With London Fashion Week over for another season and the film BAFTAs all but a distant memory, attention turned to the UK music scene last night as the cream of the industry dashed south of the river to London’s O2 arena for the Brit Awards 2013.
Rock trio Muse kicked off proceedings with a bang with a performance of new track Supremacy, backed by a 75-piece strong orchestra and a pyrotechnics show. Other live performance highlights included Best British Group winners Mumford & Son’s spine-tinglingly good rendition of I Will Wait (which saw all the guests spring to their feet and dance in the aisles), One Direction’s bubblegum pop Blondie/Undertones mash-up (cue deafening screams) and Justin Timberlake’s return to the Brits stage, looking sharp in a Tom Ford suit (even more screams).
Big winners included Scottish singer Emeli Sande who topped off a triumphant year by scooping two Brits for British Album of the Year and Best British Female Solo Artist, and Ben Howard, who took home the male equivalent as well as Best British Breakthrough Act, and host James Corden did a good job entertaining the crowd.
Once the show had wrapped, the music stars dispersed across London to a whole host of glitzy after-parties dotted across the capital. Warner Music and Vanity Fair held an event at the Savoy Hotel (Muse’s Matt Bellamy and Kate Hudson were the star guests), the X Factor alumni (including 1D) were out in force at Sony’s event at the Arts Club, while Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label took over the Michelin-starred restaurant, Hakkasan, for an exclusive soiree.
I bagged a ticket to Universal Music’s star-studded after-party, which was hosted in partnership with Bacardi at a Soho House pop-up venue in a disused bank in the City. Fresh from his turn hosting the Brits, James Corden hit the decks alongside country singer Taylor Swift to spin some party tunes for the well-heeled crowd. The DJ booth was the place to be, with Mark Ronson, Ellie Goulding and Marcus Mumford (accompanied by actress wife Carey Mulligan) all spotted rubbing shoulders whilst picking out the party tracks. The Mumford & Sons frontman’s set-list was particularly good with a mixture of old indie dance tunes (think New Order and The Human League) and new songs (LA’s Haim) getting everyone up onto the dancefloor.
Musical mogul types mingled with the star guests, which also included Frank Ocean, Professor Green, Paloma Faith, Jessie J, Jonathan Ross, Dermot O’Leary, Emeli Sande, Rizzle Kicks, Chris O’Dowd and, my personal favourite, Jake Bugg. The teen singer carried all of the rock star swagger of someone way older, but when I mentioned that I was heading to Shepherd’s Bush Empire next week to one of his sold out gigs, he sweetly thanked me with a kiss and told me to have a good time. Love him!
I’m equally in love with the venue with its grand old pillars, twinkling chandeliers and a now defunct money vault in the basement complete with a weighty gold circular door nestled next to the pop-up beauty room.
If only I had a spare few thousand quid to host my own party there. Now, off to bed!