The absolutely non-essential Clash round up...
BRIT Awards

It's the only show in town. Love them or loathe them, it's impossible to avoid them.

The BRIT Awards 2013 are just a few hours away, with millions across the country and beyond set to tune in to the music industry's annual knees up. Bound to cause debate, bookmakers will be taking bets on who will win and who will lose right up until the final moments.

As a bit of fun, we asked the Clash team to take a gander at the nominations list and suggest who is likely to walk away successful - and who might languish in the doldrums.

It's the absolutely non-essential, utterly facetious BRIT Awards 2013 preview!

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British Breakthrough Act
Alt J
Ben Howard
Jake Bugg
Jessie Ware
Rita Ora

Ben Howard might well be set to perform on the night, but the ever present folkie type is just going to have to remain seated. Jake Bugg is almost certain to win this one, such is the enormous success of his debut album, and hopefully he’ll finally reveal himself to be the secret love child of Miles Kane. We can but dream. (RM)

British Female
Amy Winehouse
Bat for Lashes
Emeli Sandé
Jessie Ware
Paloma Faith

Whilst we imagine Amy Winehouse’s inclusion here is designed as a tasteful tribute to the star, it comes across as a bit of a disservice. In a fair, just world, Jessie Ware would win this award by a landslide and then saunter up to the stage whilst Paloma Faith ponders how to spend her ever accruing John Lewis royalties. (LG)

British Group
Alt J
Mumford and Sons
One Direction
The xx

Imagine these five acts as various lads at your old secondary school. One Direction would be the poor sap getting bent over backwards behind the bike sheds as the others beat ten shades of crap out of him. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on our behalf. We’d say Alt-J would land this award, but truth be told, we think it’ll go to everyone’s favourite troupe of singing farmers, Mumford & Sons. (LG)

British Live Act
Rolling Stones
Mumford & Sons
Muse Vaccines

Ahhh yes, the ‘rock’ category; where ‘British Live Act’ equates to ‘bands that play their music at a slightly louder than average volume’. Write down a list of every act you’ve been to see in the past year, including all those exciting young upstarts you watched playing to inebriated audiences in dingy basement venues where the beer tasted like piss and the ceilings dripped sweat. None of those acts are on this list. Instead you’ve got yourself a line-up of distinctly safe arena acts – you’ll take your Mum along to these and spend the show rocking back and forth on a cheap plastic seat, realising you just spent a quarter of your monthly salary on the tickets. The Rolling Stones should win this, because for the past fifty years they can’t get no satisfaction and Gawd knows they need it. (LG / RM)

British Male
Ben Howard
Calvin Harris
Olly Murs
Richard Hawley
Plan B

In which Richard Hawley now seems to have superseded Thom Yorke as the token ‘alternative’ choice. No hope of winning, of course, but it’s important for the BRITs to be seen as paying lip service at the very least to the vast majority of music that doesn’t form Radio 1’s play-it-till-you’re-sick-of-it daytime schedule. We reckon Calvin Harris will end up nabbing this one, what with him being the UK’s most successful songwriter for the past two years, albeit with a formula where every one of his hits sounds like it shares 95% of its musical DNA with its predecessor. (LG)

Global Success
Mumford and Sons
One Direction

Aka, the ‘One Direction Award’ – Now, we’re all for a spot of timely patriotism, especially as us Brits seem to be doing so well over in the States at the moment; but was there really any call for a brand new award category, just so another already preposterously successful act can bung a ‘BRIT Award-winning!!!’ sticker on their album? We imagine Simon Cowell is already rubbing his thighs in glee at the thought of his impish boyband lackeys taking this one home. (LG)

British Producer
Damon Albarn
Jake Gosling
Paul Epworth

Surely this has to go to Paul Epworth? Jake Gosling might have been the brains behind Ed Sheeran’s mega-successful debut LP, but when the chips are down, he didn’t co-write and produce the most successful Bond theme in over twenty years, did he? And with Florence & The Machine’s Ceremonials album under Epworth’s belt too, his star has never burned brighter. (LG)

British Single
Adele, Skyfall
Alex Clare, Too Close
Coldplay + Rihanna, Princess of China
Rita Ora/DJ Fresh, Hot Right Now
Emile Sandé, Next To Me
Florence+ the Machine, Spectrum James Arthur, Impossible
Jessie J, Domino
Labrinth ft. Emeli Sandé, Beneath Your Beautiful
Ollie Murs, Troublemaker
Rita Ora, RIP
Rizzle Kicks, Mama Do The Hump
Robbie Williams, Candy
Rudimental, Feel the Love
Stooshe, Black Heart

For a moment, we weren't sure who to choose. But then we realised that Robbie Williams was performing on the night, and isn’t nominated in any of the other categories, so it’s probably going to be him. 'Candy' is hardly one of his best, but a soundalike number by a former Take That member turned alien-obsessed expat is still infinitely better than the majority of the charts, yeah? (LG)

International Female
Alicia Keys
Cat Power
Lana Del Ray
Taylor Swift

Poor old Lana's a little over-exposed for the BRITs - or maybe that's just us? Either way, while LDR is busy draping herself over the bonnets of Jaguars, we’re going to go and say Taylor Swift will win this, because – quite frankly – we fancy her like crazy. Oh, and she’s performing ‘22’, her chirpy kiss-off to rubbish exes, live on the night. Sucks to be you, Harry Styles. (LG)

International Group
Alabama Shakes
The Black Keys
The Killers
The Script

While The Killers might be on the comeback trail and Alabama Shakes are blazing a trail, it’s The Black Keys who have really caught our attention. Picture the scene: in an effort to usurp BRIT controversies of old, Patrick Carney unveils a t-shirt saying ‘BEIBS KISS MY ASS’ to near instant Twitter conflagration. Bless. (RM)

International Male
Bruce Springsteen
Frank Ocean
Jack White
Michael Buble

All these suave, international gentlemen – all after your gran’s money (we’ve yet to meet a gran who’s into Jack White, but if she’s out there, she’d totally be the coolest gran ever). We’d be inclined to say Gotye might win this, but since he’s gone on to prove to be a colossal one hit wonder of such proportions there’s most likely a picture of him next to the dictionary definition, we reckon this award will – quite rightfully – go to Frank Ocean. It’s only a pity he’s not kicking off the night with a full live performance of Pyramids... Missed opportunities, BRITs! Missed opportunities! (LG)

British Album
Alt J
Emeli Sandé
Mumford & Sons
Paloma Faith
Plan B

It’ll be Emeli Sandé. You know it, we know, the BRITs know it and Emili – despite dismissals to the contrary – probably knows it, too. But imagine if Plan B could swipe this award with ‘iLL Manors’ – his balaclava clad cohorts in tow, a politicised, subversive swipe at a music industry rapidly becoming more and more homogenised. Maybe chuck in a swear word or two, Mr Drew, to really make them choke on their prawn sandwiches. (RM)

Words by Laurence Green & Robin Murray

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The BRIT Awards kick off tonight (February 20th)


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