This year’s Brits was unusually entertaining, but it also told us, ironically, that most of the really exciting and inspired sounds are coming from the States right now.
Jay-Z, as funny, cool and gentlemanly as ever, reminded us that with the soaring Empire State of Mind he’s come up with one of the all time hip-hop classics.
Lady Gaga was as mesmerising as ever, both in her delicately poised recital and in her shaky little speeches.
Performances by Cheryl Cole, JLS, Robbie, Kasabian and even the usually charming Lily Allen all felt limp and drab in comparison. Robbie looked positively haunted, like a glassy-eyed man on his last, trembling, legs.
So it was left to the non-performing guest Brits to provide the home-grown charisma.
Delicious Idris Elba — the Wire’s Stringer Bell — fizzed with life and humour, and thank God wind-up king Liam Gallagher still has some chutzpah and fire about him.
And poor Prince Harry — his taped tribute just confirmed that he’s looking increasingly like that bloke who’s definitely not his father. What terrible luck.