The stars of the music world were out in full force on Saturday night (3rd November 2012) as Liverpool’s Echo Arena played host to the annual MOBO awards. Hundreds of fans lined the red-carpet to see the the likes of Plan B, Rita Ora, Labrinth, JLS and new kid on the block, Tyler James make their way into the ceremony.

Opening the night’s proceedings was Emeli Sande, the golden girl of the night, who by the end of the two hour ceremony scooped 3 awards for Best R&B/Soul, Best Album for her debut ‘Our Version of Events’ and Best Female act. Her opening performance near-on silenced the arena, as roused the crowd with an acoustic performance of her hit ‘my kind of love’, that easily saw her justify her three wins that night.

Another notable performance was Conor Maynard who delivered a surprisingly strong performance of both his hits, Can’t Say No and Turnaround. Despite this reviewers pre-judgement that he would be a damp squib, his showmanship was much stronger than Wiley, who delivered as much excitement to the night’s proceedings as his song’s do to the world of grime (little to none).

Award ceremonies have a nasty habit of feeling a little clinical and whilst seeing grateful artists receive awards is a pleasant enough affair, it doesn’t pull at the heart strings or make you feel particularly moved or bothered. That said, seeing a room full of people instantly cease their rowdiness and stand in unison to see soul-legend Dionne Warwick accept her Outstanding Contribution to Music award was genuinely touching, even if half the audience had no real clue who they were standing for.

If there was one true failing of the night, it was easily the lack of chemistry between the evenings presenters Miquita Oliver and Adam Deacon, the duo repeatedly tried and failed at delivering any humour into what was in an altogether sanguine and pointless lull in the evening’s proceedings.

If this reviewer was going to give out his own award for the night, under the category best MOBO performance, Emeli Sande would be piped to the post slimly by Labrinth, who pulled it out of the bag with a teaser of ‘Let Me Be Your Beautiful’ before storming through the crowds to drop into ‘Earthquake’. Watching Labrinth perform really is like watching a man at the top of his game, he swaggered about the stage with a self-confidence that was deserved, he relished the fact he had one hell of a great song and delivered a performance that showed it.

The night ended rather anticlimactically however, as TLC (two of them) came up to collect an award for outstanding contribution to music despite appearing wholly disinterested, however something more dull was to come, and the oddest and most disappointing scheduling of a MOBO closing ever. Rather than finish on something that makes you want to try and crash the nearest after-party, it was left to Stooshe’s rendition of TLC mega-hit Waterfalls to toll the death knoll of Liverpool’s efforts at the MOBOs.

Criticism aside, these awards ceremonies are odd beasts and pleasing everyone and trying to representing a year of music in what can be an incredibly fickle industry isn’t easy. Over all the MOBO’s ticked the boxes for everything an awards ceremony should be, chaotic and slightly tedious, but with a few genuinely brilliant moments that made the whole experience worthwhile.

Performances on the night came from, Emeli Sande, Labrinth, Conor Maynard, JLS, Wiley, Angel, Trey Songz and Stooshe.

The winners of The MOBO Awards 2012 are:
Best Gospel: Rachel Kerr
Best Jazz: Zoe Rahman
Best Reggae: Sean Paul
Best African Act: D’Banj
Best Song: Labrinth
Best R&B/Soul: Emeli Sandé
Best Album: Emeli Sandé
Best Hip Hop/Grime: Plan B
Best Video: JLS
Best Female Act: Emeli Sandé
Best Male Act: Plan B
Best Newcomer: Rita Ora
Best International: Nicki Minaj