Brit Awards 2013: No wild things from a music scene in the wilderness of mediocrity

Emeli Sandé, happily, doesn't look like an identikit winner, but she does sound an awful lot like Adele

view gallery VIEW GALLERY
Share
Related Topics

Musical quality is always an irrelevance at the Brits: they're a restatement of the bleedin' obvious, reminding you what's big so you'll make them bigger. So last year's UK best-seller Our Version of Events has been named Best Album, and its maker Emeli Sandé Best Female; the biggest group, Mumford & Sons, are also the Best. Even the relatively anonymous Ben Howard, awarded Best Male and Breakthrough Act, isn't such a wild card. His debut Every Kingdom is already a hit.

The winners are at least accurate reflections of what people are buying. The dominance of the singer-songwriter-influenced Howard and the Mumfords might suggest the so-called folk revival continues, if that didn't stretch the term "folk" into gibberish. Island Records have used Howard's Devon surfer background to position him as a West Country Bon Iver, but this is music for second-home country living. Mumford & Sons are a competent rock band with banjos.

Emeli Sandé, meanwhile, a bleached-blonde, mixed-race young woman from rural Scotland, happily doesn't look like an identikit winner, but sings similarly to 2012 winner Adele. A female artist who murmurs and insinuates into your soul is rarely on the boardroom agenda.

What is most depressing about the Brits is how tightly they now dovetail with the Mercury Prize (begun as an alternative to them) and the BBC Sound of… poll. Just watch 2013 Brits Critics' Choice Tom Odell's traceless rise through these taste-shepherding portals in the coming months. As it shrinks, the music industry is becoming ever more adept at controlling what enters the mainstream. The moribund album charts, lacking inspiration and challenge, show how well they've succeeded.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Merger and Acquisition Project Manager

£500 - £550 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN TAWe are looking to recrui...

Technical Manager – Heat Pumps

£40000 Per Annum dependent on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: They ...

Test Job

TBC: Test Recruiter for iJobs: Job London (Greater)

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

A long way to go before we reach Dave Eggers's digital dystopia

Memphis Barker
 

August catch-up: dress to impress, words to use more often, and the end of the internet

John Rentoul
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis