LONDON — Taylor Swift joked about cups of tea, cheeky chappies Ant & Dec rolled out a bingo machine and Sam Smith picked up several awards: The Brit Awards 2015 were a very British and pretty safe affair.
Anyone hoping for danger, drama or the unexpected went mostly disappointed at the 35th annual ceremony Wednesday at London’s O2 Arena, as the winners kept things brief and polite and the performers stuck to the script.
Madonna’s epic stage fall during her closing performance was pretty much the only moment from this year that will take a spot in Brits legend.
Until then, Jimmy Carr’s horrible gag about the Queen of Flop needing HRT medicine and Ant & Dec’s regular references to the fact that Kanye West used to interrupt people were about as edgy as it got — which is probably to be expected by this point.
Speaking of Kanye, he brought the most fun to the evening, stopping by a local Nando’s for chicken ahead of the ceremony.
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) February 25, 2015
His performance saw him bring some fire to the proceedings, employing a gigantic flamethrower to spew flames over the heads of dozens of backing shufflers during a rumbling run-through of new track “All Day”. But of course it ran out before the track was finished, a fitting metaphor for the evening as a whole perhaps.
It didn’t stop Taylor Swift from doing her usual shaky head dance.
Other highlights were Ed Sheeran’s always impressive looping, guitar thumping, one man band schtick during “Bloodstream” and Sam Smith’s soulful rendition of “Lay Me Down”, which was instantly cemented as this year’s “Someone Like You”.
At the other end of the spectrum, Jimmy Page presenting the British Group award to Royal Blood was all kinds of depressing, especially for anyone who remembers Led Zeppelin’s gig at the same venue eight years ago. The duo were pretty much rock music’s only representatives at the O2, and their performance was mostly forgettable.
The rest of the evening saw Taylor Swift thank her friends “Cara and Ellie and Sam” as she won International Female Solo Artist, Kim Kardashian take a selfie with Ant & Dec, Paloma Faith perform under some indoor rain and Simon Cowell accept One Direction’s award for British Video. High octane stuff.
The Brit Awards 2015 winners in full
British Group – Royal Blood
Album of the Year – Ed Sheeran, X
British Single – Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
British Video – One Direction, “You & I”
British Breakthrough Act – Sam Smith
International Group – Foo Fighters
British Male Solo Artist – Ed Sheeran
British Female Solo Artist – Paloma Faith
International Male Solo Artist – Pharrell Williams
International Female Solo Artist – Taylor Swift
Best Producer – Paul Epworth
Critics’ Choice – James Bay
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