Arctic Monkeys say rock-and-roll is the winner at top UK music awards

Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:41pm EST
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By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) - Indie quartet Arctic Monkeys picked up the coveted best album award and triumphed over boy band One Direction to be named best group, prompting their lead singer to claim a victory for rock-and-roll at British pop's show of the year.

"That rock-and-roll it just won't go away. That rock-and-roll, it seems like it's fading away sometimes, but it will never die," Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner said as he received the band's second gong of the night for the Mastercard British album of the year.

The best group prize at London's BRIT Awards on Wednesday was the only head-to-head between Sheffield-born Arctic Monkeys and One Direction, the five-piece band formed in 2010 on the TV singing contest The X Factor.

"There's that fifteen quid we put on One Direction to win down the drain," Turner joked as Arctic Monkeys picked up the BRIT for best group.

Opening the event with their track "R U Mine", in the shadow of giant versions of the letters "AM", flaming and suspended in mid-air, Arctic Monkeys were performing at the BRITs for the first time despite their multiple successes there over the last eight years.

In the past, the band had responded frostily to their BRIT wins. This year, they were odds-on favourites to win both the awards they were up for, and their BRITs silverware count is now seven.

One Direction, a band targeted at a young audience and whose fans are mainly teenage girls, did not walk away empty handed, however.

The group picked up the BRITs global success award, being joined late on stage by a panting Harry Styles, one of its five members. He said he was late because he had been off "having a wee" when the prize was announced.   Continued...

The Arctic Monkeys perform at the BRIT Awards, celebrating British pop music, at the O2 Arena in London February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville