The 2014 Brit Awards, which took place last Thursday at London’s 02 Arena, saw global acts come together to celebrate British music. There were surprise guests, live TV glitches and some of the best live music we have seen at the awards in previous years.
Kicking off proceedings was Sheffield’s finest Arctic Monkeys, who have surprisingly never played the awards show before. They provided a knee-jerking and raucous performance proving that they are one of the best British talents we have and one of the most in demand live acts in the world today. They performed R U Mine? from their fifth studio album AM, which was nominated for Best British album and won – providing a great start to the ceremony. For added drama and effects the band had an arena sized AM alight with the charismatic Alex Turner showing off his frontman credentials.
Another great performance came from the global superstar Beyoncé. Even though Queen B was not nominated for any awards, there was on-going speculation as to whether she would make a guest appearance at the ceremony and she didn’t disappoint. Performing her new track XO, which had not been performed live on TV before, Beyoncé gave a stripped back performance allowing her credible voice and her sparkling dress to provide the glamour she so easily exudes.
Next, an unlikely collaboration came from New Zealand singer Lorde and British dance newcomers Disclosure. Disclosure have collaborated with the likes of Sam Smith, London Grammar and recently Mary J Blige, proving that they can collaborate with just about any artist. The two artists combined genres to create a brilliant remix of Lorde’s Royals and Disclosure’s White Noise.
Another dazzling performance and unlikely collaboration came from Bastille and Rudimental. Bastille performed last year’s festival anthem Pompeii which showed how far the London band have come since 2010. Rudimental performed Waiting All Night, which was one of the most climatic performances from the night, showcasing how both bands will be at the top of the music scene for a long time to come.
Closing the 2014 ceremony were Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, who have both had a phenomenal year working with Daft Punk in addition to their own solo projects. There was a lot of excitement and anticipation to see the two of them perform together, promising they would have a surprise in store by performing a medley of hits. First they played Get Lucky, which got the crowd up on their feet going into Rodgers and Chic’s disco classic Good Times, before finally ending with Pharrell’s global hit Happy, which seemed like a fitting end to James Corden’s four year run as Brits host. Both Pharrell and Rodgers know how to put on a good performance, showcasing their back catalogue and playing songs that fans want to hear. This year’s Brit Awards not only displayed the amount of great talent we have in the music industry but also what great music British acts have produced within the last year.