LIVE BLOG: Aphex Twin's Big Night Out at the Brits
From the red carpet to Alan Carr, here's everything that happened when Richard D James hit the Brits!
Illustration by Joshua Hanton.
THUMP favorite Aphex Twin found himself nominated for Best British Male Artist at the Brits, England's premiere music award show. This is an account of how his night (probably) went.
My name is Richard David James. You might have heard of me. I'm also known as Aphex Twin. This is what happened when I went to the Brits.
Press play and read on.
1615: I am spraying two short lines of a Nivea for men deodorant under my armpits. I have bought the stain-free spray as my shirt is black.
17:00: I am waiting for a taxi.
1740: I am at "The Brit Awards 2016." It looks really boring.
1745: I am walking down a red carpet and nobody is taking any photos of me.
1746: A photographer just shouted "Jamiroquai" at me.
1748: Not sure where to go, I stand at the edge of the carpet and eat the sausage roll I'd brought with me. Quite nice. Bit flaky, but the filling was fine.
1801: Just sat down at my table. I'm the only one here so far. I try to text the wife to tell her I made it inside safely but there is no signal. She's already got the hump after I dropped the cottage pie on the kitchen floor last night. I think about texting my mate Pat to ask if I could kip on his sofa but then I remember I can't get signal. Bugger.
1844: I am sat between Lionel Blair and Bill Turnbull. Lionel keeps trying to talk to me. He thinks I am Jamiroquai. My table is really far away from the stage. It's going to take me ages to get there when I win.
1845: "If" I win. I shouldn't get cocky.
1912: Bit bored. Decided to have a look at the goodie bag. There's a small bottle of Hugo Boss, some flip-flops and a Specsavers voucher. Not a terrible haul, but there was a bag of Fishermen's Friends in it last time.
1931: Approached by Ant and Dec. They ask me to leave. "Sorry mate," the big one says, "can we see your pass?" I show him the pass. He nods and turns to the little one. "Nah, he isn't Jamiroquai, fuck knows who he is." I think maybe they are laughing at me.
2000: Here we go. We are live. No swearing please!
2009: Hope Adele does well. She's talented and down to earth.
2027: Minutes away now. Within a matter of two minutes I will (hopefully) be on that stage, clutching my very own polished statuette. Like Basement Jaxx, Norah Jones and Keane before me, I will finally be canonised in the Brits pantheon.
2029: James Bay just won my award.
2030: James Bay is accepting my award.
2031: James Bay is thanking people for helping him win my award.
2033: James Bay is shuffling back to his table with my award.
2034: James Bay is wearing a hat.
2038: I request more drinks be brought to our table. Lionel Blair has left.
2042: I nip off to the toilet and dump a load of music on Soundcloud to cheer myself up. Of this batch I think everyone's going to love "min.exe000--^uwm" the most.
2110: As if to add insult to injury, I now have to watch James Bay perform. I am getting drunk I think. I haven't been drunk since 2002.
2112: James Bay is performing. He is singing about holding back a river. He is still wearing the hat. Turrets of dry ice and white cold light cause a halo of crystals around his midnight black hair. Christ, he has the voice of an angel. An angel all dressed in black singing straight to me. The room falls away. I'm taken back to 2002, and the last Brits ceremony I went to. Robbie Williams beating me to Best British Male. The same feeling. The same hollow sweat. Frank Skinner was presenting that year with Zoe Ball, and Susie Amy from Footballer's Wives presented the award. Where is she now, I wonder? Robbie's acceptance speech was streamed from LA. It was during his monkeyish bravado stage. He made a swipe about Craig David which I found it entirely below the belt. But, back in the now, James Bay is another creature entirely. He is a black swan.
2115: Rihanna is performing now and she's brought Drake out with her. Wish I could finish that trap remix of "Hotline Bling" I started but I find trap really difficult.
2212: I have drunk 13 glasses of Prosecco.
2213: Just thought about that bloke up in space wishing Adele all the best. Now crying. Quite a lot. Really crying quite quite hard. Sobbing loudly. Bill Turnbull just left.
2230: Show's over! That was a waste of an evening.
2232: The buffet is shit. I do a strawpedo with Alan Carr. Decent bloke, all considered.
2241: Thought me and Lenny Henry were having a really great chat there. I thought we were really getting to know each other. He was telling me how much he loved my music, I was telling him how much I enjoyed him in the Premier Inn adverts. It was a real heart to heart. Then do you know what he said? "Nice to meet you, Jamiroquai." smdh.
2258: Right, now, alright, I've had a drink, but I'm a fucking genius aren't I? Aren't I? Don't I deserve more than this? Don't I deserve glitz and glamour and adulation and Jonathan Ross Show appearances? I used to think that I was going to be a big star someday. I used to climb out of my bunker and look up at the night sky and whisper to the wind. I was going to be the man some day. It never happened. Look me at now. I'm sat here, outside the 02 arena, stumbling around for half an already smoked cigarette, and I don't even smoke any more. That's who I am now, though. I find a butt. I have no lighter. I let it dangle between my cracked lips hoping for something to happen. This is the man I am now. This is it. This is me. James Bay saw me earlier, in the toilets. He was holding his award in his hand. I tried to say, "Well done, James Bay, well done," but I croaked and nothing emerged but a parched wheeze. "Alright mate," he said to me, "I'm James. James Bay, winner of the Mastercard Brit Awards 2016 Best British Male award, how do you do?" Still the words wouldn't leave my mouth. "You're Jamiroquai, aren't you?" I lied. "Yes. I am." He said he loved my stuff. I told him to stay safe, told him to cherish these moments. He shook my hand. I'll never forget it. I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.
2259: Fucking hell, I am absolutely fucking hammered lads. Who's got the tinnies?
2304: I am walking back to Cornwall.
For legal reasons we should state, this obviously didn't actually happen.