The MOBOs celebrated their 15 year anniversary at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Wednesday night and I had the somewhat dubious honour of being allowed to go to it, despite being a cantankerous old lover of white middle class Mercury Music Prize nominated fare. Definitely not their chosen demographic but that’s OK – I took an open mind, as well as some bling-a-ling from Argos along with me…
I’ve always wondered what it’s like to attend an award ceremony and whether it’s as exciting as it looks on telly. Might you end up at an aftershow party? Probably not. Do you rub shoulders with real celebs at the bar? Definitely not.
They, along with record industry types, have waiters bring them booze all night long while the riff-raff have to queue up for plastic pints of warm beer. Presenters Alisha Dixon and Reggie Yates had a range of fairly boring autocue-based conversations but even if they had been saying anything interesting, you could barely hear them over the din created by drunken celebs. It sounded a bit like Euston Station.
My seat was still pretty good, however. If I was the spitting type, I could have landed one right on Dappy from N-Dubz. As for the rest of the audience, it was made up primarily of women in their early 20’s; I’ve actually never seen a larger collection of what I like to call ‘stripper shoes’ in my entire life.
So who was actually there? The audience mostly seemed to go crazy for all the acts currently inhabiting Juice FM: Professor Green (though I doubt his academic credentials); Tinie Tempah (pictured), who to my surprise brought loads of charisma and enthusiasm to his performance; and N-Dubz, who I can’t even say were totally awful.
Alisha Dixon gave an enthusiastic but ear-hating rendition of ‘Drummer Boy’, and JLS teamed up with Travie McCoy for that ‘Billionaire’ song that makes me want to go out and kill. And this is me trying to be objective.
The thing about awards ceremonies which I found quite bizarre is that the sound and lighting is set up for TV, with the result that the performances seemed much more impressive on the big screens than they did in real life.
Far better to stay at home and watch it there. With cold beer. And a comfy seat. And convenient access to a loo.
Overall, the Echo Arena did well to bag what is, after all, one of the major UK awards. What next for the arena?
Crufts! Pleeeeease, let it be Crufts!