IT’S the BRITS tonight and a new category will celebrate the best British album of the last 30 years. Ugh, have you seen the list of ten contenders? It’s fairly ridiculous. For all their silliness you can’t begrudge Oasis a place on the shortlist and you can admit Coldplay at a push, but some bozo has put Duffy up there with them. And Dido. And Keane. And Travis.
It may be a few years since I did the New Journal’s music page – maybe I’m too old for the hit parade – but this is an astonishing assessment of the last three decades of British music. The obvious admissions are Blur (Parklife), Radiohead (OK Computer, Pablo Honey), Pulp (Different Class) and Amy Winehouse (Back To Black), whose efforts are inexplicably relegated by the bungling BRITS panel below Duffy. I’d personally argue a case for Morcheeba (Big Calm), St Etienne (Foxbase Alpha), The Streets (Original Pirate Material, A Grand Don’t Come For Free) and even Hil St Soul (Soul Organic) to have been up there.
And if I was choosing a winner, if it was up to me.. the prize would have to go to Belle and Sebastian. Hard to pick one album, but The Boy With The Arab Strap, not just for the title song, always reminds me of good times. Dismiss it as jingly-jangly, twinkee-dinkee music, but it’s criminal that that band hasn’t won more awards when Keane and Travis are always invited to the best parties. See below for footage of a sunset gig, I’d love to have been at.