Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Adele, Blur and Emeli Sandé head-up The BRIT Awards 2012 nominations

Posted: 12th January 2012
The Brit Awards

Another year brings another awards ceremony. The BRIT Awards normally divides those who see the music-industry as a vapid, vicious machine that swallows young talent and spits it back out a few years later, sullied and stained, or those that don't. If you belong to the latter section of the community, then you'll have already Tweeted, Tumbled, Bebo'ed and gossiped about how demure Jessie J looked on the red carpet and how Ed Sheeran looked like he'd just got out of bed. A bed of roses, that is. Poles apart these two may be but when you're a nominee for a BRIT, the practice of trying to look cool is immediately replaced by just being cool. Well, that's what it says on the back of this matchbox.

Seriously though, the BRIT Awards have provided many memorable TV moments - the KLF leaving a dead sheep outside the after-party in 1992, Jarvis Cocker's butt-wiggling derision of Michael Jackson's pomposity in 1996 (oh come now - "Earth Song" is a grim song, it deserved ridicule), Mick Fleetwood (8ft tall) and Sam Fox (about the size of a Baby Bel) acting as presenters (badly) in 1989 and, sadly in 1990, Freddie Mercury's last public appearance before his death. And then there was Chumbawamba's unceremonious dousing of Labour's very own granite-faced John Prescott (he only asked for water - he ended up with two drinks).

Perhaps the most recent and memorable BRITs-related faux pas (or accurate description, depending on your point of view) was Peter Kay's classic appraisal of Liam Gallagher after the then-Oasis singer swore on TV. "What a knobhead", said the comedian. You had to be there.

This year of course, you CAN be there by purchasing one of the few remaining tickets for this year's big awards night at the O2 in London on 21st February. Prices start at £70 and, rather cleverly, you need to be a Mastercard holder to get in. James Corden is your host, which I imagine will soothe the nerves of the ITV producer in charge of what could be an anarchic melee of egos clashed.

And so to this year's nominations and surely destined to wipe the floor with everyone is Ed Sheeran who has been nominated for four awards, followed by Jessie J and Adele who are clamouring for a hat-trick, no less. Bon Iver, Coldplay, Florence and the Machine and Aloe Blacc are each vying for two awards. Emeli Sandé will be handed the Critic's Choice Award (last year's winner was Jessie J) as well as being up for the 'British Breakthrough Act'.

In the coveted 'Album of the Year' category, only one concurs with our recent 2011 poll: PJ Harvey's 'Let England Shake' - which was top of our, er, pops, with Coldplay and Florence (also up in the same category) making our shortlist. Another from our shortlist and up for 'British Female Solo Artist' is Kate Bush, who faces Florence, Laura Marling and the ever-present Jessie J. And in the counterpart to that award, Ed Sheeran, James Blake, James Morrison, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Professor Green face off in the 'British Male Solo Artist' category.

Special mention goes to Blur who will be awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award to Music gong (sympathetically designed this year by Peter Blake), before banging out a hits medley. I hope they play "Popscene", that's all.

Don't forget, with the exception of Blur (at the moment), you can check out tour dates for all of the BRIT nominees by scrolling down!

Paul Pledger