Our man in Westminster, Sir Charles ‘Chatty’ Chatterton, the raffish, six-times-married, long-serving Member of Parliament who is Assistant Under Secretary at the Department for Transport, tells The Conservative Woman of his recent attendance at the 2021 Brit Awards.
A COUPLE of weeks ago, I had the misfortune to bump into the Culture Minister, a fresh-faced young man with a permanently startled expression, named Downing or Dowding. (It had escaped me that there was such a ministry). Much to my surprise he offered me a couple of tickets for what he described as a musical evening at the Dome. He told me that he was unable to attend as it clashed with a dental check-up. As I was at a loose end on the night in question I said I would take them off his hands.
The invitations said something about Brit Awards and I naturally assumed it would involve pieces by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Purcell, perhaps even Handel, but when I showed them to my secretary Catherine, she explained that the occasion had something to do with popular music.
I can’t say I have ever been a fan of ‘pop’, but I recall that some ditties from the likes of Cliff Richard and the Beverley Sisters were quite catchy, and not wanting to offend young Dowling, and despite my reservations, I decided to attend and take Catherine with me.
It is hard for me to describe the horror I experienced. The only saving grace was that we were in an executive box with a well-stocked mini-bar. Far below I could see a large number of drunken adolescents who screamed when one of the musical turns appeared or was shown on the screens.
Most of the repetitive songs sounded to me as though they had been put together on a cheap computer. To make matters worse a rude young man kept appearing to give the singers what appeared to be some sort of paperweight, possibly for having the best costume or most unusual hairstyle. They could not possibly be a reward for their dreadful songs.
It seems that on receipt of their prize the contestants were required to say something beastly about the Government, or how awful life was for them. It was all rather strange as it appeared to me that the complainants had done rather well for themselves.
I have to admit that things started to get rather hazy as the evening progressed but I seem to remember an attractive young lady (Duplex, Dulux, Dewlip?) say that we had to pay even more money to the NHS, whilst a combo of young ladies, whose name I forget, complained about life in general, and men in particular, perhaps because a couple of them had become pregnant.
As the evening dragged on the cacophony became increasingly overwhelming, but my ever-resourceful secretary had thought to bring with her some headphones through which I was able to spend the last hour listening to a splendid version of The Dream of Gerontius.
As we made our way back to the sanctuary of my club, Catherine pointed out that a couple of performances which were scheduled for the ‘Veterans of Rock’ segment had mysteriously not been performed. These were Neil Young, The Needle and the Damage Done and The Verve, The Drugs Don’t Work.
Make of that what you will!
The next time Downton offers me a ticket to a ‘cultural’ event I must remember to tell him it’s the night I’m cleaning my spoons.