The Week In Arts: These over-dedicated followers of fashion
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Saturday 12 February 2005
Besides, there's a Brit award - not as outlandishly surreal as Miss Stone's triumph admittedly - which is more interesting to explore. It is the Outstanding Contribution to Music award, the climax of the evening. This year's winner was Bob Geldof; he, like Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Van Morrison and others before him, is clearly deserving of the accolade. Other past winners such as Duran Duran might divide opinion more.
But I am more surprised by the names that have failed to be included over the awards' 25-year history. Ray Davies of The Kinks is one of the quintessential English songwriters of the past 100 years. Some would add that the crashing chords of the group's first hit "You Really Got Me" invented heavy metal. Have The Kinks really made less of a contribution to British music than Duran Duran or other past winners such as Fleetwood Mac or Tom Jones?
If this award was genuinely for influence on British music, then the distinctly non-household name Richard Thompson ought to be on the stage. A massive figure in British folk rock, a historian on disc of British popular music and a hero to two generations of musicians, he would never in a million years be considered for the award.
The reason is that he isn't prime-time telly. This important sounding award is not really for outstanding contribution to British music at all. It is for outstanding contribution to British music by someone who'll go down well on ITV. That factor, I know, is always taken into consideration. And that rules out many of the more deserving candidates - though why the Brits committee and ITV think The Kinks wouldn't have viewers singing along is beyond me.
Outstanding contribution, lifetime achievement, call it what you will - such awards have got to start acknowledging genuine contribution and achievement, and not simply take into account current fashion. Mark Knopfler has not been in fashion for some time, and few people put their Dire Straits albums on display when company is expected. But they were massive sellers and won huge critical acclaim in their time.
It has to be wrong that fashion and the whims of television entertainment executives decide who has been important in British music. Let's see Ray Davies and The Kinks up there next year, and a disregard for the dictates of prime time.
Life & Style blogs
Penis size study: what's 'normal' anyway?
What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
International Space Station’s huge size shown in spacewalk image
Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...
£30000 - £35379 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company is based in Welwyn ...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...