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Saturday, February 7, 1998 Published at 17:06 GMT



UK

Pop world lines up to discover who is best of Brits
image: [ The Spice Girls, performing at last year's ceremony. This year they have just one nomination ]
The Spice Girls, performing at last year's ceremony. This year they have just one nomination

To listen to pop stars talk, you would not know that the Brit Awards are the most keenly awaited event in the British pop music calendar.

Criticism of the awards is plentiful, with some of the most vociferous coming from bands which have been nominated for awards.


[ image: Candle in the Wind favourite for best single]
Candle in the Wind favourite for best single
Radiohead, whose chances of winning Best Band are 3/1 according to William Hill bookmakers and 2/1 for Best Album, are touring Australia and will not be at the ceremony at the London Docklands Arena.

But band member Ed O' Brien said the Brits were an elaborate marketing con, and were a ploy to sell more records at a quiet time of the year:

"The actual reality of awards is that they are thought up by record companies who say: `How can we shift more records at this time of year?' It's in February for a specific reason."


[ image: The Verve, strongly tipped for their five nominations]
The Verve, strongly tipped for their five nominations
And The Verve, who have been nominated for four awards and one for co-producing their album Urban Hymns, will also not be at Monday's ceremony. They are performing at the Brixton Academy, which will be linked up to the ceremony by satellite for the band to play a song.

But they have made no secret of their disdain for awards, having sent a cleaner on stage to accept their NME awards last month.

Meanwhile there was surprise that the Spice Girls, who have sold 25 million albums worldwide and had six consecutive number ones, have only been nominated for one award - for best video for Spice Up Your Life.


[ image: All Saints have been nominated three times]
All Saints have been nominated three times
Former Take That star Robbie Williams said he could not believe the judges were ignoring them, and best newcomer nominee Shola Ama who added that it did not seem right.

But some artists will admit their respect for the Brits. Roni Size, who with Reprazent won the Mercury Music Award last year and is also a Brit nominee for best newcomer, said it was an honour to be part of the event. "When people start taking notice of what you're doing and start giving you awards for that, of course, you're delighted," he said.

"It's the benefits that can come from being nominated and actually winning awards. I've already seen from my experience of being part of the Mercury Awards, the Brits is the next stage, it's good."


 





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