Monday 12th December 2016
There’s nothing I enjoy more than a live music awards ceremony. Growing up with The Brits, Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, and CD:UK and Popworld on a Saturday morning is where it was at. Nowadays I pine over the likes of the VMAs, The Grammys, and the Billboard Music Awards over in the States as they certainly know how to put on a show, with their lavish ceremonies and performances from world class artists.
With many UK music television shows now at rest in the static in the sky, the BBC have continued to keep the live music flame ‘alive and kicking’. We’re lucky enough each year to be able to experience Glastonbury from the comfort of our warm and rain-free homes, and viewing records have even been broken by those tuning in to catch the likes of Adele and Coldplay grace the famous Pyramid Stage. The BBC also holds its own music festival each year at different locations around the UK. Tickets to Radio 1’s Big Weekend are free but are snapped up quick, so it cushions the blow knowing that we can also watch it from the couch.
Image: BBC Music Awards
Tonight, returning for the 3rd year are The BBC Music Awards, aimed at celebrating some of the biggest artists and releases from 2016. I remember watching for the first time in 2014 and tweeting about how pleased I was that they were recognising and awarding talent. What also pleases me is seeing fans in the standing area of the arena, dancing and enjoying the music up close to the stage. That’s exactly what it’s all about, the artists and fans enjoying the moment together. I’m trying hard not to have a dig here at another British awards ceremony, who fill their standing area with round tables and music big-wigs, whilst fans are up in the rafters. Even Robbie Williams noted at how much more of a party buzz there was backstage at the BBC Music Awards.
The evening was presented by Fearne Cotton, Claudia Winkleman and Gemma Cairny, and opened up by The 1975 who performed their hit single ‘The Sound’. With the show only being 90 minutes long there was a lot to cram in, so this was swiftly followed by a montage showing some of the greats that we lost in 2016, including David Bowie, Prince, Lemmy and Leonard Cohen. It’s been a particularly tough year for losses in the music industry, but the fitting montage reminded us of what we’ve also gained.
We were treated to further performances from Lukas Graham, who had a beautiful string quartet on stage to help perform their chart topping single ‘7 Years’. Returning after 4 years since her last album, Emeli Sandé spoilt us with her latest single ‘Breathing Under Water’. It was only recently I was thinking we haven’t heard from Emeli since the Olympics Closing Ceremony, and I’m now adding ‘Long Live the Angels’ to my Christmas wish list. John Legend then also treated us to not only a mash-up of his hits ‘All Of Me / Love Me Now’ but the most excellent jacket.
Before their performance, we saw how Ricky Wilson had spent time disguised as a shady looking reporter, prowling on artists whilst subliminally asking who they would most want to collaborate with. After then watching their live performance of ‘Hole in my Soul’ it got me wondering what’s next for the Kaiser Chiefs. Their third studio album ‘Off With Their Heads’ was probably the last time I really connected with the band. However, seeing them on tour in 2005 was a memorable event for me and their first two albums were a staple in my music collecting during my university days, so I’ll always have a soft spot for the Kaiser Chiefs.
One of the most anticipated comebacks of the year and performances of the evening was Craig David. How he came away without an award was criminal, but he managed to turn the who place in to a club for his mash-up of singles ‘Re-Rewind/Ain’t Giving Up’. It’s been a superb year for Craig David, and with his tour kicking off at the start of next year, I look forward to seeing what he has in store and hope to catch him on a festival bill.
The final performances came from Zara Larson, who continued the theme of the evening with a mash-up of her singles ‘Lush Life/I Would Like’. Starting her performance back stage with a few selfies, and then arriving on stage to bust a few dance moves. Zara is another artist to have had a great year, providing us with a number of hits to the Summer. Robbie Williams then brought the evening to a close with single ‘Sensational’ from his latest album ‘The Heavy Entertainment Show’.
BBC Radio 2 Album of the Year:
Adele – 25
Collected by Robbie Williams whilst Adele is out on the last leg of her tour in LA. The album was released in November 2015, but we all know it’s a damn good album and Adele continues to reign.
BBC Music British Artist of the Year:
When you come up against the great David Bowie it’s hardly worth considering anything else, but Coldplay bagged the award after an excellent year with their ‘Head Full of Dreams’ album and tour. They were unable to accept their award, but there was a live link up of them performing ‘Everglow’ on live stage in Australia.
BBC Introducing Artist of the Year:
A soulful and refreshing artist, and as Emeli Sandé said it best herself, she’s an exciting talent for the UK. Picked up by the BBC Introducing platform, Izzy is a very humble artist, with raw talent and a beautiful voice.
BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Performance of the Year:
The 1975 – That’s What Makes You Beautiful
A tough bill to fit, and I was surprised by the nominations, and the winner. But the fans have spoken, and props to the guys who have had a storming year. Oh, and Matt on those shoes!
BBC Music Song of the Year:
Adele – Hello
A second award for Adele which was presented by Spice Girl, Geri Horner. Unfortunately because she was unable to say hello from the other side, Geri took the award and invited Adele round to her house when she returns to collect the award and nip in for a nice cup of tea.