly woody performance
(Screens showing) wooden trees in the background, wooden guitar, wooden reception.
Dua Lipa won Best British Female Solo Artist in a totally unsurprising but nevertheless deserved win
First thought -- wow they have to walk a long way to get to the podium. Second thought -- a topical nod in her speech to women taking over the world. Second that.
Critics' Choice winner Jorja Smith showcased her brilliant vocals and Rag N Bone Man was also there
Rag’n’Bone Man’s solo verse moistened grannies’ eyes nationwide. Jorja Smith’s solo verse moistened i-D readers’ eyes worldwide. Both valid, deserving audiences. But also ones that are maybe better left separate?
Rag’n’Bone Man wins the Paul Cattermole award for Most Likely to Sell Off Their Brit 20 Years Later
Stormzy won Best British Male Artist
We were going to say this was predictable too, but Ed has a habit of beating the odds. Regardless, we’re thrilled it went to the undeniably most influential British Male Artist of the year on the list. He was too.
The burgers had a brioche bun
The Foo Fighters won Best International Group
The Foo Fighters, The Killers, LCD Soundsystem and Haim stocked up this selection, which incidentally looks a bit like your dad’s dream Glasto line up. We were kind of rooting for Haim given that they were the only female group on the line up, and arguably the most culturally ~relevant~ right now. (Shout out to Este Haim who made that very cringe interview with Cheryl and Liam a lol). That said, LCD Soundsystem have soundtracked more 4ams over the past year, The Killers have got us through more karaoke sessions and the Foos… sorry, actually can’t remember the last time we listened to them.
Dua Lipa recreated her hit music video on stage
Deck chairs! Swimming costumes! A giant flamingo projection! Coupled with the searing heat up in the grandstands you could almost trick yourself into thinking it was summer.
Ed then performed a song called Supermarket Flowers
It sounded sad. Which was strange, because I’d be pretty stoked if anyone got me any flowers at all tbh.
Rag’n’Bone Man won Best British Single
J Hus didn’t win Best British single
Kendrick Lamar won Best International Male Solo Artist
Thank god. And by that we obviously mean thank Kendrick.
He also performed
After a little technical glitch, this was one of the most compelling and politically charged moments of the night (next to Stormzy). Kendrick was on a giant glass cube with a Lamborghini inside, in front of a screen that first read ‘This is a Satire by Kendrick Lamar.’ Then it switched to CCTV camera footage of Rich the Kid in the that very cube smashing the car. In front, a group of all black cheerleaders dancing phenomenally. A+ as per.
Lorde won Best International Female Solo Artist
Go the kiwis.
A medium red wine cost a whole 8 pounds
The Foo Fighters performed The Sky is a Neighbourhood
Turns out they still have good voices. Still have good skills. Still have very good hair.
Best British Breakthrough Act
Maybe one of the most competitive, telling categories of the night featured J Hus, Dave, Loyle Carner, Sampha and Dua Lipa. And while the former four are arguably more interesting musically, Dua Lipa won it out. Which isn’t surprising given that the Radio 1 audience voted for it, and Dua is the most conventional pop. And we’re always here for more great female popstars. But the win’s almost by and by — more importantly, the calibre of the whole category dedicated to up-and-coming British music talent bodes very well for British music.
The ad break pep guy asked every single person in the building to get their phone lights ready
Which was frankly quite unrealistic considering at this point in the night I was down to 36%.
Liam Gallagher performed a moving tribute to Manchester
I pulled my phone light out.
Sam Smith performed
Was in the loo.
Ed Sheeran won the Global Success Award
A single vodka coke cost 7 pounds
Harry Styles beat most of the other Directions to win Best British Video
Congratulations for hanging from a wire well I guess?
Rita Ora performed
A phenomenal voice and a great stage presence -- makes you a bit disappointed she’s not a better popstar.
Liam Payne joined her for a song from Fifty Shades of Grey
Stormzy won album of the year
Reader, they got it right. The select group thrusting objective rankings on a very subjective subject got it right.
Stormzy won the night
The stage design was a multi-tiered version of his album cover. Real water poured down on Stormzy as he opened with Blinded by Your Grace. Real water trickled down the crowd’s faces. He then peeled off his sodden hoodie and erupted into a rap in which he called out Theresa May, and told the Daily Mail to “suck my dick.” To quote: “Yo Theresa May, where’s the money for Grenfell? What, you thought we just forgot about Grenfell? You criminals, and you’ve got the cheek to call us savages, you should do some jail time, you should pay some damages, you should burn your house down and see if you can manage this."
Strip away the rest of the night -- if you want a snapshot of what British music is about in 2018, it’s this.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.