The commenters have convened and can now delivered a verdict.
We love Mabel on the music desk, but tonight we pretend that we do not see her outfit. She looks like an ice dancer that’s down on her luck.
The lack of many mega-sized groups these days means that it’s quite a diverse and interesting bunch across the two awards this year – everyone from Run the Jewels to Little Mix, Bicep, BTS, Young T & Bugsey, Biffy Clyro… and Fontaines DC, who follow the rule that to be cool in a band you are not allowed to smile. The guy on the left really wants to but he knows they’ll be a quartet before the evening is out if there’s even another five degrees variance in the angle of his lips.
Social distancing measures mean that the artist/label tables are significantly slimmed down compared to the usual germ-fest of shared butter pats and bread baskets. Behold a glimpse from inside the room: you know how there’s a fine line between “convincing restaurant” and “room with tables and chairs in it”? We’re in the latter category this evening.
A nice thing this year is that instead of the O2 Arena being full of oiks from Sony Music’s marketing department running rampant with fistfuls of … beers, 2,500 of the 4,000 attendees tonight are key workers who have helped us all through the pandemic. The liveblog salutes you!
Tobi Thomas from our news team spoke to the Brits organisers earlier about their plans for the evening, which is a test event for further indoor events in the wake of the pandemic.
“Large parts of the UK have been impacted by the pandemic but the live sector has really borne the brunt, and so everyone is keen for it to open again as quickly and as safely as possible,” the spokesperson said. “The learnings that the government will get out of this will be very important and hopefully will allow them to inform their approach and policy going forward.”
Enjoying Little Mix’s wry hat-tip to Madonna’s Like a Virgin video: Leigh-Anne (left) and Perrie (right) recently announced their respective pregnancies.
Raye and Regard, whose track Secrets is up for British single. White shoes with a suit has never been a viable look, Regard. However his new track with Troye Sivan and Tate McRae is so excellent he’s allowed in.
Also had a nice chat with Raye last year who has excellent taste.
Oh apparently Dua’s outfit is custom Vivienne Westwood, an insistent publicist pops up in my inbox to clarify. “The internet” seems to think it’s a tribute to Amy Winehouse’s 2007 Brits look too. Apparently her performance tonight will be “very British”, she told someone on the red carpet. Interpretive musical about Labour’s failure in the Hartlepool byelection? Re-enactment of a Midsomer Murders episode, perhaps featuring a walk-on by John Nettles? Quick break in the middle of Physical for a verse of We’ll Meet Again as a giant banner depicting Captain Tom unfolds behind her? Dance moves reminiscent of the best of Buck’s Fizz? Oh, wait … It’s all to play for!
As spelled out in capital letters on their Instagrams, Years & Years will secretly team with Elton John to perform It’s a Sin by the Pet Shop Boys this evening. Their frontman Olly Alexander channels chaos here like Dr Strange on a Vegas bender: furry cuffs meet a star-spangled suit, rodeo-suitable shirt and subtle bondage gear? You dropped this, king. 👑
Apologies – me and Laura have posted this outfit twice due to us being socially distanced this evening. And being really excited by Olly’s outfit.
Respect to Olly Alexander for coming as “every era of David Bowie at once” (and “one fifth of Celeste’s outfit”).
Joel Corry here, who is up for three awards as well – if I had my way, Head and Heart would win British single, but he is up against some serious pop pedigree in Harry Styles and Dua Lipa. If you don’t know his story, I had a really enjoyable 90-odd minutes with him on Zoom earlier this year. I think he nails this ultra-immaculate look but then I have been partially blinded by his dentistry, so who’s to say.