Before the show, Kaiser Chief’s lead singer told brits.co.uk that he would celebrate any BRITs win with a procession through the streets on an open topped bus. He won, but we’re not sure about the parade in the city of Leeds.
In the end, the Chiefs opened the show with a stomping version of I Predict A Riot, before grabbing gongs in three of their five nominated categories: British Group, British Rock Act, and Live Act.
James Blunt and Coldplay scored two gongs each, and Blunt, who topped the voting in the British Male and Best Pop categories, also received a vote of confidence from Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who urged people to support the You’re Beautiful singer.
While Coldplay celebrated their Best Single and Best Album the mop-topped frontman made the night’s most controversial promise. “You won’t see us at one of these for many years,” said Martin, “So this is our last chance. We won’t see you for a long time, goodbye.” Rumours of the band’s demise were a little premature, however. Coldplay were not splitting up, but were taking a “long break” after the end of their world tour in June.
A host of other artists went home happy on the night. From the down to earth Lemar (Urban Act) and Jack Johnson (International Breakthrough Act), to superstars Kanye West (International Male) and Madonna (International Female), there was plenty of celebrating going on around Earls Court. KT Tunstall, named best British Female, wasn’t wasting a moment, urging her fellow females, “Ladies! Disregard Your Limitations!” as she grabbed her gong and headed for the whiskey.
Only two of the nights’ winning artists weren’t able to make the big night. Green Day sent their thanks from a studio in America, while Arctic Monkeys, playing live in Portsmouth, sent a taped acceptance speech as well.
Among a raft of top-notch performances, a few favourite moments stood out. First up was Prince’s medley of classic hits. In his first BRITs performance since 1997, the diminutive superstar unleashed Purple Rain and Let’s Go Crazy, and the crowd didn’t need asking twice.
Gorillaz impressed with their multi-media extravaganza, featuring huge animated video screens, Pharcyde’s Bootie Brown and a huge choir of breakdancing kids.
The night’s Outstanding Achievement award winner, Paul Weller, also sent a few shivers down spines with his clutch of classic tracks.
Meanwhile Kanye West, just three years into his career, matched the legends with a three song showcase and a breathtaking stage spectacle of Busby Berkeley-esque proportions! His legions of gold-painted dancers provided one of the most iconic BRITs moments of the last 26 shows.