Well, there was the surprising amount of already acclaimed acts, the requisite jazz troupe (yeah you remember the others from previous years? Portico Quartet? Basquiat Strings? ....Me neither), veteran Paul Weller (still sporting that bloody hairstyle) and twice previously nominated Dizzee Rascal. Now I know I'm probably not the only one in the world to be seeking the career slash life of Lauren Laverne, but Miranda Sawyer could have been a little more subtle as she mirrored our northern hero's combo of blonde crop, LBD and 9-month bump.
With The XX having swiftly transformed from an act only witnessed in the London indie scene to starring as the background tune to every ITV and BBC drama advert and being described in Grazia as the perfect soundtrack to a ladies' dinner party, they were somewhat an obvious choice. They seemed genuinely surprised to receive the £20,000 award too, Oliver's lovely lovely face beaming with delight. I now regret even more being too shy to go and talk to him when I spotted him a metre away at Shoreditch 1234 festival last month.
Laura Marling is someone I can't seem to trust. How can a girl with a mind profound and deep enough to evoke such gritty and dark lyrics have a pure and doll-like demeanour as hers? When she sings, it's effortless. Her face cracks as little as her voice does. She seems too relaxed to care in her casual thrown-on chunky knits and topknots, all the while presenting her brooding innermost complexities and learnings of womanhood through her songs. I can't comprehend how the two run side by side.
When I saw her perform Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) on Jools Holland earlier this year, I honestly thought she was covering some Dylan bootleg or a folk song of yore. Turns out that's just the maturity of the way she writes. (she looks amazing on this video- I'd kill for that Spice Girls vest) She's now had two nominations, and she is my age. Inadequate just isn't the word.
I want to like Villagers, I really do... With a name like Conor O'Brien he just sounds like a likeable and gentle young chap. But I don't know if it's because he looks as though he sheared his own hair with some ELC rounded-edge safety scissors and then cried when his mum told him off, or how he specifically and carefully pronounces every syllable of each word despite having... not exactly a speech impediment, but just a slightly annoying way of saying “s”... But the rugged and beardy REAL MAN impact of Simon Neil and co. was a welcome break indeed. Biffy were a shock, I wonder why they weren't nominated back in the days of one of their earlier albums. Makes me wonder what boxes are ticked for albums to make the cut.
Oh and was Dizzee even arsed? He didn't perform on the night, and as the winner was announced he was tweeting about some girl who was on X Factor at the weekend...