Brit Awards Round-Up

La moquette rouge was on-and-popping at last night’s Brit Awards. International film crews were at the end of the red carpet, and stars short on time often bypassed us altogether. Some were very sweet about it (Amy Winehouse, the beaming Nelly Furtado, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith), others were pigs (Snow Patrol, who were busy glad-handing like low-grade salesmen and generally being very smug. One top 10 hit and they think they are U2).

But mostly the celebs were just glad to be there. Corinne Bailey Rae was radiant and spoke to us even though she was losing her voice and had to perform. Natasha Bedingfield looked like a white-chocolate Amazon, blindingly blond, and quipped that she didn’t know if she was British or American now that her songs are ubiquitous on Stateside telly. Sandi Thom appeared very humbled by the whole shebang, perhaps even overwhelmed and maybe a touch frightened. Lily Allen left me a bit starstruck; I could only ask her two questions, and I mangled them both. I didn’t even get to ask her what she thought of her father, Keith Allen (who was there), being on Robin Hood! Paolo Nutini is extremely chatty and has the folksiest Scottish burr you’ve ever heard; after a minute, it’s like you’ve been knocking back pints for hours with him. You’d think Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs and Sophie Ellis-Bextor were a married couple they were so comfortable walking each other around–until you noticed Sophie’s husband, Feeling bassist Richard Jones, skulking behind them. In other wedding news, Nerina Pallot had more to celebrate than just her Brit nomination: she and her new husband had been married just hours earlier, and the newlyweds were the talk of the red carpet. Pallot is quite beautiful in person, like a significantly less slutty-looking Shannon Elizabeth.

Noel Gallagher said I asked him the best question of the night, which was, “Did he feel like Oasis got the respect they deserved in America?” You’ll see his answer when the video interviews go live. Obviously, Liam‘s the f*ckwit in that family.

Singer-songwriter Cat Power has a life-long fan in me after last night. There wasn’t a sweeter, realer celebrity on the carpet last night. We immediately bonded over being a pair of Yanks in Londontown, and she was wonderful even after I asked her a totally rudely phrased question.

OK, has Joss Stone always behaved like she did last night, strutting like a burlesque performer in her new red curly-locks? At one point, through squinted eyes, I asked someone if Kathy Griffin was doing the Brits this year, but when said unknown celebrity whizzed by, I realized it was Joss. Her accent has totally changed, too. She’s not British anymore; she’s a homegirl.

That’s it for now. I got lots of great footage, which you will see before the Brit Awards air on BBC AMERICA in April. Until Tuesday, February 20th, I’m on holiday, and Anglophenia will return then. Enjoy the long weekend, folks.

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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