Wild boys (and girls) break all the rules in champagne-fuelled night

By Louise Jury
Wednesday 18 February 2004 01:00

It was when the 2004 Brit Awards started to disintegrate that they came alive. Either that, or what the audience really wanted was an injection of glam rock from the Darkness or some vintage pop from Duran Duran.

Certainly, after several hundred bottles of champagne, wine and beer had been demolished the Brits really began to rock.

It was hard to conceive how everyone survived the year booze was banned. The more people drank, the more the rules broke down. Stern pleas to stay in your seat for fear of getting in the way of the TV cameras went out of the window. Besides, everyone had to chat to fill the longueurs of the presentations and performances. Besides it was a rock event ­ it was astonishing anyone followed the rules to begin with.

But the Brits are a curious mix. For all the promise of the biggest night in British rock and pop, they must seem curiously parochial to American stars such as 50 Cent and the Grammy award-winning golden girl Beyoncé.

While Beyoncé exploded onto stage, a full-blown diva in dazzling white, there was something terribly Saturday night telly about Dermot O'Leary and the pop star turned jungle celebrity Kerry McFadden.

But in the end, rousing speeches from Duran Duran about the greatness of the British music scene seemed to win everyone over.

The massive hall was on its feet for "Wild Boys", and the Darkness made the whole evening go out with a bang. Two giant statues of unicorns, a glittering podium rising from the stage and fireworks were everything you might expect from the men from East Anglia who have put the glam back into rock.

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