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To an outsider, the UK's foremost music awards show The Brits, which takes place tonight at the famous O2 Arena in old foggy London town, may appear somewhat confusing and less shiny than their US counterparts like The Grammys. 

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Poor Madge.

However, the booze-riddled, WTF? charm of the ceremony is what sets it apart from its bigger brother across the pond, providing a genuinely chaotic evening sure to be full of GIF-able moments. Still, if you are reading this in the USA (or are an international popstar just popping over to our shores for "work, work, work, work, work") here are a few of the key differences to look out for tonight and help you fit in with the cockney crowds. 

1) There is no seating in rows, only at tables.

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Yep, we tried the US style theatre rows once a few years ago before promptly abandoning it and returning to communal tables. It's easier to eat your dinner that way. Also, they serve dinner.

2) You can drink.

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In fact if you don't get unreasonably drunk and insult at least three waiters you'll stick out like a disgruntled dad at a 1D concert. All the finest Brits moments have involved copious amounts of booze.

3) Although it's not as drunken as it once was.


Brit Awards 1996 Jarvis Cocker Vs Michael Jackson by ekincik

Back in the grand old days of the 90s, all manner of pi**ed up shenanigans took place, featuring politicians getting covered in water by Chumbawamba, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood getting into a fight mid-speech with a radio DJ and, of course, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker shaking his bum at Michael Jackson. Halcyon days. Things are now, comparatively, better behaved.

4) The presenters aren't speaking a foreign language, they're just from Newcastle.

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Ant and Dec are two of the biggest TV presenters in the country. They're like a pair of duelling Ryan Seacrests if Ryan had once been blinded in a teen soap and had a dodgy rap career on the side. Listen closely and you should be able to pick up what's going on.

5) The awards all look different each time.

Classic BRITs statue

A few years back, someone had the grand old idea of re-designing the trophy for each awards show. This year's collection looks slightly like a series of Star Wars villains lined up in formation, each winner getting their own individually designed one. They are also quite tall and impractical to carry so watch yourself on the way down the stairs.

6) Swearing is encouraged in the room but won't make the TV.

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You could try but, as last year's Kanye performance demonstrated, you'll be bleeped into oblivion. Rihanna doesn't stand a chance.

7) The speeches go down best when they're short, to the point and don't include any awkward "jokes".

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Nobody wants to hear you ramble. Joss Stone has still never explained this accent

8) Performances tend to be quite over the top.

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Spectacular, prop-heavy highlights include Geri Halliwell emerging from between a giant pair of legs for some reason. You don't get that at the AMAs.

9) This man has won the most Brits ever.

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His name is Robbie Williams and he has 17 of them. He used to be in a boy band and then wrote our national anthem, "Angels". He occasionally lives in your country.

And that's about it. 

Settle in tonight and try to keep up. We'll see you at the after party for a blue WKD and a kebab (another UK tradition).

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