It’s the biggest night in the UK Music Industry’s calendar... the prestigious Music Awards - The BRIT Awards - celebrating the best of today’s British and International Music.
Taking place on 21 February 2012, the London o2 Arena was the setting of what turned out to be a fantastic night for both Adele and Ed Sheeran, albeit it the usual controversy as always anticipated at the BRITs, after Adele was cut off mid-way though one of her acceptance speeches … that’s live TV!
The music ceremony started with a bang, whizz and plenty of oohs as Coldplay took to the stage amongst a sky of indoor fireworks, celebrating the success of their recent album Mylo Xyloto, Will Champion later accepted the Award, with the rest of his band mates, for Best British Band.
The music ceremony featured a beautiful performance by Florence and The Machine, (with Christopher Hayden on drums), with the grand finale set from Blur, (with Dave Rowntree on drums), who were awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award.
Rock royalty, Queen’s Brian May and Zildjian Artist Roger Taylor, presented the Best International Group to their friends the Foo Fighters, with an acceptance speech by Taylor Hawkins beamed in from the USA.
One of the most memorable, and messiest, performances of the night featured Rihanna with UK newcomer’s fiN. We caught up with fiN’s drummer and Zildjian Artist Simon Harding, who had this to tell of their first BRIT’s appearance experience:
“Rihanna’s production manager is an old friend of ours and he played her our track “Rapture” which she clearly liked as we were asked to come be her band for the BRITs.
We spent a day rehearsing “We Found Love” at Wandsworth and then on the Sunday before the show we headed for an evening rehearsal in Twickenham. It so turned out that Rihanna wanted to put us all in big Perspex cubes and have paint being thrown around everywhere. Alongside us were 50 dancers making up an immense production show. It was quite a surreal rehearsal, stripping down into underwear and donning useless paper-thin suits to keep the paint off!!
We headed to the o2 Arena at midday on the show day for a full dress rehearsal that afternoon. We spent the rest of the day hanging around outside our dressing room which was opposite Coldplay’s and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. We had a good chat with both Chris Martin and Noel Gallagher himself. I met James Corden (presenter on the night) in catering, where Alex James was on his way back from getting some dinner (very good sirloin steak and mountains of dessert) and then I bumped into Brian May in the Green Room whilst searching for a beer. Not a bad afternoon!!
We managed to catch Blur sound checking “Tender” with a large choir behind them and then Adele with “Rolling In The Deep”, whilst Keith Lemon filmed a TV link in front of us. Coldplay’s was the only performance I got to see in the evening but I was very pleased I did as they are such worthy winners of Best British Group.
Our performance was great fun!! It’s very strange playing inside a big cube in such a massive arena. I felt very disconnected to the rest of the performance which was going on outside and it gave a strangely removed perspective of the show, like playing a tiny, sweaty rock’n’roll gig that just happened to be in a massive room. I felt a rush of adrenaline as the screens lifted and we began …. it was a great feeling to be live on TV. Kerry, our bass player, received a paint mine in the face about halfway through and played most of the song blind, there were definitely a few paint balloons aimed my way from the dancers in front of my kit.
We caught up with Rihanna at the end of the night and gave her a couple of our 7” singles as a birthday present, hopefully we’ll see her at one of our LA shows next month after South by South West in Texas.
You can check out our music at lifeiswastedontheliving and find us @fiNuk on twitter and facebook.com/fiNuk .”
And so to the Award winners …. a HUGE congratulations goes out to all of the nominees and winners from the Zildjian family of Artists:
(* denotes winner)
BRITISH MALE SOLO ARTIST
*Ed Sheeran (Stuart Pringle/Mark Pusey)
James Morrison (Neal Wilkinson)
BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
Florence & the Machine (Christopher Hayden)
Laura Marling (Matt Ingram)
BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT
*Ed Sheeran (Stuart Pringle/Mark Pusey)
Anna Calvi (Mally Harpez & Daniel Maiden-Wood)
The Vaccines (Pete Robertson)
Emeli Sande (Jonathan Tuitt)
*Coldplay (Will Champion)
Chase & Status (Andy Gangadeen)
Arctic Monkeys (Matt Helders)
Elbow (Richard Jupp)
Kasabian (Ian Matthews)
Ed Sheeran – The A Team (Stuart Pringle/Mark Pusey)
The Wanted – Glad You Came (Steve Barney)
MASTERCARD ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
Ed Sheeran - + (Stuart Pringle/Mark Pusey)
Florence & the Machine – Ceremonials (Christopher Hayden)
INTERNATIONAL FEMALE ARTIST
Beyonce (Kim Thompson)
*Foo Fighters (Taylor Hawkins)
Lady Antebellum (Chad Cromwell)
Maroon 5 (Matt Flynn)
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC
Winner – Blur (Dave Rowntree)
Winner – Emeli Sande (Jonathan Tuitt)