Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Posted by Tahirah

A week ago I was up in Glasgow pretending I was going to sample haggis. Before the show, I had a plan. A very serious journalistic review on the MOBO Awards 2009 was supposed have landed on The Block by Saturday. It was going to start with something to the effect of "for the first time ever, Britain's most established platform for recognising and awarding music Of black origin was live in Glasgow, Scotland..."

Then in the aftermath of Tahirah, Devill and Lady V's adventures in Glasgow 2009 - a review of the MOBOs were the last thing on my blogging agenda. But before I give you a rundown on the madness AROUND the big sparkly event, I might as well set the scene by telling you my thoughts on the awards.


With out a doubt, production this show was the best in years. The production team made some smart choices with the aesthetics, having a pit (so crazy screaming teenagers filled the area right at the front of the stage, instead of rows of industry people who were too cool to clap on tables) and ensuring supporting performers were on point. Also, everyone presenting awards were at least slightly relevant to at least some part of the British creative industries - even if not all of them could talk properly *coughs*AmirKhan*coughs*.

And sponsorship was crazy; MOBO managed to get a whole city to promote and financially sponsor them. We all know that if the awards had stayed in London, they would have never have wrangled support from the city's tourism board. Boris Johnson's marketing department don't give a flying duck about the MOBO Awards; I doubt they'd even sponsor the Brit Awards. Yet in Glasgow, the town centre's street lights were HAMMERED with MOBO promotion.

There were of course, some questionable moments though. The biggest question was "WHY did you ever ever ever think Peter Andre doing your backstage VTs was a good idea?"

The next question was, who got away with using a bootleg track for one of the intro songs? I heard the "black n beatz vibes" radio rip when Keri Hilson won Best R&B.

Another question - speaking of Keri - now, I love Keri Hilson, but WHY oh WHY was she wearing those pants during her performance and blue lipstick later in the show? In fact, who was in charge of her whole wardrobe? Puuuure questions related to that area alone.

And talking wardrobe, why did Kelly Rowland wear that dress that blatantly didn't match her performance? I didn't even notice she MISSED HER CUE (and blamed it on MOBO) I was just mesmerised by the awful dress that didn't match what else was going on onstage.

Finally; WHY did everyone in the audience go quiet during the Best African Act and Best Gospel Act categories? They seemed genuinely perplexed. This is fine, but they could have carried on applause - they were clapping for any other nonsense earlier in the show (including Peter Andre's VTs)

None of these questions stopped me from enjoying myself, of course. In fact, I nearly wet myself with laughter when JLS came onstage and danced to their backing track. They didn't even bother to try and make the mime look convincing - backflipping, ripping off shirts and high-fiving the pit audience during a chorus is an epic fail. I also giggled for a while when Dappy from N-Dubz threw himself into the audience and didn't re-emerge onstage for a while...

The Jackson tribute was well executed. It was much better than the shambles that the BET Awards did (though to be fair, MOBO had a little longer to prepare than the weekend that BET had).

And finally, the bit I haven't mentioned. The awards themselves. To be honest, I feel like everyone should take the delegation of MOBO awards with a pinch of salt. Only the awards that the mainstream don't actually care about are given to people who REALLY deserve it (Nneka for Best African Act and Yolanda Brown for Best Jazz). According to MOBO, all categories are 100% voted by the audience, so when Tinchy had THIS flee-motional strop about not getting an award, they were quick to fire back a twitter REPLY. I'm not sure what to think, but Tinchy need not feel sad - when SEAN PAUL won best reggae and Chipmunk got best hip hop (huh?!) it reinforced that the awards were the least important part of the show.

In short, as PINBOARDBLOG said, no matter how much people moan, everyone always scrambles to be involved in the MOBOs because it's all we've got. It would be impossible to please everyone, but everyone in the SECC - from industry to regular Glaswegians - agreed this year's show was alot. This year the MOBO Awards complimented the flourishing UK black scene nicely.