In the hierarchy of awards shows, the U.K.’s Brit Awards are the funnest, craziest and, generally, drunkest of the bunch. The champagne-happy show will take place on February 9 this year, celebrating its 25th anniversary with Franz Ferdinand heading up nominations. With nominations being released today, the Scot-rock band are up for five possible awards, including British Group, Album, Breakthrough Act, Rock Act and Live Act.
Muse came in second, with four nods, while American bands Maroon 5 and Scissor Sisters were each nominated three times. Since the Brits organizers don’t divide up their genres quite as much as the Grammys, you get some odd competitors – with Brian Wilson, Eminem, Kanye West, Tom Waits and Usher, all vying for International Male Solo Artist. And though she’s probably not too happy about the category name, Canadian Avril Lavigne snuck into the Pop Act nominations.
Bob Geldof will be taking home the lifetime-achievement-y Outstanding Contribution To Music statue for his Live Aid efforts, with the Band Aid 20 single up for Best Single as well. You can expect his speech(es) to remind everyone of the need in Africa, especially in the face of the overshadowing Southeast Asia fundraising achievements the past few weeks. The Brit Awards themselves will donate 500,000 pounds to tsunami relief.
Now, just to be clear, we’re not guaranteeing any craziness at this year’s awards. But the odds aren’t bad. The 1996 show saw Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker drunkenly rush the stage during Michael Jackson ‘s performance (and get arrested for his efforts). At the ’98 Brit Awards, anarchy-lovin’ collective Chumbawumba dumped a bucket of water on England’s Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
More recently, in 2003, Coldplay’s Chris Martin accepted the Best British Album award with the words, “Thanks, it’s great. Awards are all essentially nonsense and we’re all going to die when George Bush has his way. But it’s great to go out with a bang.”
This year’s big bash will feature performances from U2, Joss Stone, Green Day, Keane, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters and Snoop Dogg with Pharrell Williams. Check out the Brit website for a full list of nominees.